County Administrator will not deviate from new schedule regardless of effects on public’s health
I get a lot of phone calls, FB messages, and emails from people pitching me story ideas, and many of the pitches I get involve politics.
This is another of those cases.
In all of the years I have been covering the political landscape for the Post and other sites/publications, I always make sure to cross all of the “t’s” and dot all of the “i’s.” To that end, not one person has ever publicly challenged my reporting.
So when I got wind of this unbelievable story about the lack of running water at the county’s eastern recreational parks, I made a few phone calls to start gathering the truth. I called the east county Recs and Parks board member, Brian Weir. What he told me was quite shocking.
To provide some background, Mr. Weir has been a board member for 40 years. I would call him a credible resource based on that factor alone.
Mr. Weir said that the maintenance of the ball fields and other such facilities was previously under the supervision of recs and parks division for as long as he could remember. However, those responsibilities recently were transferred to the Property Management Division under the direction of George Klunk. Mr. Weir also said that the county now subcontracts the maintenance of the recreational fields to various landscaping companies, and only has a few plumbers available to assist with water-related projects.
As a result of the changes, some maintenance had to be rescheduled, including the water not being turned on at the sites until April 17, if all goes well.
That decision has not sat well with some people.
Another board member contacted Mr. Weir and asked for his help in getting the water turned on at the sites. In an effort to rectify the situation, Mr. Weir called the county’s Constituents Service Director, Bryan Sheppard. According to Mr. Weir, Mr. Sheppard did all that he could, but “the powers that be” (i.e., the “office of Fred”) gave a rather cold-hearted response: We have a schedule and, by Jiminy, we are going to keep it.
Here are just some of the repercussions of failing to provide running water at the sites:
- No drinking water on days with temperatures reaching into the mid 80s.
- No vendors (e.g., hot dogs or snow balls).
- No functional rest rooms.
That last one is a real problem, especially for the younger (and older) visitors.
I will say that Mr. Weir, still undaunted, called Councilman Todd Crandell. (Had he called me first, I could have told him how that would end.) After three phone calls, there was still no response from the councilman.
Typical of Baltimore County “leadership” and its lack of transparency.
With that said, the Post did its homework by contacting county spokeswoman Ellen Kobler, as well as Mr. Klunk. The latter was “tied up” (as always) and referred all questions to Ms. Kobler.
You’ll forgive me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for an answer. I prefer to keep breathing, thank you.
One would think that the county might, at the very least, provide an answer as to why sticking to an arbitrary schedule is putting at risk the health of our children and seniors. One reader called and said if Kamenetz spent as much time on protecting his own citizens instead of illegals he might get more than one percent of the vote in the governors race.
I may have found a reason for the silence sent back in my direction, though. It seems that the county “leadership” has been rather busy talking about Mr. Kamenetz’s new “do” (as in “hairdo”).
Maybe his staff was trying to figure out what is underneath that “do.”
Just another hair-raising day in the land of county politics, where people’s lips are as sealed as the water valves.