Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Maryland Unemployment Tax To Increase By 50%

HERE is the letter explaining the increase to employers.

HERE is an Associated Press article saying how terrible the increase it, including a reference to local businessman (and friend of this blog) Chuck Ferrar.

As usual, I was ahead of the curve on this issue--not because I'm a good blogger--but because I own a business that will be heavily affected by this ridiculous increase.  I've been circulating a letter to whoever will listen for a few weeks, now, and now I'll share it with you.

--------

November 10, 2009

To Governor O’Malley, Legislators, and Whom It May Concern:

The purpose of this letter is to urge you to consider much-needed changes to unemployment laws in the state of Maryland. Specifically, I would like to express my anger at the outrageous shift in the rate tables for the upcoming fiscal year, and to outline the need for special consideration for seasonal businesses.

I am a lifelong Maryland resident and graduate of this state’s flagship University. In 2002, I started Gill Grilling Company to provide daily meal service to Fraternities and Sororities at the University of Maryland. Through hard work and sacrifice, a simple promise to provide food to a student who had none has turned into a thriving business. Gill Grilling Company has created literally hundreds of jobs in the seven and a half years we’ve been in business, and we currently employ 20 employees on a full-time basis—offering benefits rarely found in the hospitality industry: daytime hours, paid holidays off, paid vacation, supplemental insurance, and retirement IRA plans. Our efforts to provide value to the market and conduct business in a responsible manner were rewarded by the Small Business Administration, which awarded this company the distinction of “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” for 2003.

One problem with our business is its seasonal nature. Much like a teacher’s schedule, we only work during the typical “semester” time-frames during which normal classes are in session. During our lengthy breaks, our employees collect unemployment, causing our company to always be assigned the maximum unemployment rate allowed by law.

Currently that maximum rate is set at 9.0%, and this year-to-date my company has paid $16,935.37 to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. I recently received a notice that the maximum rate will be increasing to 13.5%. Much like the change in sales tax from 5% to 6% was not a 1% increase but rather a 20% increase, this increase in unemployment rates represents a 50% increase in taxation on businesses like mine. If we were to increase the cost to our customers by 50%, we’d be run out of business. The fact that the state of Maryland is willing to impose such an increased burden is appalling, and shows politicians’ ignorance of this fact: my company creates jobs. The private sector creates jobs. The $30,000 I will pay in unemployment taxes next year could be used to create jobs; to provide a valuable service; and to further increase the income tax base in our great state. The message to businesses is clear: the state of Maryland doesn’t understand the benefit its businesses provide, and is unconcerned with the burdens these policies impose.

Outside of the overall increase in rates, this company’s particular situation emphasizes the need for unemployment reform with regards to seasonal employers. Let me say that I understand the need for unemployment insurance and I support the philosophy in many situations. There will always be unexpected job loss due to illness, layoff, misfortune, and the like. The existence of unemployment insurance provides a needed buffer to families faced with such a situation, and I think that’s a great thing. However, unemployment loss should serve the interests of those who experience unexpected loss of employment. For companies like this one, employees claim unemployment benefits not because of a sudden event, but rather in the form of repeating conscious choices not to look for supplemental employment because they know they can get money without working. This practice has to stop.

I have spoken at length with officials from the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, and have been assured that the current regulations offer no relief to seasonal businesses. Several of my employees have chosen a year-round pay structure, but are still able to collect unemployment due to a clause that allows unemployment benefits to employees when physical work time is reduced, even if the employee is getting paid.

During my research of this issue, I came across the website for the Department of Labor of the state of Kansas. They advise “Unemployment insurance cannot solve the problem of joblessness. Only more jobs can reduce unemployment”. I will be a part of the solution. I will create more jobs. I just need your help to make it happen.

Thank you for your consideration and support.

Sincerely,
Brian Gill

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mayor Cohen Has A Blog!

This is gonna be great!  http://www.mayorcohen.com/ is the official blog of Josh Cohen.

