When The Going Gets Weird…

Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of
principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

Things started turning weird here at The Dagger this past week, and after kicking it around amongst ourselves for a few days, we’ve decided to open the books and let you all take a look.

The Dagger ad

First things first. A group of local businessmen, the prospective developers of the Wetlands Golf Course, bought a roughly $250, bumper sticker-size ad in The Record newspaper today to promote The Dagger.

You might have seen it; if you’re reading us for the first time because of it, welcome. We think these guys are a bit nuts (and we’re sure they think we’re nuts), but after negotiating the details, we decided to let them go ahead (they swore they’d just print our address and slogan, and let us sign off on the proof – they also said they planned to send a worker from the golf course with poor English skills and a wad of cash to purchase the ad at the paper’s office).

While things have been hot here at The Dagger — we’ve registered about 15,000 reads in our first six weeks — we have not made a penny off this blog, nor was that ever the plan. We set up the site for free in early September, and we don’t own the domain name. In fact, what you’re reading right now is actually stored on a server somewhere in the UK. All our stats, which tell us, among other things, how many readers we get in a day, are set to Greenwich Mean Time.

We at The Dagger eyed with suspicion the advances of Sam Smedley, Chris Michel, Tom Simons, and Charles and Ron Benfield. We swore to them that they wouldn’t get a damn thing out of us in return for the ad. But The Wetlands crew insisted they just wanted to get the word out about the blog. In case it’s not perfectly clear, they also want Mayor S. Fred Simmons, council president Mike Hiob, and councilman Dave Yensan reelected and very badly want councilwoman Ruth Elliott out. As a refresher, go back and read our “An ace in the hole” post for our take on another Smedley stunt.

Josh, the steadfast idealist on our crew, warned us two nights before the ad was to run: “Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.”

Chris Michel, Dagger benefactor, told us through email: “We just want fair, honest and accurate reporting on both sides of the issues.”

Maybe we’ll end up with fleas and fair reporting. Who knows? What we got for sure was a perfect item for The Dagger Christmas party: framed copies of a $250 ad for a free blog that ran in a 150-year-old newspaper. Standby for your invite.

Before the go-round with Smedley and company, The Dagger entered the ether earlier in the week when The Examiner tried to hire one or more of us as full-time writers. After we turned that down point-blank, Examiner assistant managing editor Gary Gately asked if we’d like to freelance for the Baltimore daily at $100 to $150 a story. It turns out we’ve been beating his paper to the punch often enough in the last few weeks to put significant heat on their Harford section staff and provoke their editor to make us an offer. Officially, we’re still mulling the idea (we really will call you back Gary). Unofficially, our ombudsman brought the hammer down hard.

Again, here’s Josh from an internal Dagger discussion: “I could not be more opposed to the idea of having any kind of connection with the Baltimore Examiner…The MOST disturbing thing about the Examiner is their treatment of journalists. They are overworked and underpaid, and taking stories from The Dagger puts one of them out of work. Maybe if they actually treated someone well they wouldn’t be scooped by The Dagger. Reporters come into the Examiner, are chewed up, and spit out. There is no regard to the idea of community service, of continuing in-depth coverage of anything. This editor wants to take advantage of your hard work and talent, and use you until it’s no longer convenient. They are EVERYTHING that is wrong with American journalism. What if one of us wanted to take on one of their big advertisers? Or take the paper itself on? Any kind of connection with them puts a shadow on every word and picture in The Dagger.”

(Josh’s pictures, by the way, are coming soon. He’s a brilliant photographer in addition to being our conscience, whom we politely listened to, then disobeyed regarding the Smedley ad. Telling the full, unadulterated story was the only way we could keep him from lighting a bag of poo on our collective front porch.)

This election we’ve set out to cover is 10 days away, but The Dagger doesn’t intend to quiet down afterwards. Send us your story ideas. Tell us what you know or what you want to know. Anything goes. You might try buying us an ad in the local paper, which will at the very least get you in a story explaining how you bought us an ad in the local paper. But don’t expect much more. Because we’re The Dagger and…well, you know the rest.

Comments

  1. exterminator says

    Call when those fleas start to bite.

    You know those wetland people are useing the Dagger to suit thier own purpose. mainly the upcomming Aberdeen election. $250 not a bad price.

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  2. acrobat says

    Then why wouldn't they have just run an ad for their candidates?

    Instead it is ad for a blog where we all get to say absolutely whatever we want about the issues, other bloggers and the Candidates.

    I will say it again the Dagger needs to be commended for their blog and creating an interactive medium which their 150 year old previous employer is scared to death of, and you by your post.

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  3. observer for observe says

    Then why is a drawing of a heron used to encourage a yea vote for annexation?

    There are several issues in the upcoming election; crime, taxes, water. But, the underlying issue is annexation! Elect Simmons, Hiob and Yensen and we will again be fighting a major annexation. Wake up Aberdeen. It's time to get rid of these bozos and their money-hungry, manipulating, lying, cheating backers.

    At least here, my opinion can be stated. Of course someone (Steven Wright) will now link it back to Art Helton!

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  4. Employee says

    Observer for Observer:

    Aberdeen is going to grow no matter who is elected. If you haven't herd BRAC is coming. Everyone is out to make money. Even Art Helton.

    Ruth Elliott even said that Aberdeen needs to grow at meet the candiates night. Now, the question is will this growth better Aberdeen or will it bankrupt Aberdeen.

    Voting for Bennett will allow an inexperienced person manage this growth and take Aberdeen back to the days of Elliott and Boutin (Ripken Stadium fiasco).

    A vote for Simmons will ensure managed growth, developer oversight, and a safer Aberdeen.

    I would urge all to put aside our personal differences and do what's best for Aberdeen. Vote for Simmons on November 6th!

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  5. observer for observe says

    What experience does Simmons have.? He's an insurance salesman. Shady deals, deception and excuses. That's insurance.

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  6. exterminator says

    Employee:

    All a vote for Simmons will do is increase our taxes even more. its obvious that you must be a renter and do not have tax issues.Fred has (with the help of yensan and Hiob) have spent more money than the city can repay. And will you shut up about BRAC! Read the Army Times and get educated about it. BRAC is getting shot down. And even if it did become a reailty do you really think that everyone will move to and want to live in this City? Wake up Girl! What….. were you promised a ride in the front seat of the garbage truck for your support!!

    Observer to observer: Fred is a salesman and he sold us a bag or crap two years a go. Now Let Bennett clean it up. I say A vote for Bennett is a vote for honest leadership.

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  7. Daddy says

    Exterminator-

    Boy you are out of touch with reality. If you hadn't exterminated your brain cells you would know that they have already awarded the contract on multi-million dollar complex on APG for BRAC. BRAC is a reality, BRAC is here.

    Educate yourself before you type, you'd look less like a moron to the rest of us!

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  8. says

    Didnt take too long to get back to business as usual for the message board peanut gallery, did it? Speaking as a proud member of the aforementioned, of course.
    You know, I did advise not to let the ad be published, mostly because it just didnt pass the stink test. "What", I thought," have the developers to gain by advertising the Dagger?" And for the life of me I couldnt figure out a compelling enough reason. But it just hit me: It's not the stories in the Dagger they want to promote, but the message boards. Be on the lookout for any new posters. I suspect we may be in for some imposters, pushing this agenda or that candidate.
    Exciting, isnt it?

