Denials, Ego, Mistruths
The Sun documents more absurdity in the life and times of John Leopold….
In one story, Leopold goes out of his way to again deny that he is running for Governor:
Leopold said he is committed to seeking a second term as the county’s chief executive. A gubernatorial candidate in Hawaii in 1978, he said he is not setting his sights on higher office in Maryland.
All I can say is this: that for a guy who says he is committed to serving a second term (and God knows Anne Arundel County doesn’t need that), he sure is spending a lot of time denying that he is running for Governor in 2010…
(There is more below the fold)
Next, the Sun turns its attention to impact fees, particularly the fact that a consultant (as we have noted before) has suggested to Leopold that the county drastically raise the fees:
Relying on a study by a nationally known consultant, County Executive John R. Leopold is calling for substantial increases in the fees levied on developers — and, in the cases of homes, typically passed onto the buyers. The current flat rate of $4,904 for a single-family home would increase to $28,315 for a four-bedroom house and $39,257 for a home of five bedrooms or more, according to the study. The highest proposed residential fee would be for a condominium or apartment of four or more bedrooms: $53,322, or more than 12 times the current top rate of $4,274.
Leopold said his bill, which the council will introduce Tuesday, seeks to offset the full burden that new building — homes, hotels, hospitals, warehouses, nursing homes, offices, marinas and retail — places on roads, schools and public safety. The figures in the bill have not been finalized.
All of this seemed to be news to the County Council. It was the understanding of Councilmembers that Leopold’s office would work the with the Council on an impact fee bill, but instead dropped Leopold dropped his own bill on his own:
Councilman Ronald C. Dillon Jr. and Vitale said that the Leopold administration late last year had offered to work with the council to settle on fee amounts. But when council members asked for more information, Leopold pushed ahead with his legislation alone, they said.
“I was taken off-guard when the administration introduced the bill,” Dillon said. “Until then, I thought there was a desire to share information. Then things went awry.”
And Councilman Ed Middlebrooks fortunately comes out and states the obvious:
Other council members said Leopold sent down a bill knowing that it stands no chance of passage. They accused the county executive of using the bill as a political ploy in hopes of currying favor with anti-growth interests.
“I don’t think [Leopold] is being honest with the citizens. … It’s just politics,” said Councilman C. Edward Middlebrooks, a Severn Republican.
So there are a lot of notable, albeit unsurprising issues going on with Leopold. He continues to deny his ambition for higher office. He is back serving as the Lone Ranger, working on his own without trying to come to a reasonable compromise with Councilmembers on the issue (not saying that anybody should be raising such taxes). And Leopold is intentionally introducing legislation designed to give him political cover for the hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers that he took as donations in direct opposition to his campaign promises.
Once again, we have to come back to John Leopold and the issue of character. People have known that this is the kind of operator John Leopold is in his forty-years of public service, going back to his 1968 election to the Hawaii Board of Education. The fact that Leopold was able to be elected to the top post in our county is an unfortunate to good governance and the future of our county. And every couple of days we see another reason as to why Leopold’s election was bad for our party and bad for our county…