Come to think of it, there are many reasons why this will not be great:

-It will inspire more people to become "blog stalkers", sucking otherwise productive people out of the private sector.

-It is much harder to take someone's words out of context and use it against them when the entire context exists in print for everyone to see.

-There are more blogs to read each day, reducing the number of people viewing this blog and the amount of time each person who does visit can spend here.

What I would love to see is an official Twitter page where Josh tweets his activities at several points during the day.  "Visited a sister city today", "My pen ran out of ink while signing the union contract", "Stressed out cuz expenditures exceed revenues".  Technology at work.

Update: I can't believe it.

The Future Of Democrat Leadership

Normally I avoid driving home in rush hour traffic on Fridays, but yesterday I found myself unavoidably stuck in agonizing traffic, so I decided to double up on the agony and ponder the future of the local Democrat party.

Here's where we find ourselves.  A former Democrat county councilman is Mayor, creating a vacancy in the County Council since the city elections are offset.  By law, the county council itself can decide on who fills the vacancy.

The spot must be filled with another Democrat, and there appear to be 4 leading candidates: sitting Ward 3 Alderman Classie Hoyle, sitting Ward 4 Alderman Sheila Finlayson, county board of appeals member William Moulden and former Mayoral candidate Trudy McFall.

Fortunately for you, rush hour traffic on a Friday simulates the experience of psychotropic drugs, allowing me to think like a Democrat, and I'm happy to report that I'm now confident I can predict who will be the next county councilman from the 6th disctrict.

It will be Classie Hoyle, and here's why.  The Republican majority on the council will not want a Democrat that would run a strong race in 2010.  Of all the candidates, Hoyle would likely best satisfy that requirement since she already lost a county council race for this seat and she was on the wrong side of a nasty issue that came up during the election.

The real genius of this prediction is how everything plays out after Hoyle's appointment.  I envision the Democrat bosses sitting in their gardens sipping Perrier and zinfandel, tickled that the Republican plan crafted in a smoke-filled back room will actually bring about exactly what the Dems want!

Hoyle's appointment to the county council only 14 days after being sworn in for another term as an Alderman leaves a vacancy on the city council for Ward 3.  There would have to be a special election, which is not as good as an appointment by the central committee, but not to worry--it appears to be impossible for a non-Democrat to win in Ward 3.  Guess which Democrat Cohen Transition Co-Chair and Primary Election Winner lives in Ward 3???  You got it.  With residency requirements rendered irrelevant and financial troubles addressed, Zina Pierre wins the Ward 3 seat.

Moving right along, the only direction for Cohen is up, up, up!  The bosses expect a victory from State Senator Astle over E.R. doctor and overall handsome fella Ron Elfenbein.  Little do the voters know, it will be Astle's last election.  Cohen won't want to run an actual campaign in District 30 because of the pesky Republican voters in Arnold and Edgewater.  Too risky!  Remember, we* need a sure thing.  So, Astle resigns in 2013, creating a much more direct route for the start of the Senator Cohen dynasty.  And wouldn't you know, Pierre will have completed 3.9 years of paying her dues as an Alderman, ready to receive full machine support for her run for Mayor.

(*The use of "we" and other stylistic writing in this post does not represent my personal wishes or beliefs, but rather is an attempt to put you, the reader, in the mindset of a Democrat strategist trying to ensure the burial of Republicans for 40 years.)

Ironically, the person who this works out worst for is Hoyle, who may or may not win reelection in 2010, and is left out of the long term plans.

If you find this post difficult to follow, just read it while in traffic on the Beltway and I assure you everything will be perfectly clear.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

City of Annapolis Interactive Crime Map

I don't know if this is new, but the press release says its new, and I haven't seen it before.  So there.

Interactive Crime Map

Cohen Transition Team

I envision the transition team for Josh being more a formality considering how easy the transition is for a person of his ideology and particular city experience.  Does someone with such steadfast views and experience with running city government need people to tell him about running city government?  HERE are the people who will do just that.

