letters to the editor - 4/4/02

April 04, 2002

Don't give educators a raise

To the editor:

I really wanted to speak out about the meeting regarding the school board budget and since I was be unable to attend I will give my opinion and offer advice.

It's pretty simple, the board doesn't need the extra $3.9 million in salary increases and the County Commissioners should get their $10,000 increase. It really upsets me when someone who was elected to be of the board of education and then makes statements like "we need to beef up the salaries of the public officials to get more quality candidates and increase the salaries of school board administrators to compete with other counties."

What really makes me mad is to hear people from the board say, "we are overworked and underpaid." What about the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday to protect our freedom or the EMTs, firemen, and police, just to name a few?


The funny thing is that's what they chose to do and they surely didn't choose their profession for the money. What would happen if they said that in order to do our job we need more money? Are you beginning to remember that is why you chose your job? Because it was what you wanted to do and you knew what the salary was going to be before you even applied for it.

So to everyone on the board, if you really need that extra money, get in your car and drive down the road into another county and find it. We need to stop competing with other counties. The cost is getting too high along with the price of our kids' education.

For example, we, as parents and taxpayers, have already agreed to fund the children's sporting events, something that my parents never had to do. What will be next, being forced to buy their books? You won't need to make any cuts if you don't give the salary increase. What is more important, your raises or the children's education? To the commissioners, maybe take your increase to pay the big sewer debt and help the people who put you there.

Please do the right thing, our kids' education needs to go ahead of the commissioners' wallets. One last thing, don't let Glendening shove the University of Maryland into our downtown. Let the people who live here and pay local taxes decide.

Daniel J. Matthews


Planet MTV

To the editor:

This is in response to the Leonard Pitts article in The Herald-Mail of Feb. 25. In it, he pokes fun at James Dobson for his criticism of Colin Powell for his interview on MTV in which Powell encouraged sexually active kids to use condoms.

He also makes light of Dobson's promotion of abstinence and nothing but abstinence. Pitts refers to Dobson and other "traditional value types" as extra-terrestrials and asks what life is like on their planet.

Well, this is all very amusing, but since I'm just a poor, dumb earthling myself, I'd like to know a little about extra-terrestrial life, too.

For starters, I'd like to know what life is like on Planet MTV, where Leonard Pitts is apparently from. Do the people there attend worship services? If they do, what do they worship? Are there any laws or rules there, or do the people just do whatever feels good, with no boundaries or consequences? Do the people work on Planet MTV? Or do they just "hang out" all the time?

Are there strong two-parent families on Planet MTV, or does it take a village? Are there syndicated columnists on Planet MTV? If there are, do they communicate sensible solutions to society's problems, or do they just write things to sound "cool" or funny?

Do they have secretaries of state on Planet MTV? If they do, do they concern themselves with matters of state, or do they "branch out" and, with their words, encourage young people to engage in risky behavior?

And last, but not least, are there condoms on Planet MTV? If there are, do they work 100 percent of the time, or is there a failure rate like here on earth?

So Leonard, if you could fill me in on any of this information, I would be eternally grateful. Thank you in advance.

Dennis P. Leatherman


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