Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Fair and Balanced…

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, August 7, 2006

Well, maybe not.  I got this from a Livesay supporter and thought I would post it so it would get better visibility.  Things tend to get lost in the comments.  This is probably the best defense of Wayne Livesay’s campaign I have yet to see but it doesn’t answer all of my questions.

Let me first say (again) that I never said my bias would not be evident on this blog.

I’ve remained silent long enough believing that you would focus on the positive aspects of your support for Greg Fox rather than concentrating on bashing Wayne Livesay. Is it that Greg Fox is really a man of little substance in this race that forces you to try and distract everyone from the real qualifications of each candidate?

I have repeatedly outlined Greg’s qualifications.

It is very obvious you do not know the facts about Wayne Livesay, nor do you want to know them. You make statements on this blog that you want people to believe as fact, when the real facts are ignored. Do you really believe everything you read in the paper? Maybe you do and you expect the readers of this blog to take what you say as fact also.

I would like to know more about Wayne, but no one has adequately addressed my concerns.

Wayne Livesay has led a nationally accreditated police agency that recently received worldwide recognition as a CALEA “Flagship” agency, a model for other police agencies around the world to emulate.

That is a great testament to the men and women of the Howard County Police department.  Mr. Livesay certainly deserves credit, but not all of it.  I would not detract from his contributions, the management or the rank and file who make the Howard County Police Department so good.

Wayne Livesay has faithfully served the citizens of this County for the past 34+ years and knows County government inside and out.

Ok.  But I don’t believe or rather agree with him on the issues.  Taxes and Comp-Lite for example.  He hasn’t articulated much else on where he stands on other issues.  The fact that he doesn’t understand what happened in comp-lite is disturbing

Wayne Livesay has demostrated proven leadership not only as a police chief but as the past president of the Maryland Chief’s of Police Association where he worked tirelessly with legislators throughout the state on various issues.

Wanye Livesay understands the budget process in Howard County having managed the agency with the second largest budget in County government.

Well, if you include the Department of Education then it would be the third largest.  The second largest would be public works.  The Police Department has a lot of responsibilities from traffic to animal control and a summer camp program it supports.  It is roughly a $74M budget.  Significant responsibility.  Greg Fox is responsible for revenues exceeded $100M

Wayne Livesay understands the legislative process in Howard County having worked with our elected County officials on various legislation in several administrations.

No doubt he knows the legislative process.  However, I have always said he isn’t a stickler for details.  ie: Hatch Act and his support for the comp-lite legislation.  I am concerned he won’t ask the right questions about difficult issues (aside from police matters) such as comp-lite.  We know he would have voted for it and it seems to have escaped him that it was illegal.

Wayne Livesay knows District 5 and the concerns of the residents, where he has lived almost his entire life.

So does Greg Fox and Jim Adams

Wayne Livesay has earned the trust and respect and has a tremendous reputation with all facets of our residential and business community.

Even I respect Wayne Livesay.

And there are so many more reasons that Wayne Livesay is more qualified to be elected to represent District 5!

I believe that the last statement you made will come true. You stated in yur post “My concern is that if we don’t stay on message and allow ourselves to be distracted then Wayne Livesay will win.” There is no doubt in my mind that Wayne Livesay will win and that all the smoke and mirrors and illusions you are trying to create in this race will disappear. I have faith in our Republician brothers and sisters to do the right thing and elect the individual with the best qualifications and experience to do the job. An individual who will devote his FULL TIME and attention to the job as County Council person and best represent the views of our District 5 residents, and that person is WAYNE LIVESAY, hands down!

I don’t want a full-time legislator and the Howard County Charter didn’t envision one either.  Their is a reason for that.  We want people who face the same problems everyone else does to represent us.  We don’t want a person who ends up being entrenched in the system and unable to see the big picture.  After 34 years I don’t think Wayne Livesay will be the kind of person that will really really understand the people he wants to represent.  I also think you are using the term “republican brothers and sisters” loosely.  He still hasn’t apologized to them for his loud exit from the party.

In closing, I must admit that I certainly know that you feel pasionate about the entire election process and I respect that. However I think that the Republicans in this County want someone who can be fair an unbiased. I believe that Howard County Republicans will have a very difficult time voting for you as a member of the Republican Central Committee because your personal biases that will have a long lasting negative effect on the Republican Party in Howard County.

If I was a member of the Central Committee then I would not be writing about primaries.  However, I am not a member of the Central Committee so I have every right to express my views.  People coming to this blog should not expect an unbiased view – they should expect my personal views.  Howard County Republicans will vote for who they think will work for the party.  Which brings us to two important questions that I haven’t seen adequately answered.

