Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake has appointed 11th District City Councilman Bill Cole to be CEO of the Baltimore City Economic Development Corporation. Through a needlessly arcane appointment process, adjacent city council members and various community members selected by the City Council President recommend a nominee to the City Council as a whole for an up or down vote.
The Baltimore Sun has the list (which I’ve cut and pasted below).
- Melanie A. Ambridge, a former board member of the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association
- Darroll Cribb, CEO of The Humanitarian, Inc.
- Eric T. Costello, president of the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association
- Julie K. Dunham Howie, a development director at Payne Theological Seminary
- Shannon Laurie Keeny, a board member of the Locust Point Civic Association
- John Kucskar, a deputy legal counsel to Gov. Martin O’Malley
- Rob LaPin, a former teacher and House of Delegates candidate
- Arthur McGreevy, a lawyer at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin, and White LLC
- Harry F. Preston, V, a teacher of the year at Edmondson Westside High
- William Romani, founding board member of non-profit One House at a Time and former House of Delegates candidate
- Gregory Sileo, Locust Point Civic Association President
- Benjamin R. Smith, student body president at University of Maryland School of Law and a field director on the Brian Frosh campaign for attorney general
- David Stone, vice chairman of the Baltimore City school board
- Shannon Sullivan, board member of the Riverside community association
- Anthony F. Vittoria, a lawyer at the Ober|Kaler firm
It appears to me that, as outgoing Delegate Kieffer Mitchell is taking a pass, that it’s finally Bill Romani’s turn. After being bested by Del. Luke Clippinger in 2010 and Democratic Delegate Nominee Brooke Lierman in 2014, it looks like Mr. Romani is the far-and-away leader for the appointment in my opinion.
The only real danger in the appointment process that I see for Mr Romani is that there may be a push for an African-American appointee in this downtown Council District which stretches from trendy, white Federal Hill far into West Baltimore.
However, while he has not confirmed this to me, I envision Baltimore City Young Gun Ben Smith giving Bill Romani a hell of a fight in the 2016 Democratic Primary for this seat.
Ben is wicked smart and charming to a fault. While the insider appointment processes of Maryland doesn’t favor a young idealistic law student, the electorate in a competitive Democratic presidential primary does. My spidey sense tells me this will be a marquee Democratic primary in 2016.
Appointment Rating: Likely Romani
2016 Democratic Primary Election: To Early to Say.
Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-15-apply-for-vacant-city-council-seat-20140918,0,5037544.story#ixzz3DpFFQ0Lo