O'Malley, governor pledge stronger ties

Glendening dedicates funding for city roads, six more `hot spots'

October 05, 1999|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Making their second joint appearance in five days, Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Democratic mayoral nominee Martin J. O'Malley toured a revitalized Cherry Hill shopping center yesterday and pledged to strengthen city and state ties.

Glendening dedicated $1 million in state money to add six "hot spots" in Baltimore to a crime-fighting effort in city neighborhoods. The governor said the state will also pay $5 million to improve roads around the former Procter & Gamble Co. plant being redeveloped in Locust Point.

During the past four years, Glendening's relationship with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has soured. Schmoke, who will step down in December after 12 years in office, accused Glendening of reneging on promises to allow slot machines to fund education, and campaigned against the incumbent governor in last year's primary election.

But Glendening's appearances with O'Malley, who won the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, is giving city activists hope that Baltimore and Annapolis relations will improve.

"When we see them together here in this community, it's very uplifting to us," said Sister Loretta Rosendale of Catholic Charities, who works with Head Start groups throughout the city. "And it's very hopeful to the future of the city."

O'Malley faces a Nov. 2 general election against Republican mayoral nominee David F. Tufaro. Tufaro, however, has pointed to Glendening's recent visits -- including an O'Malley $1,000-a-ticket fund-raiser on Thursday in Little Italy -- as an indication that O'Malley is not the "change and reform" candidate he pledges to be.

"It reflects that O'Malley is tied to the establishment and that we're not going to see the dramatic changes necessary to turn this [city] around," Tufaro said.

Yesterday appeared to be the first day that O'Malley officially campaigned for the general election. Without naming Tufaro, O'Malley criticized the Republican Party for bashing government programs.

Glendening and O'Malley spoke at the Cherry Hill Town Center on Cherry Hill Road, which went through a $5.5-million renovation over the past two years, in part with state funding. The state gave $84,000 to open a Dunkin' Donuts at the site. The store is a partnership of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD), Catholic Charities and the nearby St. Veronica's Church. A parishioner operates the store.

Glendening and O'Malley met with preschoolers from the St. Veronica's Head Start program in the new Enoch Pratt Free Library branch at the center while the Cherry Hill Hot Spots Steel Drum Band, with St. Veronica's students, played their versions of "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art."

O'Malley pointed to the activity as an example of how government can make a difference in improving the lives of city residents.

"I don't know if the Republicans can match this," O'Malley said, glancing around at all the activity. "I bought the governor a cup of coffee and a doughnut for $1.25 this morning and we got a million dollars for `hot spots.' "

The state HotSpots program was initiated in 1997 by Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Thirty-six communities in the state shared $10.5 million to be used for extra state support in crime-fighting.

The state recently announced $3.5 million more for the program, doubling the number of spots throughout the state and adding several Baltimore communities: Highland/Highlandtown, Washington Village/Pigtown, Harlem Park/Lafayette Square, Govans, East Baltimore Midway/Barclay and Coldstream/Homestead/Montebello.

The Locust Point road improvements will aid the revitalization of the 15-acre former Procter and Gamble site at 1422 Nicholson St., which is undergoing a $53 million redevelopment by Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse.

"This is about a true team effort," Glendening said. "This is about a partnership."

O'Malley agreed.

"We should do this more often," O'Malley said to Glendening at one point. "What are you doing tomorrow morning, governor?"

Pub Date: 10/05/99

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