George Harman: Unbought and unbossed [Letter]

September 11, 2014

I must say I found reporter Michael Dresser's perspective on the Baltimore County executive's race quite unbalanced ("Baltimore County executive race is financial mismatch," Aug. 26).

Mismatch, there most definitely is. And I believe the people of Baltimore County will without question be all the better as a result of it.

One may find truth in the description of "an increasingly Democratic-leaning county." However, the "power of incumbency" leaves County Executive Kevin Kamenetz standing alone to atone for his style of management in the eyes of Baltimore County voters.

The voters are by no means blinded by the Kamenentz-John A. Olzewski Sr. alliance of 2010 that delivered the east-side vote. They have been awakened by the backroom dealings that delivered the North Point Government Center to Vanguard Commercial Development at a loss to taxpayers of $6.7 million given the difference between the assessed value and actual price.

The people are no longer blinded by the "power of incumbency," which empowered Mr. Kamenetz to waive repayment of a $3.5 million dollar loan to campaign contributors Caves Valley Partners for the development of Towson City Center that was described by Sen. Jim Brochin as nothing more than "corporate welfare."

The people can certainly see the injustice of the Kamenetz administration's rejection of minority business owner Roland Campbell's bid — not once but twice — for the 301 Washington Avenue property and the constructing of a "sweetheart deal" with Caves Valley Partners for the same property.

Ultimately, Caves Valley will lease the property for 20 years, with an option to purchase it after two years. They will pay no property tax. The county will deduct the cost of demolition and environmental remediation from the rent along with discounting the rent paid from the actual purchase price through the closing date.

Oh, but the "power of incumbency!" At the end of the day it's not who you know, but who you owe.

I, George Harman, owe no one. My campaign slogan should be the beacon that balances the power and wealth of incumbency with what the people deserve: "The Best Government Money Cannot Buy."

In the end, Mr. Dresser could not have chosen a better word than "mismatch" in comparing my candidacy with that of the incumbent, Kevin Kamenetz. We have completely different styles of government in mind for the people. Mr. Kamenetz's government is bought and paid for by big money interests. Mine cannot be bought.

George Harman

The writer is the Republican candidate for Baltimore County executive.

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