Getting Priorities Straight


The recent action taken by the University of Maryland in hiring  Gary Williams as a fundraiser is cause for disgust.

I have always thought the role of a university is to educate students and help them prepare for the life challenges they will face as they become mature adults.  Apparently this is not the case.  Winning football and basketball games  takes precedence over helping students learn how to develop into  functioning members of society.  And this “winning”  comes at a price - the need for raising funds and creating positions to raise those funds. The more embellishments to the athletic department calls for more money which calls for new positions and then more money to pay for those positions - a non-ending cycle of actions..


The hiring of Gary Williams to the new position with the University of Maryland - the official title being senior managing director of alumni relations and athletic development validates the point.  According to the Freedom of Information Act, Mr. Williams’ previous position earned him a yearly salary of $400,000.  His new position which entails  more fundraising, probably comes  with a nice increase in salary.


In all likelihood,  much of the money which Mr. Williams raises will go toward  an indoor football practice facility along with all the other sums of money being spent to sustain and embellish the athletic department. - for example, salaries of coaches and their staff.  I won’t even mention the millions of dollars now needed to be raised for the semi shrewd decision made by the President of the University of Maryland and his board to switch to the overrated Big Ten Conference.


As a sidelight, speaking of coaches - what’s going to happen when the current football coach has some winning seasons and then decides  he is ready to move on to a more prestigious opportunity such as the SEC Conference?   If such be the case, whose interests are being looked out for - his or the university?

I understand that college sports are enjoyable , but why should the athletic component supersede the importance of the academic side of college life.


With some imagination and ingenuity, the athletic department could function using  a more practical approach.   Upon some research on my part, I learned that the athletic department’s current budget is approximately $70 million.  The budget of the seven assistant athletic directors who are in charge of media relations is in the vicinity of one million dollars.  I suggest using  volunteers to do the work of the assistant directors which would then free up money to be directed to the academic side of life.

I ask - whatever happened to the students, not necessarily athletes, who really desire to attend the University of Maryland, but are unable to do so because they can’t afford it?  Is it right that these well intentioned students should be left out or overlooked because of the so-called need for an indoor football practice field?  In short, Mr. Williams’ new position and new salary can be labeled a sham.


Until we get an ethical  governor and state legislature who are willing to carry out their responsibilities as true overseers of this state  university, justice will not be served for the dedicated students who are denied a college education because they do not have the money. And, that’s the truth of the matter.


Ralph Jaffe,Teacher


Admit the Truth


The Baltimore Sun has put forth a series of articles and editorials on the problems confronting the Baltimore City Police Department. Despite all of the attention the Baltimore Sun is giving to this matter,  the writings fail to address the truth of the matter.


Because of a complaint I filed with the Baltimore City Police Department,   I am prepared to name names of police officers who I believe do not deserve to wear their uniforms. Additionally,  I have contacted the office of the US Attorney for the state of  Maryland, Mr. Ron Rosenstein,  and am in the process of providing them with information that should be of further help in their investigation.


The Jaffe movement to get rid of all the corruption in Maryland politics is predicated on telling the truth.  Sometimes the truth can be painful, but here is the truth of the matter.


The police department in terms of the rank and file, who have the real responsibility of protecting the citizens of Baltimore City, is badly understaffed.  Due to the fact that  we have a morally bankrupt mayor and a morally bankrupt City Council who refuse to acknowledge the shortage of good police officers who lay down their lives for us,  Baltimoreans will never receive the proper protection that they are entitled to.


What’s more, currently, the starting salary for a Baltimore City police officer is $46,199.

Compound that with the fact that when  a police officer has spent 10 years on the force and  is only earning $78,833, many qualified police officers are not willing to make this line of service their lifetime career. (The pay figures come from the Baltimore Police department, Human Resources section.


No matter how many investigations or who conducts them be it the federal government, the city government, or even by special prosecutors, the crime problems will prevail until we have ethical politicians who acknowledge the shortage of police officers and the need for a better pay scale and then transform their acknowledgment into appropriate action.


The article, ‘Flaws’ In Internal affairs, 9-21-14 cited 2800 as the number of officers in the Baltimore City Police Department.  According to the World Population Review 2014, the current population of Baltimore City is 622,000.  I believe the Police Department is at least 300 officers short for effectively protecting its citizens.


Does this require a tax increase?  Absolutely  not!  What needs to be done is put a halt to wasting money in city government.  For example, get rid of all the PR people (when they’re ready to retire) in the city government agencies and replace them with volunteers.  The same can be done with all the bloated staff people who work for the city council . Utilize volunteers to step up to the plate and take over the work.


It’s time for the citizens of Baltimore to get smart and elect politicians who are willing to tell the truth.

And, that’s the truth of the matter.


Ralph Jaffe,Teacher


The Biggest Losers


Upon reading the article by Erin Cox and Michael Dresser, “He Becomes Only Second Republican Governor Since ‘60s,” 11-5-13,  and Erin Cox’s article, “Hogan Promises Bipartisan Policy,” 11-6-14, I feel compelled to respond.


In actuality, the results of the November 4th elections bring into play several losers including President Obama.  Voters demonstrated their repudiation of President Obama’s unconstitutional abuse of power.  Additionally, the Democratic Party itself is  a big loser.  Instead of standing by their man,  many Democrats who previously supported President Obama’s policies, abandoned him in the face of adversity and tried to dissociate themselves from him.  A classic example of hypocrisy.


Another big loser is the Baltimore Sun.  Our hometown publication refused to provide its readers with a comprehensive  picture of ALL the candidates in the gubernatorial election.  The Sun’s criteria for a serious candidate is a person’s ability to take campaign bribes or to be a career politician.  In the minds of the Sun, an individual’s ideas and character are of little significance.  Hence, day after day  readers were saturated with information about Mr. Brown, Mr. Gansler, Ms. Mizeur, and Mr. Hogan culminating in the Sun’s  endorsement of Anthony Brown.  Consequently, what did we wind up with - an election whereby  54% of the voters in Maryland, bored or turned off by the Sun’s coverage, stayed home and probably fell asleep.


Sadly, the biggest losers are the readers of the Baltimore Sun..  For the next 4 years, they will be subjected to the policies of  another politico who more than likely will be replaced in the next election by another questionable career democrat politician.


Until we get ETHICAL individuals in office who are sincere in their efforts to start the process of getting rid of all the corruption in government, we will continue to be fed up with crooked politics.


Ralph Jaffe,Teacher


Hypocrisy at The Sun



Thursday, December 14, 2014    p.14


When I read your editorial,"City Hall Theater," 11-19-14, criticizing the Baltimore City Council for lack of conviction regarding the bill passed requiring police officers to wear body cameras, I could not help but be amused. Talk about convictions, where were yours? Where were your convictions when you endorsed Anthony Brown for governor? Where were your convictions when you were cognizant of the fact that he was not able to handle the job with the Maryland Health Exchange program? Where were your convictions when you knew he was taking millions of dollars in campaign contribution bribes? Where were your convictions when Mr. Brown sold his soul in order to obtain a loan from a labor union for his campaign? A most fitting word in the English lexicon comes to mind - and that is hypocrisy.


I believe it is fair to say many voters can easily come to the conclusion that the editors of the Baltimore Sun are a bunch of hypocrites - don't you think?


Ralph Jaffe, Teacher



The writer, a former candidate for governor in the Democratic primary of June 2014, continues the Jaffe MOVEMENT to end corruption in Maryland government.