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  9. observer for observe says

    joshua, (This is my opinion)

    I think that you are right in that the developers are promoting the message boards. I also think that the majority of the readers/posters on the boards have already made up their minds as to how they will cast their votes on election day (if they are registered voters in Aberdeen.)

    Since I am not casting my votes for Simmons, Yensen and Hiob, I pay close attention to the anti-Bennett, Elliott, and Denu dialogue and tend to respond. I also notice that there is a bit of anti-Helton and anti-ACT (Red-Shirt) posts, and suspected all along that this arose as a result of another person or group interested in developing Aberdeen to the point that it looks like Bel Air.
    I think the majority of the Aberdeen voters could care less about Art Helton or ACT and their involvement in this election is a non-issue, only a decoy to confuse the voters.

    Additionally, I cannot write without throwing in a little dig to someone. Yensen looks like a big, fat pumpkin in his orange shirt!

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  10. citizen says

    Observer for Observer, Simmons has the most knowledge and experience with politics and how things work than anyone else running. Especially more than a 19 yr. old, and certainly more than Bennett, what does he have to offer, literally?
    Exterminator, BRAC is coming…in the very near future. Aberdeen will grow, and the present residents will have to cope or leave. The most we can hope for are politica leaders who will guide the city in the right direction for this change.

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  11. Daddy says

    Does Bennett use any local media to get his message out? I haven't seen a single news article or interview on/with him. (not even a blog spot!) So exactly why should I waste my vote on him?

    In Fred I Trust!

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  12. citizen says

    I haven't seen or heard either, and whatever does get out seems to be Helton's and Johnson's voice behind Bennett since neither can run.

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  13. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Daddy,

    One could say much the same about Mr. Simmons. Even the issues page on his web site is empty:
    http://fredwetrust.com/id3.html

    And the Council Meeting Minutes on the Aberdeen City web site are a month behind. It would be great if Mr. Simmons would post a blogspot with his ideas and positions on the issues facing Aberdeen.

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  14. says

    When I got the call from Matt the other night warning me that there might be an ad for our blog in the paper paid for by a group of developers, I was shocked. It went against everything we learned in our experience as professional reporters. It also, as Josh stated, smelled bad.

    I just want our readers to know that the whole thing makes me uncomfortable. I do not and never will support developers. Like Josh, I warned against it, but, as the guys said about Josh's advice, they disobeyed anyway. But we're not a newspaper and we're not owned by anyone. We do things a little differently here, and I've worked with these guys for four years, so I'm going to trust they know what they're doing.

    So here we are. Smedley' group and Simons are getting what they want, and I guess we're getting more publicity for good or ill. The one thing I know for certain is that The Dagger doesn't scratch any backs – rather bites them. You can buy us an ad or a bottle of wine, but we won't be sleeping with you afterwards.

    The Dagger will always give it to you like it is, because that's how we like it. And we want you to do the same. I'm glad what we offer here has a lot of people excited and active in their community.

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  15. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Kloh,

    The position you state is exactly what makes The Dagger worth reading and following. I, for one, am glad The Dagger is around.

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  16. vietnam vet says

    I wondered how long it would take to get unbaised reporting. well it's here and welcome.even the commoners get a chance to speak. great job guy's keep it up.

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  17. observer for observe says

    I am now a Dagger fan. Your ability to cover a story is commendable, and the hits are better than the O's.

    If Simmons is getting a woody because of all the chatter about him on the blogs, its quite alright. After November 6th, he can go back to selling insurance and leave the 'mayoring' up to Bennett.

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  18. Daddy says

    You idoit, you really don't observe do you. That was posted on October 09th. You make it sound as if it was posted tody. Which is October 26th by the way. Gee, 17 days without a whisper from the man. With 10 days to go until election day he's really getting his points across isn't he. Now, who's your daddy?

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  19. exterminator says

    to daddy:
    Stop with the insults. I think you can get your point accross well enough without them. You are an extremely hostile person and you should get some professional help. Yours is not the only opinion. I suggest you get a copy of the army times AND READ IT. You should know as well as the next guy that the US Army can change its mind any time it wants. And if BRAC is comming then that does not mean that every single solitary person will live in Aberdeen. if thats what you think ,than think again. Loser.

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  20. Daddy says

    Thank you Mr and Mrs Denu! Being called a loser from you two is like a badge of honor!

    And BRAC is a done deal idiot, why else would they be building the facility? Pick up a newspaper once in awhile and may educate yourself. Double loser. (Nana-nana boo-boo)

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  21. observer for observe says

    Daddy,
    Maybe you shouldn't speak in absolutes;

    "Daddy, on October 26th, 2007 at 2:45 pm Said:
    Does Bennett use any local media to get his message out? I haven’t seen a single news article or interview on/with him. (not even a blog spot!) So exactly why should I waste my vote on him?"

    Thankfully you are not my daddy. Your bullish behavior does not intimidate me. Grow Up!

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  22. Daddy says

    Don't be scared of the facts, when you are old enough to vote they will help to decied to vote for Simmons. You're like finger-tamberines and windchimes.

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  23. observer for observe says

    Daddy, Are you smoking crack again? You are not making any sense. Oh yeah, it is Friday evening. How was happy hour?

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  24. exterminator says

    not scared at all.I'm amused. I will be playing the tamberines on nov. 6 when your boys get VOTED OUT!

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  25. Daddy says

    What happens if my 'boys' win? Or will you have Elliott screw up the certification again? And who said anything about you being scared?

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  26. Daddy says

    I wish I was, then maybe you would make sense! I guess that's how you and observer met. Educate yourself and maybe, just maybe someone will take you seriously when you grow up.

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  27. observer for observe says

    Don't blame Rick. No tag team here. There are actually two more people that think you are an idiot.

    Besides, I looked over that link you sent. Where exactly does it discuss annexing any land into the City of Aberdeen?
    Are you blowing more hot air, or just smoke?

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  28. exterminator says

    Elliott….Who said anything about Elliott? Give it up dude. You are on the losing side. And losers always get hostile and desperate. I'll be back later. got better things to do on a Friday night. CRACK DADDY! HAAAA!!!!!

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  29. Daddy says

    BRAC idiot, BRAC. The discussion was on BRAC. You and boy said that it wasn't a done deal. Remember? Clear the smoke and breathe. BRAC is coming no matter how much dis-information you and your other cannidates wish to put out there.

    Oh, and to tie in to Aberdeen growing: They have to live somewhere! Even your friend Elliott acknowledged that Aberdeen needs more high-end housing. Does that scare you because you may have to relocate to Edgewood?

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  30. observer for observe says

    daddy,

    Right, crack head. BRAC is coming. So where is it written that we have to annex. All I saw was a statement that the area north of 95 between Aberdeen and Havre de Grace was to remain agricultural with very limited and rural housing. So give a link to your point of view, or is the crack clouding your ability to understand a simple question?

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  31. vietnam vet says

    guy's take it easy' no need for a heart attack. trust me I know.the military is famous for hurry up and wait.some effort's are being & have been made at apg. can't say' much for the city of aberdeen. the city council is to busy fighting for a spot on the election ballot. been here 30 year's, and still waiting for major improvement. we better hurry. I don't have 30 years left.

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  32. simone says

    oh daddy boy….hello crack daddy,

    bennett has been in the aegis, record, examiner, baltimore sun (hon) and 1/2 hour interview on WAMD.

    who is your daddy?

