Vote for Ballot Question 1; Vote AGAINST Questions B, G, AND O

A number of important questions are on the November 5 ballot. We call your attention to the following:

Each year thousands of women are murdered or badly injured as victims of domestic abuse. These victims need all the help they can get. Ballot Question 1 is a constitutional amendment that gives District Court Commissioners, who are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the power to issue civil protective orders when the Office of the Clerk of the District Court is closed. Currently, the Clerk's office is open during business hours Monday through Friday and is closed nights and weekends. Victims need to have the ability to obtain protective orders at any time of the day or night. Vote FOR Question 1.

Question B is a bond issue for economic development. However, it does not specify what economic development the funds would be used for, and that is the problem. The mayor and city council can use the funds for any economic development they decide to do, whether the residents want it or not. That is what happened a few years ago when they used public funds to help develop the Wyndham Hotel that was opposed by virtually all Baltimore residents. Residents should only vote for an economic development bond issue when it is for a specific project. Vote AGAINST Question B.

Question G is a bond issue for the Port Discovery Children's Museum. The museum is already subsidized and Baltimore has many more pressing needs, such as drug treatment and affordable housing. Vote AGAINST Question G. Question O pertains to the Social Services Commission. It is a one sentence charter amendment that does not explain what it does or what it changes. Voters need more information in order to support it. With more information, they may well oppose it. Vote AGAINST Question O.

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This story was published on November 4, 2002.