Public Bickering Continues In Annapolis

Crossposed on Annapolis Politics

Annapolis Mayor Ellen Moyer has been somewhat famously uncooperative when it comes to collaboration with other local jurisdictions. While Annapolis has sister cities in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Estonia, Canada, and Brazil— and a soon to be sister city in Englandwe have seen little cooperation with the county that surrounds us. Transportation, police, and fire are departments that could easily enjoy economies of scale savings, were they to be combined or partially merged.

Further complicating things, the Mayor is quite happy to nurture or destroy relationships by issuing press releases, although to be fair, she is not the only one that does this.

Most recently, the Mayor has been unsuccessful even to work with a quasi-governmental organization within the city limits: HACA. The Housing Authority’s director, Eric Brown, perceived that he had no recourse but to debate the mayor publicly, and offered a rebuttal in a letter to The Capital:

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In a recent radio address as well as a letter to the editor, the mayor
indicated that there is a disagreement between herself and the Housing Authority
and that I, as its executive director, declined to attend a meeting on public

I do not know the source of the disagreement she referred to. But on 1
p.m. on Sept. 11, at the mayor’s request, I met with the city attorney and the
chief of the Annapolis Police Department.

The meeting ended when the attendees agreed that there was no clarity
as to what was to be accomplished. It was further agreed that the city attorney
would take responsibility for consulting with the mayor and getting clarity on
what she expected the three of us to accomplish.

I have repeatedly attempted to get the mayor to chair a meeting
of myself, the police chief and the city attorney. Since July, I have asked the
mayor to put aside whatever animosities and disagreements she believes exist
between the Housing Authority and the city and chart a new direction based on
cooperation and dialogue.

To date, she has refused to convene such a meeting. The mayor is
missing a great opportunity to show true leadership and crate bold new
initiatives that we all can get behind and support.

It’s not in my general nature to engage in communication with others
through the media. But recent statements by the mayor grossly misrepresented
facts about me and the Housing Authority and should no longer go unchallenged.

I will continue to reach out to the mayor and truly hope that we can
find common ground. It is in the best interest of all to do so.

As we see more examples of the Mayor’s leadership style, there seems to be little cause for optimism. The mayor seems to be aloof or disinterested in tangible improvements to city life, yet shrewdly calculating in her image and perception of political performance. Hopefully we won’t have to wait until 2009 to witness the reverse.

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