Mathew Silverman, Alderman for Ward 5 will be absent for the next four months while he explores other career options. An opportunity has come up for Alderman Silverman to become a “federal law enforcement officer” which will require him being away from the City and his constituents from December through April and apparently the Mayor has agreed to allow the Alderman to retain his seat. (see release below)
The people of Ward 5 did not elect Alderman Silverman to abandon his obligation less than a year after accepting it. His leaving is doing a disservice to his constituents as there is a very real probability that if he successfully completes the program, he will likely move from the area as the release only states he is expected to be stationed in Maryland. If voters will recall, The Capital refused to endorse either candidate for this election and part of the reasoning was that Silverman appeared to hop from job to job professionally.
As the City continues to grapple with a budget that critics claim in unable to be balanced, SIlverman will be leaving at the most critical time with no guarantees of his return. City spokesman, Phill McGowan told Eye On Annapolis that the City Attorney has advised that any 4-4 votes are considered a fail. However, with the Mayor and Aldermen Kirby, Finlayson, and Hoyle voting with the Mayor, this seems like it effectively eliminates a potential hurdle for any pet legislation. When questioned on the nature of the training, McGowan advised that it would not be released due to potential future national security concerns.
While this appears to be a fait accompli, residents in Ward 5 ought to be upset and Alderman Silverman owes his constituents more. While the City cannot afford it, the residents of Ward 5 should demand a special election so their concerns are adequately represented in City Hall. What do you think?
Annapolis, Md. (11-23-10) – Mayor Joshua J. Cohen is pleased to offer his congratulations to Alderman Mathew Silverman, who has recently been invited to become a law enforcement agent with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mr. Silverman has been assigned to attend an out-of-state federal training facility for four months starting in December. In light of his professional obligations, the Ward 5 alderman has made arrangements with Mayor Cohen to assist in serving constituent requests. Mr. Silverman has no plans to step down from his council seat and will be responsive to his constituents via e-mail and phone during this period.
Upon successfully completing his training, Mr. Silverman is expected return to the City Council in April and be stationed in Maryland. He is maintaining his residence in Annapolis.
“This is a real honor not just for Mat but for our City,” Mayor Cohen said. “It is a testament to Mat’s passion for and experience in public safety that he has been tapped for this opportunity. My staff and I are committed to assisting Mat in meeting his obligations to his constituents during the demanding four-month training. The advantage of living in the digital age is that Mat will remain available to his constituents and responsive to the issues facing Ward Five and the city.”
Mr. Silverman, who holds a master’s degree in criminal justice, has been a police officer with Anne Arundel County for nearly two years. Before that, he served as an officer with the U.S. Capitol Police for seven years.
“This is a lifelong dream of mine,” Mr. Silverman said. “I am grateful for the opportunity, and I am grateful that I can pursue my professional aspirations and continue to represent the voters who elected me.”