In keeping with the tradition of the season, we extend best wishes for 2012 to one and all, and we offer suggested New Year’s resolutions to a select few:
Gov. Martin O’Malley: Do a better job of “moving Maryland forward” by focusing more on Maryland. Yes, we know you’re chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and you have a role to play in the presidential campaign and you are positioning yourself for your next job, whatever that may be. But we’re kind of old-fashioned about such things, and we believe the best way to get your next job is to do a great job in your current one. Maryland’s challenges need your full attention, and this legislative session needs your strong leadership. As one of your hallowed predecessors would say, “Do it now.”
The General Assembly: Stop kicking the fiscal can down the road and make some hard decisions. There are plenty of them out there — gas tax, flush tax, table games, to name a few — and most involve money, either making do with less or by raising taxes. You’ve already proven you can do nothing. Now let’s try proving the opposite.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake: Step right up and take charge, Madam Mayor. You were very circumspect in the 2011 campaign not to presume victory, even in the joke of a general election, and you have promised a top-to-bottom review of city government. Baltimore faces a million problems and needs new leadership in critical positions, such as housing commissioner. Let’s get started
East Baltimore Development Inc.: Do in 2012 what you said you would do in 2011 — be more transparent in terms of your plans and performance, negotiate a truly inclusive development plan with the Middle East community, and do a better job of providing meaningful jobs for East Baltimore residents.
Baltimore City Council: Keep your eye on EBDI. You did much better in 2011 after 10 years of letting the nation’s largest urban redevelopment project run on autopilot and produce poor results, despite an investment of more than $200 million in public funds. Now is the time for more scrutiny than ever.
Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell: Get out of “still thinking about it” mode and do whatever it takes to reverse the growing length of time between when the court hears a case and issues an opinion. That interval, an average of 178 days in fiscal 2010, is at a 15-year high under your leadership. Your only response to repeated requests from The Daily Record for comment about this problem came Aug. 1, 2011: “I’m giving it some thought.” You added that an answer would be forthcoming. Five months later, the public is still waiting.
And while you’re at it, Judge Bell, change the “no change” rule for judges filling out financial disclosure forms and change it now. Listing your real estate holdings as 1, 2 and 3 and your corporate investments as 1, 2, 3 and 4 on your current disclosure form really doesn’t disclose much of anything, now does it?