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Letters to the Editor

December 22, 2009

State employees shouldn't pay for money woes



To the editor:

During a pre-legislative forum on Thursday, Dec. 10, the deficit for the state of Maryland was discussed. I would like to address some of the remarks that were made.

First, Del. LeRoy E. Myers said the state could save $240 million by cutting 4,000 state employees. I see Myers thinks the same way Gov. Martin O'Malley does. If you need it and don't have it, take from the state employees.

If Myers' proposal is to cut top jobs from the governor's office throughout his office, then that is OK. I know there are at least 4,000 employees in various departments holding high-paying jobs and doing very little. They are not the ones who will pay the price. It will be the blue-collar workers who will feel the pinch. Will Myers give up one or two of his employees in Annapolis and locally to help? I doubt it.

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Second, he said state employees should not get a cost-of-living increase because no one else is getting a raise this year. To clarify his statement, there is a difference between a raise for state employees and a cost-of-living increase.

Retirees from the state of Maryland receive a cost-of-living increase. Retirees are on a fixed income. Our income goes up when a cost-of-living increase is given.

If Myers, in all his wisdom, can stop all services that are needed - food; gas; medical; rent or mortgage; state, county and federal taxes; and clothing and education expenses - from increasing, then perhaps a cost-of-living increase is not needed. When you are blessed with a lot of money, it is easy to say no one else needs any more.

Del. Andrew A. Serafini questioned the pension system as being very administratively expensive and employees want portability in retirement saving plans. He suggests the state move to a dollar-per-dollar match plan. That's OK, provided employees are going to receive raises so they could do that.

Second, he stated state employees also have a "Cadillac" health care plan. I can tell Serafini has not totally researched the state's medical plans. There are a lot of different plans employees can have. Some cover a lot and some do not cover everything.

What Serafini apparently doesn't know is that state employees and retirees pay part of their insurance. Perhaps the "Cadillac" is in the insurance our local delegation has.

I find it very unsettling that our local delegation has come up with a mystery plan that they don't want to share with the taxpayers and the only solution to finance the problem that they helped to create, not the taxpayers, is hammer the state employees. If they are serious, why not start reducing their own staff to show their good faith?

Wayne Winebrenner
Hagerstown




Christmas is a day to say 'Happy birthday to Him'



To the editor:

Birthdays are a time to celebrate being born. They should be a joyous occasion, full of laughter, maybe with some presents and a cake, but always letting the person know they are special. Through cards or just caring, birthdays are the one day of the year to stop and say, "I'm so very glad you were born."

If Christians act a little crazy this time of year, it could be because we are excited about celebrating the birth of Christ. Maybe the message has been watered down over the years, with gifts and glitter getting too much of the spotlight, but in our hearts, we know what the day really stands for.

If this offends anyone, then think how you would feel if you were told to be quiet when you wanted to wish your spouse, your children or someone else you loved a happy birthday on the their birthday. Most likely, you would find a way to convey the message, no matter what anyone else thought about it.

Each Dec. 25, a worldwide birthday party takes place. Christians everywhere may have different traditions for celebrating the day, but the message remains the same as we say, "Happy birthday to Him."

Kate Prado
Hagerstown




Remember anniversary of Battle of the Bulge



To the editor:

I realize the newspapers have been busy recording the latest events of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let us not forget to remember that Christmas 2009 will be the 65th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge and the Ardennes Forest. Many heroic men fought there and gave their lives. They should not be forgotten.

F.D. Miles
Hagerstown




Tiger Woods is only human like the rest of us



To the editor:

Concerning the Tiger Woods incident that the media and others are making it out to be: He wasn't God or Alexander the Great. I wish you people would come to realize that he is just a human being, just like you and me. He is not perfect.

We all make mistakes and have our own problems that we encounter in life. Yes, I know he is a hero to a lot of people, especially to the golfers out there.

Get over it, people. Live and let live. Life goes on, does it not?

Russell "Pete" Seville
Greencastle, Pa.

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