It's interesting to think about Josh's motive for selecting each of these people, and each person's motive for accepting the offer, especially for the following people:

Zina Pierre (co chair)
Greg Stiverson (co chair)
Reza Jafari (Cohen's fundraising chair)
Carl Snowden (newly appointed to HACA)
Dick Franyo (Boatyard, Sailing HOF)
Jeremy Parks (developer, Park Place)
David Prosten (Sierra Club, which endorsed Josh)
Chris Trumbauer (Cohen's treasurer)
Sandy Cohen (1 guess)

There are plenty of other people, probably close to 100 in total.  It will be interesting to see if these people are involved just for their expertise, or as a courtesy to candidates involved in the election, OR if this is the first step in finding these people paid jobs with the city.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eric Hartley re: Hoyle's Handling of "The Flyer"

LINK.

Hoyle's about-face

Posted: November 10, 12:43 pm | (permalink) | (1 comments)

There's a reason Alderwoman Classie Hoyle's about-face on the racist, homophobic attacks against her political opponent seemed sudden: It was utterly insincere.

At last night's Annapolis City Council meeting, Hoyle introduced a resolution condemning attack fliers against Scott Bowling and calling for an investigation by prosecutors.

Before the election, when asked about the attacks, she either didn't return calls or refused to condemn them, simply saying she hadn't seen the flier and had nothing to do with it.

Later -- conveniently, after winning the election over Bowling -- she issued a statement calling the attacks "repugnant and offensive" and saying, "I absolutely reject the actions of any individual or group that circulated it."

A sincere change of heart? Apparently not. Last night, Stewart got Hoyle's attention as she walked past the press table on her way to her seat and asked her about the flier.

Hoyle said she had only seen it "on the computer." She said she had asked a number of people and didn't believe the print edition, so to speak, it was actually distributed in the city at all. I asked why someone would go to the trouble to make it and not distribute it.

"I think it came out of the other camp," Hoyle said with a smile, then walked to her seat.

Her resolution, however, says the flier (which said, among other things, "Keep us from Sin and Sexual Assault. Bowling will be danger to us all and our children - He is WHITE & GAY = SIN") was distributed around the city.

Later in the meeting, Hoyle said she had not heard about the flier until Election Night, which is a little hard to believe, since just about everyone else in the city who follows politics was buzzing about it. Hoyle publicly pledged to donate $500 out of her own pocket to a reward fund to find the person responsible.

Dave Miller, Bowling's partner, spoke during the public comment portion of the council meeting and called Hoyle's after-the-fact condemnation -- when she had already perhaps benefited from the noxious attacks by winning re-election -- "grandstanding."

That sounds about right.

-Eric Hartley

City Council Meeting, 11/9

Let’s cut to the chase. It’s hot as shit in here because infinity people showed up to the city council meeting. They came for the Energy Park work session, and decided to stay for what promises to be an “energy” filled portion of the ‘public testimony’ portion of this ‘not a public hearing’ meeting.

7:51

A city employee won an award for saving the city money, and was entitled to 10% of his savings in the form of a savings bond, which is like working for years to save the animals and getting paid in a fur coat.

7:52

Committee reports are starting, which are meaningless, so let me say this. It’s good to be back. Back in the private sector, thriving, an astute observer and watchdog for the people. I know many of you were anticipating reading these thoughts as they come to me, but city internet access being what it is, you have been left totally disappointed. And if you are looking for even more disappointment, I invite you to examine the city hall PA system, which I liken to a cell phone conversation with your hand over your mouth in the middle of a hurricane.

Before we get started, for your reference, here is the flyer everyone is about to talk about.

7:55

The meeting theoretically started 25 minutes ago, and nothing has been accomplished. But don’t worry!! Here comes the public to speak. First up, Zina Pierre!

Zina: “I support Hoyle’s hate crime legislation”.

Me: “That bill (which is not even on the agenda) is a load…a day late and a dollar short as they say. Or where the you know what was Hoyle BEFORE the election when this came out, as they also say”.