1.  Wayne has not explained his comments to the Howard County Times when he became a Democrat to “clear his conscience”.  Are we to just forgive him for that slight?  When asked directly about that quote he says he doesn’t remember the “insult” as I call it.  Many Republicans don’t agree with the party.  They don’t leave in a flurry of insults and then come back to run as a Republican in a Republican district 4 years later either.

2.  He said he will do what he can to support Sandy Schrader.  Fine.  He won’t say if he will or will not endorse her.  Ok, who will he endorse?  His friend Jim Robey or Sandy Schrader?  If he will support his friend Jim Robey I won’t blame him.  They are friends.  That is why I support Greg Fox.  The difference is that I am absolutely on the record that I will support Greg and Sandy.  Greg is on the record that he will support Sandy Schrader.  Why won’t Wayne tell us who he will endorse.

Finally, the sexual harrassment cases.  Are they reviewed during the accedidation process?  Did the committee review the most recent court decision or the most recent complaint?  I think it is a fair question since it effects the entire department.  We aren’t talking about one isolated case.  We are talking about two in his first 6 years as Police Chief.  How many sexual harrassment law suits did the police department have prior to Mr. Livesay’s tenure?


10 Responses to “Fair and Balanced…”

  1. Mary Catherine said

    It was nice of you to post this discussion. I have to agree with your Livesay supporter on many things. First and foremost, I am just catching up on your blog after being away for a few weeks and I must say that the tone has gotten a little… um… rabid? You are intelligent and articulate… I much prefer your posts that point out the differences in candidates, or issues to the ones that are so heavy handed- like a push poll? I think your approach is similar to Mr. Feaga’s philosophy…. the voters/citizens aren’t intelligent enough to figure out the real issues and will succumb to the rabid calico cat/gingham dog world of politics. More simply… please restate your candidate of choice (Fox) position and experience. Where does he control a budget of 100M? What is his position on comp lite? Did he attend any of the planning board or council meetings of that process? (I was at most of them- so I think I already know that answer). What public service has he completed? Has he received any community recognition or awards? I am undecided… so this info would really be helpful. Maybe its on his website. I can look there. (I think, btw, that there are maybe a half a dozen individuals in the county that fully understand comp lite and only a couple of those are elected officials).

    And while I have your attention… what the heck is happening to the Republican party? There seems to be a lot of dissent. How come you guys aren’t all behind Merdon? Do you think he can’t win? It’s amazing to see the lack of support he is getting from the Party. Finally a chance to have a republican Exec and you guys are throwing it away… why? Why are you guys slamming each other so hard in District 5… is it something you can recover from once the primary is over? Or will it leave the door open for Dunn? How about Adams? You didn’t mention him too much on the comp lite issues… I’d have to say he’s one of the biggest supporters of the folks who tried to get the bill to referendum. Sometimes its the quiet ones you have to watch out for… 😉

    Finally… on your election poll… I couldn’t resist testing it multiple times. I was very fair, however. I voted once for Salazar, once for undecided, and twice for Watson. It seemed to like all of the votes. (Where’s a paper trail for elections when you need them?). I’m guessing its a pretty inaccurate system. 😉 You’d think they could make those things a little better. It gives me great faith in our general and primary election results.


  2. RDB said

    One thing I will aways remember is that helicopter that was hide in the Budget by Wayne and Robey. I could not trust him them why should I trust him now?  I think it is funny that he tries to stand by the Governor now but where has he been for the last three years but by Robey’s side bashing the Gov.

  3. RDB said

    Mary Catherine does the words loyality,beliefs,conviction and respect mean anything to you? The howard county republican party is being built by people who’s core values stand for who they are.We don’t just change our positions or beliefs because it will help us win an election(i.e.a Dem Livesay would not win in district 5 or move to another district to run for office like Robey).  I trust that loyal republicans and educated voters will know the difference between opportunism and real leaders. If you don’t belive this or think this is an insult just give me your address and I will send you a change of party form so you and Wayne can have something else in common.  I support Greg Fox because I know were they stand.

  4. hocomd said

    Mary Catherine,

    Nice of you to stop by. Please note, I won’t be sending you a change of party form. You are welcome to come by and chat anytime. RDB, I have no doubt that you, Mary Catherine and I understand and appreciate loyalty, beliefs, conviction, and respect. There is no reason to get on Mary Catherine’s case – everyone is entitled to offer an opinion and ask questions – even you.

    The tone of the blog. Well, I must admit the closer we get to the primaries and the general it is getting more and more partisan. I think if I have been harsh on anyone it would be Mr. Livesay, then Mr. Ulman. As for Ms. Watson – I think I have been fair in describing her record. She came by door knocking the other day. I was in Detroit and sorry to have missed her. I would have liked to talk more about her positions on taxes.

