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December 21, 2010

Landers contemplates mayoral bid

Joseph T. “Jody” Landers III, vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors and a former Baltimore City Council member, announced Tuesday he is contemplating a run for mayor.

“I’ve grown somewhat frustrated over what I see as a lack of vision with where the city is headed,” said Landers. “The pressing needs of the city and this recession need more than a wait and see approach. We really need to put a priority on doing everything we can to grow the citys tax base and stimulate jobs.”

The web site The Investigative Voice first reported that Landers was considering a run for mayor.

Landers has long criticized the city’s property tax rate, which is the highest in the state. In 2007, under then- Mayor Sheila Dixon, Landers chaired a panel which drafted several alternative taxes that could allow the city to lower property tax rates.

Variations of some of those proposals were adopted by the city this year to fill a $121 million hole in the city’s budget, prompting objections from Landers who believes the measures should be used to reduce property taxes.

“We issued a report and explained all the reasons it is importatnt for the city to increase its tax base, but I feel as if it fell on deaf ears,” said Landers.

He added that the high property taxes dissuade both businesses and residents from moving to the city. There are curently more homes for sale in Baltimore than were sold during all of last year, he said. And the end of the housing bubble has made homes in the surrounding counties as affordable as those in the city, he said.

Landers said the city should cut expenses, investigate other revenue sources and consider sharing resources with the counties to reduce property tax rates.

“We need to make this a priority,” he said.

Landers has spoken out against the two-cent bottle tax approved by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in the spring. As a city council member Landers approved the city’s first bottle tax in the late 1980s in conjunction with Baltimore County. But when the county repealed the tax a few years later, Landers pushed to follow suit, saying it would hurt city businesses.

Other candidates planning to challenge Rawlings-Blake include Otis Rolley III, a former city planning director; Frank Conaway, the city’s longtime clerk of court; State Sen. Catherine Pugh and auto dealer owner Scott Donahoo.

Campaign finance reports which are due about a month from now will provide greater insight into the race. Candidates need to raise about $1 million to launch a successful bid for mayor in Baltimore.

Posted by Julie Scharper at 5:51 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: City Hall
        

Comments

Yeah! Finally a candidate that is interesting and talented! With Landers and Stephanie RB, this race will be fun to watch. As long as they keep that Rolley character out of the running, I would be happy with either.

Hey Jody Landers, there are more homes for sale in Baltimore than were sold last year, because your idiot realtors don't like to tell their sellers to lower their prices.

Why would anyone want to put up with trash, a high crime rate, bad roads, and a lack of decent city services, and then pay out the nose for the "privelege"?

Why would anyone want to put up with trash, a high crime rate, bad roads, and a lack of decent city services, and then pay out the nose for the "privelege"?

100 PERCENT CORRECT!

This is a candidate who would finally put theatrics and empty platitudes behind and, instead, follow a concrete path to Baltimore's rebirth as a first rate city.

How does jody feel about the $150k for Casa de md? How does jody feel about the incredible expense accounts the mayor gets for salons and lavish lunches and trips for the good of md.

GO JODY!

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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