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Bravo to Olszewski for doing the unthinkable

Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski outline how the county can pay for his proposed budget cuts. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)

I read with interest the comments by Sheila Ruth and agree wholeheartedly with her sentiments (“Show some courage, Baltimore County Council: raise taxes,” April 22). I am not a public official, but I have been involved with Baltimore County over the years, most recently serving as the chairman of the Baltimore County Liquor Board during the reign of County Executive James T. Smith Jr.

I was not an early backer of John Olszewski; rather I supported Jim Brochin for county executive. After Mr. Olszewski’s victory, I began to follow his positions and came to realize that he was a forward thinking individual. In the interest of full disclosure, I ultimately contributed to his campaign and will likely do so in the future. I am certainly glad that I did because his actions since becoming county executive have amply demonstrated his dedication to the county and perhaps more importantly, basic common sense.

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Not having an ax to grind nor any political aspirations, I feel that I can be a bit more blunt than Ms. Ruth. It’s obvious to me that those running the county over the last eight years have not been forthcoming with the citizens. Rather, the “kick the can down the road” mentality has been prevalent in their decisions. I believe (as does Ms. Ruth) that it is past time for county leadership to come clean with the citizens.

Because I previously had experience with Baltimore County politics, I know the spectrum of “dump Taxmussin” pervades many in Baltimore County politics. It’s the belief that any politician who raises taxes in Baltimore County will lose his or her next election. Therefore, I say bravo to the county executive for his courage and foresight in this matter. If anything, I believe he should have been more active in raising various taxes. We, as the citizens of Baltimore County, want, deserve and will pay to sustain our county’s growth and progress!

So, John, keep it up since I believe the thoughtful citizens of Baltimore County are 100 percent behind you.

Thomas Minkin, Pikesville

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