Ho-Hum on Unpaid Loans
Regarding your report about a $25 million delinquency in city development loans (Aug. 2), it is appropriate for the city to provide incentives for industry and development to create jobs, housing and increases in the tax basis.
It is of equal importance that the city set goals, track performance and insist on contractual compliance, including repayment, from recipients of city loans.
It is irresponsible for the city auditor to state (as quoted in the newspaper report) that the submission of annual financial statements by borrowers "probably wouldn't make much difference" in the city's attempt to collect the loans.
He seems to be saying that he doesn't know if the financial statements would help or not, and isn't willing to insist on compliance to find out. City auditors should have an auditing system in place -- and should be policing the loans.
The withholding of records from the city suggests that the borrowers are hiding information and can't substantiate the basis for non-payment.
The Sun criticizes City Hall for a "ho-hum attitude" toward these loans and yet The Sun adopts this same "ho-hum attitude" in its editorial response.
Advising the city that it should remember that "loans are not gifts" is an inadequate reaction to a situation in which over $25 million of loans are behind and professional accounting controls are not in place.
In your editorial, "See Roger Run" (Aug. 11), you indicate that Chuck Jackson sees his new role as County Executive Roger Hayden's "stage manager."
If so, he has undertaken an almost impossible job -- making his boss look good. Mr. Hayden's disastrous record thus far speaks for itself.
During his election campaign, along with all the usual rhetoric, he described himself as a "businessman" rather than a "politician." It did not take long for county voters to discover he is neither.
Perhaps he is a victim of bad advice. If that is true, he should replace his advisers or begin utilizing his business acumen and begin making some better decisions.
A case in point is the fiasco Mr. Hayden has perpetrated in the economic development office.
I continue to read about the outstanding efforts and successes of the Howard County and Harford County economic development offices, but cannot recall seeing anything but negative items concerning the Baltimore County Economic Development Office since the beginning of the Hayden administration.
The "businessman" apparently does not know how to deal with businesses. His choice of an economic development director TTC with absolutely no credentials (Ken Nohe) attests to that fact.
For years prior to Mr. Hayden's reign, the Baltimore County Economic Development Office was highly respected and was apparently successful in locating new companies and assisting existing businesses. Perhaps this had something to do with the veterans on staff who continued to do their job no matter who was in power.
One of the first things County Executive Hayden should consider in trying to restore his ineffectual economic development office is to reinstate the employees he allowed the controversial Ken Nohe to fire.
The next step in attempting to restore his tarnished image in the business community would be to appoint an economic development director with experience and credibility (if there is anyone available who would be willing to tackle the responsibility of rectifying Mr. Hayden's mistakes concerning that office).
After that is accomplished, his "stage manager" can arrange to have reporters and photographers present when he finally announces the long-awaited development and implementation of an economic development strategy for Baltimore County.
I= Hopefully, this will take place before the 1994 election.
An Aug. 5 editorial, "It's a Dirty Job, but . . .," only told half of the dirt concerning the proposed Rosedale soil incinerator.
The editorial stated that "tainted dirt . . . has given rise to a new soil recycling industry." However, the author failed to mention that this industry is so new that the Maryland Department of Environment does not have qualified staff to regulate it.
Only through enormous pressure exerted by the Southeast Association for the Environment and other members of the community did the department turn to a private contractor to reassess its initial analysis concerning the proposed Rosedale soil incinerator.
The Department of Environment, relying on data submitted by the incinerator applicant, Bryn Awel, initially concluded that the Rosedale soil incinerator would be no more harmful than a gas station.
Unsatisfied with this assessment, our organization hired Marc Donohue, chairman of chemical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University to evaluate the Rosedale incinerator. Dr. Donohue concluded that the incinerator would not be safe and would potentially be 160 times more harmful than claimed by Bryn Awel.
One must question why we need a Maryland Department of Environment if all it does is rely on an applicant's data. It is this type of blind faith that has earned Maryland the No. 1 position in
cancer deaths in the United States.
The writers are officers of the Southeast Association for the Environment.
GOP Could Miss an Opportunity
I seriously doubt whether many Marylanders share The Sun's judgment (editorial, Aug. 18) that maintaining intellectual honesty and speaking frankly, even concerning matters as sensitive as race, constitutes "dumb politics."
On the contrary, people are quickly wising up to "smart" politicians who put political expediency ahead of principle and aren't willing to take the heat for saying the things that have to be said.
Thanks anyway, but I'll decline The Sun's invitation to play it "smart" by mastering the finer points of pandering and obfuscation. Your paper's stated preference for such politicians may help explain their prevalence.
There is absolutely no reason rank-and-file Republicans here in Maryland should be offended by criticisms I clearly intended to be heard elsewhere. As I said many times in Houston, everyday (( Marylanders can be proud to say they are on the vanguard of demonstrating that race is not a barrier to winning the support of Republican voters.
But the national party's stinting support for my candidacy -- and the philosophy of grass roots empowerment that underlies it -- raises doubts about the seriousness with which they are pursuing their oft-stated goal of "broadening the party's base." Why, I was asking, are some folks in the Republican Party hierarchy turning a blind eye to the great historic and strategic opportunity that reaching out to the African American community represents?
This color blindness couldn't come at a more inopportune time, considering the sea change of perspective sweeping the African American community.
Clarence Thomas' ascent to the nation's highest court helped shatter the myth that all blacks march in lock-step with the Democratic Party. Recent polls indicate that two-thirds of all blacks call themselves "conservative" or "moderate."
Tragic events in Los Angeles fueled the realization that Democratically inspired and augmented welfare bureaucracies have failed to live up to their promise -- and may, in fact, have deepened poverty, dependency and powerlessness.
People of all races are beginning to shake off the ideological straitjackets of the past in search of workable solutions.
It's no secret that ending Sen. Barbara Mikulski's reign of error in Washington won't be easy, and requires that I put together a diverse coalition of Marylanders.
If successful, that coalition of Republicans, conservative Democrats and African Americans will serve as a model for Republican victories in the 21st century and break the stranglehold that the Democratic Party has had on African Americans for far too long.
The principle that I championed in Houston was this: No political party should be in a position to take a whole group of Americans
The writer is the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate.
Rich and Others
How interesting it is that our esteemed president and vice president advocate choice for their own families regarding abortion yet oppose it for the rest of us.
I guess that's why "the rich get richer and the poor have children."