Our past several columns responded to criticism we received from several members of the Baltimore County Council. We were accused of not contacting the council members regarding Bill 20-20.
As any regular reader of our columns knows, we contact members of the county government on a regular basis, only to get something resembling a Simon and Garfunkel song (i.e., “Sounds of Silence”).
Recently, The Baltimore Post sent the following email to three County Council members–Chairwoman Cathy Bevins, David Marks, and Izzy Patoka:
Could you please explain to us why the county’s hotline is limited to a normal business-hour schedule?
In addition, we also called the phone number for the senior hotline for emergency food distribution and that schedule is also on a Monday thru Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
We also found the Public Safety Page to be three days behind.
During this national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, do you feel as an elected official this is a reasonable response?
Thank you for your time in this matter.
We want to acknowledge receiving a prompt reply from Second District Councilman Izzy Patoka’s office regarding our concerns.
Here’s the copy of the email we received from the Councilman’s office:
Thanks for your email. I have sent this inquiry to the councilman’s email address to have him follow up with you. Do you have a particular deadline date you are targeting for this story? Also, do you have a phone number the councilman can reach you at in case he wants to speak on the phone?
Senior Legislative Aide
Office of Councilman Izzy Patoka
We appreciate the response from Councilan Patoka’s office, especially since Councilman Marks And Chairwoman Beivns sent us Zippo!
(Let Simon and Garfunkel know they’re needed on the stage…)
We should add that the email to Councilman Marks contained one additional question:
In addition to the above questions, why would you mention Tradepoint Atlantic in the town hall meeting dealing with the economic situation in Baltimore County?
For those taxpayers who haven’t been following our extensive coverage, Baltimore County granted an $80 million ‘gift’ to TPA so the latter could rebuild some of its infrastructure. As Publisher of The Post, I was one of only 246 people who actually tuned into the county’s town hall meeting dealing with the budget.
Remember the statement Chairwoman Bevins made on our Facebook page regarding the staffing of her office?
The Baltimore Post my office has been staffed full time since the pandemic started. My District office is isolated, not letting the custodian staff in, no face to face meetings. And the council has had several Webex meetings with and without the CE.
Yet, despite that full-time staff, she was unable to answer a simple email. We didn’t even get a “we’ll get back to you” reply.
We believe the council members should focus on their own glass houses before they throw any stones our way.
There seem to be several communication gaffes for constituents trying to reach our so-called leaders, as the following email we received clearly points out:
Subject: Re: Baltimore County Council irresponsibly attempts ‘power grab’ during COVID-19 crisis
I’ve tried getting ahold of Crandell’s office for DAYS with no success. Emails, phone calls and voicemails all unanswered.
Despite the undue criticism we’ve received, The Post will continue to monitor and report on these critical matters. The lines of communication clearly aren’t open, and the transparency we’ve been told exists seems to be getting cloudier by the minute.
Baltimore County’s taxpayers and citizens need assurance that the information they receive is accurate. It is our duty to go beyond the propaganda and, as the late great Paul Harvey used to say, give you “the rest of the story.”
Meanwhile, as the great WWII leader Winston Churchill stated, “This is not the end…”