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To the editor:

I don't know where Bob Bernick gets his information or whether he has ever attended a Salt Lake City Council meeting, but I would appreciate his taking a long look back.Both Florence Bittner and Willie Stoler have served Salt Lake City previously as trusted and dedicated employees - Willie in the police department and Florence in the organization of community councils. In the course of those years, they have each come to understand very well the problems and needs of city government. They know the plays people use, and when someone tries an end-run, they recognize it.

I could venture to say that they understand the city's problems and needs better than the mayor does. True, he may have more charm and charisma, but that does not make him a more able public servant.

To compare what Bittner and Stoler have done with the "Citygate" scandal of 1979 is just one more poorly reasoned premise on Bernick's part. I don't remember all the details of that problem. But I do know that it heightened the folly of having a commissioner elected because he knew how to run the street department, only to have him changed, in a power-play after the election, to the public safety department. I remember that at one time, the mayor did not even have the responsibility for the city finances.

Evidently, some influential people in this community with money to invest in some areas of the city that are in critical need of redevelopment have the same respect for Bittner and Stoler that I have. If those people want to donate money to help their campaigns, give them credit for doing it because they consider them able legislators who are fiscally responsible for keeping the city's budget in line. If I had the money, I would have given all they did and more.

We don't often get our best people in public office in the state of Utah. They can get plenty of glory elsewhere and everyone's time is limited. When we find two people willing to stand up under the onslaught that Bittner and Stoler have taken from the press, we had better start treating them with fairness and respect. They are both people of strong moral character with important political experience. We may not see their like again.

Verda Mae Christensen

Salt Lake City