Baltimore’s vetting process needs vetting

Baltimore has many problems that are tough to solve. What should not be so difficult is hiring the right people to address these problems. (Daily Record)

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May 14 // Laslo Boyd: Sights and Sounds from a Funeral

“We shouldn’t be here.” “This shouldn’t be happening.” That  message was voiced by all the speakers at the funeral last Friday for Kevin Kamenetz.  It had to be the thought going through the mind of everyone at the service as well. Kamenetz, the Baltimore County Executive and candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor, died suddenly at age 60 the day before. I’m sure that all the people who received the early morning news of his passing couldn’t quite comprehend it.  There must be a mistake. That can’t possibly be. (fromacertainpointofview)

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Barry Rascovar: Kevin Kamenetz -- What Might Have Been

If Kevin Kamenetz had received the same outpouring of respect, admiration and gratitude in life as he did in death, his political future might have been limitless. Kamentz died too young, at 60, last Thursday from a massive coronary blockage. The Baltimore County Executive exhausted himself trying to run the county while also running for governor. His political colleagues heaped immense praise on Kevin, as most people called him, for being on top of issues, for dedicating his life to public service and for making Baltimore County government function better. Had he received that level of recognition for his accomplishments during his run for governor, Kamenetz might have been far ahead in the Democratic primary. (politicalmaryland)

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Another blow to the Pugh administration

Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa’s admission that he failed to file his federal or state taxes for three years raises a multitude of questions that his explanation — failing to properly prioritize his personal affairs — doesn’t come close to answering. Before we can assess his fitness to serve as the city’s top cop, we need to know a lot more about how this problem got to the point at which federal prosecutors brought criminal charges against him, leading the mayor to suspend him Friday with pay pending a resolution of the case, and about why he has not been able to resolve the issue already. (Balt. Sun)

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Dan Rodricks: Kevin Kamenetz, the pragmatic progressive

In the spring of 2015, a few weeks after the Freddie Gray fires and looting that sent the Maryland National Guard to West Baltimore, I took the No. 8 bus to Towson for a talk with Kevin Kamenetz about the city’s troubles. I was surprised and encouraged by what I heard. I had considered Kamenetz to be a classic, middle-of-the-cul-de-sac suburban Democrat, more cautious about policy than he had to be. Shortly after he became Baltimore County executive in 2011, he had scoffed at the idea of the more affluent county supporting its namesake city in any way. (Balt. Sun)

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Endangered pedestrians

In Ocean City, preparations for the coming summer season are in high gear. There are the new solar-powered parking kiosks, a bus locator app (available in both Apple and Android, naturally) and a new Hyatt Place hotel on the boardwalk that’s expected to open in mid-July. But the most striking change of all is gradually rising in the center of town — a median fence in the middle of Coastal Highway extending 23 blocks from 39th to 62nd streets. That fence isn’t there to be decorative, it’s there to prevent jaywalking and is part of a $7 million project to enhance pedestrian safety. (Balt. Sun)

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Adam DeMarco: De Sousa should resign

With the recent revelation of Baltimore City Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa’s failure to file his federal tax returns for the years of 2013, 2014, and 2015, I am joining a growing list of officials and citizens alike and demand Commissioner De Sousa’s immediate suspension and resignation (“Baltimore police chief De Sousa suspended amid federal tax charges, as his lawyers criticize prosecutors,” May 11). Commissioner De Sousa’s personal failure to live up to the most basic civic responsibility is not only a lack of judgment and an act of gross negligence, but more importantly it depletes his credibility as the leader of our city’s police department. (Balt. Sun)

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Politicians and unpaid taxes

 

It is a big list. Hundreds of people in Frederick County owed more than $1.53 million in county property taxes when the county published its tax sale notice in The News-Post on April 22. But only two of those people ended up with their names and faces on the front page of the paper: County Councilman Tony Chmelik and County Councilman Kirby Delauter. If it isn’t the first rule for political candidates, it is certainly in the top five: Pay your taxes, and pay them on time. (News-Post)

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