"Silence on Sins of Commissioners"

asked, "Given the Tartaglione family's antics and the broader problems with the city commissioners, where are the voices for reform?"

While elected officials like Mayor Nutter and Rep. Brady have been characteristically mum, the lone voice in the wilderness of Philadelphia politics is Al Schmidt, Republican candidate for city commissioner.

Schmidt makes a case that Renee Tartaglione's conduct is merely a small piece of the rampant politicization of the Board of Elections. Through open-records requests, Schmidt has obtained documents showing that elected officials and their taxpayer-funded staff have repeatedly used taxpayer-funded resources to preserve their jobs and the jobs of their allies.

You conclude that "It's time for someone to jump over the table, speak up and take on the office of City Commissioners." Schmidt is doing just that.

Joseph Doherty, Philadelphia

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Signing & whiffing

Dear Ruben Amaro, since you're such an excellent contract negotiator, could you please help the city's two biggest unions get signed? DC 33 and 47 have been working without a new contract for more than two years, and no one will help us.

Liam Tolen, Philadelphia

Now that we probably have the best pitching in MLB, it seems everyone has forgotten that pitching doesn't win games by itself. You have to also score.

Maybe we should fine the Phils' Strikeout King for each whiff since he gets paid to hit the ball, not just swing a bat. Runs are the only thing that wins baseball games, and nobody should forget it!

William Palmer, Philadelphia

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Probe Council, too

Well, here we go again, another police advisory commission, recommended by Commissioner Ramsey.

The commissioner wants City Council to investigate the police. Well someone should investigate Council on their salaries, how many hours they work each day, and how many cars are assigned to them.

And using these cars for private purposes, taking care of girlfriends as aides with high salaries. Using our pension funds to butter their pockets, like the Deferred Retirement Option Plan not meant for elected officials.

I put in 22 years as a cop, and with my disability only get $17,000 a year with no medical. Council gets DROP and pensions of more than $100,000 a year. Investigate them and let the D.A. handle the police.

Charles McSorley, Philadelphia

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Write, pray, love

Who can't relate to the mass-produced faux Christmas greetings described by Christine Flowers (

"Seasons Cheatings," Dec. 10

)? Thanks to technology, many are losing the skills of penmanship, spelling and original thinking.

The message: Don't let machines substitute for authentic human contact or the graceful art of handwritten, thoughtful communication.

Gloria C. Endres