Zina: “I support Carl Snowden”.

Another lady: advocates the investigation of the Bowling/Hoyle flyer.

Karen Jennings: Green party condemns flyer. “Annapolis was already a gay-unfriendly city”.

Cynthia Carter: against the fees charged for the new recreation center. “I haven’t seen the flyer but I heard about it and I support Hoyle in her condemnation of it.”

8:01

For the record, I would bet several thousand dollars that somebody running for city office in the most recent election knew about “the flyer” before it went out.

8:02

Cliff Myers: “I’m almost 52, and there comes a point in one’s life where you can’t parse words. What happened in the city was pretty ugly, morally repugnant, and abhorrent.” Flyer caused “irreparable harm”. It’s time to align elections with county and state. 25% turnout = it ain’t working. Partisan elections are useful.

Mayor: “Happy birthday”

Cordle: “I’m contemplating legislation to shorten this (upcoming council) term to 3 years”.

8:05

Dave Miller: said everything elegantly and perfectly about the flyer and the council’s lack of action, especially from Classie. “I spoke with Classie Hoyle’s campaign manager the Friday before the election to tell her about the flyer. I find it reprehensible that Classie took no action on this despite knowledge of it, and gained advantage from it. I demand that Classie condemn this, deny all involvement, and help find the sources of funding and development. I call on Classie to resign her seat since she doesn’t have the moral fiber to deny this act.” The speech was like 4 times as long as that but I couldn’t keep up with the typing. Very frank, direct, and correct words.

After this heartfelt speech, most of which was directed at Classie, Classie turned to Finlayson and was laughing. Un-fucking believable.

8:11

Someone tell Sam he is not the only victim of this flyer.

8:13

Classie Hoyle: “My campaign manager did not relay this to me. I found out about the flyer when the results were rolling in on Tuesday night. I will contribute $500 to the reward fund tonight”.

8:14

Scott Bowling: (note to readers, he was the victim of the flyer): “I care about this city. I obviously was not elected, partly due to events that no Annapolitan should be proud of. This is not about losing an election, it’s far greater. My character and reputation were impugned. My name to whatever degree has been tarnished. My belief in civil discourse quite frankly has been shattered. As with most disappointments, opportunity often presents itself. Ward 3 is probably one of the most diverse wards in our city, but as you really go through the ward and observe, we still remain very divided, and that is very unfortunate. We are not divided by roads; the divisions go further. Since leadership has not come from this body (the council), we absolutely must change the level of discourse. We must end the divisiveness and the notion that character assassinations and attacks are part of the norm and the political process. We must end the ability of individuals and fictitious groups to put out materials without accountability, as they know the board of elections has no teeth and they (the groups) will never be held accountable. Our city holds a place in the country’s history—we can certainly do better than what we’ve seen in this election. I have filed requests with the state attorney general and US attorney asking for a complete investigation. As I’ve said, and many have said before me, the actions of this election are really unacceptable and degrading to our city and to our place in history. I am committed to providing the leadership and stamina to ensure that the antics of this election never occur again. Hate crimes have no place in our state or in our city, or anywhere. I am committed to ensuring as much as I can that the individuals responsible for the hateful and bigoted flyer are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This isn’t about Scott Bowling, because I tell you, I hope each and every one of you has read that flyer. I want to think about the silence that has prevailed up to tonight, because I bet if the names on the flyer were replaced with the names of other candidates, we would be talking about this a lot differently.”

8:22

Guy on crutches: I am here to support Snowden and his appointment to HACA.

Robert Eades: “Find out who put out this garbage.” Robert loudly supports Carl Snowden while concurrently taking a shot at Trudy McFall. “The community loves a person who could bring some fairty (sic) to public housing”. “Just like people are rallying around Scott, as they should, you should rally around the poor people in your wards and communities”. True.