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  33. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Actually, Daddy, Ms. Elliott didn't "screw up" the referendum certification. From what I could tell from the testimony, there was a handwritten and signed copy of the results available. As there is no specific methodology for certification mentioned in the City Charter, a notarized copy of it should have been sufficient. What format Mr. Price used to present the results to the attorney is not specified in the write up.

    In any event, the certification of the results was made by the Election Board sometime between the 5th and 11th of December, per the City Charter. From the Charter:

    "12. Within forty-eight hours after the closing of the polls, the Board of Elections shall determine the vote cast for each candidate and question and shall certify the results of the election and the elected officials to the Council, who shall have the results recorded in the minutes or journal of the Council."

    The official results were read into the City Council Meeting Minutes on Dec 11. The minutes were approved by the Mayor and City Council, as submitted, on December 18 so the certification was already completed. If you care to read the Meeting Minutes, they can be found on the Aberdeen City web site.
    http://www.aberdeen-md.org/

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  34. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Doesn't read, huh? Too bad. There's lots of good information on the City web site.

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  35. observer for observe says

    Aberdeen Voter, Who is John Salser? Have you read anything about him other than what was posted earlier?

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  36. An Aberdeen Voter says

    There was a John Salser that expressed some comments during the April 24, 2006 City Council meeting concerning security in the Havre de Grace area around Medline.

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  37. observer for observer says

    Daddy has already demonstrated that he won’t read anything that proves him wrong.

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  38. exterminator says

    Hey Daddy . What do you mean not old enough to vote? I know that I will be voteing on Nov.6. Although you will not because you don't live in Aberdeen. Steve, I mean Daddy.

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  39. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Nope, don’t know anything about him though there is a John J. Salser listed as a volunteer with the APGFCU in their 2002 annual report. Don’t know if it’s the same one. whitepages.com lists a John J. Salser living in Havre de Grace. The same applies, don’t know if it’s the same one.

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  40. says

    AAV,

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who see's the inadequacies in the charter. Perhaps if the election rules were spelled out more clearly we would'nt even be dicussing this issue.

    Was anyone else aware of the Charter review and recommendations for change that I had mentioned previously? I wonder what happened to that most recent project?

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  41. Daddy says

    Must have been big interviews with Bennett, seeing how NO ONE endorsed him! See you cry babies November 6th! Don’t take it personally when they don’t allow you to vote. It’s not you fault your not old enough. Daddy will make it all better for you though.

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  42. Daddy says

    Imagine that, exterminator, observer, Aberdeen voter, and Rick Denu all posting within minutes of each other. Kind of makes one think his multiple personalities are starting to show.

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  43. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Daddy,

    Are you paranoid? I can guarantee you that I'm not Exterminator, Mr. Denu or Observer. I'm only me. However just to make a point, one could make the same kind of observation concerning you, Employee, Maggie Mae and Fair-minded.

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  44. says

    Charter Review.

    When Doug Miller was hired in March of 2006, it was my recommendation to him for the City to review its charter. The charter needed a major overhaul to make it current. Most of the amendments were changing a few words like "City Administrator" to City Manager." However, some of the amendments were significant. If you review the city code you will see the inconsistencies.

    You see, whenever an ordinance in enacted, it sometimes directly requires an amendment to another section of the Charter so that each article in the charter agrees. Example: election of Council President.

    When the City held the referenda in 2006, the city found articles in its election laws that needed clarified. The legislation was written; however, the ordinances never went before the council for introduction, a public hearing and adoption. How do I know? Because I rewrote the entire election ordinance (the law that the Board of Election supervisors follow) and the election section in the charter so that they not only agreed with each other but also closed loopholes. The referendum section was vague and rewritten to follow state law. According to the Record, the city recently adopted the state election laws for clarification to their code. Why did it take almost a year to complete this task? Where was the city manager?

    Over a period of three months, I wrote 11 ordinances in an effort to make the charter current. There was a group of city employees, consisting of the executive staff, who would meet weekly to review the charter. After each meeting, I would take their comments and write an ordinance to make the update. The executive team consisted of: department directors, city manager, executive assistant and the chief of police.

    Once again, the City Manager dropped the ball. He didn't follow through with the charter review. What happened to the 11 ordinances that were written? Why weren't they taken to the Council?

    Come on gang, you can't blame this one on S. Fred. I believe that S. Fred wants the charter to be current. Let's face it. The City Manager failed. S. Fred is only good as the people around him and when they drop the ball, as Mayor, he has to pick up the pieces.

    I am,
    Dagny

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  45. says

    Another point: remember S. Fred walked into the city with myriad experience as a businessman, but lacked experience in the nuts and bolts of government. He had to learn and draw on his city manager for that knowledge.

    In the beginning, this is where the city manager and elected body should have drawn upon each other for their expertise. But they didn't because the city manager was obsessed with what the mayor was doing.

    You can't have a city manager involved in politics. It just doesn't work. If that happens, then who is looking out for the employees? Isn't the city manager, according to charter, in charge of operations? And who are the workers who see that operations are taken care of?–the employees.

    I am,
    Dagny

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  46. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Dagny,

    Your comments are true. However just like the Captain of a ship or the CEO of a corporation is ultimately responsible for what goes on under and around them, shouldn't the Mayor, and by extension the Council, be responsible for the shortcomings of their administration? I've known several ship captains who were stripped of their commands for events over which they had no control. When a ship runs aground, it's not just the Navigator who gets sacked; it's also the Captain.

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  47. Wisdom Tooth says

    Dangy,

    I beg your pardon, the Mayor and Council. You seem to be pretty well informed. Having written admendments to the charter, one would asume that you worked closely with mayor and council at some point. As a result, I would value your opinion.

    Thank you.

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  48. says

    Aberdeen Voter.

    Point taken. I can tell you that a loyal captain will never point a finger at his subordinates –he's too strong– and he will never go down with the ship by leaving his workers behind. And those are traits of a good 'Captain.'

    Dagny

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  49. observer for observe says

    Good point, AVV

    Hold the mayor and city council responsible for the shotcomings of the city employees. Dagny claims he is part of the administrative aspects of the town. Maybe he should also be held accountable.

    Dagny, where do you fit in? Are you as administrative employee as you elude to, or are you one of our elected officials?

    Also, if the city charter was to be rewritten, shouldn't that fact have been included in a city council meeting? Perhaps you were ignored by the city manager because you undertook a task that was not part of your duties. If you were not tasked to rewrite the city charter, then were you not also taking up many man-hours of the other city employees in your 'weekly meetings?'

    How easy it is to blame someone other than Fred.

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  50. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Dagny,

    You are correct. A good, strong Captain does take responsibility for the actions of his/her subordinates. That's why I believe your original statement concerning the failure to update the City Charter is incorrect. The City Manager isn't ultimately at fault for ignoring your input, the Mayor is. The City Manager isn't the "Captain" of our ship, the Mayor is. Additionally, in most organizations a methodology exists for subordinates to go around supervisors to the next higher level if they believe the issue is important enough, even in the military. Did you perhaps bypassing the City Manager and bringing your concerns and recommendations directly to the Mayor and/or members of the Council? If you did and they returned you to the City Manager, then they are doubly responsible.

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  51. An Aberdeen Voter says

    But Dagny, didn’t Mr. Simmons and the Council hire the City Manager?

