I am writing in response to Constance Horner's article, "Leave the Hatch Act Alone" {op-ed, Nov. 15}.

As one of those "hundreds of thousands of others employed by state and local governments," I think it is time to review the Hatch Act and other acts like it, not totally do away with them.

The federal Hatch Act has tremendous weight with the state and local governments that initiate their own "Hatch" acts, as well as with the courts that have venue over them. These governmental bodies have, over the years, added so many restraints upon their employees that the original purpose has been lost.

The Arlington act, for example, forbids a county employee from running for local office. He must quit his job, losing all retirement and seniority rights, just to make a bid for a position that he feels he is qualified to hold. The incumbent is not shackled with this burden.

Would not a review of this policy be in order with some sort of compromise in which the employee could take a leave of absence within a set number of days prior to the election?

The Arlington act also forbids employee groups from endorsing candidates for state offices that have no direct involvement in local policies.

There is merit in a policy that forbids employee groups from backing local candidates so that the incumbents do not put undue pressure on the employees and vice versa, but at what level do we stop this restraint?

For example, if the police association wishes to support a candidate for attorney general of Virginia, should we be forbidden to do so? I believe not! A review of the Hatch acts is thus in order, not a wholesale elimination of them.

RICH ALT President, Arlington Police Beneficiary Association, Inc. Arlington