Please print the following in response to last week's editorial:
Let's remember what the Harford County Council's "job" is before complaining about their support staff (The Aegis editorial, Aug 24). Their job is to pass laws and to protect their district's constituents. Harford's population has grown to such a point that each district has specific interests and concerns, and the consequence of mistakes can be large. Council members are the only officials who look out for their district's interests while reviewing and voting on county-wide laws, plans and budgets.
The Aegis is right that Council members were to be "citizen council members, who were paid a nominal part-time salary" and indeed that's what they are. That's why they need technical staff, like lawyers, to do the detailed work to investigate issues, write laws, and investigate the impacts of legislation prepared by the Executive 's staff.
As our county continues to grow, it becomes even more important for our Council to write their own legislation rather than merely passing judgment on what's written by the Executive Branch. So if we expect our "citizen council members" to be effective representatives of their district's constituents, we must provide the staff they need to do the job.
Editor note: The part time council president draws an annual county salary of $38,575 and the council members are paid $35,168 a year each for their part time efforts.