    District 5 is more passionate. When it comes to Mr. Livesay all my issues with him stem from the fact that he left the party in such a huff and came back to run as a republican in a republican district without even a whiff of an apology to the republican party.

    My pledge. If he were to make a public apology to those of us who work so hard to make this party work I would remove every reference to him on this blog and never say another word. He doesn’t even have to say who he supports in District 13 or the Governor’s race. The comments I refer to are easily found on this blog or at the Howard County Times.

    As for Greg Fox, he supports the referendum and he believes, as I do, that comp-lite was a fiasco and should never have been approved. He also and absolutely supports the referendum. These are not platitudes. He knows why comp-lite is illegal and he knows why the referendum process is so important. Mr. Livesay doesn’t get it. Unfortunately, not many of the candidates do. Chris Merdon and Greg Fox do. I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with Tony Salazar or Jim Adams on the issue. I know Jim Adams supports the referendum (as do many candidates), but I don’t know why he does.

    Additionally, he did not and does not support the numerous tax and fee increases that have occured over the past 8 years. He wants to cut the rate of growth in county tax revenues. He doesn’t want the county to run tax surpluses.

    He is constantly thinking out of the box such as the transferable tax assessment (his idea). He is working on other tax proposals that will provide a break to taxpayers without lowering tax revenues. He has a keen mind for such things and can articulate them simply and very well. I can talk to Greg about the difference between Robey’s property tax cut and Feaga’s assessment cap and he knows the difference between them and what the effect on revenues would be in both cases. He has a very sharp mind.

    Greg doesn’t control a budget – it is customer revenue. Big difference. Livesay had 9 to 12 people running his budget. He was ultimately responsible for it (just as he was for the Federal Grants). The Police budget is a lot different than the School, College, Public Works, DPZ, etc budgets. To RDB’s point – he was adept at hiding the helicopter in the budget. I still can’t find it anywhere in the capital or operating budgets from 2006 or 2007. RDB – I just read your comment again. I am striking part of your comments. Totally inappropriate.

    Greg has served on a number of boards and commissions in the county.

    Greg has extensive business experience he can leverage and apply to County Council.

    Greg has earned the endorsement of 2 state senators, 2 delegates, the Republican National Committeeman for Maryland and others.

    As for Chris Merdon. As you know, I hope, he has my full support. I believe he will be the next County Executive. Everytime we talk I try to remember to thank him for running. As for other Republicans – they support him but I think they are focused on a contentious District 5 race. Those of us who support Chris and Greg have noted that their is a great deal of work that still needs to be done.

    Jim Adams is a great guy and would be a good member of County Council. I agree with your assessment.

    As for the straw poll. It is as accurate as the people who vote. I limit to one vote per computer, but people can’t seem to resist gaming the system. I don’t host the poll – it is a free service at I am going to quit putting those up. They are “straw” polls. Not to be taken seriously. I would suspect that the majority of people that come to this site are republicans and that Courtney would not win the straw poll. I knew that when I put it up. I am surprised that you were able to vote more than once (must have been multiple computers?), thus another reason why I am stopping them. Maybe one more for District 5…. I had put one up for the GOP Central Committee and had to take it down because people took it too seriously.

    Now, I hope you don’t blame me for some of the comments from Bubba. I can assure you that Bubba and I are NOT the same person as some people suspect. Other comments on here are not to my liking or taste, but they don’t go far enough for me to take their comments down.

    Finally, the four blogs are going to conduct an on-line forum for County Executive and County Council. We will submit a number of questions to the candidates in the general election. Each of us will comment on their responses. On the same day you will see our comments on the responses on one candidate, the next day on the next candidate, so on and so forth. In order to make this work we (me) are going to have to tone it down a bit. If you want to submit any questions for us to consider please feel free.

  5. Bubba said

    What are you reading? As far as I know every republican in Howard County would like to see Chris become the next County Exec. If you watch Chris’s Ads or read his literature he enjoys the support of every high profile republican…Seems like a little subterfuge on your part…


  6. Mary Catherine said

    I tried to find a website for Fox, but could not. Do you have the URL? In lieu of that… can you tell me which commissions and Boards he has served? I’d be interested in knowing all of them as it will give me a better idea of his background. Also, what is his business experience and the revenue he manages? Are the two senators Kittleman and Schrader and the two delegates Miller and Bates? They tend to move in lock step on all of this stuff. And seem to be totally lacking in support for Merdon- to answer Mr. Bubba’s query.

