December 10, 2015 12:04 pm ET
Crandell deceives voters, ignores communities, and incites outrage
The word on the street is the voters are angry over the council’s arrogance.
Before I begin this blog, I have to admit that I needed to take some time to “turn down my burner” just a tad, so to speak. You see, what I observed on December 7 left my blood boiling, as I witnessed outright betrayal of Mr. Crandell regarding his oath of office, in which he pledged to serve the people who elected him.
The first thing you need to do before you read any further is click on the link below and hear Mr. Crandell’s speech about why he put bill 86-15 before the council. There was some attaboys floating around on this mess.
You can listen to his speech by clicking on the highlighted area HERE.
Once you’re finished, maybe you can join me for some outrage.
As to Mr. Crandell’s claims of 10,000 new jobs and $16 million in tax revenues, I sent him an e-mail requesting where he obtained those figures.
I received no answer. Shocking, I know.
At the council session Monday night, this controversial bill was passed unanimously by the county council, with special thanks to Chairwoman Cathy Bevins, Councilman David Marks, and Councilman Julian Jones, it was revealed.
Speaking of the council, we have Jones—who can’t build his constituents a bridge, and Wade Koch, who was noticeably absent (I think he can no longer stomach the “good ol’ boy and girl” politics).
But, for now, back to Mr. Crandell and his “kiss of death” planted on his cheek by those who are pushing this issue, because his clear and egregious acts have shown that he has turned his back on his constituents once again.
Those constituents, by the way, only asked Mr. Crandell for enough time (a month) to review the bill, which the county planners can’t even understand. My sources inside the county must remain anonymous due to job concerns.
In order to understand the motivation behind Mr. Crandell’s actions, we need to look at his time in office.
Here is what he promised while running for office regarding the North Point Government Center:
If you go to his political website and search for the term “North Point Government Center,” you will not see any reference to any updates on the NPGC. I could find nothing at all, even though there have been numerous developments, such as the state’s Board of Public Works’ interest in the issue, along with a hearing on the potential sale.
It became so blatant that the county even announced a fake press release regarding receiving letters of intent from various companies claiming they were coming to the Merritt Pavilion. I filed a PIA, only to find that the county had no such letters of intent.
So much for the “Keep up the good fight” quote from then-candidate Crandell.
How does that bode well for a candidate who, at the time, made the NPGC his platform?
Another interesting aspect, I think, is understanding his political agenda and true feelings about his role as councilman of the 7th District. If you look at the now-passed bill 86-15 that deals with Sparrows Point, you may get some insight into why he voted to lock out the community from examining the bill, which is something that should be a given right to constituents.
If you actually read 86-15, it refers to the county code under section 32-4-106 with the exemption part which states the following:
(b) Exempting from community input meetings and Hearing’s Officer hearings.”
There is a petition being circulated by Environmental Analyst, Mr. Russell Donnelly requesting intervention by the Attorney General’s office regarding the legal questions this bill raises. I’ll have more on that later.
This is the key sticking point with the various community groups that asked Mr. Crandell to allow them time to review the bill before the council voted on it.
Instead, Mr. Crandell simply added one amendment of an open space issue and pushed the bill through, completely ignoring the requests of the people he is supposed to serve and represent.
Furthering the inside look at Mr. Crandell’s agenda, let’s look at two other bills he has passed. One dealt with a dumping law that, according to my research, has turned up 0 arrests or charges under the county code.
In addition, the councilman followed up with a bill that dealt with recs and parks personnel restricting people who were convicted of related crimes in the area from entering a county park. Although I haven’t checked, I would bet that, as of this date, no one has been barred from entering a county park. One of the main reasons is that there are no authorities present to stop such entries and, even if there were, they don’t have the right to ban someone because of an adjudicated criminal issue from the past unless staying out of the park is part of the person’s parole or probation guidelines.
Now back to the repercussions of this bill. Here is an interesting quote provided by SPT CEO Michael Moore, which was found in a recent article published on the FortHoward.org website:
“As my wife and I moved here and established our home, we’ve been very pleased with the outstanding support of not only our neighbors in Eastern Baltimore County, but also the extraordinary level of collaboration in our partnership with Governor Hogan and County Executive Kamenetz. Together, these two leaders have worked across political lines and various levels of government to truly make this project the cornerstone of our region’s economy and bring jobs and investment to our state.”
That statement points to two key players in this equation between the state and county. And, after the ambush by Mr. Kamenetz on Comptroller Franchot’s school visit, we know there is plenty of bad blood between the county and the state.
This is another interesting quote from Mr. Moore as it relates to the community:
”Over the next several months, we’re working to finalize our vision for the site, with input from potential future leaseholders, government and local leaders, and our neighbors [sic] right here in Baltimore.”
The interesting part of that quote is the mention of “our neighbors,” who were cut out of the equation when the council passed Mr. Crandell’s bill while ignoring the input of the communities.
From what I’m hearing from various sources (though this remains unconfirmed due to job security issues), there is a battle raging about who will control the Sparrows Point Property. It could be the state or the county, as both are vying for control.
That is probably why I never heard back from the Comptroller’s office when I asked for a comment about Mr. Crandell’s bill regarding constitutional grounds.
Folks, the reason for the rush job on this bill and the vote is apparent. The county beat the state by firing the first legal shot across the divide. The question still remains if the county has the constitutional right to do so and, with the state legislature scheduled to meet soon, it was imperative for the county to act quickly and quietly.
If the state legislature were to meet first and vote on its authority, it could force a major courtroom battle that could last for years.
There are a ton of key wealthy players in this situation that form the “who’s who” of power-brokers. Imagine the developers who build major facilities on that property and the money that will roll in regarding lease fees.
The sky is the limit, so to speak.
There is much more to write about this issue, but I will take a “pause for the cause” and let my blood pressure get back to an acceptable range. I will be back with more, though, so stay tuned. Port Gate may have just begun.