8:28

Trudy McFall: “This has been a really ugly election filled with smears and illegal activities. There were no consequences and people were emboldened to the point until we get to what happened to Scott.” The antics were “cranked up” including what happened in signed emails from Democrat party officials. Trudy is recounting this. “Nobody inside the Democrat party did anything to stop it, investigate it, or do anything. What has come home to roost is illegal, hateful acts in the name of elections in this city”.

Mayor: “I would call on you and anybody involved in the hate blogs to step up and help”.

Mcfall: “excuse me….”

Mayor: “no excuse me, you had your 3 minutes!! You have been a part of these hate filled smears and attacks against me for years”

(holy shit!!)

Mayor: “your smears over the past years hurt my family and my grandchildren”

McFall: “my criticisms were always issue based”

Mayor: “never”

8:33

Pastor: anti-flyer.

Apparently R-71-09 (which is not on the agenda) is the resolution that condemns hate crimes.

The mayor looks exhausted from her argument with Trudy. For the record, Trudy won on speaker points*.

(*Speaker points were invented by my 11th grade speech teacher to give a chance of winning a debate to people with inferior arguments. I once lost a debate on speaker points, and was confused for several years as to why a fuel that was 95% gasoline and only 5% ethanol was a solution go global warming, which was the debate topic. However, since everyone is now selling these 10% ethanol blends, maybe speaker points are given to…the winner.)

8:39

I have never met Tony Spencer, but I believe his title is “Director of Things Taxpayers Do Not Want To Pay For In Tough Economic Times and/or Things Duplicated In Other Departments”. He seems nice though.

8:41

Kungel, KUNGEL…I’ve finally learned Arthur’s last name. Anyway, let me ignore his comments and talk about something else. I have announcement: I have adopted Maryland Ave. as my official economic area/neighborhood in Annapolis. It’s great. There’s a dance studio owned and operated by a Georgetown East Elementary School teacher—she’s there whenever she’s not teaching our children. There’s a cigar shop, a coffee house, and an Irish bar—3 establishments that would sustain my own survival for quite some time. There are jewelers for when you propose to your fiancĂ©e, furniture stores for when you guys get married, art galleries for when you and your wife want to class up the home—and that Irish bar for when your wife drives you crazy. The road is bricks, which is historic. You can see the Naval Academy at one end and the State house at the other—a perfect endorsement of Annapolis’ charm. The antiques stores and the funny gift shop give a good reprieve to what you find downtown. I love it! Support Maryland Ave!

8:47

Arthur was given more than his allotted time. People seem to be amused. Arthur always has interesting points but they only deal with city matters in the most abstract of ways, to put it gently. “At least he doesn’t talk about what’s on the agenda”, a VIP seated next to me remarked.

8:48

Nick Berry (Annapolis Democrat Central Committee Chair): “Vital that elections be honest and transparent. Slime against Bowling has no place. ADCC strongly supports full investigation of this travesty.”

David Prosten (Sierra Club): I didn’t hear what he had to say because (1) I was talking to someone else and (2) the PA system is terrible.

8:52

The temperature has cooled down by probably like 10 degrees. I’m quite comfortable right now, except for my left posterior, which is uncomfortable due to my wallet--which is not thick with money--but rather credit cards, symbolizing debt.

Zastrow Simms: “Carl Snowden has fought the good fight for citizens of HACA”.

Lady involved in an EOE lawsuit: I commend you for fighting for your rights. The lady mentioned Annapolis blogs!! Shout out! “Classie did not know”.

Sharon Kennedy (Historic Preservation Commission): supports concept of energy park.

8:58

What is this energy park??? Why was this not a campaign issue?? I know the campaign issues. This must be a “new issue”. Yikes. I’ll have to investigate.

8:59

Ooohh, we’re now in a public hearing for a “memorandum of understanding” with the energy park people (R-63-09).

