The Eagle's Jan. 25 editorial against Civil Service cited familiar arguments. The Civil Service unit is grievously underfunded and understaffed. It takes six months to get a test result back. The Eagle's conclusion is to consider new ways of hiring and promoting beyond the outdated Civil Service.

Now, if the Pittsfield Police force was so underfunded and understaffed that it took six months to respond to a call for help, The Eagle would have insisted on better fundraising and staffing. The Eagle would not have concluded the Police Department was outdated and needed replacement by (for example) organized crime. Yet, when it comes to Civil Service we are urged to return to the selection of candidates without competitive testing.

I am sending along a gift via snail mail, the book "Plunkett of Tammany Hall." It describes in detail how wonderfully the spoils system can work, when it works well. G.W. Plunkett was himself a critic of the Civil Service. He was sure it eroded patriotism.

I don't know if Civil Service erodes patriotism, but I do know it is not outdated.

ROBERT J. CROGHAN

East Chatham, N.Y.


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