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Don't Let That Vote Be a JokeFive...


Don't Let That Vote Be a Joke

Five candidates for Congress in the 2nd District have spoken at United We Stand America meetings in Harford County during the last two months. These candidates were Joseph John Bish (D), Gerry Brewster (D), Robert Ehrlich (R), Bill Frank (R) and Barbara Kreamer (D) (who has since become a candidate for lieutenant governor.)

A straw poll was taken at the end of the last meeting. The results were: Bill Frank, 57 percent of the vote, with no other candidate receiving more than 15 percent.

The appeal of Bill Frank to these UWSA members is his emphasis on the problems and solutions to the debt and the deficit. He is not a politician, won't accept political action committee money and is for term limits.

It is too early to judge the significance of this poll because these voters are UWSA members that care enough to invest their time learning about the candidates. Too many voters go to the polls with little or no knowledge of a candidate's position. Name recognition and money are often the key to victory, not the issues.

A larger poll of UWSA members in the 2nd Congressional District will be conducted before the election. The results will be released in October.

UWSA of Maryland does not endorse candidates. It is an educational, non-partisan, citizen action organization dedicated to involving citizens in their federal, state and local governments. People have a right to vote and a responsibility to vote smart. Don't let that vote be a joke.

David G. Boyle

Bel Air

An Asphalt Jungle?

The July 7 Harford County Council meeting was a great disappointment to many of us because we felt betrayed by council members Barry Glassman, Joanne Parrott, Philip Barker and Robert Wagner.

It was ever so obvious that they had caved in to the pressures (or promises?) of the "development empire," a very fitting term used by Council Council President Jeffrey D. Wilson.

This evil empire is bent on destroying the pastoral beauty and bucolic character of our county with still more developments, still more businesses and still more shopping malls -- which we need like the bubonic plaque. Enough is enough.

On the other side of the County Council ledger, we should also remember those who truly represented our best interests at that meeting, namely: President Wilson, Susan Heselton and the courageous Theresa Pierno, who felt that it was "irresponsible to allow development to continue where there is already gridlock."

Do we want this county to turn into a gridlocked asphalt jungle just so that the "development empire" can become still richer, more powerful and more coercive?

Gunther Bienes

Havre de Grace

People for Police?

I recently attended the "grand opening" of the headquarters of the People for a County Police. Unfortunately, neither The Sun for Harford County nor any other Harford County newspaper sent a reporter to cover the event. . . .

The grand opening was . . . not so grand. Although the People for a County Police invited the public, representatives of law enforcement agencies and every politician in Harford County to attend its grand opening and had enough catered food to feed hundreds, only three politicians showed up. Guests, other than members of the police union, were at all times outnumbered by a small group of protesters, including me, who carried picket signs opposing a county police. (Actually, Phil Barker and Joanne Parrott did drive by on Bond Street Sunday afternoon. Experienced politicians, they were apparently able to spot a political flop from their moving vehicles at 50 yards and kept on driving.)

Although the event was billed as a "family" affair, few kids were in attendance. This is probably fortunate in that it spared them the experience of seeing a union police officer screaming obscenities and threatening the protesters.

The kiddies might, however, have found it interesting to watch Bob Hockaday and Randy Schultz, county employers and Rehrmann operatives, making calls throughout the afternoon on their nifty pocket flip phones. Had some enterprising reporter been present, he might have asked them if Harford County citizens were paying for their mobile phone calls at this political event.

Admittedly, the People for a County Police have an uphill battle. They have to sell Harford County voters on the idea that they should give up their right to elect the head of their police department, the sheriff, and give that right to the county executive. The theme of their campaign, as I understand it, is "democracy isn't all it's cracked up to be."

I personally was disappointed that County Executive Eileen Rehrmann failed to show up. I wanted to ask her why she thought voters should surrender their rights to chose the leader of their police to her. Did her busy schedule on this Sunday afternoon prevent her from stopping by or did Schultz and Hockaday advise her, at taxpayer expense, that the grand opening was not so grand?

Carl Klockars

Newark, Del.

The writer is a consultant to the Maryland Sheriffs Association.

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