I am writing concerning the coverage of the county executive election race in Howard County. A Nov. 9 Metro story quoted Beverly Wilhide ''a county business leader'' and supporter of county executive-elect Charles Ecker as saying, ''people really do not want someone in government who will try to be politically astute and appease everyone. They want leadership.''

County Executive Liz Bobo provided excellent leadership in proposing a county policy and a general plan that was a compromise between the proponents of slower and less intense growth and the advocates of maximum growth (the developers). It takes strong leadership to propose compromises that are the middle ground between these two diametrically opposed groups. The role of a leader is to hear the opinions of all members of the community and then develop a plan that addresses all concerns. If leadership means choosing policies that meet the needs of one group but that ignore another group, then our county is in trouble. I hope that during the next four years Mr. Ecker can recognize the need for compromise in order to provide leadership for Howard County.

RICHARD KOLODRUBETZ Highland

We have just completed an election process in which the voters of Montgomery County's 8th Congressional District did not have an opportunity to question the victorious candidate, Constance Morella (R), or to hear her views challenged by James Walker Jr., the Democratic candidate, or myself, the independent candidate.

The only forum to which I was invited was held by the Bethesda chapter of the Association of Retired Federal Employees, but Rep. Morella did not appear, and her surrogate declined to answer a question concerning Rep. Morella's views.

With the nation approaching a possible war in the Persian Gulf -- on which Rep. Morella may have to vote on a declaration of war -- it is unfortunate that only one organization and none of the broadcast media provided a forum through which her views on this matter could be ascertained and challenged. SIDNEY ALTMAN Chevy Chase

During his campaign, Albert Ceccone, the defeated Republican challenger for Montgomery County executive, alluded to "a clown in the statehouse" {Metro, Oct. 25}.

Now will Mr. Ceccone have the guts to identify in print who that "clown in the statehouse" is? SUZIE WALDON Gaithersburg