Greg Stiverson On Why We Need A Real Capital City Commission...or whatever one wishes to call it... ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Greg Stiverson On Why We Need A Real Capital City Commission...or whatever one wishes to call it...

The following represents the personal views and opinions of Eastport resident and long-time activist and historic preservationist Greg Stiverson:

One of the recurrent themes in last year's mayoral election contest was the need for greater communication among the various jurisdictions and authorities that share an interest in Maryland's Capital City.
That forum for the exchange of ideas and coordination of plans existed once, as you note, in the Maryland Commission on the Capital City, created by Chapter 202, Acts of 1965. The Capital City Commission had as ex officio members the governor, president of the senate, speaker of the house, secretary of state planning, the state senators from Anne Arundel County, the mayor of Annapolis, the county executive of Anne Arundel County, and the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy--plus five appointed members.

I don't know whether the law creating the Capital City Commission is still on the books, but if it is, it could provide a ready-made vehicle for addressing the intergovernmental and cross-jurisdictional issues that face our capital city. It would require commitment and good will on the part of the ex officio members to give it real clout, but at the very least it could be a forum for the exchange of ideas that is today sadly lacking between and among the state, county, city, and Academy.

We need to know why the Capital City Commission faded from the picture--Was it a lack of willingness on the part of the named ex officio members to participate? Was it because the Commission was only an advisory body, and if so, does the law need to be strengthened to give the Commission some real authority?

If the European Union can get together to work out a plan to save Greece, doesn't it seem reasonable for the state, county, and Academy to get together with the city to decide how best to address problems in Annapolis that are of mutual concern to all? And wouldn't it be a good idea to have a forum--open to the public and the press--where the leaders of state and local governments could have ongoing discussions about policies that would make Annapolis the great capital city that it should be?

The European Union has a thousand years of hostility and distrust, plus two world wars, to overcome when its principals gather round the table. Can't the political leaders with a vested interest in Annapolis set aside their personal and political agendas in a collegial effort to make Annapolis better?

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February 11, County Executive Candidate Joanna Conti (weather permitting)
February 18, City Lobbyist Minor Carter
February 25, Judd Legum for Delegate, District 30


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