If you have an idea or a gripe or a question for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, you'll soon have the opportunity to discuss it in person over coffee.
Kamenetz Monday announced he plans a listening tour of sorts. The county executive is dubbing the tour "Coffee with Kevin."
The county executive plans on holding his first such meeting Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. at Bakery Express in Halethorpe.
"The county executive is out and about attending community meetings and fairs and parades so, obviously, he's interacting with people all the time," said Don Mohler, a spokesman and chief of staff to the county executive. "[Kamenetz] wanted to go out to an area and open it up to the public to talk unfiltered to him, sharing their ideas and concerns."
Mohler said the executive is also looking for ideas.
"There's a lot of creativity out there," Mohler said.
The idea of community forums featuring a Baltimore County executive is nothing new.
Former County Executive Jim Smith, Kamenetz's predecessor, campaigned on his holding monthly "Renaissance Roundtable" discussions in communities around the county.
It took Smith almost a year to get the meetings going. They were met with some initial praise from community leaders. It didn't take long though for some community groups to complain the programs were scripted. Attendees were frequently asked to pre-register and write their questions on cards, which were filtered and read by Smith's staff.
The monthly meetings were ultimately discontinued in Smith's first term.
Roger Hayden, who served as county executive from 1990-1994, also held similar meetings and opened his office for constituents to speak to him on an individual basis.
Mohler said Kamenetz did not take into account previous incarnations of these meetings when deciding on his own road show.
"This is really just a format the county executive is comfortable with," said Mohler, adding that the plan is to make the events as unscripted as possible.
There are also no promises on how long this might go on.
"We haven't locked ourselves into a number of events," Mohler said. "Assuming this goes well, we'll try to do this regularly in other areas."