Annapolis to Divest Itself of Nearly All Wards

July 13, 2015 | By | Reply More

In a move that he says “reflects the fiscal realities of 2015, Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides says he wants Annapolis to divest itself of nearly all wards. He announced his plan yesterday and is in the initial stages of forming an appointed task force to study the process of how to divest the city of most of its wards. Assistant City manager Bob Agee and the Mayor’s uncle Ted Siomporas will be guiding the process. Agee directed the dismantling of the business formerly known as The Market House back in the Moyer administration.

The Need for Annapolis to Divest Itself of Nearly All Wards

“Frankly, this has been a long time coming and my administration is going to be the one to finally pull the trigger,” said Pantelides in a phone interview, although it was difficult to hear him over the noise at Red Red Wine Bar. “Depending on who you ask, there are…like…nine or ten wards in the city, but the vast majority of our time, effort, and budget, as a city, are spent on Ward 1. So, there comes the point that we have to be realistic about consolidating our efforts. People have been screaming for consolidation.”

Annapolis to divest itself of nearly all wards

Alderpersons to Be Reassigned

As a result, according to the Mayor, the city will shed most of its wards, retaining only Ward 1, which includes most of downtown Annapolis to Westgate Circle, and, possibly Ward 8, which encompasses Eastport. There are no plans yet as to what is to become of the discarded wards, although it is safe to assume that they will be absorbed into the county or possibly become stand-alone municipalities of their own if the City can find a receptive municipality to annex the land. But it seems that city officials are not unified in their support for the plan. When Alderman Joe Budge, D-Ward 1, was asked if his fellow alderpersons were on board with the plan, he chose his words carefully.

“This is all still shaking out and there are a lot of major decisions to be made but, no, I would say that most of my counterparts aren’t thrilled,” said Budge, hesitantly. “But, as I understand it, they will retain their jobs as city officials, but will now spend their all of their time representing the residents of Ward 1. So, realistically, that is no change from what they actually do now.”

Ward 6 Alderman, Kenny Kirby, was not worried at all, “Ward 1, Ward 6, it really doesn’t matter. A job’s a job.”

No Layoffs Expected

Although the number of citizens being served by city employees will be drastically reduced, Mayor Pantelides doesn’t anticipate any layoffs of personnel, with the exception of the entire Department of Transportation, most of whom will be given positions elsewhere in the now-smaller city.

“As far as the city employees are concerned, Ward 1 residents have gotten used to a level of attention and maintenance to their neighborhood and it would be unfair to expect them to lower their expectations, so staff levels will remain the same,” said Pantelides. “And since Ward 1 residents don’t ever use public transportation, it’s pointless to keep that department. So we’ll just roll their budget into adding another trash pickup day, leaf raking, pool cleaning, or something.”

Residents In the Dark

City residents outside of Wards 1 and 8 seemed unaware of the possibility that they would soon be living in the county. When a customer at Graul’s Supermarket in West Annapolis was asked by this reporter if they knew of the plans for Annapolis to divest itself of nearly all wards, she seemed nonplussed.

“What the hell is a ward?” she snorted, before driving off in her BMW.


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Category: City of Annapolis

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Staff writer. What the hell does that mean? Oh yeah, that's right. I do all the fucking grunt work while Linda, Wanda and Mark take all the credit. Hey, but you know what, that's OK. The checks always clear the bank. But come the day that they don't...let me just say four words.... Mark.Naked.Farm.Animals

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