July 21, 2016 2:04 am ET
Councilman claims only one email sent or received regarding his FH legislation
Photo: Councilman Todd Crandell
Folks, this is going to be a rather lengthy column with a follow-up, so bear with me because it’s important. Today’s lesson deals with the future of the 7th District and exposes some potential untruths.
While watching the Republican National Convention, one of the political commentators made the following observation: “The people deserve the truth and not some fabrication of the facts.”
With that statement in mind, I attended a meeting held by the Fort Howard Community group, during which a Facebook rant from Councilman Crandell was read.
Here is a copy of the rant:
Recently, I authored and introduced legislation that would ensure that the community remained at the bargaining table in discussions on the redevelopment of the Fort Howard VA property. Today, after meeting with VA officials and the lease holder in our nation’s capital, I am more convinced than ever that the scheme hatched over a decade ago for the redevelopment of Ft Howard is a botched mess. I have no trust that the VA or the developer has the will or the means to do the right thing. The latest is a request of the developer for me to amend the legislation to allow for “workforce housing” on the site. I am told they require this because of the high cost of the historic restoration necessary on the site. I strongly oppose this and believe their proposal is out of balance. The VA and our federal officials allowed the property to fall into blight so they should pick up the tab for fixing it. I will not allow us to be bullied by the federal government or a developer who is trying to leverage the threat of surplusing a historic landmark into what could very well be a bad deal for all of us. Therefore I am considering withdrawing the legislation I have proposed and request that the developer and VA come back to us with a real, reasonable proposal that puts veterans first. Adding fuel to the fire, a fringe group of community activists – acting out of their own self interest and personal agendas – lied to the community and accused me of introducing a “developer’s bill” when the developer had no input into the bill whatsoever. All we have at the end of the day is our integrity and those folks have lost theirs. Their tactics have led to only more unnecessary confusion, consternation and controversy – the last thing we need in trying to lead our way out of this mess.
I’m fighting for our community. I’m fighting for veterans. I will continue to do so.
After hearing this, I managed to obtain a text copy of the rant, which took some doing because I am BANNED AND CENSURED from Mr. Crandell’s website.
Just an FYI in regard to that matter: I will file an ETHICS COMPLAINT because of a conflict with Mr. Crandell’s oath of office, which reads as follows:
COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER FOR BALTIMORE COUNTY
I, DO SWEAR OR AFFIRM, THAT I WILL SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES; AND THAT I WILL BE FAITHFUL AND BEAR TRUE ALLEGIANCE TO THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AND SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS THEREOF; AND THAT I WILL, TO THE BEST OF MY SKILL AND JUDGMENT, DILIGENTLY AND FAITHFULLY, WITHOUT PARTIALITY OR PREJUDICE, EXECUTE THE OFFICE OF COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER FOR COUNCILMANIC DISTRICT [NUMBER] FOR BALTIMORE COUNTY, ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THIS STATE.
You may have noticed the section in the oath that states: “…without partiality or prejudice…”
One would think that censorship and denying a constituent access to one’s elected official would constitute a breach of that oath.
With that in mind, let’s go back and take a look at Mr. Crandell’s absurd diatribe—a categorization I make based upon several factors.
One of my first questions deals with which developer Mr. Crandell is referencing? He conveniently fails to mention one of the three developers now in the mix.
This is a sort of “good cop/bad cop” routine. This leaves the door open for who the supposed “good developer” is going to be.
To that matter, as usual, I have connected the dots (which are apparently located way above the Sun’s head on this issue) to reveal some very interesting developments through my favorite way of getting to the truth, or at the very least something in close proximity to it—filing a PIA.
First, here is what I requested:
All emails, correspondence, notes, copies of letters or any other types of communication between Councilman Todd Crandell and any member, associate, individual, or company associated with the Cignal Corp as per Bill 48-16 introduced at the July 5 Council Session dealing with the development of Fort Howard.
Specifically the request should include who submitted the draft contents of the bill to Councilman Crandell, i.e. who authored the draft prior to the county attorney penning the official proposed legislation.
This should also include any political or elected official in any Baltimore County, MD State Government or the Federal Government.
Copies of any correspondence that deals with county business as related to the Fort Howard development not conducted through mandated Baltimore County webservers as per law. (i.e. G-Mail
Now, believe it or not, this is what I received:
A few thoughts come to mind here. First, I am calling Bull on what I received. Do they think I’m that stupid enough to think that, in the drafting of Crandell’s bill, there was only one email from Doug Anderson to “Armando”???
Do they expect me to believe Mr. Peddicord’s response that the only person involved in crafting the bill was another county council attorney, Thomas Bostwick, and that he did it all by his lonesome?
I found it rather strange that “Armando” mentioned at the Save Fort Howard meeting the exact amount of town-homes, 400 that found its way into Mr. Bostwick’s version of the bill. Must be osmosis.
At the Save Fort Howard meeting Mr. Cignarale also stated that a prison could ultimately wind up on the FH property if the community did not go with his flow.
Why would Doug Anderson send Mr. Cignarale an email with the bill attached? How did they come to the exact number of units when, according to an article in the East County Times by Devin Crum dated 7/14/16:
We didn’t want their input; we wanted community input and we wanted to dictate the project,” Anderson explained.
Anderson also said, “Actually, there’s no real plan.” In Crum’s article Anderson also said, “Everything that Cignarale is going with now is kind of like a written-on-the-back-of-a-napkin type thing.”
That “napkin” is what is missing from the PIA response.
This is the way the Councilman operated regarding this same issue earlier.
When you read through this column/blog, take note of who drafted the legislation. It was Venable attorney Chris Mudd.
Then, look at Mr. Crandell’s response using his G-mail account.
That, folks, is against the law—PERIOD!
Someone please explain to me Mr. Anderson’s comment to Mr. Crum of, “We didn’t want their input; we wanted community input and we wanted to dictate the project …”
How on earth can Mr. Crandell say such things when he has not meet with the community and, in fact, rejected the community’s input outright.
He was a no-show at last night’s FH Community meeting and ditto on the no-show at the Save Fort Howard gathering.
For him to say in his disgusting, very unprofessional rant that borders on malfeasance in office a remark accusing the community of being a “fringe group” and lying is beyond the pale.
I see they (Anderson and Cignarale) are on a first name basis, and yet there is a claim that there was no input from Mr. Cignarale—a claim that is a bit of a stretch.
Mr. Crandell knew long ago of the problems involving Fort Howard because I coached him. I told him one day this would be the big issue facing our district and, guess what, it is.
He has known about this mess for a long time including all the potential problems. One of those problems is the big gun behind this boondoggle, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.
Now the big question is: Who is telling the truth?
We’ll dive into that in the next chapter of this saga. Stay tuned…