    BTW, it looks like you tried your best to update the Charter when such an update is desperately needed. Perhaps the new administration will look upon your efforts more favorably and actually fix things.

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  52. says

    Aberdeen Voter,

    Sure did–they hired him. But, keep in mind that the current city manager came to them with 19 years of experience. That said, wouldn’t you rely on a person with 19 years of experience for guidance?

    Dagny

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  53. says

    Sorry Aberdeen Voter:

    I did go thru the channels which is first going thru the city manager. Ask him, he will tell you. The elected body was aware of it, because the city manager sent a monthly, "this and that" out to them advising them that I was spearheading the charter review team. I have the e-mail.

    I didn't make myself clear. The 'shortcomings of employees' shouldn't be the responsibility of the mayor–why? Becasue according to the charter, he is 1/5th part of the legislative body. The city manager is not 1/5th but sole head of operations. If there are shortcomings, he is the one that should answer for them.

    I have served under every elected official since Aberdeen's new form of government was formed in 1992: that includes Elliott, Boutin, Wilson and Simmons as Mayor. Not to mention the following past council members: Mary Lou Thompson, Myra Fender, Jerry Hansen and Macon Tucker to name a few. They all will attest to my abilities.

    I can tell you that each brings to the table a unique and creative way to serve the people and employees.

    HOWEVER, I stand by what I wrote. That is….each mayor looks to the city manager for guidance. Let's look at the facts: elected officials walk into office with an agenda that hopefully, the quorum of the elected board will agree with; HOWEVER, the logistics of the city (operations) is handled by the city manager. Why is S. Fred accountable for operations — look at the charter. The Charter points to the city manager–he is the Captain of employees.

    Question to the employees (and answer it honestly to yourself): Is the current city manager willing to stand his ground and go down with the employees as a good Captain would do or is he a city manager who will look out for himself first and favor with the elected body–even though he knows that he shouldn't and his better judgment tells him it is wrong?

    So I ask you………..who is ultimately the Captain of Aberdeen's organization and who is looking out for the employees? Before you answer–revisit the charter and look at the powers that were given to the city manager.

    I am,
    Dagny

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  54. Jason says

    If the former "powers to be" would have not changed the City Charter giving the City Manager all the power, which she/she has…then I would agree, the Mayor is the "Captain." The power needs to be given back to the Mayor and City Council…they direct the City Manager on what needs executed. Not the other way around.

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  55. observer for observe says

    Dagny, I think you are attempting to baffle readers with a lot of rhetoric. The city manager oversees the operation of the city. It is up to the mayor and city council to rewrite the charter.

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  56. says

    Jason–I only agree with you if there is a full-time Mayor. If there isn't, it wouldn't work.

    If there is a part-time mayor elected on Nov. 6th–then for the sake of the city, the charter should remain the same. Let's face it, someone has to manage the city.

    Here it is in a nutshell.

    Strong Mayor–weak city manager (or better yet, city administrator) Remember, you can't have two CEO's in an organization. Confusing for the entire organization.

    — OR–

    you can have a-
    Strong city manager–weak mayor (part-time)

    Question: Who is the boss? Well according to the new waive "pyramid" it's the people. Reverse the triangle. Put the people (customers) at the top. So the people elect a body to serve them–who ultimately answers to the citizens. The elected body hires a city manager to handle logistics–he/she answers to them………..and the employees answers to the city manager.

    You do the math.

    Dagny

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  57. says

    Observer on Observer:

    I am not trying to baffle anyone, especially the visitors of the Dagger. In my tenure, it has never been the responsiblity of the the elected officials to rewite ordinances. It has always been the city manager. Perhaps in other municipalities that is true but not in Aberdeen. Perhaps that could be another item to add to the list.

    I am just presenting the facts.

    Dagny

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  58. citizen says

    This is turning into a myspace for adults, bashing each other. It's getting a little ridiculous. Maybe the 19 yr. old candidate would fit in comfortable with this bunch. Let's still to the issues and concerns of the city.

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  59. says

    In all due respect, that’s what we are doing citizen. You need to listen to the people who are or have been inside. They are protecting your interest(s).

    Dagny.

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  60. observer for observer says

    I agree with you on this one, Dagny. Citizen is the one bashing.

    Does the city manager have a written job description? (And I find it hard to believe that he doesn’t) According to the city charter, he can be removed by a vote of the mayor and city council. If he is not doing his job, then why has the mayor and city council not removed him?

    Does your boss (since you implied earlier that you are an Aberdeen City employee and that the City manager is your supervisor) know that you are bashing his job performance on the internet?

    Has Fred asked you to place the failure of the current elected officials to rewrite the city charter on the current city manager in exchange for that position if he is re-elected? After all, you have stated numerous times that he came well recommended with 19 years experience and then you tout your experience, recommendations and abilities.

    Just asking

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  61. says

    Fair-minded, I did some searching and learned who you are. I would be very careful and think before you write–especially when you name someone. Be sure I mean absolutley sure that you have the facts. If they are rumors, as you wrote, then I would proceed with caution.

    I also went back and read all of your postings and they are the not even close to being fair-minded. They almost cross the line of being slander.

    Please disregard my last posting to you. I have nothing to say to you. In fact I won't waste my words in answering any of your comments.

    Dagny

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  62. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Dagny,

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. From what I can see in the Charter, while the City Manager is charged with the day-to-day operations of the City, he serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and City Council. This makes the Mayor and Council his supervisors. The comparison in the business world would be the Chief Operating Officer who serves at the pleasure of the CEO and Board of Directors. The CEO and Board are still responsible for whatever the COO does with the company, whether they know about it or not. If the COO isn’t “up to snuff”, then he/she gets fired.

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  63. Fair-minded says

    Dagny: Been out of town in Charleston since my last posting….Your body language is very similar to that of D. Ostrowski. Ostowski was working on Charter Amendments in March 06 when the new city manager was hired wasn’t she. She quit her job. Now she’s working to get it back with the backroom deal she has made with Bennett, Denu and Elliott. She quit about 6 times. She received all of her leave that was left was the rumor, after she gave some to Denu who still had 260 hours of leave taken that was never paid back. What a group of whack jobs to deal with from the City’s vantage! Helton, Johnson and Bennett are the biggest.

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  64. observer for observer says

    No, Fair-minded (AKA citizen, AKA Daddy) Read the posts! Dagny is supporting the mayor.

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  65. says

    Fair-minded,

    You sound hostile and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is you who should re-evaluate your blog name “fair-minded.” Or better yet, maybe you would brave enough to give your name? Or is that asking too much?

    Sorry to disappoint you but I know D.O. very well and she has moved on and has no desire to return to the City.

    Tell me which posting upset you the most and perhaps we can chat about it .

    Dagny

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  66. says

    In the mail for Aberdeen Citizens came the very expensive "Mayors Annual Report". The eight page glossy production went out to all resident to "inform" them of the governement's happenings over the past year…more like two years.

    What concerns me is the accuracey of the information and also the timing of its release. Coincidental that an annual report is released four months after the close of the fiscal year end and a little over a week before the elections. In my opinion the Citizens have paid for a very expensive campaign document for the incumbants.

    Page one discusses their view on the "balanced budget" Perhaps true that on paper the revenues meet or exceed spending, but the fact remains that a 1.6 million dollar deficit has been converted into many more millions of dollars in loans in which repayment revenue largely depends of unsecured economic development and they ALL voted for this?