Tony Evans: classic case of thinking “I’m acting globally”. I believe Tony just said he’d been to windmill parks in Pennsylvania and China! His point (I think) is that we are behind the curve in energy generation and this is a chance to step forward. Move quickly. Note: Tony ended his testimony 1 second before the buzzer went off, showing a high level of talent and earning himself 200 speaker points.

Alan Hyatt: I didn’t get all of Alan’s testimony but I imagine it started with some type of legal jargon and ended with Alan being $3700 richer than he was when he came here today. I strive for that type of career.

Minor Carter: “I’m here to talk about electricity, but I must warn you, I’m not encumbered by a great deal of knowledge on this issue.” “We don’t need another lawsuit so don’t screw it up.”

Not an Annapolis resident: energy park is good.

9:20 (nearly 2 hours after the theoretical start of the legislative meeting)

No legislation has been voted on. Tony Evans has informed me that what is happening is that the group which submitted a failed bid to operate the energy park is trying to get the council to reconsider.

9:20:30

Bathroom break.

9:31

Still hearing publicly about the energy park.

9:45

Classie Hoyle: “I’m sitting here wondering why, with 2 companies that have compiled so much talent to work on this project, why we have to make a choice”. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that after she said that, 50% of the room rolled their eyes and 2 people actually got up and left.

The Mayor then tried to explain to her whey 2 competing private companies might not be willing or able to collaborate.

9:53

Its seems that the losing bidder, “Seven Seas”, was actually the company the city would have preferred, but they failed to provide proof of financial backing in a timely manner, so the next best company was contacted. When they promptly proved their financial ability, they were awarded the right to develop the project. At least that’s what I gather from how these people are arguing with each other.

9:59

The winning bidders seem competent too. These real estate and venture capital guys are really smart.

10:05

On the 19th, the 2 parties are presenting to the city council. Classie just said “Madam Mayor, I had not anticipated a long meeting on that day, with it being the 100th anniversary of the NAACP”. Wow.

10:08

Finlayson just said something for the first time in the meeting, and it was an appropriate and useful comment. On a side note, I saw the honorable Alderwoman at a polling location on election day. She was dancing and swaying sort of effortlessly, much as I imagine someone would at a rave while under the influence of some hallucinogenic drug. I’M SURE SHE WASN’T ON DRUGS, so don’t try and get me in trouble for saying that. I contrasted her emotional appearance with my actual emotions, and I realized it must be the feeling of a politician running unopposed.

10:12

Incredibly, the parties are now talking about collaborating, making the people who rolled their eyes at Hoyle seem like jackasses.

10:19

Paone just said that the “father of solar energy” is here right now. Sam said it too, but I believe Fred.

10:35

I believe Kenny Kirby is almost as tall as Paone. But not as menacing. And he doesn’t have a fan club.

VOTING!!

Sam wants to move R-70-09 and R-71-09 to the front of the agenda but they haven’t even been introduced and nobody knows what they say. But, the council will vote on them anyway.

Paone just said “I for one don’t have a copy of those bills” and everyone told him don’t worry about it, just vote.

Finlayson just asked the Mayor if they can merge the bills. The mayor said “I suppose” then asked the city attorney. After giving his trademark deer/headlights routine, he said the fastest way to do it would be to merge the bill. The answer, of course, is you can do whatever you want. Just make a motion to do it, then you can vote on whether to merge it or not. Problem is, Israel is an expert on elections procedures, and he’s lecturing everybody on the intent of all these boards and processes, and now everyone forgot what they wanted to do, which was to merge 2 “phantom” bills that only exist on the desks and in the minds of the Aldermen (except Paone). Isn’t city government fun?

10:41

City government is fun.

10:41:30

R-70 (Classie’s bill) is passed on first reader. Goes to public hearing.

R-71 (Sam’s bill) is also passed on first reader.

O-20-09: Newsracks in the Historic District. (NEWSRACKS! WHO CARES). Apparently nobody cares, and the ordinance was POSTPONED.

R-31-09 is the resolution accompanying O-20 and that was also POSTPONED.

