Annapolis Sunday Capital (Newspaper) - September 8, 2013, Annapolis, Maryland
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SEPT. 8, 2013
A Capital-Gazette Newspaper ® — Annapolis, MD
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Photos by Matthew Cole, Staff
AMI INF FYTPA Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen takes the plunge into the water Saturday morning
UliLIIlL lAIIIH at City Dock fulfilling his promise to walk the plank if Market House didn’t open
• See more photos and a video at capitalgazette.com. *ast ^ee Pa6e ior the full story.
Buses improve, Market House reopens - and environmental issues stay on back burner
By ELISHA SAUERS [email protected]
Four years ago, a young Josh Cohen stood in front of a crowd at City Dock with the task of unifying the Democratic Party.
Hours before the rally, the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee had tapped him to be its nominee in the mayoral race, follow ing the primary winner’s decision to bow out amid scrutiny of her finances.
“Politicians are not supposed to make a lot of promises,” Cohen said then. “But I can promise one thing: If the voters trust me with their vote ... the next four years are going to be nothing like the last eight years.”
Despite his stated aversion to promises, Cohen, who won the general election, by 476 votes over Republican Dave Cordle, set many goals for his four years in office.
From fixing air conditioners on the buses to getting them running on time, he laid out a
vision for Annapolis’ transit system. He promised to reboot Market House with a new layout, seating with waterfront views and a mix of local seafood and prepared meals for customers.
He said he would raise the bar at City Hall, providing a better website with documents available online, hiring a credentialed city manager and establishing competitive bid ding for all major contracts.
Now 40, and approaching another primary election that could be as contentious as the last, the mayor is running on his accom plishments.
A Capital review of Cohen’s 2009 promises and his record shows that while he has completed or progressed on many of his original goals, a few have sat on the back burner.
For example, almost none of Cohen’s environmental promises have become reality. But he did a lot of what he pledged on transportation initiatives.
Cohen said some projects he thought he’d be able to do were sidelined because he inherited a city in worse financial shape than
he’d expected, and had to spend much of the first three years of his term repairing Annapolis’ finances.
Now, with the Sept. 17 primary little more than a week away, Cohen faces an aggressive challenge from fellow Dem ocrat Bevin Buchheister, who has drawn support from residents frustrated with recent development proposals for City Dock and Forest Drive.
Cohen’s backers credit him with getting the city back on a solid financial footing. Others blame him for raising taxes and fees, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in Market House and keeping too many employees on the city payroll.
But Alderman Ross Arnett, D Ward 8, at times the mayor’s harshest critic, gave Cohen a pat on the back six months ago.
“I have to give the mayor credit,” Arnett said. “He can own a very positive track re cord on virtually everything but the Market House.”
(See COHEN, Page A15)
Ed Hartman still pursues his love of sailing— and of Annapolis
By TOM MARQUARDT Special Correspondent
C. Edward Hartman II stands at ease behind the polished chrome wheel of his 53foot ketch, Ma’m’Selle, named after a character in the comic strip “Pogo” — a skunk who is the most beautiful creature in the swamp.
It is here the owner of U.S. Boat Shows and longtime Annapolis lawyer finds his comfort zone. He can be alone, surrounded by water, and free of phones, television — and politicians.
The steel-blue eyes and tanned, hardened face show years of stress: losing a daughter, breaking up a law firm he built, fighting to preserve the city he loves and now selling a profitable boat show company in an emergency, and under what he describes as duress from Mayor Josh Cohen.
The trim, fit 86 year-old isn’t much for small talk. You won’t find him schmoozing in the corner of a cocktail party or pontificating at the table of any bank board. No hospital building bears his name, nor has he ever run for office.
“I wouldn’t even vote for myself,” he says
(See HARTMAN, Page A13)
As primary nears, how has Cohen done?
• See a breakdown of Cohen’s campaign promises at capitalgazette.com.
MAYOR WALKS THE PLANKMinimum wage issue simmers in MarylandA man, a bay and a city
Supporters gain ground, but hurdles remain
By ALEX JACKSON [email protected]
Many Democrats have come out for hiking the state’s $7.25 per hour minimum wage, but any bill introduced to do so in the next General Assembly session must overcome staunch opposition from an unconvinced committee and the small business community.
As summer wanes, Gov. Martin O’Malley, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D Montgomery and state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D Calvert, have gotten behind the idea.
Speaking recently at a ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington, O’Malley called for action that “raises the minimum wage for every mom and dad that’s willing to work hard and play by the rules.”
(See WAGE, Page A10)
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