    The next item on the list of success was the DOUBLING of the WATER & SEWER RATES to create a "true enterprise fund". In fact those rates should have created a substancial SURPLUS of revenue, but we are currently planning to BORROW up to 3.5 million dollars to upgrade water pumping stations that have been in need since their election and they ALL voted for that?

    The item discussed heavily was that of public safety. While I tend to agree that public safety is a huge corner stone, how and when the "improvements" were made and the "results" are questionable. First they tout the improvement of salaries, but this was done without even knowing the financial condition of the City and after they opted to "hire" the Mayors business partner Mr. Wright at a cost of $100+K to do an "audit"…by the way has anyone seen that "audit" on paper. The next is the dedication of another SRO to the schools and by the way there is a planned third. The interesting point is that the first SRO was funded by a federal grant that I had prepared and the second SRO could have been funded under that same program, but was not; why? I'm told the third SRO wll be funded federally, but I hope it won't be by supplanting like the first. Another success is the formation of RRT which is really a resurgance of a previously existing concept which fell to the ways side for lack of manpower. They all tout a list of participants of RRT who have not even been in that unit since long before the documents printing. The crime surveillance camera system is another "success" claimed? I have spoken largely on this issue previously, but I'll say it again. A project that was UNPALNNED, NO COMPETATIVE BIDDING, NO PLAN FOR FUTURE FUNDING, NO LEGISLATION AND NO POLICY FOR USE. Lastly on that issue, I'd like to see the quantified analysis of the number of crimes it has detered, prevented, caused an actual police response and lasly supported a conviction in court. The next item on public safety is the "2005-2006" crime statistics… those numbers kind of speak for themselves, however there are more than triple the number of crime catagories missing in their report and further, where are the numbers for the first half of 2007 as they are readily available?

    In the end, the Annaul Report should read more like this…

    Your TAXES went UP and we're still BORROWING!

    Your WATER & SEWER RATES DOUBLED and we still have NO IMPROVEMENTS and ARE STILL BORROWING!

    You are STILL PAYING for the SHORTCOMINGS of the RIPKIN STADIUM when we know to to fix it!

    We ALL voted to invest HEAVILY in PUBLIC SAFETY and really haven't reaped any REAL BENFITS!

    I'll comment later for what my pans are to improve these situations….stay tuned.

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  67. Wisdom Tooth says

    While I have no doubt that you, Mr Denu, would know more about police affairs than most, I find it hard to follow some of your points. Most voters, like myself, really don't concern ourselves with the nuts and bolts of law enforcement; only the results. Of which I am satisfied with.

    What does concern me though is the watersewer rates and property taxes. Having lived in Aberdeen my whole life I am curious how our rates compare to the rates of other areas like Havre de Grace and BelAir. Does anyone have this information or know where it could be found? I think that it would be a very realistic measure to judge the current council members and would help me decied who I am going to vote for.

    Thank you

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  68. says

    Wisdom Tooth,

    You can't compair apples and oranges.

    The water and sewer rates should directly reflect the cost for US in this City to produnce water and reduce waste water.

    I can't agree with you idea of cost comparison..would it be fair for Carrol County to compare its costs to Montgomery County?

    I agree that public saftey or the idea of how secure you feel is a relative, but not a tangible, thought or feeling.

    How safe do you feel when crime is blown up and sensationalized in the media by sttaments like "kickin in doors", "gangs are rampant" and we have a "beat down squad" ?

    I feel that that takes away from my idea of security. When it comes to public safety we must be a quiet and responsible part of the community that gets them real results and increases their sense of security.

    Thanks

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  69. David Swain says

    I would like to close my previous post by saying that the comments I have made have been made purely due to inaccurate statements and continuted bashing of Aberdeen Police officers.

    I do hope that Mayor Simmons gets re-elected so we can continue our mission of providing service and security to the citizens of Aberdeen.

    I have nothing to gain personally from my comments, but rather want to ensure the good name of my fellow officers is not tarnished without defense.

    If anyone would like to talk to me directly about any issues with the Police Departement, I would be more than happy to discuss any topic with them.

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  70. says

    David Swain,

    While I appreciate your comments, you seem to have taken mine out of context.

    I will have to agree that you and all the officers, whom I have NEVER bashed at all do an excellent job with what you are given.

    I think you'll agree that you came to me about these very issues several times during my tenure there, which I might add only ended several months ago.

    David, the core the story I was refering to is…if you feel safe and I tell you a scarey story and then you don't…is that in the best interests of the community?

    I think you should re-read my posts.

    Keep doing a good job.

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  71. Jason says

    Mr Denu,

    Are those your words/thoughts or were those quotes and if so from who?

    "How safe do you feel when crime is blown up and sensationalized in the media by sttaments like “kickin in doors”, “gangs are rampant” and we have a “beat down squad” ?"

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  72. says

    Oh and by the way, what ever happened to your position of not making any political endorsements at the FOP's Executive Board meeting?

    But, then only the next evening endorsed Simmons without even talking to any of the other candidates to get their positions or perspectives?

    Fair and Objective?

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  73. David Swain says

    Rick,

    First of all, you were not supposed to be at the meeting in the first place, as you are not on the executive board, actually, I am unaware that you were a current member of the FOP but yet you are privy to information discussed in confidential E-board meetings?

    We did not endorse any other candidates because the only other candidate running at the time, Mr. Bennet explicitly stated that he did not WANT our endorsement.

    Also, if you remember correctly, I stated in the meeting that I believe that Mayor Simmons is the best thing for the department and that the department is better than it was two years ago.

    I never agreed that we shouldn't endorse anyone. I stated that the Lodge members would have the final vote since the endorsement came from the members and not simply the executive board.

    One more false allegation made up by you and your co-horts.

    If you would like to have a battle of integrity with me, Rick, you will find it a difficult challenge.

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  74. fairy godmother says

    Mr. Swain,

    'longer keep my thoughts to myself, since there doesn’t seem to be anyone else on this blog who is in the police department and willing or able to come forth with the facts.'

    Here we go again, another one who really hasn't read the prior posts. It is very obvious there are MANY officers posting on this blog, using real names and their "stage" names.

    You are another one very defensive. Why is that? Integrity battle? Forget about it. Watch out, Daddy or Fair-minded might accuse you of being a bit too thin skinned.

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  75. observer for observe says

    Rick, I agree with you in that the Mayor's annual report is campaign nonsense. Before I lined my bird cage with this junk mail I took a quick look .

    Page 1: 'Aberdeen, The future of Harford' and a mug shot of our mayor. Come on. Does he think we are stupid. Is Fred really our future? What ever happened to 'All American City'

    There was no need to read any more. I don't have time for fluff. Give us the bottom line.

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  76. says

    David,

    Perhaps my input was valued by the other executive board members, as all the success you are enjoying now was under my vice presidency.

    Oh, but you did in fact say that you were going to state your position that the FOP was not going to endose anyone for canidacy.

    In fact that very same next evening the Mayor had NOT EVEN FILES as a candidate yet and THE OTHERS HAD, why hasn't anyone spoken to them as in the past?

    There again the meeting where the unfiled Mayor was endorsed by His small group of bullying supporters and was objected by several others…would you like me to post the attendance and the minutes to refresh your memory?

