A congeniality contest for Balto. Co. exec?
Running Baltimore County government is a big job, and one that involves many technical decisions: which roads to fix, which projects to fund, how to structure agencies. Winning the job, however, may be less about policy than it is about personality.
The three Democrats who are vying for a chance to take on Republican Ken Holt in November offer an interesting comparison in disposition, as Arthur Hirsch writes in a package of profiles in today's paper.
Joe Bartenfelder and Kevin Kamenetz, both 15-year county councilmen, come off as an affable, folksy farmer and an intense, detail-oriented lawyer, respectively. Ron Harvey, a 28-year county human resources veteran, doesn't offer handshakes, but speaks with experience about how the machinery of county government operates.
Click below for some excerpts.
From the Bartenfelder piece:
Joe is Joe, they say — what you see is what you get. What you see is a tall, broad-shouldered man with a genial manner who seems to move easily between dark business suits and dusty work pants, who says he means to sustain small bits of this long-running juggling act even if he wins the job of Baltimore County executive, running the multibillion-dollar operation that is the county government.
From the Kamenetz piece:
By all accounts the 52-year-old lawyer from Owings Mills overachieves in his command of policy, but over the years has received guidance to work on his patience, humility and listening.
In the heat of a race, Kamenetz won't exactly acknowledge a need for improvement. He'll go this far: "I demand a lot of myself. I want others to have the same level of competence."
From the Harvey piece:
With about three weeks to go until the primary, Harvey, 63, a Nottingham resident in the race with two four-term members of the County Council, has no campaign staff, no website or campaign literature — though he says those are in the works — and no inclination to show up at candidate forums. What he does have is a cause, and what he calls an "insider's view of county government" that he says would serve him well as a reform-minded county CEO.