Bromwell's 'Disappointment' Spurs Facebook Response From Marks

State Del. Eric Bromwell and Councilman David Marks trade comments over a vote on a county pension bill.

Del. Eric Bromwell and County Councilman David Marks aren't friends on Facebook and it appears they may never be after comments made on the social media website.

Bromwell, a Perry Hall Democrat and constituent of Marks, commented Wednesday afternoon on a vote made by Marks, a Perry Hall Republican, and the council on a bill that changes the appeals process on pension decisions for county employees.

"I am so proud of you Vicki Almond!! You are absolutely right to vote no, and I applaud your willingness to stand up for what is right. I am very disappointed that my own Councilman David Marks didn't do the same," Bromwell posted on his page.

"I wasn't trying to start a war," Bromwell said Wednesday night. "I'm a constituent, I was disappointed in the vote. It's what people do—post on Facebook."

Bromwell is also one of the 27 state legislators who signed a letter last week asking the council to delay a vote on the bill. The council passed the bill Tuesday night 6-1 with only Almond dissenting.

The post drew a fairly swift response from Marks.

"Instead of attacking me on Facebook, perhaps my Democratic delegate from Perry Hall could focus on stopping the higher taxes and bad bills pushed by the governor he twice supported. But that would take time away from his hard work designating a new state bird," Marks wrote.

"That's funny," Bromwell said after having the post read to him by a reporter.

Bromwell is a co-sponsor of a House bill that would make the raven the co-state bird along with the Baltimore Oriole. He is also a member of the House Health and Government Operations Committee, which held a hearing on the bill Wednesday.

But Bromwell said he's "voted against most tax increases while I've been down here. Including some fee increases his boss, Gov. [Robert] Ehrlich wanted when [Marks] was working in the Department of Transportation."

In the interest of full disclosure, a number of people sent me screen shots of Mark's comments on his Facebook page. Last year, after writing blog posts about concerns expressed by other councilmembers related to his voting patterns and a development attorney that was raising money for him, Marks de-friended me.

In an interview Wednesday night, Marks acknowledged the post and said he too was disappointed with Bromwell's public criticism.

"This just caught me by surprise," Marks said. "I bite my tongue and don't go after other elected officials generally."

Marks said he would have preferred that Bromwell bring his concerns to him directly.

"I pride myself on working with people regardless of party," said Marks, who does have a reputation on the council for working across party lines. Councilwoman Almond and Councilman Tom Quirk are considered to be two of his closest friends on the council.

But Marks also acknowledged that he did not go to the delegate before taking to Facebook with his reply.

Marks said he too was disappointed with votes taken in Annapolis.

"The County Council has asked the legislators in Annapolis to pass a school board bill," Marks said, referencing a bill that failed in the General Assembly for the seventh year.

At the end of the interview, Marks volunteered that he was taking the post down.

Let the healing begin.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Stark February 21, 2013 at 05:02 AM
JDStuts from a year ago: "Without a doubt Marks is going to be remembered as one of the better council members in the history of the county. He acts on behalf on his constituency which brings him into conflict with the rest of the pensioners, oops, I mean politicians he interacts with. Additionally, having decided to self term limit himself he is the only one who has the courage to act independently. Everyone one else just wants to stay on the gravy train - right KK? It's a neat little niche he's carved out. A citizen serving his fellows for a brief amount of time, committed to doing the best job possible and then returning to private life. Too bad the rest of the county executive arm can't do the same." Since Sears likes intrigue more than reporting good work, be sure to read David Marks good work on development. urls get rejected so put perry.hall.patch.articles in front of this: council-limits-development-in-263-perry-hall-acres
Eric Bromwell February 21, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Stark- As always, your knowledge of all things David Marks is quite impressive. I would only add that this is not a competition. I think we both work hard for our respective districts, but I could probably do a better job of touting my accomplishments in the local media. But as an elected official, I always welcome the input of my constituents, whether they agree or disagree. I think constructive criticism is a very good thing. Furthermore, having elected officials who were born and raised in Perry Hall, who represent Perry Hall (on any level) is a good thing for our community. Maybe next time you see David, you can mention this to him...next time you see him.
unrest February 21, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Mr. Marks thinks that a constituent expressing disappointment in a vote is an attack? Jeez. Someone needs to toughen up a bit!
C. McMahon February 23, 2013 at 02:23 PM
David Marks had to make a tough call on that vote, and I'm glad he did. I wish our state representatives would spend more time trying to keep Gov. O'Malley's spending under control and less time on Facebook posts.
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