Voice of the People Goes Mute
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 21st January 2017

April 1, 2015 7:36 pm ET

Crandell no-shows Government Center hearings, turns back on supporters

Source: Voice of the People Goes Mute

Part 1

Do you remember that time just before the elections when the “new breed” spoke about representing the voters and being voices for the people?

If you do, then you apparently have an advantage over some of those who got into office in November. And one in particular, who campaigned on change and representation, has fallen pretty far off the path of his campaign promises.

Eh, Mr. Crandell?

I can’t speak for the many supporters of Todd Crandell when he ran for county council. And I sure can’t look inside their minds and write about their feelings about a man they rested their hopes on in a matter that drove east side politics during the recent election. I can only tell you my thoughts and observations on what I have seen and heard since Mr. Crandell was elected as the 7th District Councilman.

And, folks, those thoughts aren’t pretty.

In a majority of my blogs, I prefer to lay the ground work for the information based upon facts rather than conjecture. To that end, this will be the first of a series of blogs on the subject. This first part will look at the factual side of Councilman Crandell’s actions regarding the Government Center, both during and after the campaign.

First, let me make it clear that the issue of the last election was a movement toward change, and the promise of an open and honest government that would truly represent the people. For too many years, we voters/taxpayers have been the victims of self-serving political agendas that fulfilled visions of power and grandeur for the pols.

This time around, the voters wanted their voices heard. They were tired of the lies and political rhetoric that always lead to more of the status quo. The voters wanted transparency and truthfulness. They wanted a “man of the people” to lead them—someone with the courage and fortitude to make substantive changes that could be experienced.

So, in that sense, it appears that Councilman Crandell is not what the voters expected.

Mr. Crandell’s message on his website partially reads as follows:

“While Economic Development, Job Creation, and Educational opportunities are of the highest priority, we are also here to serve. Our staff is proud to usher in a new era of citizen involvement and empowerment and is developing mechanisms for increased communication and accountability in areas of code enforcement, public works, and public safety. Please contact us with your ideas, concerns, or questions.”

Let’s start taking a look at some facts, shall we?

First, I have heard from numerous constituents who have attempted to contact the Councilman without success. (Blogger’s note: Don’t feel bad, folks. I can’t get answers either, unless you count the ones that are less than truthful.) But it’s not just the “common folk” who are being ignored by the Councilman—others who played leading roles in Mr. Crandell’s victory (at least as I see things) have been cast aside as well.

The website’s reference to “accountability” is something that bothers me, too. I’m willing to bet that the person who wrote that website text has no clue as to what that word means. Anyone who pays attention will know that part of the equation is missing.

And regarding the increased communication, my response is: “Yeah, sure!” Apparently, since I wrote a column that took issue with Mr. Crandell’s voting choices and the ramifications of his votes, I have been exiled.

How dare I tell the truth!

You see, for those who may have missed it, Mr. Crandell rubber stamped all of Mr. Kamenetz’s re-appointments, like Mr. Homan, Chief Johnson, and others.

And, when I inquired about it, here is what Councilman Crandell had to say to me:

“Buzz, I am sorry you are disappointed. But I was elected Councilman, not you. I was elected to make tough decisions and the votes on nominations were certainly that. I have concerns, and I have listened to the concerns of many others, but ultimately I have to work in cooperation with the administration. When the administration has erred, or is erring, I, and perhaps other Council members, will address the issue through legislation or by other means at our disposal. The two bills that passed unanimously on Monday night – the creation of the Animal Services Advisory Commission and the elimination of the re-marry penalty for widows of those who have fallen in the line of duty – are evidence of that.”

Like the waste of our tax dollars by Mr. Homan and the Chief forgets where he lives among others.

Mr. Crandell continued: “David Marks’ campaign contributed to our campaign. I am proud that he did. He wanted to have another Republican on the Council and believes in my abilities. This is not unlike other members of the Council and who contributed money to my opponent.”

Looking at the money part, nothing was unusual or illegal, but the way it was done was troubling to me. I am not a fan of things done “under the radar” of the State Finance Committee, meaning there is no record of the direct transaction.

Regarding the “He (Marks) wanted to have another Republican on the Council and believes in my abilities.” remark, that is a tad strange. Councilman Marks voted against Mr. Crandell and sided with Mr. Olszewski on the final Council vote about the GC, as well as voted against Mr. Crandell’s Rain Tax legislation. On the other side of that coin, Councilman Crandell has rubber-stamped all of Mr. Marks’ legislation, including the one that takes the public out of the decision making process involving development in downtown Towson.

I could never understand why Mr. Crandell chose Mr. Doug Anderson as his Senior Assistant. Mr. Anderson is a former member of the Marks campaign staff who hails from Glen Burnie but has visited Dundalk many times, according to his response to the Dundalk Eagle.

You connect the dots on that one.

In the next installment of this blog, I will take a look at the campaign rhetoric vs. the reality of representing the constituents of Dundalk. I will discuss what was stated by the Councilman during the campaign, as well as what has been accomplished up to this point.

Stay tuned, and strap yourselves in, folks. It is going to be a bumpy ride.

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