Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Be careful what you wish for...

This message today goes out to Councilman Chris Merdon, who thinks County Executive James Robey has overly politicized the county's website and silenced our hapless legislators.

Howard County Council Chairman Christopher J. Merdon wants a separate Web site to more prominently display the council's news and activities rather than continue as part of the larger general government site.

In raising the suggestion, Merdon complained that County Executive James N. Robey is using the county's Web site to promote himself politically, a charge Robey rejected.

Merdon was particularly upset, he said, about a news release Robey posted last week describing his reasons for vetoing a council-approved bill to cut the local property assessment cap from 5 percent to 4 percent.

"This was a political article about vetoing the tax cut instead of an article about a majority of the County Council passing a tax cut," Merdon said at a monthly council administrative meeting Monday. Merdon was part of the three-member majority who approved the bill.

"He [Robey] used the Web site to push his administration's agenda, not the county government's. We are an equal branch of government," Merdon said.

Well, the council already has a web page that it controls, and each council member, including Merdon, also has a their own individual page, where they are free to say whatever the heck they want.

I'm not sure if Merdon's really making a big deal out of this or if The Sun just needed something to write about. Frankly, I don't care either way. As Robey said, it's just posturing.

But, in the interest of fairness, here's what Merdon's opponent, Ken Ulman, had to say.
"I've never heard Chris criticize Gov. [Robert L.] Ehrlich [Jr.] for all of his TV and radio spots on the taxpayers' dime. If anyone wants to look for [political] promotion, they should look at that," Ulman said.
Sounds about right.

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