Employee residency rule
Regarding the latest news from the mayor's office on new employee residency requirements, it is a shame that Mayor Kurt Schmoke's shortsightedness precludes him from recognizing the real impact of this supposed tax-relief measure.
Isolating Baltimore City from the residents of adjacent Maryland subdivisions prevents possible employment of qualified individuals who choose to remain at a residence they regard as home.
The political ramifications of Mr. Schmoke's decision are without doubt far-reaching. The obvious immediate alienation of other state representatives can only be the tip of the iceberg he is creating.
Unfortunately, it could also be the beginning of his political demise. Where will he find support for the future of this city? Mr. Schmoke should reconsider this residency requirement, which he feels will eventually fill all city positions with city residents. How long does he think this will take?
As a city resident who works outside the city, I am embarrassed to discuss this issue because there is no apparent justification for it. There appears to be as much thought put into this decision as there was when Mr. Schmoke fired employees performing superior work and filled their positions with his supporters to pay back political favors immediately after his election.
If Mr. Schmoke did not arrive at the decision on a residency requirement on his own, and acted on the advice of his staff, he should consider re-staffing prior to July 1, 1993, when his choices will have certain geographic limitations.
Paul J. Bonaccorsi
New taxes on cigarettes will hurt my business and cause an already distressed large industry to lay off workers now while taxes dwindle even more.
Workers out of work will pay less taxes as cigarette sales drop at a time when we are trying to collect more tax money.
What a disaster for everyone, with more people on welfare and unemployment. Cigarettes are already bringing in huge tax returns. Let these taxes continue to come in, for now, instead of disrupting them for more tax money and getting less.
The cigarette industry is slowly disappearing through education. slow disappearance is best while our economy adjusts to the changes in jobs with new technologies leading the way.
A suddenly disappearing industry with the vanishing tax base it brings could adversely affect our economy.
!Thomas C. Rothenhoefer
Writer C. Fraser Smith's column paints a grossly distorted and unfair picture of Colonial Village, one of Baltimore County's most beautiful neighborhoods ("Mayor Tests Suburbs in Colonial Village," April 28).
Colonial Village is a Pikesville neighborhood that consists of a mix of young professionals, families and long-time residents. Over the last 50 years, Colonial Village has remained a quiet and serene place to live despite tremendous growth and development around Baltimore County.
Residents can be found jogging, walking or pushing strollers by our neighborhood's well-manicured lawns from early in the morning to after sunset.
Colonial Village invited Mayor Kurt Schmoke to our annual meeting to speak about ways county and city residents and agencies can work together to improve our communities. Mayor Schmoke was open and frank, and covered diverse issues brought up during the meeting.
Although some "crime and grime" issues were brought up, the violations discussed had occurred in the community at large, in both the city and the county. Not one incident took place in the Colonial Village residential neighborhood.
In fact, Colonial Village residents joined forces last month with the neighboring Millbrook community to put a citizen patrol on the street to maintain the secure ambience of our community.
There were other positive things about Colonial Village discussed at the meeting that were omitted from the article, such as the fact that Colonial Village was chosen to be the first community in western Baltimore County to try the experimental "1-and-1" recycling program. It was so successful it has become a model for the rest of the county.
We also enjoy a long tradition of sponsoring holiday celebrations for the children in the neighborhood. Each year, the neighborhood organizes and celebrates in grand style the Fourth of July, Halloween and the Hanukkah-Christmas celebration.
One of the Colonial Village Association's main goals over the years has been preserving the richness and tranquillity that has made this area such a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
Colonial Village residents are proud of their neighborhood and deserve far better treatment than we received in the story.
ruce N. Harris
The writer is president of the Colonial Village NeighborhooImprovement Association.
Clinton is right
For the first time in many years we have a president who is intelligent and who cares about the welfare of the American people.
His accomplishments to date have been significant -- congressionally enacted budget resolutions that promise real deficit reduction, a long overdue re-evaluation of archaic defense policy and the first serious attempt to restructure an out-of-control health care system.
Too bad his job stimulus bill (not "pork barrel" to anyone who took the trouble to read it) was shamefully scuttled by partisan Republican senators.
President Clinton may well represent the last opportunity this nation will have to retain its world leadership position into the 21st century.
To achieve that objective, the American people will have to make the significant sacrifices and attitudinal changes called for by President Clinton. Otherwise, we will not be able to solve our crippling problems of race relations, substandard education and inadequate health care.
How have we responded to the call so far? Not very well. According to polls, many Americans are turning their backs on the president, indicating an unwillingness to come to grips with critical issues.
We will get the kind of government and future that we deserve. I pray for the sake of my children and of all future Americans that idealism and commitment in this nation are not dead.
Elsewhere in America, the memory of one of the giants of 19th-century America, Frederick Douglass, is honored in many ways.
In Washington, D.C., the home at which Douglass died in 1895, Cedar Hill, is a national monument. A bridge across the Anacostia River is named for him and there is a Frederick Douglass building at Howard University, which he helped found.
In Rochester, N.Y., a statue of Douglass stands in a prominent location and his grave is treated as a shrine.
But in Talbot County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where Douglass was born, there is no statue of him anywhere.
Born in slavery in February 1818, Douglass was largely self-educated and self-liberated and rose against formidable odds to become a great American leader not only in the fight for the abolition of slavery but in the general cause of human rights.
Frederick Douglass was also one of the first historically significant figures to champion women's suffrage. He gave an eloquent speech on behalf of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's controversial 1848 convention at Seneca Falls, N.Y., arguing that "the power to choose rulers and make laws, was the right by which all others could be secured."
Gary Y. Davis