The towing of cars parked near presidential functions is just the tip of the iceberg of Secret Service excesses [letters, Nov. 3]. I live across the street from people who periodically have the president over for dinners and fund-raisers. On such occasions, the degree to which the Secret Service disrupts our quiet, peaceful neighborhood is astounding, even when the occasion is just a private dinner for four.

What is most offensive, however, is that I and the other residents on the block seem to be treated by the Secret Service as potential suspects. Lights are aimed at our house, agents with German shepherds guard our driveways, we are told where in our own yard we may stand, etc.

The Secret Service ought to apply some common sense to its job. It's reasonable to view with suspicion anyone who goes out of the way to attend a public presidential function. However, when the president pays a private visit to a residential neighborhood, the neighbors have not sought to be near him. Law-abiding citizens minding their own business in their own homes do not become suspect just because the president chooses to visit their street.

It also amazes me that the Secret Service apparently cannot devise a way to safely transport the president to purely private evening functions in residential neighborhoods without using the usual full-fledged 20 vehicle, 10 motorcycle motorcade. As a result we have 30 vehicles clogging our entire block, all with their engines idling for the duration of the visit. Something less obtrusive and elaborate ought to be just as safe and far less disruptive to the neighbors.