Racial tensions heat up at Council meeting, Pantelides note to Alderman ‘thanks for f-ing me’

| March 11, 2014 | 13 Comments

At last night’s Annapolis City Council meeting, tensions were high. Not only was the new Mayor presenting his first State of the City address and his first budget, but he was forced to answer some difficult questions put forward  by the African American community regarding equal representation in his new administration. The entire meeting can be viewed on the City’s website.

The Concern Of The African American Community

Former Alderwoman Classie Hoyle was first to speak (39:30-43:45) and stated she was asked by the African American community to address these issues in front of the Council. Hoyle said the community is seeing their representation that took hundreds of years to achieve, be whittled away and that African Americans are being excluded from the decision making within the City. Hoyle said “these are not our best days” and asked the Mayor and Council to look into the disappearance of the African Americans in the decision making. Hoyle stated that it seems that African Americans are being dismissed and cited the terminations of Karen Hardwick, Eugene Peterson, Kirby McKinney, a secretary, and Richard Newell. Mayor Pantelides countered that Newell was still employed by the City.

Alderman Ross Arnett called Hoyle back (43:50) to the podium and asked her to please continue the conversation and come to the Council with specific examples in order to have a “concrete discussion of the concerns and what you see is eroding.”  Alderman Arnett was followed by Alderwoman Finlayson, Alderman Kirby, and Alderwoman Pindell-Charles each expressing their concern and support of the African American community.

Throughout the evening, this theme was repeated over and over again. Community Activist Robert Eades took the Mayor to task and briefly engaged the Mayor in an argument over racial disparity.

Director of Transportation, Richard Newell argued for the City to implement a regional transit plan and went so far as to say, “I am the architect of the end of my own job.” This statement was a double entendre as a regional transit plan would likely eliminate his position. However, Newell had also made some critical comments in The Capital, and it has been speculated that Newell will lose his job for his comments. Eye On Annapolis has learned that after The Capital’s story went to print, Newell was, in fact,  told to resign by the end of the month by Virginia Burke, the Acting City Manager who resigned last night after the meeting. Newell has so far refused and will essentially force the Mayor’s hand to fire him if he wants to make a change, which will only add fuel to this fire.

The NoteThanks

Shortly after Alderwoman Hoyle’s testimony (49:17), Mayor Pantelides passed a note to Alderman Ross Arnett where he scribbled “thanks for fucking me.”  (Eye On Annapolis has confirmed that the note in the picture is indeed the note that was passed.)  In the video of the Council meeting, the Mayor can be seen leaving his seat to pass the note at 49:17.  Eye On Annapolis obtained a photograph of the note. When asked for a comment on the note, Alderman Arnett emailed a response saying, “No, that’s between the mayor and I.”

Pantelides was not available for comment but told The Capital he regretted the note .

Screenshot 2014-03-11 15.18.57

 

Category: NEWS

About the Author ()

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.