    In terms of the kind offers to send me forms to switch my party alliance. I think you guys- I am making an unfair assumption that Bubba and RDB are guys from their conversational tone- are making some assumptions. If you were a neighbor, you’d be hard pressed to know with which party I affiliated from the signs that spring up in my yard each election year. I’m the kind of voter that doesn’t march in lock step with a certain party or mindset. I have too much respect for my own intelligence to do that. 😉 I like thinking for myself. (Despite Mr. Feaga’s assumptions to the contrary- most of us citizens are smarter than the average bear).

    There are always things about each party that disappoint me.. and decisions from each administration that I question. Every admin has its own quirks… some favor budgeting heavily for public safety… some for schools… Sometimes Republicans swith to Democrats and back- Livesay – and sometimes Democrats switch to republicans- Nichols (after the election- now THAT is questionable). But, as you wisely pointed out somewhere- or I think it was you- some republicans really are democrats and some democrats really are republicans. Which is why its always better to look a little deeper. Especially on the local level.

    Now I believe Mr. Fox is a good guy. I got to see him in action on some school redistricting issues and you are right, he seems to have a quick mind. And, I believe Mr. Adams is very cognizant of the development issues and genuinely concerned about due process.. and he is also very quick on the uptake. Mr. Livesay, I think, also exhibits unusually high wattage, although I agree with you that his comment on Comp Lite was weak. (I think, though, that when you have inexperienced candidates who weren’t around during that process- its hard to hold their feet to the fire for good accurate opinions. The best you can hope for is that a candidate will take the time to listen, evaluate and weigh in thoughtfully and not follow lockstep with his party.) I do have a personal story to tell you about Mr. Livesay that makes me believe that he does listen, evaluate, weigh in thoughtfully and not follow his party lockstep. Years ago- about 6- My child, my neighbors and my school community suffered the devastating loss of a young child to a gunshot wound to the head. Children playing with guns, unchaperoned, during a school holiday shot and killed a 6th grade classmate from BMMS. His name was Byrd and he had recently moved to our country from Thailand. He was a friend of my daughter’s.. a shining light… a smiling face and we were all left reeling at the insanity of an unsecured, loaded weapon left with unchaperoned children. (And, to be fair, I’m sure that Byrd was not the only victim that day. The other children involved were also burdened with a heavy load that they will bear for the rest of their lives). I was a PTA person at the time- with an unidentifiable name, btw- and I asked my daughter about the DARE program they had just completed. Did it have a gun safety component? (See a gun? Leave it alone. Get an adult). Did they discuss this in health class when they talked about personal safety? Nothing. But here’s the part about Livesay. I called the County Information number and asked who could I talk to about safety and education programs that might be available to prevent these tragedies. I was referred to the Chief of Police, Mr. Livesay. Not only did Mr. Livesay call me back, he spent a great deal of time discussing what was available and what was needed to protect our children. He listened to the concerns, gave good ideas and followed up later to see if there was anything else he could do. I was impressed that he was approachable, willing to listen and willing to help.

    All three candidates seem bright… but in a county where marching lockstep in both parties has dug us into some difficult times… I want my council rep to be an independent thinker that will put the citizens first… and his party somewhere much further down the line.

    Which is why I hate alliances/tickets. Whether Demoocrat or republican… It somehow bullies the choice from the voters and creates a barrier to good government. There might be candidates within tickets/slates/blocs that are worthwhile, but the fact that they retreat to the pack, instead of showing leadership- is always strike one. I want an independent woman- or man- as my representative.

    (I said ‘woman’ first to get to Bubba- did it work?) 😉


  7. Bubba said

    Again I have nothing against women! But you are the one that stated “How come you guys aren’t all behind Merdon”. Which is what I was posting to – know you hit us with the opposite view you don’t like it when elected officals work together? You can’t be serious when you aregue that you don’t think Chris isn’t getting support and then you turn around and say that when people do “gel” and support a candidate – you can’t have it both ways! I think the Donna Thewes and Gina Ellrich are gonna make great additions to the Council!


  8. Mary Smith said

    Mary Catherine,

    I’m going to say this as gently as I can muster. Your name has not ever been ‘unidentifiable’. Anyone setting foot in Howard County for the past 15 years knows who you are, and since you reap the benefits of local celebrity, you cannot also add credit to Livesay’s reactions by claiming anonymity.

    I, however, am quite unidentifiable, and the police chief was nowhere near as ready to listen or help. In fact, I am not even comfortable describing what happened.

  9. mary catherine said

    I am unidentifiable when it comes to my children. I have a different name and they have a different name. Until the last couple of years- maybe four- no one within the school system knew me as anything but a mom. And most still only know the one name- unrelated to the name you all know and love. The Chief of Police certainly would not have identified me by my married name as an in-calling PTA President. In that instance, I was unidentifiable. Not unforgettable… just unidentifiable. 😉

  10. Jim Adams said

    Congratulations, Wayne, on the Sun paper endorsement.

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