The Post's endorsement of Sharon Pratt Dixon for mayor {editorial, Aug. 30} states: "She was the first candidate to say that thousands of local government jobs must be trimmed, and she was (and is) right about that too." Mrs. Dixon may have said the right things in this campaign, but she certainly was not the first.

In his letter of Feb. 22, 1988, to Mayor Barry, council chairman Dave Clarke implored the mayor to stop hiring. He warned of a "bloated personnel level." He made specific recommendations to reduce by $14.6 million the personnel budget after the council under his leadership had already cut $4.4 million. Mr. Clarke wrote the mayor that it is "not too late to act {while} we have some flexibility to do so." He was prescient in his fears of a recession, when it would become even more difficult to make necessary cuts given the decreased government job attrition rate.

Where was Mrs. Dixon when Mr. Clarke was fighting for these changes? Certainly nowhere near the action. To her credit Mrs. Dixon has tempered some of her early bombastic rhetoric about firing people she has never met and has begun to talk more realistically about setting priorities for the District's needs and about cutting personnel judiciously rather than with a "broom and shovel." This of course has been Mr. Clarke's position from the beginning of the campaign. Perhaps Mrs. Dixon has learned from Mr. Clarke during the candidates' countless debates and forums. But why vote for the untested student when you can vote for the proven teacher?

The Post's editors, like many people, seem to be hypnotized by the idea of "new blood," irrationally wishing for an outside messiah rather than supporting the obvious talent in their midst. JOSEPH TARANTOLO JOHN W. KARR Washington

I was startled and upset to read the editorial "Clean House -- Dixon for Mayor" {Aug. 30}.

The editorial appears to endorse Mrs. Dixon not just for the Democratic nomination but for the general election as well. While The Post may well feel that Mrs. Dixon should win the democratic nomination next week and be elected mayor in November, there is no acknowledgment that a two-party system and a Republican candidate for mayor even exist.

The candidacy of former police chief Maurice Turner was ignored. It deserves better than this. In 1986, Carol Schwartz, the Republican nominee, received more than one-third of the vote. Mr. Turner is a well-known and highly respected figure. His candidacy is serious and deserves to be treated as such.

One can only hope that The Post will seriously listen to and report Mr. Turner's positions on the issues facing Washington. Who knows, if the editors listen, they might even endorse him in the end. JAMES ROWLAND LOWE JR. Washington