Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Round Up...

Even if news isn't happening, reporters still have to report, right?

This, perhaps, explains the overall length of this actually terse Round Up…

New County Council Chair Calvin Ball hopes to create consensus among his colleagues – certainly, a noble goal. In the story, the part of "Republican critic" is played by David Keelan, who explains how his remarks were taken out of context by the reporter here. His defense, however, is hard to buy into when he follows it an attempt at humor that's more mean than funny. More questions and explanations follow in the comments section.

Speaking of the council, their first public hearing was Monday and it centered on the proposal to enact a task force to study the recently passed senior tax cut. Story here. Local blogger Steve Fine, who's been on the tax cut like germs on Vegetarians, weighs in on the above-linked story, which includes a quote from him, here.

Keeping with my recent trend of offering opinions mostly in response to other bloggers' comments, here's a link to a Town Center discussion on Evan Coren's blog and here's what I gather to be his reply.

Speaking of Town's another generalized story about it, and here's a story about the ongoing fight over the Plaza tower, which is still in the phase of trying to figure out if opponents have standing to legally challenge it; so, not much has changed recently.

Meanwhile, the Columbia Association board – well, the five members that formed a caucus to oust current president Maggie Brown – got an earful the other night from residents who oppose the handling of the situation. CA's (mis)handling of situations seems to be an ongoing, systemic thing, huh? For an example of testimony given, check out this post from Wordbones.

Catching up with the new County Executive: Ken Ulman just appointed a new director of technology, Ira Levy, who will, like other recent appointments, probably not be talking to the press for at least a little while, an edict that seems only appropriate during a transition period. Also, and finally, the county Department of Parks and Recreation is looking to the state for cash money.

That's about it for today. Stay tuned for a few year end surprises over the next week.


David W. Keelan said...


I don't think you read either of my posts. The one where I was taken out of context and the one where I explained why I was taken out of context. You find my explanation hard to buy because I am mean? That is not rational. You are smarter than that.

I don't think anyone reads anymore. They scan the posts and then take what they want. Numbersgirl thinks I called Calvin a lackey. Amit Paley wrote that I called Calvin a lackey. What I said was if Calvin didn't excercise independence he would look like a lackey. Big difference but everyone wants to see the partisan slant because they want to perceive it that way.

Almost 16,000 people read the Washington Post daily in Howard County. Twice that read it on line daily. So now almost 50,000 Howard County residents think David Keelan called Calvin Ball a lackey for Ken Ulman. Hmmm. How would you feel if you were in my shoes right now.

I think I am allowed a snarky comment. Maybe my sarcasm is too biting for some tastes.

Lets take a vote. Is Keelan the only apologist blogging in Howard County, and is Keelan the only one running a partisan blog in Howard County?

Anonymous said...

Keelan is unnecessarily partisan. With the election over, it seems like he has nothing to rant over. At times he seems to have provided good data and analysis.

The “snarky” comments are offensive and don’t do him any justice. There may be legitimate criticism of the Ulman or Ball leadership in the coming months. However, current approach minimizes his possible reasonable criticism as appearing to come from a partisan hack who lost the GOP central committee race.

I mention the race, not to rub in his loss, but to demonstrate that those who run for either Republican or Democratic central committees are hard core partisans.

Anonymous said...

I used to think Keelan was really sharp and made good points. Now, he seems less concerned with facts and data and more into putting on a sideshow mocking Democrats.

David W. Keelan said...

Two snarky comments and I loose my audience. I wonder if Jon Stewart has the same problem.

David W. Keelan said...

BTW just so you don't remain disappointed. Now that we are settling down to BAU in local politics I am working on a post regarding Governmental Accounting Standards Bureau statements that effect the way Howard County has to report current and future retirement benefits for employees. Hayduke, any interest in collaborating on this. It is a complex problem and trying to boil it down into simple terms has been difficult (I think I got it down). I am at the point now where I am examining what options Ken Ulman has in dealing with this problem - btw: Problem may be an understatement.

Anonymous said...

Keelan, you may want to discuss your results for the post concerning GASB, with the county's audit firm just as a start. These standards as established by the AICPA, are not light duty. You could get over your head real quick.

David W. Keelan said...

Anon 5:54PM. I clearly understand how complex the issue is. Trying to boil it down is just as complex. That is why I am solicating some support. I have friends who are CPAs that work on municiple issues and will leverage the relationships.

Believe me. I am not trying to be the final authority on the subject. The attempt will be just to shed some light on the subject and elicit commentary and debate.

It is a juicy topic.

Steve Fine said...

Now Dave, you might get my concern about a tax cut that disproportionately serves the well to do.

We might need tax increases, service cuts and lower pay increases for our public servants. Not a nice set of options. How can you tell our first responders (who risk their lives for us and yet often can't afford to live in the County) no pay increase when you gave the well-to-do a tax cut?

Anonymous said...

I think that's the first time I noticed Mr. Fine saying it's a tax cut that "disproportionately" serves the well to do.

Previously, I was of the belief Mr. Fine wasn't acknowledging the tax cut also helped the poor, too.

Not knowing the economic demographics of the population affected, it would be good to see the numbers and make adjustments to the tax cut so it does serve those who need it and doesn't spoil those who don't.

Steve Fine said...

The whole point of my concern, which I have stated in post after post, is that it does not address the needs of the economically disadvantaged.

It helps the poor little, if at all and the lower middle class very little. That's part of the problem.

The poorest seniors don't own homes.

The next poorest group own moderately priced homes, they get only a little tax relief, not enough to make a real difference.

But if your living in a million dollar home, you are by definition rich, and you will get a handsome sum from this tax cut.

Million dollar homes are not rare in HoCo.

I don't mind if you disagree with me, but please don't put words in my mouth and try make it sound like I'm the one who is not sympathetic to the poor. If you had actually read my posts, the opposite should have been obvious.

David W. Keelan said...

You may want to read my post on the subject. We have the information. I posted a lot of it on my essay.
I don't believe this is a tax cut for the rich. I also think the impact on revenues is minimimal considering our surpluses. First responders won't suffer.

Anonymous said...


I can certainly sympathize with being misquoted, and indeed, identity hijacked and misqotes compounded.

I guess what goes around, comes around. Though I'd argue what's happened to you is not nearly as horrendous as what you've perpetrated.

Past the fleeting gratification, the question remains, will you learn, or will you continue your behavior and expect, magically, a different result.

Anonymous? Not so much. But knowing Hayduke is trustworthy

Anonymous said...


I agree that this is an opportunity for you to understand that what you read from the Dems. is often misquoted or out of context too.

Also, the same way you will expect everyone to drop it in a few weeks, you should learn how to drop stuff after a few weeks too.

If it happened this summer, before the primary, it has probably outlived its shelf life for brutal criticism.

David W. Keelan said...

What behavior would you be referring to? Drop what?

Anonymous said...

Calvin Ball would be an idiot to hitch his star to Ulman.

Ulman's latest gem, paraphrased from the Sun article about a meeting between Ulman and O'Malley.

Ulman: O'Malley and I have a strong friendship.

O'Malley's spokesperson: O'Malley is meeting with all of the County Execs.

What a ringing endorsement of a strong friendship!