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County Executive Takes Show On The Road

Public interaction behind 'Coffee with Kevin' tour that begins next month.

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 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."

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JDStuts July 17, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Foresee a Youtube gotcha moment where KK is peppered with something like "In regards to article 7-2--102 of the Baltimore County Code who voted on the the failed investment in Mainsail II and who is the Merrill Lynch rep your staff has accused of fraud." Oh there is some much material to mine and awkward positions to justify in a quickie soundbite. Predict a quick loss of temper with staff stepping between KK and the camera.
Steve July 17, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Hopefully he won't take a page out of Andy Harris's book and announce his meetings with a half hour notice ("For Security Reasons") and hold them in the middle of the work day so nobody will attend.
Buzz Beeler July 18, 2012 at 01:03 PM
JD interesting reply. The county sent me about 3,000 pages of of PIA on the mainsail deal but won't give up certain other documents. They did the same thing to the Sun. We told them we'll see you in court. The documents I have reveal enough to get a picture of what went on. There is a document in the county called the Charter that they seem for forget. There is a lot of work to be done to get to the bottom of this mess and it is a mess and might warrant and outside investigation.
sarah issa August 10, 2012 at 02:30 AM
I WISH YOU COMPLIMENT OF THE SEASON WITH GREAT JOY IN MY HEART FOR COMING IN CONTACT WITH YOU AND I HAVE A SPECIAL REASON OF CONTACTING YOU WHICH I WILL MAKE KNOWN TO YOU WHEN I GET YOUR RESPOND ON MY EMAIL ADDRESS(sarahissa130@yahoo.com)THERE I WILL TELL YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT ME AND THE REASON OF CONTACTING YOU.Sarah GOD BLESS YOU DEAR

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