    Your integrity was never questioned by me David, but as I told you the night of the executive board meeting, "your position will be unpopular, but stay strong." I know how difficult standing your ground can be as you found out.

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  77. emplyee says

    David Swain is completely accurate in statements concerning the Police Department and it's operations.

    What I would like to know is if it is true that Denu is pushing Bennett for mayor because Denu and Bennett have already made plans to replace Chief Rudy? The paln is that the administrative Captain would replace him and then that position and the position of Detective Sgt would be filled with two personal friends of Rick Denu.

    As a very long tenured employee of the Department I can tell you that if that in fact happens the citizens will be the ones that suffer. A move like this will cripple the Police Dept and the subsequent leadership vacum will negatively effect the quality of law enforcement efforts in the city.

    Enough is enough Rick. You have nothing and no one but yourself to blame for the position you put yourself in with Mayor Simmons and the department. If you would have ran on the platform of what you could do to help the City as opposed to running on everything Simmons has done wrong, maybe I could've supported you.

    Man, did I have alot to catch up on. I must remember to keep a check on the blog, it's gotten very popular!

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  78. emplyee says

    It was my decision to ask the membership of the FOP to endorse Fred Simmons for mayor, not Dave Swain's. I made the motion on the floor during the FOP meeting and it was voted on by the membership. The result was that the membership of the FOP wanted to endorse Fred Simmons. Rick, you are no longer a member and you were not present at the meeting when this took place.

    Your assumptions as to what occurred are based on what others have told you and they are inaccurate. We were even threatened against endorsing Simmons by some of your 'friends'.

    In closing, if the membership of the FOP chose to endorse Simmons, of what consiquence is it to you? Are you running against Simmons?

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  79. David Swain says

    For those readers who don’t know, I am an Aberdeen Police Officer. I have been with Aberdeen for a little over two years after transferring from the Baltimore City Police Department.

    I would like to set the record straight on the actions of the Police department. I have read on this blog many false and/or unsubstantiated allegations about our system of policing and conviction rates. I would also like to say that when I first came to Aberdeen, Rick Denu was my corporal. The policing style I witnessed Rick practice seems to contradicts his comments on this blog.

    In all fairness, I enjoyed working with Rick and never had any issues working with him. However after reading this blog I have had to bite my tongue often and could no longer keep my thoughts to myself, since there doesn’t seem to be anyone else on this blog who is in the police department and willing or able to come forth with the facts.

    I would like to start by saying that in April of 2006, Officer Tim Helf and myself began aggressively targetting drug dealers and drug houses in the City of Aberdeen. During this time, we executed 30 search and seizure warrants and collectively made over 200 arrests. This was before the RRT concept was implemented in its current form. I would like to use one particular house as an examle, that house being 442 Washington Street. I understand that many officers had served search warrants at this residence in the past, and I understand that the day after these searches occurred, the residents would be back in business selling drugs. I would also like to say that Officer Helf and I wrote 2 search warrants for this residence and that I can tell you without the help and support of the Mayor and city council, this individual might still be there selling Narcotics. Instead, he is serving eight years in prison and his residence was burned and replaced by Habitat House.

    The difference between the countless prior search warrants executed and the successful one that resulted in the shut down of a drug house and a conviction was the support of Mayor Simmons and the current City Council.

    On the Harford Now blog Mr. Denu stated “I do not believe the current strategy of placing poorly equipped officers in small number or ineffective groups are the answer to reducing crime over the long term”.

    I would like to give you an example of how ‘ineffective” these groups are:

    During my time on the Rapid Responce Team (RRT) I can tell you that myself and three other officers from the department proactively patrtolled the city of Aberdeen making numerous arrests, seizing drutg money and vehicles and shutting down numerous drug houses around the city. And I can tell you that the current RRT which is comprised of three officers is averaging 35 – 40 arrests per month which is one third of the total police department arrests.

    I don’t see how anyone can say this is “ineffective”.

    The RRT is only a tool used by the department. All officers in the department contribute to the crime reduction in Aberdeen. As far as conviction rates go, convictions are not necessarily a reflection of the arresting officers or the police department’s effectiveness, but are often influenced by many other factors. But I can assure you that the conviction rate for the RRT arrests are well above what Mr. Denu is trying to portray. I can speak for myself and tell you that I have gotten convictions for numerous drug dealers in Aberdeen who are now serving time in DOC.

    I believe that some of Rick’s statements have been misleading. The RRT and the Aberdeen Police Department does not engage in illegal street tactics, we don’t have “Beat Down Squads” , however we are an aggressive, proactive police departement, due largely to the support of Mayor Simmons and the city Council for the many highly motivated and dedicated officers in the department.

    Rick states “we must be a QUIET and RESPONSIBLE part of the community that gets them real results and increases their sense of securty”.

    Rick we are almost in agreement. The Aberdeen Police Departement IS a responsible part of the community that gets them real results and increases securty.

    I would ask every citizen in Aberdeen which they would rather have, a ‘quiet’ police department or a visible, active police department that gets results while providing a deterant for criminals.

    Numerous persons that have been arrested have stated to the officers that they do not want to come to Aberdeen because they are aware of the proactive policing within the city and instead they are taking their drug dealing to Perrywood and Edgewood.

    To Mr. Denu, I would like to tell you how dissappointed I am in your comments about the police department. It reminds me of an attorney who has no evidence and simply trys to muddy the waters with never ending stories which have no basis, simply to confuse the jury.

    These are your fellow officers that you worked with closely for several years and now discredit the work they do in an attempt to unseat the Mayor.

    In closing, I would like to ask everyone, that if they would really like to know the true status and direction of the Police departement, to stop a police officer and ask them.

    As far as the town being safer, ask the residents of Washington Street, Washington Park, Baldwin Manor, Swan Meadows where the open air drug markets have been shut down and the criminals have moved much of their activity outside the city for fear of arrest….all since Mayor Simmons came into office and provided this great departement with much needed support.

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  80. David Swain says

    Your exact words that I quoted, implied that we are currently “poorly equipped officers in small number or ineffective groups “. Also, I couldn’t disagree more about your proposotion that a “quiet” police department is what is best. If our work is “quiet’ then NO ONE knows what is going on, including the criminals who we would like to deter and cause to MOVE rather than stick around for a “quiet” police force to have to continue to deal with.

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  81. says

    Mac,

    I am an associate member and the FOP is of consiquence to me; once a cop always a cop.

    I know who made the motions as I have a copy of the minutes, but it is the function of the executive board to advise on the best possible coarse for the membership and then let them make an informed decision. and NOT for certain members or small groups of members to set their self interests in motion and intimidate and bully the majority out because they fear for their job security.

    By the way, you never answered the question….

    Why was Simmons endorsed as he had not even filed to run and Mike Bennett, myself and all the others except for Grant, Bell, Garner and Johnson had filed?

    Have you or any of the other members who tout Bennett as the "enemy" even spoke with him on his views…NO.

    Your part in this is becoming more and more evident and that's to protect Simmons.
    Again I say, a Council vote is equal to that of the Mayors 1/5th.

    Fair, impartial and in the best interests of the community and the FOP mission?

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  82. emplyee says

    Rick,

    Why do you have a copy of the minutes? Check the bylaws. Associate members do not have the same rights and priviledges as regular members. In fact, they aren't even allowed to speak at meetings.