O-49-09: Boat Shows (leasing the 2015 rights to the same people who have always done it). PASSES 8-1 (Stankivic)

O-26-09: Open Space Zoning District: PASSES 9-0.

O-28-09: Billing for Emergency Medical Services: PASSES 9-0 I think.

O-33-09: Establishing Standard for Use of Overtime: FAILS (it wasn’t even seconded).

O-36-09: Display Requirements for Sale of Fertilizer: PASSES 9-0.

O-44-09: Authorizing Police to Use Tasers: PASSES 9-0.

R-49-09: Fine Schedule for Violating O-44: PASSES 9-0.

O-46-09: Concentration Limit on Housebarges: PASSES 9-0.

O-48-09: Notice of Hearings and Permitting Procedures for Port Wardens: PASSES 9-0.

O-57-09: Lease of City Dock for 2010 Race Across America: PASSES 8-0 (Cordle just left.)

O-59-09: Stormwater Management Standards Conforming with State Law: POSTPONED

R-61-09: Support for Continued Funding of the Choice Program: PASSES 7-0. (Cordle is def. gone for the night and Stankivic abstained).

R-65-09: Annexation Procedure: POSTPONED.

PASSED ON FIRST READER ONLY AND REFERRED TO COMMITTEE:

0-65-09: R2-NC Zoning District Uses

R-66-09: Tolling Zoning Approval Expiration Dates

R-67-09: Street Rights of Way in Mary’s Mew Subdivision

R-68-09: Authorizing the Mayor to Negotiate Short Term Leases With Existing or Prospective Market House Tenants.

R-69-09: Naming the Gorman St. Building after Mayor Moyer.

11:25

Alderman Stankivic voted “no” on the first reader for the Moyer naming bill and now the Mayor is being a little short with Julie regarding procedure on the Carl Snowden appointment. A little late night fun. Paone and Stankivic want an opinion from either the Attorney General or the State Ethics Commission regarding a possible conflict of interest regarding Mr. Snowden. The Mayor wants them to accept a letter from the city attorney and her assurance that she’s “had a conversation with the attorney general”. Carl Snowden IS APPOINTED TO HACA. No roll call was taken.

Adjournment: 11:32 PM.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Carl Snowden Appointed To HACA

....With ample persuasion from the Mayor and despite objections from several Aldermen.

Live Blog Emergency!

Ughhh...there still isn't internet at city hall and everybody who has wireless internet has it password protected! So, my thoughts will be live but you won't see them until after the meeting ends. I will work on this for next time.

Shooting

Shooting (Sunday, November 8, 2009, 1:38 AM) – Officers went to the 1100 block of Madison Street for the report of shots fired. One victim was found with a gunshot wound to the right leg. He was transported to shock trauma. Neighbors reported hearing the sounds of an altercation before hearing several shots. The investigation is continuing.


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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Whoops

With this post I've got to take care of some procedural issues.

First, I will make a triumphant post-election return to council meeting live blogging on Monday, bringing you all the emotion and fallout from Tuesday.

And second, I have to apologize for a post that has not been made yet.  I know that sounds weird, but here's what happened.  I figured out a way to blog from my "smart" phone, where I can compose an email on the phone, send the email, and have the email's subject be the blog title and the email's body be the actual blog post.  To test my capabilities of posting something I am viewing, I took a picture of my television and followed the blogging procedure on my "smart" phone, forgetting that my "smart" phone is not working correctly and is not sending any emails out.  So, if the phone smartly fixes itself while I'm not near my computer, you will see a meaningless picture of my television (I'm watching soccer), which I will delete later.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Finlayson and Cordle Want to Name City Building After Mayor Moyer

R-69-09

The bill lists the following evidence as to why Moyer should have a building named after her:

-first woman Mayor
-40 years of service, from First Lady to Alderman to Mayor
-founding GreenScape, Annapolis Conservancy, and "the City's numerous Street End Parks"
-completion of a fifteen-year backlog of capital projects, finishing each project during her administration, including the facilities located at 145 Gorman St

Now, I'm not saying some of this stuff doesn't matter.  The first woman Mayor in 300 years has gotta be worth something.  However, if this honor is bestowed upon the Mayor, here are some other awards and honors that could be gifted:

-The Einstein Medal, given to any person who figures out what a Street End Park is, or the Al Gore Internet Award, bestowed upon anybody giving the Mayor credit for inventing parks.

