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Mayor’s Dig Highlights County, City Rift?

The neighboring jurisdictions seem to get on each others nerves despite contrary assertions from staff.

The mayor’s jab at the county during her State of the City Address was the latest provocation between the neighboring jurisdictions.

During a segment in Monday’s speech, aimed at showing that housing incentives are luring residents back to the city, the mayor mentioned Destiny Junior, a former Baltimore County resident who bought a home in the city’s McElderry Park neighborhood.

The mayor, in an unscripted moment, then may have revealed some lingering resentment toward the wealthier, mainly suburban, county.

"It’s always a plus when it’s from Baltimore County," Rawlings-Blake said.

Although staff in both jurisdictions have repeatedly denied any tension, there have been repeated incidents that show evidence to the contrary.  

In 2011, when Rawlings-Blake was running to retain her position, the Democratic executives of Montgomery, Howard and Prince George’s counties endorsed her at an event in Federal Hill. Conspicuously missing was Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Last spring, Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, a Republican, introduced legislation that would have granted residents the right to use Loch Raven reservoir for hiking and mountain biking. The only issue is that the reservoir and the land around it are owned by the city. 

Even though the bill was eventually withdrawn, after a county attorney advised  the county council that it didn’t have the authority to pass it, the incident still privately aggravated members of the administration and city council.

Then in January, during the midst of the Ravens run to the Super Bowl, Kamenetz took what some considered a swipe at the city, by trying to claim the football team as county property during an appearance on radio station WYPR.

"It's the Baltimore County Ravens," Kamenetz said on air. "We're looking to bringing that Lombardi trophy back to Baltimore County."

A spokesman for Rawlings-Blake declined to escalate the feud by noting the team brought pride to the region, but called the county executive’s attempt to claim the city’s football team "a stretch."

Patch Political Editor Bryan Sears contributed to this story.

What do you think about the seemingly antagonistic relationship between the city and county? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

JT February 13, 2013 at 08:47 PM
You have hit the nail squarely on the head.
Karl February 13, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Regardless of the caliber of Baltimore's citizens, if the city were gone, they would live somewhere else. Perhaps the county would erect a fence to keep these "undesirables" out. Oh wait...Why do I allow myself to take comments like this seriously? Just stupid, I guess.
Meg O'Hare February 14, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Kevin Kamenetz is the same rude, arrogant person he has been since the first time I met him when the Education Coalition of Baltimore County requested a meeting with the Baltimore County Council. He and several others were so rude in that meeing that Councilman Joe Bartenfelder appologized for the rudeness to me. There is a reason people refer to him as King Kamenetz. He is removed and distant from the people he is supposed to serve. Kamenetz is a person who can connect with citizens. All he can do is make appearances and attempt to gain control over them by appointing them to political posts on the Baltimore County Boards that he controls. In fact, regardless of who the County Executive is we all have to tolerate the person because all the power is in his hands. No checks and balances for Baltimore County. Kamenetz is particularly hard to tolerate. I do not think he is well liked by many citizens. Let us hope for a miracle for the next election. Let's hope the citizens send Kamenetz packing to collect his 2 pensions.
Karl February 14, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Kamenetz doesn't change because he doesn't learn. He makes the same mistakes over and over again. Wait...isn't the definition of insanity. I voted for Bartenfelder. He spends his "sanity" time lifting boxes, riding tractors, driving truckloads of produce through the night to market. He's connected. I hope Joe runs again. I believe we've learned enough to be rid of Kamenetz. We won't make the same mistake over and over again.
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