Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Words of Wisdom from Arthur McGreevy

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, October 21, 2006

I could not help but note the irony in this recent discovery and felt compelled to share it with you since it reflects upon a recent topic of discussion.

On July 11, 2002 the Columbia Flier publish a letter from Mr. Arthur McGreevy.  Today Mr. McGreevey serves Ken Ulman’s campaign for County Executive as Mr. Ulman’s campaign manager.  At the time this letter was written Mr. Ulman was campaigning against Mary Kay Sigaty for the privilege to represent the Democratic Party in the general election for the Howard County County Council.  In his letter Mr. McGreevey write as follows:

“There is an old saying: “How you run is how you govern.” Ken Ulman is running a positive, well-organized campaign. He is working hard every day. It was these traits that led to his endorsement. [Teacher’s Union]

If how you run is a reflection of how you will govern, the community will be well served by Ken Ulman.”

I am compelled to ask.  Is our resolve so fragile?  And, is Mr. McGreevy still committed to those ideals he expressed so well four years ago?

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16 Responses to “Words of Wisdom from Arthur McGreevy”

  1. Hooray for Patronage! said

    Good to see that Mr. McGreevey, a Centennial chum of Ulman, has gotten a significant raise from his days as a Baltimore prosecutor earning about $50K (and bartending in Federal Hill) to a cushy Howard County job with a 40% raise.

  2. Freemarket said

    Hooray for Patronage-

    If the ultimate responsibility for the decisions of the County government rested on your shoulders, do you think you should be able to hire whomever you thought could best accomplish the objectives of the County government?

  3. To Freemarket said

    Is Mr. McGreevey the most qualified person to achieve the objectives of County government? No way. Ulman is primarily concerned with loyalty, based on his reported comments to current County employees. My favorite was “I’ll have your job”

    But it is certainly the CE’s right to hire whomever he wants. It’s his funeral…

  4. Excuse me. In what context is Mr. Ulman supposed to have used the phrase “I’ll have your job”? If you steal from the County I would think that would be a more than appropriate warning. Also, in what manner and by what medium did Mr. Ulman deliver that message? I don’t want Mr. Ulman to be quoted out of context or to have you be accused of quoting Mr. Ulman out of context.

  5. Freemarket said

    Good questions David, but I doubt you will get any answers.

  6. Maria B said

    I too have heard that reported as well on other sites – no idea of its source or context. However, Ulman demands loyalty from his subjects/staff. If you talk candidly to any of several department/unit heads in the County, they may be able to corroborate it.

  7. bsflag2007 said

    Although it is always a good idea to be able to document quotes supposedly made by a public figure – and without credible sources it would be unfair to form a solid opinion…. I find it interesting that the controversy here is more over form than substance.

    It sounds like folks who know Mr. Ulman believe (whether it is a direct quote or not) it is the kind of thing Mr. Ulman is likely to say.

    Is there anyone out there who is prepared to say “I doubt he said that…”? or is the biggest question “who told you he said that”?

    I fine line, I agree, but a significant one.

    Cindy Vaillancourt

  8. bsflag2007 said

    “A” fine line – sorry.
    cv

  9. Maria,

    Personally, I am sure Mr. Ulman actually said those words. However, without a direct source to cite then it is only my personal belief. In addition, I have been told a lot of stories about Ken Ulman that are simply too difficult to believe without collaboration. I have even talked to reporters about those stories who had heard the same stories long before I did. I agree with them. As interesting and disturbing as some of the stories are if we can’t substantiate the story or the quote it is then simply a rumor.

    Thus my question to “To Freemarket Says”

  10. Freemarket said

    It’s funny how this discussion has transformed. First, someone complained that Ulman hired someone he knew. Now, that initial complaint has been twisted (apparently by the same person who made the initial complaint) to imply that Ulman is threatening people’s jobs. I don’t know Ulman, never met him, didn’t vote for him, have nothing to do with him, but this Ulman bashing is way out of control. It has long ago crossed the line from professional criticism to personal spite. Until David’s questions are answered about this alleged remark, it is nothing more than rumor mongering. It seems to me that it is the same person who starts these rumors every time.

  11. Hayduke said

    Is there anyone out there who is prepared to say “I doubt he said that…”?

    I am, but I’m just a hack/shill/apologist.

    I’m also one of the few bloggers/commenters who actually knows Ken. All the more reason not to believe me, I suppose.

  12. bsflag2007 said

    Thank you Hayduke.

    I think people get so caught up in the idea of “naming names” – which then just diverts the question to the credibility of the “source” – that the question of content is lost.

    I don’t “know” Mr. Ulman personally. I have had the opportunity to observe him a number of times. He strikes me as an ambitious, committed politico with future plans —- obviously a strong personality, but also pertpetually campaigning. Going around willy nilly alienating folks seems out of character and counter-productive.

    Strong personalities have been known to speak strongly — but criticisms of youth and inexperience aside, it is hard to believe Ulman could make a habit of acting as ugly as the “rumors” would have it and not have it well documented or even on YouTube – or have managed to get elected to public office a couple of times.

    The thing about “rumors” and “gossip” about public officials (which is different than private parties) is that they should serve as an alert to be on the lookout for evidence to support or dismiss.

    In this case – the accusations of rash bullying behavior don’t really make a lot of sense and so far there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe they are true.

    Cindy V.

  13. I posted this in Oct. and people are only just commenting here and it is certainly way off topic. Hayduke, I hope you don’t think I ever called you a shill or a hack. Maybe an apologist but I don’t think being an apologist is anything to apologize for :=) (could not resist the pun). I don’t know Ken. I think he probably said it because from reports I understand he does demand loyalty and I also understand that is his style.

  14. BTW: Art McGreevy seems to be qualified for this job. What is the fuss? I know many executives in business surround themselves with people they know and people they trust. It may be patronage, but I think McGreevy earned this job by getting on board early with the campaign, and gaining experience prior to the campaign.

  15. cindy vaillancourt said

    That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? If the person hired is qualified, any new administration should be expected to hire its’ own team. The anticipated new team is part of what people vote for.

    When jobs are filled with cronies who are unqualified as “payback” for political favors – (“Brownie” comes to mind) – that is another issue.

    So far it seems like all Mr. Ulman’s appointments are reasonable.

    Being a long standing “friend” should not be a disqualifying factor — one would assume a person with an interest in politics and public service would have similarly interested friends.

    Cindy V.

  16. Ravens Fan said

    Art is a very qualified bartender – he poured me a beer after a Ravens game once. I don’t think Balt. City jobs pay that well.

    He may be a qualified lawyer, but not the most qualified. Still it is Ulman’s prerogative to appoint his friends as long as they are qualified.

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