Annapolis to Add Ward to Represent Developers

November 16, 2015 | By | Reply More

In an report submitted to City Hall earlier this week, the Annapolis Ward Boundary and Redistricting Commission has recommended adding an additional ward to the existing eight that currently comprise the city. However, this new ward will have no physical boundaries and will quickly surpass Ward One in terms of influence and affluence.

In response to questions submitted via email, Jon Matheson, chair of the commission, informed the Crabwrapper that, with input from several parties, including Mayor Michael Pantelides, his team was recommending the addition of “Ward D.” This ward would be a district that would be composed solely by individuals and companies who develop properties within the city.

“It’s a radical idea,” Matheson said, “But we feel that it would be an honest solution to a relationship between developers and elected city officials that, until now, has been purely at a wink-and-a-nod level. At least this would put everything out in the open. Plus, to be honest, we received quite a bit of ‘encouragement’ from some people within city government to move in this direction.”

Move is Not Without Precedent

According to the Annapolis charter, the city’s wards are to be divided into approximately equal groups based on population. The 2010 survey indicated clearly that the wards were out of compliance, necessitating the formation of the redistricting committee. Although, few expected this outcome, the mayor says that it is not without precedent.

“Washington D.C. has four at-large councilmen,” pointed out Mayor Michael Pantelides, while simultaneously answering reporter questions and repeating the questions to his father on the phone. “Those council members don’t represent wards with physical boundaries, either, but are necessary to represent something that is big and has a sort of a thing that people are blue and eat stuff….hey, my dad’s phone is breaking up. Can we do this interview later?”

Developers Says New Ward Is More Efficient Use of Money

City developers were predictably giddy over the prospect of direct representation on city council, saying that it made for a more efficient legislative body.

Developers begin to move bulldozers in the city in anticipation of representation on City Council.

Developers begin to move bulldozers into the city in anticipation of representation on City Council.

“This provides a system that is much more honest,” said local developer, Adam Sheraton, while placing dozens of little models of CVSs all over a tabletop model of the city of Annapolis. “I used to have to write four or five checks to council members and now I just have to write one. Plus, it’s all out in the open now, so we don’t have to pretend anymore. This will streamline the process for us significantly. In fact, I predict we’ll be breaking ground on the Crystal Spring project before Christmas!”

City Council On Board With the Recommendation

Some council members agreed, saying that it has been difficult to balance the needs of both the residents, whom they represent, and developers, who finance their election campaigns, when it comes to legislation.

“I feel like I’m being pulled in two directions,” said one alderperson who did not want to be named. “My constituents elected me to represent their interests, but not many of them write me the kind of checks that the developers do. I admit that I feel a bit guilty sometimes when I disregard the best course of action for residents and students in favor of builders, but what can I do? Campaigns don’t pay for themselves. At least this way, I can do what I feel passionate about…representing the needs of developers over those of citizens. To be blunt, constantly pretending like I cared for my constituents was exhausting.”

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Category: City of Annapolis

About the Author ()

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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