February 4, 2015 5:28 pm ET
Will Crandell’s rubber stamp of Kamenetz’s appointees be the political kiss of death?
Photo credit – Todd Crandall.com
The Bible recounts the story in Luke 22 as follows:
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
When now-Seventh District Councilman Todd Crandell ran for office, he promised a different way of doing business in the County.
Instead, he chose a little different path known as “deceiving the voters.”
You see, folks, at the latest County Council session, Mr. Crandell uttered a chorus of “ayes” numerous times during a harmonious “rubber stamp” tune, which is the same song and dance the voters on the East Side have heard for years.
The people voted for change, and Mr. Crandell promised that path. However, it appears that he has chosen the “political kiss of death” route instead.
I called Councilman Crandell abut some other issues (that I will explain later), especially the ones involving the vote on the reappointment of Mr. Kamenetz’s appointees—Fred (Office of Fred) Homan, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson, Public Works head Edward Adams, Arnold Jablon from Permits, and a host of others.
The main attractions, in my opinion, were Mr. Homan and Chief Johnson.
Councilman Crandell called me back, and the conversation began. While I actually was misinformed on the possible vote outcome (I forgot that the council speaks for Mr. Kamenetz and not the people), I brought up the issue of Mr. Crandell’s vote.
To make a long story short, I advised Mr. Crandell to think long and hard about his yea or nay on Mr. Homan. After all, this was one of the key players in the sale of the North Point Government Center, to which Mr. Crandell claimed he was strongly opposed and would make the supreme sacrifice in stopping.
But, it appears that the East Side voters have been duped, because there was no sacrifice—just another rubber stamp.
And that, in my opinion, was a rather lame (or, in the vernacular, stupid) decision. In this case I’m referring to the reasoning behind the sale of the NP Government Center.
Why on earth would I use the word stupid? Because it was, plainly speaking, stupid!
Keeping the “status quo” will cause the County to lose money, not to mention the fact that the original RFP is now shredded and the County is moving the police station into a smaller old school that will disrupt entire community.
Did I mention there were much older buildings far worse off than the Government Center?
Back to my conversation with Mr. Crandell, I went through the multiple reasons on why Mr. Homan, in my opinion, did not deserve another four years at the helm of the County’s sinking ship.
All I heard from Mr. Crandell were, “Mr. Homan is [this and that]” and “If I don’t do this [blah blah blah]” and all of that jazz.
Apparently, what I said (and what the voters think) went in one ear and out the other.
Did Mr. Crandell think about his campaign promises to the voters of the 7th District, or is he more interested in the approval of the 6 other council members?
Not exactly the move of a true leader.
Think of it this way: with Mr. Homan around for another four years, you can bet the walls of the North Point Government Center will come tumbling down just like the walls of Jericho did, and the people of Eastwood will have a bustling police station in the midst of their small neighborhood.
Mr. Crandell, wasn’t this man and his agenda what you promised to fight against?
Now to the vote.
As Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins read off the list of appointees and asked what say the Council, a resounding chorus of “ayes” resonated throughout the chamber. This was followed by applause from the audience, which was made up of animal rights groups.
My first thought was that Mr. Gruber apparently was right in his assessment of the American public. People were applauding the vote of the Council confirmation of Mr. Homan despite decades of political shenanigans that far exceed the pale of transparency and, in my opinion, integrity.
To make matters worse, Chairwoman Bevins chimed in by saying, “We are lucky to have Mr. Homan.”
Really Mrs. Bevins? Are we talking about the same man—the one who was engaged in a fling on top of a desk in the county office building? The man who cost the county millions upon millions of dollars in poor decisions like the ADA, Main Sail, and insurance costs to county employees? Is this the man who you claim we are lucky to have?
That does not bode well with the rumor of your run at the County Executive spot, now does it? I would say to Mrs. Bevins, “Look at the numbers of the last election and how you squeaked by, as the saying goes, so choose your words and PUDs carefully.”
The mush only got worse when Councilwoman Almond wanted the audience to know that the Council did its due diligence in making their decisions at a work session. Ms. Almond, did you ask the Chief for proof of residency, which is required by law? Did you ask how much Mr. Homan has cost the taxpayers of this County, and whether he is physically able to do the job?
I thought not.
In summation, what I saw was just another “buddy-buddy” thing going on between Mr. Crandell and Councilman Marks.
I can find no reasonable explanation for Mr. Crandell’s vote, which showed me a lack of leadership and a betrayal toward the voters who busted their butts to get him elected. He promised one thing and gave us another.
Like Judas, Mr. Crandell’s betrayal featured a kiss, but it may have been the kiss of death for a politician in whom so many people had put so much faith.
Just as I was ready to send this to my editor, I received an email response from Mr. Crandell. I will publish that email, as well as my response. You may find that very interesting.
Until then, I hope we all learn a valuable lesson from this moment—a lesson that sticks with us the next time we hear election campaign promises from a certain member of the Council.