Herald-Mail Forums

February 12, 2007

Last week's question:

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said last week that taxes might have to be raised in the future, but that he would first look for waste in government. Where should he start his search?

Start with Annapolis, then head to Baltimore and Montgomery County .the former governor has already picked our bones clean. Hopefully O'Malley will give us a few scraps back. However, the chances that a Democrat will not tax us to death are about the same as snow falling in Key West, Fla.

Why do Maryland autos need a license plate on the front? Even our excise tax shortfall math whiz commissioners should agree that only producing rear plates would cut cost in half.


Tax all of the builders who are building all of the developments! And sales tax does not have to increase state-wide. Look at Pennsylvania. Only near Philly and Pittsburgh are taxes higher than the regular state 6 percent. Take in to consideration the cost of living and the salaries throughout the state.

Before we move ahead on the Inter-County Connector, is there any way we can revisit how Transportation Secretary Flanagan allowed millions to be wasted on faulty materials to repave (then repave again) the bay bridge without any investigation as to who was liable?

Start with his own office. Then look at how much we're paying these state senators and representatives to do a job that they asked us to give them. They still make money from their private-sector jobs, so why give them a salary? Then O'Malley can start moving the funds around some, giving prison guards the pay they deserve, instead of paying administrators to sit in their offices and twiddle their thumbs. Rearrangement of the pay scale can mitigate problems in other areas of the state as well.

Two places: 1. Look at the little-known Maryland Aviation Administration (a subset of MDOT) staff primarily at BWI Airport for planning tasks - lots of wasteful spending; and 2. State employees in the local court systems, particularly the large state employee staffs at the County Clerks of Court near Baltimore.

Wasteful ideas like giving county employees a $15,000 credit toward a house. Our taxes shouldn't be raised to support ideas like this. What is the matter with the commissioners?

Scale back the pensions of elected state legislators. Any legislator in Annapolis for 16 years (well, in Annapolis time it's only four years when you consider the session is only three months) gets a better pension than any full time non supervisory state employee with 30 years' service. Don't believe it? Ask this paper to investigate it. Plus they receive per diems for gas, food and any lodging during session.)

Look at State Police being paid not to do their jobs. They need to write more tickets and that will give Maryland lots of money.

Shorten the legislative session and reduce all legislators' salaries and benefits accordingly. Think about it, not all the people eligible to vote even register and of those who register, less than half actually vote.

Legislators are there for themselves and the special interest groups and they go in with their own agenda, not the public's. Honestly, have you ever seen a politician swayed to a different way of thinking without it costing you somewhere else?

It sounds as if town hall meetings are in order. Let's invite our new governor up for one. I wonder how many of us would show up, let alone dare to express these opinions directly. Well, Maybe Simons would.

No matter who spoke up at a town meeting, politicians are politicians and they'll do what they want to anyway. I've written letters to the local rep, the state senator for this area and the governor himself, only to get rerouted to the wrong administrative agency and otherwise blown off. Do you honestly think it would be any different in person? They'd blow you off with a smile.

Unless additional legislation is passed that puts teeth into collective bargaining - the actual fulfillment of a labor relations board - taxpayer funded negotiations should not happen.

Also, if HB 129 somehow makes it out of committee and is then passed by the General Assembly, the governor should veto it. Its passage would only further worsen the morale of a vast majority of state employees, leading to infighting and less bang for the taxpayers' buck while paying millions to an ineffective union.

Whoever wrote the statement about state police needing to write more tickets needs to do better research. The money from TICKETS does not all go into the state account. And the thing that makes me more angry is YOU are not supporting the local police.

Do you think for a minute the state police are the only police agency in the state that writes tickets? The police also prevent crime, investigate crime and keep the peace. The police do not go to work every day wondering how much money they will make for the state.

NO, they think about doing what is right and staying alive to see their families! Get your facts straight before running your mouth on the 'net! Think of someone else to blame! And yes, I am a police officer.

Well, Mr. Police Officer, if you get that angry and upset over that comment, I hope I never tick you off out on the highway. The average person on the street thinks that way. Educate with patience.

This week's question:

Del. Chris Shank, R-Washington, has introduced a bill to study whether School Board members should be elected by districts. Is that a good idea or not?

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