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REJOINDER Rookie of the Year


Annapolis. -- Your editorial of March 19 ("Glendening's Slump") ended with "He needs some game-winning hits to prove he belongs in the major leagues."

If we are going to use baseball analogies, I suggest that the theme be Yogi Berra's immortal "It ain't over 'til it's over."

In two short months, the Glendening administration has moved through the legislature a compilation of bills that are key to our effort to move Maryland forward into the 21st century. Legislation that has either passed or is almost certain to pass the General Assembly include an agreement that cuts the state budget $235 million, that puts in reserve an additional $200 million as a hedge against federal budget cutbacks, and a tax-reduction compromise that will reduce the personal income tax next year.

We have signed into law $84 million in relief to Maryland businesses by reducing the unemployment surcharge; that puts million immediately in our citizens' pockets!

We implemented a series of targeted business and consumer-tax reductions such as closing-cost relief, a reduction in the sales tax on leased vehicles, the exempting of research and development equipment from personal-property taxes and the elimination of the snack tax.

Our legislation includes welfare reform that requires able- bodied people to work, and that eliminates the no-man-in-the-house rule: We want men to live with their families! Our juvenile-justice reform holds young people responsible for their actions. And we have ensured that those sentenced to death will, indeed, be put to death.

We have reoriented the Department of Employment and Economic Development to keep and bring jobs to Maryland. As a result, we have kept a portion of McCormick Spice Company from moving out of state, we celebrated the rebirth of Eastern Stainless Corporation and we announced Comcast Cablevision's expansion.

We have supported Maryland's families through efforts to make deadbeat dads financially responsible for their children, and we have loosened the restrictions that are keeping hundreds of children from adoptive families.

Finally, we began our drive to put common sense into the workings of government. We have begun to reduce the number of state employees by 1,200, to merge departments and to remove the duplication of regulations.

Contrary to your editorial, many of these successes have been achieved through compromise and cooperation. The speaker of the House, the president of the Senate and I have worked together to reach agreements that will help, not hurt, Maryland, that will make it a better place to live, work, do business and raise a family.

Leadership need not be flashy; it needs to be effective. Quiet compromise and hard work can often succeed where overt grandstanding does not. And even rookies can hit grand slams.

=1 Parris N. Glendening is governor of Maryland.

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