Allen Reorganization of DEQ Guts Agency

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 11, 1997 | Go to article overview

Allen Reorganization of DEQ Guts Agency


Today's space is devoted to a sampling of editorial opinion from other newspapers around the region.

* FREE LANCE-STAR

Fredericksburg, Va., June 5

This week's bloodletting at the Department of Environmental Quality is so senseless that groups as disparate as the Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Sierra Club are trying to persuade Gov. George F. Allen to intercede.

Will he listen? Apparently not. As of this morning, 29 DEQ employees were still carrying around pink slips handed them by the governor's apparatchiks.

Among those fired were career service employees with 20 to 30 years experience. Their heads rolled as part of an agency reorganization that also involved hiring 34 people. The old guys will be allowed to stand in line and apply for the new jobs - although chances are their experience and service will be held against them.

The Allen administration has such a skewed, extreme view of environmental regulation that Virginia's industrialists are as alarmed as environmentalists.

On Tuesday, the day after the reorganization plan was announced, numerous organizations got together and wrote Gov. Allen a letter that said, in part, "Most of the affected employees have worked through several administrations" and "have earned the respect and the trust of those who work with them."

The governor was asked to stop the reorganization because "it will have a significant adverse impact on Virginia's environment and business climate."

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce signed the letter. So did the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Virginia Municipal League, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Virginia Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies and other groups.

Those organizations frequently don't agree on specific issues, but they are admirably putting aside their differences to speak out in unison against a governor who is gutting the Department of Environmental Quality.

SAUERBREY MUST BUFF IMAGE

* DAILY TIMES

Salisbury, Md., May 23

Republican Ellen Sauerbrey, who came within 6,000 votes of being elected governor of Maryland in 1994, has officially embarked on another gubernatorial campaign a full 18 months before the next election. Mrs. Sauerbrey re-enters the political arena with one disadvantage and some distinct advantages. Her main disadvantage is her image.

Many Marylanders' lasting image of Mrs. Sauerbrey from the 1994 campaign is not that of a scrappy fighter who overcame the odds in winning the Republican primary and came within a whisker of being the state's first female governor. …

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