April 22, 2014 5:57 pm ET
Name recognition is key to any race, whether D or R
As Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”
To that end, I say that a candidate that has name recognition, no matter what party he/she represents, has a darn good chance of getting elected.
With that in mind, let me introduce you to Brian Weir. I first met Brian Weir at an Eastfield/Standbrook Community Association, and he appeared reserved and amiable—so much so that I did not realize he was running for the 7th District Council slot left open by the departure of “Johnny O.”
Mr. Weir wasn’t pushy, which is good. What I found refreshing was his command of the facts concerning the hotly debated topic of the North Point Government Center.
After a bit of conversation on that topic, he mentioned that he was running for the council slot. Our subject matter quickly switched to what it will take to win.
I have my opinions (shocking, I know), but it’s the candidate that must decide his own path.
My policy is that, if someone reaches out to me, I will do my best to put his/her story “to print,” so to speak. It’s my passion, and I think I do it well.
With that said, here we go!
Typically, candidates give the standard political pitch:
“Hi, my name is Joe Candidate. I have lived here my whole life. My wife has lived here her whole life. My kids have lived here their whole lives.”
What does all of this tell us? The candidate is basically saying, “VOTE FOR ME BECAUSE I LIVED HERE MY WHOLE LIFE!”
Look, there are a lot of “life residents” of this area, but the percentage of them qualified for political office is rather slim.
However, that is not what I observed in Mr. Weir’s “Why I’m Running” agenda. Rather, he made some very interesting points that I found compelling.
It seems that Mr. Weir is very astute when it comes to the needs of his community, so much so that one of his issues may come to fruition. Allow me to share an issue that appeared in today’s section of the Baltimore Sun.
Mr. Weir wants to push for background checks for new hires of the Baltimore County Recs and Parks. He believes that the safety of our children comes first, and he noted that the county was one of only two in the state that do not require such a requirement.
Flash forward to the present—Councilwomen Cathy Bevins is attempting to introduce legislation requiring exactly what Brian was offering in his platform. I began to wonder if Brian Weir is psychic, but then I realized that he is just in tune with the needs of the citizens.
That’s a darn good quality, in my humble (or not so humble) opinion.
There are some that question the cost—most notably the County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz, who wants to delay a vote on the bill by saying it needs more study.
The county bean counters will be hard at work on this one because of basically two men.
Allow me to rant a bit here…
These men, Mr. Kamenetz—in cahoots with Fred Homan, have cost taxpayers millions upon millions of dollars through complete and total gaffes that are beyond comprehension (more about that later). Now, the County Executive wants to delay a bill to protect our children over cost?
GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
Another of Weir’s plans—one that I can relate to and think is the most effective thing a councilman can do in his district—is to be closely connected to his constituents and create an open dialogue allowing him to feel the pulse of the community.
Imagine that. No more “behind closed doors” mentality.
Mr. Weir also pledges not to make false promises like some other guests at the table who, between gulps of high-fat, low-truth taxpayer supplied goodies, keep burping the phrase: “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”
Well, that’s just peachy to say, but unless they have a bag of magic tricks that we don’t know about, jobs in this part of town are vanishing rapidly. Living wage jobs are becoming a thing of the past as the district has seen plenty of manufacturing jobs disappear.
Mr. Weir thinks it’s a disservice to make promises you can’t keep without the proper infrastructure in place to creative those jobs. He also feels betrayed since he helped others get elected on promises that weren’t kept.
Some people may ask “Why now?” regarding Weir’s bid for the seat at the big table where a microphone replaces a fork and there are always six dinner guests.
The short answer is that he hadn’t stepped up earlier due to a series of family and personal tragedies.
Mr. Weir has overcome serious personal health issues, as well as suffering the loss of his beloved son, Joshua, who died of brain cancer. In addition, Mr. Weir lost his wife in 2003 after her long battle with heart issues.
Anyone who can come back strong from those situations gets full marks in my book.
Speaking of my book, it would rank Mr. Weir as a solid contender for the race. After hearing him speak at the Government Center meeting, I can assure you that he has the skills that some at the political table lack: he is well-spoken and knowledgeable.
To use one more analogy, the voters are now in the kitchen trying to decide upon a new menu. In my opinion, serving up Brian Weir might appeal to some very delicate taste buds.
(OK, now I’m hungry … for change.)