Editor: I was glad to see you report that Howard County Executive Elizabeth Bobo requested a delay on a proposal to limit property tax assessment increases to 5 percent and your subsequent story on the council's action.
It's a sad state of affairs when the county executive and her cohorts on the county council try to slip one past the people of Howard County. I suppose they felt it would be riskier to vote against the limit before the election than after. If you hadn't reported it, they might have gotten away with it entirely.
I say boo to Ms. Bobo and her friends on the council for this piece of skulduggery.
Fred M. Glazier.
New Slave Class
Editor: The Oct. 20 article regarding the 4.1 percent pay raise to federal employees is another insult to public servants of this once great nation of ours. The current inflation rate is something in the neighborhood of 5.6 percent. That means we get a pay cut of 1.5 percent. Otherwise under Gramm-Rudman we get furloughed and take a 20 percent cut. (And meanwhile Congress is passing huge real pay increases to itself directly and indirectly in the form of pork barrel, etc. Allow me to scream.)
I find it intriguing that before all this began, Congress first made sure federal workers could not defend themselves. They did this by defeating the repeal of the Hatch Act. The vast majority of federal workers in reality have no clout in the halls of power. This is because of their servant positions. The man in the street has power to effect change by working to elect an official of his/her choice. So now federal workers don't even have this power (to work to elect their future bosses and thus affect their own work conditions). We have a new slave class here, if you ask me.
Editor: It seems to me these so-called concerned citizens who negatively scream the loudest about government administration during an election year are never the people who care to get involved in its operation during non-election years.
Due to the staunch support and encouragement of County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen, Baltimore County government currently has an estimated 70,000 volunteers -- the most of any jurisdiction in the state. From teens to seniors, volunteers are involved in virtually every aspect of service delivery to our citizens. Many innovative programs and services have been initiated through the efforts of this special partnership -- without cost to the taxpayer.
Would you call this "glitz" and waste of money? If anything, I would call it a savings of many tax dollars.
Editor: I enjoyed the article by James Bock in the Perspective section Sept. 30 about the beach clean-up at Assateague Island. The clean-up was really a great deal of fun, as well as productive.
This year, for the first time, the Committee to Preserve Assateague Island had a grant, arranged by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, for beach clean-ups in Maryland.
Some money came to our committee, with the majority of the funds going to the Alliance for the Chesapeake.
This enabled us to get the T-shirts which we gave to those who participated, who really seemed to enjoy them.
One thing I would like to clarify, however, is that the trash bags we had were donated by Glad, and were photodegradable, as biodegradable as you can get in the large-sized trash bags. We were very grateful they were given to us.
One surprising thing at the Virginia Assateague clean-up was that the balloons were separated from other items, and over 1,000 balloons were collected. The most interesting one was marked, "Think Globally, Act Locally," and the origin for it being sent into the sky was Rockville.
This is an example of how far these balloons travel, and how they go all the way to the sea and do so much damage to turtles, mammals and fish. There should be some way of banning these.
The writer is president of the Committee to Preserve Assateague Island.