    As for Bennett, he told us he did NOT want the FOP endorsement. So why would we consider him? Now, Simmons asked for the endorsement. You knew that which is why you contacted the state lodge about reprecusions if we did. And, if you wanted an endorsement all you had to do was ask for one, You know that.

    Now, about the minority? Please if you have the minutes like you say you do, you'll see no one voted against it. So, how is that a minority?

    Come on Rick, you have an axe to grind. Wether that's justified or not, only you can answer. But don't make what we do at the Police Dept or FOP your excuse to attack other political canidates.

    And you never answered about the rumor I mentioned above. Guess that adds a little credibility to it. It's all over the Dept, so whoever you told put the word out quickly.

    I have 17 plus years there and I will not sit idly by and allow anyone to belittle what we do. If you truely sought change at the Dept, you should have stayed and done something. Bashing us now doesn't do anything to help you or us.

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  83. Lumberjack says

    Bennett couldn't even qualify to be hired on the police force, as I understand it, based on his having cheated on the Seargant's exam…. (plus, there's the humiliation of failing it even with 20 questions in advance of the exam — just how bright is this lightbulb?)

    How can he even contemplate running a City?

    And, who could imagine a better Chief than Randy Rudy?

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  84. says

    Employee Oh I mean Mac,

    I do have a copy of the minutes, unless you have a different version of the bylaws, I didn't see anything regarding associates being prohibited from them.

    You are in fact correct about me not being there on the actual meeting night and about associates not being allowed to vote on issues, but the meeting was closed to associates wasn't it?

    True, Bennett and I believe that the Police Department/ Officers should have the work work environment and pay/benefits that they all deserve and is why we would ask them to sell themselves as an exchange currency; you're all better than that.

    Also, I understand that Yensen asked for an endorsement, but he didn't get that did he. Ask your selves this…why haven't Bennett, Burlew, Denu, DeWitt, Elliott, Bell, Garner, Kup and Grant asked for an edorsement either?

    As for the minority…You and Cox coming out for a meeting is an extreme rarity and usually when you have something in it personally, but the membership is well over fifty, but only ten or twelve were there,that's a minority.

    Axe? Again, I'm not certain what you don't understand about the fact that I chose to leave there of my own accord in the pursuit of my degree and a new career.

    Rumor, ask again because I can't keep up with the thousands that get cast around and I'll answer it.

    As for your last statement, I have never and will never belittle any one of the officers. Please show me you cause for the commentary.

    I'm sure you won't because any issue I have addressed or question answered, yeilded no reply or further discussion. Conversly, when ever I have a sentence that contains Simmons or Mayor, you are quick to jump with non-sense.

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  85. employee says

    Ricky, you quit. So leave the Police Dept alone. When did you become a FOP associate member? We didn't vote on it. By the way, all meetings are closed to associate members unless they are invited (and that is in the bylaws, I know because I wrote them).

    As for your record at the Police Dept, you shouldn't take so much of the credit for things that other people played a part in.

    You are right, I defend Simmons. I've seen mayors come and go and none of them support the police like he does. Unlike you Rick, if someone supports me and shows me leadership, I will stand with them through the good times and bad. Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with everything he says or does. But I tell him, face to face like a man and we discuss it. I don't run to a blog on the web and vent.

    Listen, I don't want to go back to the 'old days' of the 'good old boy network'. I have and never will be part of that click. I am my own man and I have strong principles. If you would like to talk about those principles give me a call or stop by.

    As far as the rumors, you know exactly what they are. In closing if you take any advice here Rick, stop twisting what we do at the police dept to suit your campaign.

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  86. concerned citizen says

    Simmons does not care about Aberdeen Citizens. He is only interested in lining his own pockets and that of his business partner. Otherwise he would not be doing what he is doing..And as far as the police, it will not be long (if he is re-eleced) before he either gets one of the police officers hurt because they are watching out for him while doing their job….nor should they have to worry about him pulling his gun and shooting some innocent victim. The results of all the Drug arrests outlined in his Mayors report is interesting…Why all the arrests and so few drugs?

    If Simmons, Hiob and Yensan have their way Aberdeen will be another Baltimore. 1 Hour commutes, cameras watching every citizen (hello big brother) overtaxed, schools in disaray (gee, we already have that too 126% overcrowding) smoozing with developers (oh my we have that too), back room deals without public meetings…. Whatever Baltimore does, Simmons does….Maybe thats why he and his business partner gave O'Malley $5,000 when he was in Harford County……

    I guess it won't matter if he gets re-elected because the Grand Jury will get him anyway. Might as well vote for Bennett…….

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  87. concerned for concer says

    Gee, concerced citizen you are pretty uninformed.

    Have Mike Bennet come out pubically and say HE will correct the overcrowding issue at AHS (planned addition does not count) and if he can't within the first year he will resign and then maybe he will get my vote.

    Pulled up the campaign finance database and Simmons Wright Aeropark has not donated any funds to OMalley.

    If there was anything to the Grand Jury investigation it would have come out by now.

    Not all of the voters in Aberdeen are stupid enough to believe in your propaganda.

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  88. Fair-minded says

    "Concerned citizen" lives in Perryman and owns a pharamacy, although he is just a delivery boy. Wife is the pharmacist!

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  89. citizen says

    Why don't Bennett and Simmons have a debate Saturday at the park while everyone is there.
    This way Rick, we can hear what Bennett has to say and his ideas since it's apparantly our fault we haven't given him a chance…well I've never heard of him trying to get his ideas out there.
    Everyone is so bent on getting rid of Simmons….but would Bennett help at all? What are the benefits to having Bennett in office besides a new face…because it certainly is not because of his great ideas to improve the city. So far, he has nothing to give the city.
    This way he gets a fair chance to show he is the better candidate. If he declines to do a debate, well then we know he has no ideas at all.
    And again….Concerned Citizen–with what money is Fred Simmons lining his pockets with? Certainly not the money he gets for being mayor. Because if we all remember correctly when he was elected, he promised to give the measly $10,000 he gets a year to the Boys and Girls Club in Aberdeen.

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  90. citizen says

    Observer for Observer….I received the same letter in the mail, and I believe it was meant that Aberdeen is the future of Harford…not Fred Simmons.

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  91. Wisdom Tooth says

    A debate would be great idea. Citizen is right saying that Mr Bennett has not put his ideas out for the public. I have only seen him at the meet the canidates night and last week's Record newspaper. Neither were remarkable and to be honest, I can't even recall any of the specifics. I wish he would come out and say more himself. That way I wouldn't have to listen to everyone else.

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  92. BuckWheat says

    First time/Long time (I’ve always wanted to say that)

    This blog has certainly gotten ugly, and my intention is not to perpetuate the ugliness or throw myself into the name-calling mix, but anyone who has met Bennett and Simmons realizes almost immediately why Mr. Bennett should absolutely never debate Mr. Simmons. It could never prove beneficial to him because – to his supporters – his issues do not really matter; all that matters to his “supporters” is that he is not Simmons. Simmons is a full time Mayor who has lived and breathed the city’s issues for the past two years – a debate with Bennett would be a bloodbath and only put an exclamation point on the fact that Mr. Bennett will be a part time Mayor who hopes to learn on the job. And while there might be nothing wrong with that, it is obvious why Bennett’s supporters would urge him to avoid a debate with Simmons at all costs.

    That said, it would be fun to watch.

    B-dub

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  93. concerned for concer says

    So much for non-partisian elections……..

