December 6, 1998
A commissioner ready to spend your moneyThank you for your Dec. 1 article about our county leaders' "secret meeting." Carroll County Commissioner Donald I. Dell just can't wait to start spending your tax dollars.When he first came into office, he was heard to declare the job of commissioner should be worth $50,000 instead of the $32,000 it pays. So what does the resourceful retired farmer do to solve the pay deficit?He gets his lame-duck buddy, Richard T. Yates, to help him raise the per diem for officials from $12 a day to $90 per day. At that outrageous rate, it won't take many days for Mr. Dell to make his goal.
August 26, 1999
PHOENIX -- Steve May knew from the time he was in his early teens that he wanted to be a politician, specifically a conservative Republican politician. He carefully built his life, he says, to shape an attractive resume, from his decision to enter ROTC in college and then serve as an Army officer to his efforts at building a track record as a small-business man.It worked. May served with distinction as a lieutenant on active duty in the Army and then entered the Reserve, and last November he was elected to the state Legislature, to represent the affluent, conservative district where he had grown up.Everything seemed to be going just right until last winter, when the usually affable and measured 27-year-old bitterly spoke his mind in the Arizona House, this time not as a Republican, a Mormon or a soldier, but as a gay man.May denounced an ultimately failed bill that would have barred the use of public funds to pay for health benefits of same-sex partners, and also attacked the legislation's conservative sponsor, Rep. Karen S. Johnson, a fellow Republican who had vigorously attacked homosexuality as immoral.
February 6, 1994
Yes, County Needs A Commission For WomenOn Jan. 22, I attended a meeting at the Carroll County Office Building with the intention of hearing well-meaning persons debate the concerns on the Carroll County Commission on Women.I listened as I stood against the wall in the back of this crowded room. After listening to those persons "for" the commission speak, I felt they had hit upon an area which desperately needs attention here in the county. . . .Then I listened, with gritted teeth, to the opposition.
October 24, 1995
THE ANNE ARUNDEL County Council appears ready to approve County Executive John G. Gary's legislation to roll back pension benefits for a few dozen retired high-ranking officials who walked away with a package the rest of us can only dream about. How and why a 1989 law increasing their benefits by up to 25 percent and lowering their retirement age to 50 came into being remains unclear. That has become less important, however, than the public's perception of how and why it came into being. After being filtered through the eyes of the media and members of a new conservative regime wishing to denigrate their 1980s predecessors, the pension law is now seen as a deliberate, unscrupulous "power grab" by the O. James Lighthizer administration.
January 28, 1996
WHEN IT COMES to the governor's planned football stadium at Camden Yards, opponents have seized the initiative. To hear them tell it, this sports complex south of Oriole Park will drain taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars for no purpose. They have built their demagogic argument on half-truths and haughty dismissal of the facts.Listening to these naysayers, it is easy to conclude that returning the National Football League to Baltimore isn't worth the money. But when the real facts are examined, a different conclusion emerges.
February 6, 1996
BUILDING A FOOTBALL stadium at Camden Yards isn't just a special project for the welfare of Baltimore City: the entire region ends up winning. That's why it is incumbent upon legislators representing the counties surrounding Baltimore to carefully study the direct and indirect benefits of this undertaking for their own subdivisions.The stadium means jobs, both in the construction phase and once it begins operations. Some 4,600 workers will be employed over a three-year period to build the $200 million structure.
December 13, 2010
I am writing in response to John Irvine's letter to the editor in the Sunday edition of the Sun entitled "FBI bomb sting was a waste" (Readers respond, Dec. 12). He claims our tax dollars were wasted in this sting and that it would have been better to "have agents pose as reasonable, mainstream Muslims to talk the poor, misguided guy out of being a radical. " Are you serious, Mr. Irvine? "Poor, misguided guy?" For the life of me I cannot understand how someone can have sympathy for a guy who wanted to blow up an army recruitment center and take innocent lives!
May 23, 2003
JOHN P. WALTERS is a man on a mission to save Americans from themselves. The director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy told Congress he's battling widespread "ignorance" about the dangers of marijuana, and about the true motives of those who would permit its use for medicinal purposes. Legalization of the drug is their goal, he contends, which Mr. Walters equates with "giving up" on the problem of drug abuse. Ignorant hicks we may be, but we know enough to be alarmed about zealots from Washington using our tax dollars to promote ideological crusades.
August 20, 1999
IT'S A GROWING problem: Agencies privatized by government increasingly seem to think they can spend public money with no accountability.We saw this with the Injured Workers Insurance Fund, which avoided competitive bidding in awarding contracts. It happened again with MMG Ventures, which invested Maryland tax dollars in out-of-state companies.Now comes the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp., created by the county six years ago to lure new businesses. Its directors are volunteers who are supposed to put the county's interests first.
February 15, 1996
OPPONENTS OF A football stadium at Camden Yards are having a field day agitating the public but they are using phony figures to make their case. Were they to state the true numbers, their argument would lose its appeal.Here are some anti-stadium punch lines: "We need to use that $200 million for our schools!""This is the mother of all sweetheart deals. The football team gets all the profits and plays in the stadium rent free!""There are other ways to generate even more economic development at less cost."