Candidates facing growing tension in waterfront districts

Residential vs. industrial called key in 1st and 10th

Election 2004

October 29, 2004|By Doug Donovan | Doug Donovan,SUN STAFF

The 1st and 10th City Council districts have one thing in common: water.

Although neither district encompasses all of the Inner Harbor and its tourist-related infrastructure, these waterfront districts are facing mounting tension between residential and industrial development. Besides the issues of crime and schools, for which every candidate promises improvement, these districts have another common challenge. Both waterfront areas are struggling to strike a balance between chic urban renewal and the decades-old culture of blue-collar neighborhoods.

The 1st District begins at the Inner Harbor's easternmost shore. Its new council member -- none of the office-seekers are on the council -- will represent residents from some of the city's best-known neighborhoods: Little Italy, Fells Point and Canton. It also reaches north to cover Patterson Park and nearly all of the industrial waterfront to the south, stretching to the county line. Developer and banker Edwin F. Hale Sr. has plans to build a $100 million development of condominiums and restaurants at Boston and Clinton streets.

The 10th District, meanwhile, covers all of South Baltimore -- down to the Key Bridge. It marries portions of Federal Hill with the blue-collar neighborhoods of Westport, Morrell Park, Brooklyn and Cherry Hill. It also includes the industrial areas of Hawkins Point and Curtis Bay. One of district's biggest developments is Silo Point, a $200 million mixed-use development in Locust Point that includes the conversion of the 290-foot grain elevator that overlooks the harbor. Democrat Edward L. Reisinger is a current council member, and he faces Republican Joe Collins Jr.

District 1

Name: James B. Kraft, 55

Party: Democrat.

Occupation: Lawyer.

Education: Towson State University; University of Baltimore School of Law.

Public service: Chairman of the 46th District Democratic Central Committee; served as a replacement state senator from Sept. 19 last year to Jan. 8; Democratic State Central Committee, 1982-1990 and 1998-present.

Issue: "The most important challenge is to maintain the unique character of our historic neighborhoods while balancing the need for responsible growth."

Web site:

Name: Roberto L. Marsili, 73

Party: Republican.

Occupation: Semi-retired, Marsili Construction Co. Inc., former stone mason.

Education: Attended St. Leo's School and Maryland Institute of Architecture.

Public service: Korean War veteran; president of Little Italy Community Organization.

Issue: "We're overtaxed; we should be getting tax breaks if the mayor wants to attract people into the city." Marsili wants to root out corruption and government waste.

Web site: None.

Name: Matt Clark, 35

Party: Green.

Occupation: Woodworker, Mark Supik & Co.

Education: Attended high school.

Public service: Former president of Upper Fells Point Improvement Association; currently on Friends of Patterson Park board of directors.

Issue: "Putting government back in the hands of the people. The Democratic Party is overly indebted to businesses in general." Clark has called for a moratorium on waterfront development and promises to work toward drug treatment without waiting lists.

Web site:

District 10

Name: Edward L. Reisinger, 54

Party: Democrat.

Occupation: Full-time city councilman.

Education: Attended Southern High School; earned a GED.

Public service: Appointed to council in 1990; lost election in 1991; elected in 1995.

Issue: Development and public schools. "What we can do to assure more accountability of the schools is to have more periodic hearings with school officials."

Web site: None.

Name: Joe Collins Jr, 35

Party: Republican.

Occupation: Co-owner of Cross Street Automotive and Tire Inc.

Education: Mount St. Joseph High School, Towson State University.

Public service: Member of Key Highway Community Association, Concerned Citizens for a Better Brooklyn, Fort McHenry Business Association and South Baltimore Business Association.

Issue: "The district has been in a 10-year decline since Reisinger has been involved. It's in constant decay, ridden with drugs and crime, and it needs to stop."

Web site: None.

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