Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

An Open Response to Chris Merdon

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, October 5, 2006

From the Washington Post

I find Chris Merdon’s recent “invitation” — via letter to the editor and certified letter to my home — to be rather disingenuous. In fact, we have already had numerous opportunities for public conversations about growth.We seem to have a candidates forum at least once a week, and growth is almost always a topic, if not the sole focus of the forum. We also have at least seven candidates forums that are on my schedule, including the televised League of Women Voters forum Oct. 11. I look forward to these opportunities for honest, substantive discussions on growth and other important issues, including education and public safety.

One recent forum was held by the St. John’s Community Association at the Miller Branch Library in Ellicott City. The sponsor provided six questions on growth before the forum. I attended this event, as did Stephen Wallis, and we engaged in a meaningful discussion with the community for 2 1/2 hours. Mr. Merdon dismissed this opportunity to publicly discuss the community’s concerns about growth and opted instead to spend the evening with major Republican donors at a fundraiser in Baltimore.

Going out of his way to put his invitation to a debate “on the record” while opting out of a public forum hosted by a community group makes me question his sincerity. That being said, if Mr. Merdon is in fact interested in an honest discussion rather than a political stunt, he can contact me anytime.

Ken Ulman
County executive candidate
Columbia

As I said in my previous post on this topic.

As to Mr. Wallis’ complaint that the issue has come up at every forum.  He is correct.  My problem is that it doesn’t get enough time or attention.  I think a one hour debate on growth in Howard County and only on growth in Howard County is a great idea. 

How much attention does it get in a forum?  Ten minutes?  Twenty minutes tops?  And that would be between all the candidates represented at the forum not just Mssrs. Merdon, Ulman and Wallis.

I hope they accept the invitation.  They can have it at my house if need be.

As to Mr. Ulman’s complaint that Mr. Merdon opted out of a debate?  Mr. Ulman opted out of the blogger candidate forum didn’t he?  He only had to respond from the comfort of his home or have a volunteer do it for him.  He didn’t have to show up in person.  Is Mr. Ulman saying that he has attended every single candidate forum (not counting religious holidays)?

Merdon missed one of what “… seem[s] to [be] a candidates forum at least once a week, and growth is almost always a topic, if not the sole focus of the forum.”  Shared with how many other candidates in the room I must ask.

Maybe it is a “political stunt” as Mssrs. Ulman and Wallis claim.  Mr. Ulman chose to respond in kind.  Regardless, Merdon put himself on the record as saying he wants a public debate on the issue, and now Mr. Ulman did too.

This is progress.

Lets start negotiating the date, place, and terms.

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2 Responses to “An Open Response to Chris Merdon”

  1. hocoterp said

    I wish I had a dollar for every time Ken said “disingenuous,” or for that matter, every time Steve Wallis said something is “idle campaign rhetoric.” It would make living in Howard County much more affordable. Do they really say that to the reporters every time or are they so predictable that the reporters don’t even bother to ask and use a stock quote instead?

  2. Rebecca J. said

    You said: I think a one hour debate on growth in Howard County and only on growth in Howard County is a great idea….And that would be between all the candidates represented at the forum not just Mssrs. Merdon, Ulman and Wallis.
    I hope they accept the invitation. They can have it at my house if need be.

    My response:
    I’ll be there. Want some help putting it together?

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