December 17, 2014 3:16 pm ET
We don’t need another rubber stamper on the Council
Newly elected Councilman Todd Crandell of the 7th District representing Dundalk, who won an overwhelming victory in the recent election over his Democratic rival Joe DiCara, had his first opportunity to show his leadership skills in a recent vote. That vote featured fellow Republican David Marks’ proposal for “creating a new zoning category for downtown Towson.”
Here was the chance for new leadership—the change that we were promised before the election.
But did we get change? No.
What did we get? Another rubber stamp!
A little harsh, you say? Maybe so, but the term “rubber stamp” is one that I have used so often regarding the Council’s voting pattern that the words are stuck in my head.
And, unfortunately, they apply here as does the relationship between Marks and Crandell.
What made this vote so egregious was that it was rendered “without discussion,” as reported by the Sun.
How in the name of common sense can you vote on an issue that will forever change the way developers do business with the county “without discussion?”
It boggles the mind, folks.
When I read the first account of Mr. Marks’ grandiose agenda, my first thought was that the term being floated about the councilman’s identity, a “rhino,” is right on the money. You see, folks, a rhino in this sense is a Republican in name only, underneath whose skin is a Democrat. And, as we all know, in this county the Dems are all about one thing—development.
Watch this link closely. Body language experts would have a field day. All you need is a cookie jar.
Mr. Marks wants Towson to be an urban center where people can walk to and fro. But trust me when I say that Towson is a rather large place, and I can’t—for the life of me—see seniors, especially the disabled ones, walking very far to any place.
And let us not forget the maze of weekly “spring breaks” that occur in the heart of that metropolis.
I am curious to see who the lawyers are and the developers they represent in this whole situation. That, however, will be discovered only after the dreaded PIA is filed, as per usual.
When I saw the score card on the vote, the tally was seven to zip. Since Mr. Crandell could not be in the zip category, and there were no abstentions, then that means that he fell into the “magnificent seven.”
I was determined to find out why. So, I called his office (or, in this case, offices) and got a recording.
You read that right. At 12:20 pm (roughly), I called both offices and had to leave a message. And, once again, I am on the “zip” side because as of 12:50 am I have not heard a discouraging word, as the song goes.
I was a bit perplexed about striking out after calling in the middle of a normal business day, especially after I was told by Mr. Ron Metzger, a member of Mr. Crandell’s staff, to “call anytime.”
Again, the word “zip” comes to mind.
Another perplexing issue about Mr. Crandell’s staff is why he needs a former campaign staffer of Mr. Marks—Doug Anderson—to be his chief of staff. My mind drew a complete zip on that one, too. I have to think that there is someone in this district with no ties to the existing political machine who could fit nicely into that position.
But, alas, I will have to keep wondering.
Since I could not talk to our leader, I called Councilman Marks’ office and spoke to a staff member. I asked the staff member if Mr. Marks had ever allowed Mr. Jim Smith (development attorney via the County Executive) to write any issues concerning a PUD for the councilman.
The staffer “would have to check” on that answer, and eventually said that the Councilman could not recall having the pleasure of Mr. Smith’s involvement in this process.
Well, I hate to be the barer of the truth, or—in this case—the bad news, but it appears Mr. Marks has a short memory, as the story found at this link so aptly describes:
Now, I’m not saying the truth slipped his mind; I’m just stating the facts.
Now the news for Mr. Marks gets worse.
Corrine Becker, former president of the Riderwood Hills Community Association said the following pertaining to this particular resolution, 113-14 sponsored by Councilman Marks.
“I am extremely concerned about the language Mr. Marks has chosen in Resolution No. 113-14, as I have heard it pertains to apartment complexes along Kenilworth Drive, particularly the Colony. It would not be appropriate to rezone this property as anything other than the DR-16 it is currently zoning. Riderwood Hills Community Assoc. is currently being reorganized and will be getting involved in this issue.”
Ms. Becker who once supported Mr. Marks now thinks the councilman is out to do Mr. Kamenetz’s bidding.
Also, since this is the holiday season, Mr. Crandell should remember the words, “He knows when you are sleeping; he knows when you’re awake … so be good for goodness sake.”
On those (musical) notes, the word zip again comes to mind.
See if you can tell me where this quote came from?
“We must unite as a district and make it loud and clear that we are part of Baltimore County, we pay taxes, and will no longer be ignored! United, we will make a stand against a Councilman who puts the wants and needs of himself and real estate developers ahead of the people.”
Seems like someone needs to live up to his words, folks.
As I said after the election, I will be watching. I’m not an elf on a shelf, but I am a man on a mission—a mission to hold our elected leaders accountable.