-The Ellen O. Moyer Ceremonial HVAC Trophy, given to the vehicle taking up the maximum amount of parking spaces downtown without patronizing any businesses near those parking spaces, and/or destroying a previously established business without a plan to encourage future business success.

-The Moyer MHPSRDFPA (Market House Police Station Racial Discrimination Firemen Pension Award), a joint prize awarded in collaboration with the Bar Association to the lawyer with the most billable hours in defense of lawsuits where the city is named as a defendant.

-The Ellen Loves German Heritage Award, given to anybody who wears socks with sandals in public. 

-The Facebook award, given to the social networker that accumulates the highest amount of non-reciprocating, resource consuming friends in the style of the Sister City Program.

-The Obama Award, pioneered by Cohen, Fox, and Cordle, given to any politician that mounts a platform of "change" from the previous politician.

-The Citizen Bravery Award, given to any citizen that fulfills their civic duty by testifying at city council in the face of condescension and dismissal of one's opinion.

-The Nepotism and Favoritism Agreement, more of a technical document that is included in the welcome packet for all new city employees.

-The 'That's Not My Job' Medal, given to a Mayor or Police chief when they respond to citizen concerns of violence by saying "You should start a neighborhood watch".

-The Welcome to the 21st Century Award, given to any Mayor who writes their own emails, flies in airplanes, or writes their own blog posts with more frequency than 1 time per year.

The Worst Thing From The Election


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Aldermanic Endorsements

Ward 1
Dick Israel.  Running unopposed, so this is easy.  Regardless of policy views, you can count on his knowledge and positions to be well researched and have reasoning.  Any rumbles of discontent for Israel running after promising to (possibly) leave after one term for health reasons have deferred to the respect due this incumbent alderman.

Ward 2
Fred Paone.  Also unopposed, but it wouldn't matter.  A solid legislator and independent thinker, Fred often makes funny comments that are printed here and increase the popularity of this blog, and he remains the only person with an official fan club.  Also, he stands 9 feet tall, a menacing sight.

Ward 3
Scott Bowling.  This is a 5 star special endorsement, a candidate offering a rare combination of dedication to the issues and community service, logic, and willingness to accept a $12,600 salary while in the prime of one's bill-paying life.

Ward 4
Sheila Finlayson.  I don't want to say "no endorsement", but it's likely I would have endorsed any candidate the Republicans would have put forward.  Since they/we didn't, here we are.

Ward 5
Jim Conley.  I've met Silverman (Conley's opponent) and he seems to be nice, but I support the tax cap and Conley is basing his whole campaign on that, which makes him at least 60% likely to vote for an actual tax cap bill if he's elected.

Ward 6
Greg Stiverson.  Another 5 star special.  Every time Greg writes about an issue, it's the most insightful and accurate position statement on whatever it is he's talking about.  Greg is always 3 steps further than anyone else when considering appropriate solutions to city problems.

Ward 7.
Jennifer Monteith.  I've met Jennifer once and believe her to be a human resources professional.  As we all know, 85% of the city's budget is on salaries, and whereas salaries are determined by union contracts, and whereas human resources professionals know about union contracts, let it be resolved that she share some tricks of the trade and save the city some money.

Ward 8. 
Ross Arnett.  Brave move on my part to break party lines on this one, but Arnett has broken party lines while on the council.  Plus he's an economist, which I would have been had I not decided to flip burgers for fraternity members.  His experience and work on the council-manager and budget are enough to outweigh the fact that he has a full time job and has been criticized for being slow to respond to citizen concerns.