Annapolis council should consider term limits

Congratulations to Fred Paone and Ross Arnett, the two incumbent Annapolis aldermen who had to wait a week to find out if their constituents wanted them to serve another term. One is a Republican and one a Democrat. Both are City Council veterans who can look at their combined 100-vote margin of victory as confirmation of public confidence. The aldermen now are the perfect, bipartisan, experienced team to launch a discussion of term limits for the council. (Capital)

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Dan Rodricks: 'What do we do to get our city back?'

Few things wound the soul of a city like the death of a public servant, a police officer or firefighter, and especially a police officer doing what Detective Sean Suiter was doing the other day when he was killed — trying to solve a homicide in a city riddled with violence. Baltimore has so many scars now, and so many inflicted in just the last three years: the shooting death of little McKenzie Elliott in Waverly in 2014, the rioting of April 2015, the opioid epidemic, the escalation of gun madness and the insane per-capita rate of killing, with 300-plus homicides per year. Now, the death of a detective, married with five children. God help us. (Balt. Sun)

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Politics of insult no way to build a party

American elections have produced enough bile to fill the Chesapeake Bay and enough lies and distortions to jam every shelf in the Library of Congress. But on the local level, gratuitous insults are shortsighted at best and counterproductive at worst. When voters actually know the candidates — in many cases having met them face-to-face on their doorsteps — crude attempts at insults or caricature backfire. They signal that, first, either you don’t have a serious case to make or are not confident it will stick, and, second, you think the electorate is best addressed as a bunch of children. Voters tend to resent this. (Capital)

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Steuart Pittman: Time to consider 'leaps and bounds' growth Schuh talks about

I received a campaign fundraising letter in the mail recently from County Executive Steve Schuh. It said, "Anne Arundel County is growing by leaps and bounds. We have a diverse economic base that will fuel our growth going forward, as long as we continue with a pro-growth agenda." That letter came during the week Schuh's staff was promoting a $36 million tax break for the casino's hotel and conference center, and opposing a $2,500 property tax credit that would encourage our public safety officers to live in the county. The county executive is right that we have a diverse economic base that is fueling growth. Why would anybody believe developers need taxpayer-funded gifts to lure them to put stakes in our ground? (Capital)

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Pay as you throw model is trash collection method of Carroll's 'FuTuRe'

Slow progress is still progress. Earlier this week, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to move a trash collection model that treats garbage like a metered utility to the public engagement phase. For years known as the pay-as-you-throw model, it has undergone a bit of rebranding and county officials are now calling it the Fair Trash Reduction program, or FuTuRe. Awkward acronyms aside, we’re glad to see the current board of commissioners continue to support this idea, or at least have an open mind about it. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Ocean City's dilemma is how to maximize tourism profit, ease burden on locals

Ocean City was a sleepy winter ghost town in the past. The resort may have just 7,000 year-round residents now, but it's a far cry from sleepy in the colder months. Maryland's only seaside resort swells to 300,000 or more on busy summer weekends, making it the state's second-largest municipality at times. And it's expanding the "season." It's a striking seasonal shift, raising the question: Has Ocean City maxed out? (Daily Times)

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November 17 // The enormous debt owed to slain Baltimore Police Det. Sean Suiter

A veteran Baltimore police officer who suffered a gunshot wound to the head while on duty Wednesday in a notoriously dangerous neighborhood in West Baltimore just a block or so north of the U.S. 40 canyon on Bennett Place in Harlem Park died early Thursday afternoon. A violence-torn city’s collective hearts and prayers go out to his family, to his friends and colleagues. Baltimore owes Sean Suiter a debt that can’t be repaid. The married father of five gave his life to make this city a better place for the rest of us. (Balt. Sun)

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A checkup for school spending

The county school system plans to take a microscope to the way its money has been spent and allocated, going back to 2010. A so-called forensic budget audit is expected to zero in on why the system’s line item for employee health and dental coverage is now $23 million in the red and whether grant funds have been properly budgeted. The audit needs to be embraced and its findings, and recommended remedies, shared publicly. Having the school system bring in an outside, independent auditor makes the process cleaner. (Ho. Co. Times)

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