By: Mark Kleinschmidt
Talking State Politics
We had a chance to hear from four members of the Anne Arundel County delegation to the General Assembly at our virtual Legislative Breakfast on January 6th. This included Senators Elfreth and Reilly along with Delegates Rogers and Kipke. We maintained a balance of Republicans and Democrats. A topic of great interest for the legislators and for the voters are the new maps for Congress and the new maps for the 188 members of the General Assembly. We have heard a lot about gerrymandering and the battle between Republicans and Democrats about drawing the new lines for their own political benefit. The current system heavily favors the political party with the majority in the General Assembly, which is the Democrats. Click Here to continue reading Mark’s State Summary.
Talking County Politics
As we start the new year it seems that it’s déjà vu all over again as we continue to debate the mask mandate. County Executive Pittman issued an Emergency Executive Order temporarily requiring masks to be worn for seven days. This was put in place due to the surge of COVID cases and would last Friday, January 7th. In an effort to continue the mask mandate County Council held an emergency session to consider extending the mandate till January 31st. To do this, a super majority of five out of seven votes would be required. The vote, four in favor and three against, went along party lines which underscores the deeper political division that has developed on County Council between the Republicans and Democrats. At this time, the Democrats have a four to three advantage. Click Here to continue reading Mark’s County Summary.
Talking Annapolis Politics
On the local level, Gavin Buckley is getting settled into his second term after a significant election victory where he got 73% of the vote. There was slight change on City Council as Fred Paone, the lone Republican, did not run for re-election and Alderman from Ward 2 and Karma O’Neil, a Democrat, was elected. This means there are no longer any Republicans on City Council. There was some reshuffling of committee chairmanships, most notably the Finance Committee, where long time chair Ross Arnett from Ward 8 was replaced by Elly Tierney, from Ward 1. Arnett has been very critical of the City’s budget. In fact, he did not support the last four budgets. The Finance Committee usually gets a lot of scrutiny since it has to deal with City finances. Click Here to continue reading Mark’s Annapolis Summary.