Dear Mr. Mayor (again)

| March 5, 2010 | 3 Comments

Another Open Letter To Josh Cohen

Dear Mr. Mayor–

Rumors had been swirling around for days that you had enlisted the help of the police to protect you and your Chief Administrative Officer as you attempt to bring the budget back to reality.  Yesterday, it was confirmed by your PIO with a statement made by Police Chief Michael Pristoop.

Absent any threats, is this really necessary? Certainly I don’t wish harm on anyone, but people and businesses all across the world have been dealing with budget shortages for years–all without executive protection. No doubt you have heard that unemployment in the US is still close to 10%. Thousands upon thousands of businesses have had to lay off workers–all without executive protection.

While it was before my time, I understand that former Mayor Dennis Callahan outfitted the Mayor’s office with bulletproof windows. If this is true, doesn’t it make more fiscal sense to lock your office door if you feel threatened?  If your CAO feels threatened, share the office for a little bit.

Everyone knows you have very difficult decisions to be made and you inherited a fiscal mess. Isn’t this new protection adding to that mess? How does this look to the citizens?  An immediate family member of mine was Chairman for a Fortune 500 company. No executive protection. The same family member served as a Cabinet Secretary for President Reagan and again, aside from the protections in the buildings–nothing.  Of course, if there is an imminent threat, it is likely justified; but apparently that is not the case.

I am not alone in my opinion, take a look at some of the comments made on Facebook about this new policy:

  • I think that is horrible and even though the PD has authorized it, I hope that both Cohen and Smith refuse the offer. Very few mayors, city administrators or other elected or appointed officials in Maryland have 24/7 police protection. If they have a problem, they can call 911 like the rest of us.
  • F-ing stupid!
  • Idiotic. If this was Virginia, they’d just give the Mayor a gun!
  • I wonder what the cost is for a month of 24/7 armed police officers is? Do the county judges have a 24/7 detail? It would seem to me that they would have more risk than the mayor of Annapolis. Could be wrong but just have to wonder. And Are they going to pull these officers off of street patrol?
  • Very excessive and at a bad time. He might as well go ahead and give himself a raise while he’s at it….
  • Maybe if he did not take his pay raise and then fire people he would have nothing to worry about? How can you pink slip people and take a pay raise? Is that saving money?
  • Lay off people, then hire yourself a body guard???? He may need it. SHe may have some things wrong, but at least Mayor Moyer walked and shop in town on her own.
  • Women and children who are being threatened by true, daily physical, mental and emotional abuse and can’t escape their abusers and tormentors need 24/7 protection. Do they get it? Who gets protection over others says volumes about any society, its government and its citizens.
  • I read where B-list actors in Hollywood hire protection so they look more important… With this tanked economy, 24hr protection as a precaution is a terrible waste of money.

Mr. Mayor, everyone knows about the economy. As former Alderman Herb McMillan told you on Monday, a government job is not an entitlement–and I think the employees of the City of Annapolis know this.  You have been very open and transparent with the citizens and the employees. Unless there is a viable threat, the additional resources (in money and manpower) should be refused by you and your CAO. Mr. Mayor, don’t be a B-list actor.

Regards,

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Category: OPINION

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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