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If the Baltimore City Council wastes time on useless, harmful legislation, then I'm glad members don't show up for committee votes ("Baltimore's City Council members often miss votes," April 4). Councilman Brandon Scott's bill mandating "health grades" for Baltimore restaurants and food providers was not only redundant, it was an example of the city's war on business. We already have health inspectors so if a restaurant doesn't make the grade, it is closed. Councilman Scott's bill would just provide Baltimore with an army of bureaucratic "food police" to harass businesses.

Perhaps the City Council should scale back its desire to legislate everything — from soda bottles to plastic bags. Baltimore has a reputation for being business unfriendly, and we don't need our representatives to add fuel to this fire.

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I live in downtown Baltimore and am sick of watching stores and services close their doors. Residents need these places. Take a walk down Charles Street and count the empty storefronts. If the city wants to grow its population, the City Council must stop looking at retailers as cash cows.

The folks who live in Baltimore require places to shop for basic necessities. We don't need more bars, boutiques, fast food emporiums or nail salons. For example, there is not one office supply store in the downtown area. It's time City Council considers folks they represent and stops strutting out trendy, unnecessary legislation to make retailers shudder!

Rosalind Ellis, Baltimore

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