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Letters to the Editor 1/24

January 24, 2001

Letters to the Editor 1/24



Funkstown must fight on



To the editor:

Little Funkstown's fight with Wal-Mart is not over. Wal-Mart it seems must play out the role of the spoiled child who wants his way. It is illogical to think that simply because Wal-Mart was given a C-2 zoning code in error instead of the C-4 which they should have received, that the law must look the other way and let them build.

If this were the case then the man who deposits $50 in his bank account but is credited with $50,000 error should be allowed to keep it, right? I don't think so. Now that this fight has become Wal-Mart vs. Hagerstown, I believe that Hagerstown can depend on her neighbor, Funkstown to give full support in the coming battle.

Clark Watson

Hagerstown




Teachers less valuable than flacks?



To the editor:

After having read The Herald-Mail's article on the pay increase for the public information officer, I felt compelled to comment. The director of human resources has justified the salary increase of $53,000 to $73,000 due to increased qualifications and responsibility. In part, these qualifications are a bachelor's degree and three to five years experience.

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I can only imagine how teachers with a master's degree and 25 years experience must feel about that.

Last year's pay scale for them topped out at $49,369. This should raise some concern about how our teachers are valued by our own Board of Education. It also raises the question of why, as reported in The Herald-Mail several months ago, our teacher salaries are near the bottom in this state based on per capita income, and administrative salaries were near the top.

Another qualifier for the salary increase was that the new public information officer would write speeches for our superintendent. Why does an individual with a doctorate need someone to prepare his speeches? Granted, I have heard him speak and I can understand the need. However, I don't think that justifies a near doubling of salary.

As far as the responsibility of getting school system information out to parents, I thought that we had elected public officials to the school board for that. Finally, how does a Board of Education plan to attract teachers to this county or expect talented candidates to go enthusiastically into the field of teaching when this proposal shows that PR skills are valued above teaching skills?

Gregory H. Blair

Hagerstown




Time for health reform



To the editor:

The election is over - so it's now time to "cut bait" as fishermen say. I am referring to promises made - by both presidential candidates.

I am offering at this time, a suggestion in regard to the promise of prescription coverage for seniors - I believe this is possible - but not likely without some cost.

Most seniors have Medicare "A" and "B" coverages - so with the little or no cost to institute - I now suggest Medicare "C" coverage be made available to those who want it. The cost would be determined and deducted from the monthly Social Security check, just as Medicare "B" is now deducted. The benefit to seniors would be that prescription cost would be scaled back as is now done with Medicare "B" payments.

Medicare would be able to determine the "right" price for drugs as is now done with Medicare payments now paid for doctor/etc. visits. As individual consumers, seniors cannot negotiate prices. We are in a no-win situation and we really need a "big brother" to help soften the blows.

So let's now see if our people in Washington are in fact "for the people." If not I suggest we be sure to exercise our vote and turn all current office holders out at the next election, regardless of party affiliation.

E.W. Huffman

Hagerstown

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