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Revenue Authority Appointments Linger

Chairwoman Vicki Almond says council will take up Kamenetz pick when he sends letter confirming the council's selection.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's most recent appointment to the Baltimore County Revenue Authority remains in limbo while the Baltimore County Council awaits word of its appointment to the same board.

"We're going to hold this up until we get the person we want," said Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Vicki Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat.

Kamenetz appointed Roland Campbell, a Pikesville realtor, to the five-member board on March 17. A few days later, the council sent Gordon Harden's name to the county executive for appointment to another open position on the same board.

"We want to take both of these appointments at the same time," Almond said. "Now that the session is over and the county executive will be here, I assume we'll get that letter soon. Hopefully before the next council meeting."

The County Charter gives the county executive the authority to appoint the board of the quasi-public agency that manages public parking garages and golf courses.

The county executive has allowed the council to appoint one member of the board since the mid-1990s when then-County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger entered into a "handshake agreement" with the council at the time.

The council, of which Kamenetz was a member, named Les Pittler to the board. Kamenetz later fought with County Executive Jim Smith to maintain Pittler's position on the board.

Pittler in February, leaving about a year on his term.

Sources familiar with the appointments told Patch that Kamenetz spoke individually with Almond and Councilmen David Marks and Tom Quirk, a Perry Hall Republican and Catonsville Democrat respectively, about Harden. Of concern was Harden's record of and housing code violations related to residential garages in Baltimore City.

Don Mohler, a Kamenetz spokesman, said the county executive "will honor the handshake agreement."

"The county executive, as a former council member, understands the agreement and does not want to be the first county executive not to honor it," said Mohler.

The appointment has been delayed so that the county executive could receive a copy of Harden's résumé from the council, said Mohler.

"It's nothing more than that," said Mohler.

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Karl April 14, 2012 at 01:57 PM
The council's Revenue Authority appointee is Gordon Harden.  He was a real estate broker and worked on the County Planning Board for 13 years.   Ten years ago because of a financially difficult divorce and trying to keep his children in college, Harden couldn't pay taxes and the government placed liens on his properties.  By 2006 Harden had paid off everything, taxes and penalties. Lionel van Dommelen's bar was failing and he was given a string of political jobs for which he had little if any qualifications.  Gordon Harden's real estate business and personal life was failing and he fixed it himself paying off everything he owed without political largess. And Kamenetz questions Harden's appointment?  Kamenetz has a beam in his eye. Full disclosure, I'm proud to have Gordon as my friend.  I don't know Lionel.  I do know Kevin. 
johnny towson April 14, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Great comments Karl.
Buzz Beeler April 14, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Honoring agreements is a good thing as long as the agreement is a good thing.
Meg O'Hare April 15, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Lots of "ordinary" not politically well connected people have financial hardship and would not be appointed to the Baltimore County Revenue Authorithy if their financial records were flawed not to mention housing code violations related to residential garages in Baltimore City. When will the days of "handshake agreements" and "wink-wink" and "nod-"nod" and "same old-same old" pass in Baltimore County? Citizens are tired of special favors for the politically well connected people. Why should people with flawed financial records either personal or business be appointed by the County Executive or the County Council? There are lots of good Democrats, Republicans and Independent citizens who are willing, able and qualified to serve on the Baltimore County Revenue Authority. County elected officials should find someone who they do not have to "hold their nose" to vote for.
Karl April 15, 2012 at 05:40 AM
He fixed it....eight years ago. The County Council is not holding their nose. Why do they want Gordon? Experience, diligence, service and talent, he served 13 years, four+ terms, on our Planning Board. There's no financial incentive for that service. Board members are volunteers who contribute hours preparing for, and participating in the Board's meetings, hearings and decisions. They cannot hold salaried positions in County government, and they do not receive any salary for Board service. There is no "wink-wink", " nod-nod", nor "same old-same old" in volunteer Planning Board service for our community. Gordon will follow Les Pittler, who served for 14 years. Although at odds with other Authority members, Pittler worked diligently to bring transparency and make the board follow County ethics laws. Les Pittler brought an independent view to the Authority. He was the bane of "same old-same old". Gorden Harden will be likewise dedicated Council appointee to follow Pittler's fine example.

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