Not all county employees are getting big pay hike

Re: "Cash-strapped MontCo would give workers 13.5% raises," Feb. 13

Please do not incite a riot unless you know how to contain it.Montgomery residents are being led to believe that revenue is falling from the sky into the hands of county employees like manna in the desert.

I am a taxpayer, a homeowner and an employee of the county. I do not qualify for 3.5 percent pay increments in fiscal year 2014 or fiscal year 2015, nor a 3 percent longevity increase.I possibly may receive cost-of-living increases and a half-percent lump sum top-of-grade subsidy.But none of the proposals or any others in the discussion are set in concrete.

Don't make sensational assumptions without the facts, as it is a disservice to both employees and the taxpaying public.I do not get an "employee discount" on my property taxes or anything else. Employees hired over the past 19 years have no pension to collect and our salaries are on line, so anyone can see how many county employees are living on the edge.

Robert A. Fischer


'Legal Mafia' uses traffic cams to shake down citizens

Re: "Red-light camera tickets double in Rockville," & "Fairfax City looks to add more red-light cameras," Feb. 12

Local governments have become a legalized Mafia, regularly shaking down their citizenry and all who travel within their jurisdictional bounds. They create whatever arbitrary laws they want and enforce them however they want, and citizens have little or no recourse.

A trip to the mall now becomes an unnerving journey fraught with worries about not letting the needle get more than a tick above the posted speed limit and not being caught a millimeter within the intersection once the light turns red. And even that's no guarantee that a camera concealed in a bush won't erroneously record you as errant.

One struggles to keep a straight face when local officials insist that all these cameras are not about revenue, but are there merely for our safety. Were this truly the case, D.C., Montgomery and Prince George's counties, Fairfax City, etc. would either assess nonmonetary penalties such as community service or enrollment in a safe-driving class for these "violations," or -- more honorably -- turn over every penny to Mothers Against Drunk Driving to compensate accident victims or provide health care for those unable to afford it.

But we all know they're really all about two things: control and money.

John Woodmaska

Kearny, N.J.

Carson showed courage in speaking out

Re: "Ben Carson owes Obama an apology," Feb. 11

I strongly disagree that Dr. Ben Carson owes President Obama an apology for criticizing his policies at the National Prayer Breakfast. What better place to tell Obama to his face instead of talking behind his back? It took courage to do so in front of all those people. He knew the backlash that would come as a result.

His skill as a neurosurgeon is merely an extension of his character. After accomplishing what other people said was impossible, he is not afraid of anybody.

Through his exemplary life, Dr. Carson has shown support for the long-standing traditions that made this country great. Obama is the one who has made it his goal to shatter those traditions. Dr. Carson was in the heart of the lion's den, and although it might not have been the politically correct time for his speech, it was certainly the right time.

Sonia McCullough