In the long run we need to move our city to a fairer election system. For one opinion on how to do this, read an op-ed by my friend Tracy Gosson and her republican friend Richard J. Cross.
Until that happens, I decided to vote for Otis this week for a few reasons:
- Otis' property tax reduction plan is workable. Solving the size of our tax base is a critical step in the success of our city. This can be funded a number of ways. City government is still staffed for a population that was 30,000 greater a decade ago.
- Stephanie Rawlings Blake has blocked the release of police and budget data for 15 days prior to the election. There was an 80% increase in police overtime last year and nobody at her office over the last 10 days will answer a Baltimore Sun reporter's questions. "Police overtime data stats I've obtained from source show 80 percent increase from FY 2010 to FY 2011." http://twitter.com/#!/justin_fenton The press has decreasing power as the media industry changes. It is critical that our elected representatives are responsive to citizen and media requests for systems we fund. How is withholding this information for about 15 days prior to an election less destructive to our society than perjury?
- The incumbent owes too many favors into the world of big developers. Lots of shady contributions have occured. See this Baltimore Brew article and Baltileaks crowd sourced data document on her funding. It's too bad the Baltimore Sun can't fund investigative reporting like this.
- I have a few friends that support and have spent a lot of time with Otis. They have no vested interest in Otis being elected other than improving the value of the city and their homes.
- Just out of curiosity, I examined one of the names on Baltileaks' crowd sourced funding document. It just so happens that the one person I looked at, Jennifer McComas, owner of Ryleigh's Oyster Bar, donated $1,000 to the incumbent's campaign 1 month prior to her bar's liquor license termination hearing. Coincidence? I think not. I'm not sure what impact the mayor has over these hearings, but this certainly doesn't look good considering Jennifer lives in the county and has no obvious vested interested in the city other than her expiring liquor license.