Collective bargaining hasn't hurt Anne Arundel

February 28, 2011

As a life long registered Republican, a home-owning, taxpaying resident of Anne Arundel County since 1985 and a public safety employee for Anne Arundel County since 1992, I observed the proceedings of the Anne Arundel County Council meeting held on Feb. 22 with a deep sense of regret, dismay and embarrassment for being a Republican! ("Council delays vote on bill to end binding arbitration," Feb. 22)

The existence of binding arbitration since 2003 has not been a factor in county taxes since, as was stated several times during the meeting. No decision was ever unfavorable to the county, just to the county employees! County Executive John Leopold's insistence that our taxes will go up if we don't repeal it is simply his attempt to instill fear in the general public and hold on to his desire to run the county as a dictatorship. He has the newly elected Republican council members afraid to go against his wishes. (I applaud Councilman Jerry Walker for having the moral conscience and fortitude to think for himself and not simply go along with the rest of the councilmen, even if Councilman John J. Grasso doesn't like it!)

Binding arbitration simply levels the playing field and enables both sides of the table to negotiate in good faith. It helps to avoid unfair labor practices. If an agreement can't be reached, it provides for an objective third party to review the negotiations and make a decision that is fair to all. Mr. Leopold's fear that an arbitrator would make an unrealistic award if the economic conditions didn't support it is unrealistic and unfounded!

Let's respect the voters and the employees of Anne Arundel County and vote against Bill 4-11!

Susan MacMillan, Severn

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