Paul Foer: End Of The Road For ‘Cohenocracy’?

It looks like the ‘’Cohenocracy’’ just got a colonoscopy. Mayor Josh Cohen, who took office as a city alderman, then left for the County Council and then vacated that position to run for mayor, is trailing in close election results. Assuming that sticks, the unabated 12 years of unbridled growth in taxes and government largesse may well be halted. Although partisan local elections should end, it is a shame Republicans posed no candidates in five wards and could only muster a young and untested candidate to challenge the Cohenocracy. But the tables have been turned in this powerful office if Mike Pantelides holds on — and the host of Cohenocratic patrons working as bureaucrats at City Hall will themselves face extinction. (Capital)

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Nov. 7 // Close Mayoral Race Reflects An Unhappy Electorate

If Josh Cohen pulls this race out on the absentee votes, he’ll want to think long and hard about why so many Annapolitans seem to be unhappy with him. If Mike Pantelides wins, his first order of business will be establishing good relations with a Democrat-dominated City Council. Meanwhile, what some city residents may want to think about is why they didn’t vote. (Capital)

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Annapolis Ward 6 Candidate Conn Blames ‘Machine’ Politics For His Loss

Machine politics has no place in a small town like Annapolis. Our representative government should consist of men and women drawn from the neighborhoods where they live. They should know their neighbors and be in tune with their concerns. Unfortunately, Annapolis does have a thriving and highly successful political machine, a machine that ratified boundaries for our ward, Ward 6, that are among the most gerrymandered in the nation. (Capital)

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Immigrant licensing plan a smart option

Good public policy can seem counterintuitive. A number of Daily Times readers find it unfathomable that the state of Maryland would allow undocumented persons to hold a driver’s license. The state expects to issue about 135,000 learner’s permits and driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants over the next five years. That this is necessary, and the smartest possible move, reflects the utter failure of the federal government to come to grips with the presence of about 11 million undocumented persons in the United States. Because their status has not been resolved, these immigrants are forced to live in the shadows, part of the economy and civic life but also apart from it. (Daily Times)

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Threat of fine is premature

A threat by the state Attorney General’s office to fine Carroll up to $10,000 per day because the county didn’t implement a new tax to pay for stormwater management is a bit of heavy-handedness that is both unnecessary and unjustified. In 2012, the general assembly passed a law requiring the state’s nine largest counties and Baltimore City to establish a watershed protection and restoration program that includes a tax on impervious surfaces. Opponents have dubbed the law the “rain tax.” (Carroll Co. Times)

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Lee: Harris voted for economic tailspin

Our congressman, Andy Harris, voted no to raise the debt limit. By voting no, he was voting to send our government into default on our debts for the first time in our 200-plus-year history. A default on our debt would have sent our country into an economic tailspin. These are not games, this is not hypothesis — Congressman Harris’ vote was a vote that would have damaged our economy, the job market and our national security. The credit rating of the United States would have been downgraded and our borrowing costs, along with our debt, would have increased significantly. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed on both sides of the aisle and we avoided default. (Star Dem.)

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Old Mill should be an election issue in 2014

School officials had hoped repair or replacement work on Old Mill High School would have started by now. That hope must have been shared by parents listening to their kids talk about noisy classrooms where walls don’t reach the ceiling, and confusing hallways where foot traffic piles up. Of the top priorities set out by a 2005 study of school system needs, the outdated monster in Millersville is the only one still untouched. And no wonder: We’re talking about a project budgeted for a staggering $319 million and involving 5,000 students. (Capital)

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Rain tax, Part II

Frederick County is destined to have a “rain tax” to meet the demands of its upcoming state-enforced stormwater permit. Just what that permit’s requirements will cost county property taxpayers is still to be determined. One thing is certain, it won’t be the 1 cent per eligible property taxpayer that the Board of County Commissioners set earlier this year when confronted with the requirement. (News-Post)

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