    From: New Harford Democratic Club <newharfordclub@harforddemocrats.org
    Subject: New Harford Democratic Meeting Reminder
    Reply-To: newharfordclub@harforddemocrats.org

    New Harford Democratic Club Events
    Please join us for these exciting events and bring a friend!

    Details

    Meeting Notice

    The next meeting of the New Harford Democratic Club is on Wednesday November 7th at 7pm. This meeting is held at the Aberdeen Holiday Inn, 1007 Beards Hill Rd., Aberdeen.

    Speakers:

    Michael Cryor – Maryland Democratic Party Chair

    Major Patrick Young – on a short leave from the war will be speaking on his experience in Iraq

    Special Notice

    Campaign workers are needed for the Aberdeen election on Sat. Nov 3rd at 10 am and Sun. Nov 4th at 11 am for door knocking and literature drops. Meet at Mayor Candidate Mike Bennett's House, 5 N. Rogers St., in Aberdeen. Call NHDC office for more info 410-272-7139

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  94. what! says

    Yes , Simmons may be a good speaker. That does not make him a good mayor. He is a dangerous person to have in the position as mayor. He makes decisions for the city and cares not what its citizens or the council say. He dosen't hear the citizen.

    Some food for thought. Just what if everyone who voted against the annexation votes against Mr. Simmons. That will put him out. Everyone knows that he is still trying to push another annexation through. So, no Fred no annexation.

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  95. chumly says

    Not to be naive but what exactly is an annexation,and
    what does it have to do with the election?

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  96. Employee says

    It is clear that ACT is very active on this blog. My experience is that the ACT/New Harford Democratic Club/Art Helton Fan Club does not listen to reason or pay attention to the facts.

    Acrobat listed a very informative post that compared the tax and water/sewer rates between Aberdeen and Havre de Grace. If you really want to open your eyes to the facts, and not unsupported campaign propaganda, I would suggest you take a look. Or don't, and keep on with your personal agenda.

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  97. Employee says

    In case you are unable to locate Acrobat's post, it can be found under the "Artfully Done" blog.

    I'll stand by for the personal attacks now…….

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  98. chumly says

    Since no one has responded to my question is it safe to assume that no one knows what annexation is and what role it plays in relation to the election.

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  99. look it up yourself. says

    http://aberdeenannexation.com/

    Here's info on the annexation proposal. Citizens voted against it. The annexation plays no part in this election, other than the fact that some believe Mayor Fred Simmons will try to push it again since he was a supporter of the plan.

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  100. chumly says

    look it up yourself thank you for that information but I am still confused on how the Mayor and Council are responsible for pushing an annexation through. Doesn't the land owner have to ask permission to become a part of the City?

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  101. look it up yourself. says

    I'm not sure I understand your question. The Mayor and Council approved the annexation proposal initially and residents in opposition forced a vote. My guess is that people are worried that a revised proposal will be approved, and if another vote is forced, that this time it may go through.

    The proposal would have brought the annexed land into the "city limits" of Aberdeen.

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  102. chumly says

    why is that bad? It would seem to me that Aberdeen will suffer the impact of growth with or without annexation at least if I am reading it correctly the City would stand to profit a great deal. Do the citizens believe that the County won't move forward on some project near APG? And if so won't Aberdeen still have the impact with none of the revenue? Just food for thought.

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  103. look it up yourself. says

    I don't think it is bad. It was a mistake not to pass it for exactly the reasons you just said. The BRAC is coming, and Aberdeen will not be as prepared as it could be.

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  104. An Aberdeen Voter says

    Concerned for concerned citizen,

    That's an interesting invitation you've posted. I wish the "Republicans for Aberdeen" flyer I received endorsing Mr. Simmons had been an email. Then I, too, could post a "non-partisian" endorsement. :-)

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  105. observer for observe says

    look it up yourself and chumly,

    Fred and Steve, or should I say Fred and Barney,

    Your dialogue is contrived, boring and a last ditch effort to gather votes by 2 men with sweaty palms.

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  106. Anonymous says

    You have to admit, playing the "who's who" game is fun but albeit a bit dangerous. The beauty of the blog is that we all get to indulge our dramatic side without fear of being told we're not in 7th grade and this isn't the lunch table.

    It's pretty much confirmed that there are the same 8 people writing on this blog day in and day out… sometimes forgetting to mis-spell a word here and there to throw the scent off of the fact that they are writing under a few different names. Sometimes I try and differentiate by intelligence level. (That made "T" really mad. Sorry dude.)

    Those who know me can recognize my posts, and I post solely for their amusement. The rest of you have NO clue who I am, have never met me, have never heard my name mentioned in a political discussion, and you will never know anything about me except that I love a liberal use of commas. The Dagger is addicting and entertaining, and I thank Brian and Matt for the opportunity to procrastinate at work.

    Every Fred supporter is thought to be Steve Wright. Every lame remark is Denu. Every Fred basher is Steve Johnson, Art, or Ruth–only to be distinguished by their level of craziness. There are the occasional unbiased citizens who post (though NEVER under ctizen or voter which is ironic but true) and at times I feel bad for them that they haven't quite gotten the hang of this word game that is The Dagger. Few are bold enough to be themselves. Jason, I've noticed, doesn't play games. Before you congratulate yourselves Art and Rick, you know you use more than one name. Come on now. (Not criticizing actually, just pointing out the truth and hoping we're all in touch with reality enough to give a little chuckle.)

    Calling "Dagny" Darlene doesn't make it true; "Francisco" isn't Fred (hint: it's a woman); "Fair-minded" might be Steve Wright (or it could be some other jerk who feels safe throwing insults at the Denus on the internet); "Maggie Mae" could be Ruth Elliot (right? Do you think so too?); I for one believe that if Fred posted, he would choose a better name than "Look it up yourself"; and this list could go on and on and on.

    Enough reflection for today… So to my 7 other friends out there on this blog, have a Happy Monday and I'll see you all at the poles. Here's to wishing every alias of mine got her own vote for Fred!

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  107. Anonymous says

    Errrr, totally on purpose. I thought I should mis-spell one word to throw you off. Didn't work?

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  108. maggie mae says

    Vote for me, I mean Rick Denu! Only me and Bennett will ignore the pending growth from BRAC. Let Harford County get all the tax money, who cares. We don't need because I will take a personal loan to to cover the expenses. Art Helton said he would make it worth our while anyway.

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  109. concerned neighbor says

    I have been lurking on this site for a while. Its quite entertaining. Anonymous you said it all. I almost wish there was a curtain call in the near future, so I can see if my guesses were right!

    I am going out on a limb here and voicing my support…I sincerely hope Fred Simmons gets re-elected. I believe Aberdeen has changed a lot for the better in the past few years, and haven't seen or heard any arguments for his opponents other than they are not Fred…..a risky reason to cast a vote, in my book.

    I am not a resident, but a neighbor near by, so I can't cast a vote, but do have a reason to want the best for my neighboring city. I hope the Simmon's supporters come out in full force tomorrow!

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  110. chumly says

    observer for observer, i am not Fred,Steve or Barney i sense some hostility from you as it relates to my post above,! I am intrigued as to why you would take a
    post and try to twist into something it wasn't. I asked a
    question got an answer !
    By the way i don't know this Barney guy is
    he she on the ballot!

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  111. Yaba Daba Doooooo says

    I think it might have been a Flinstone's reference. Yeah, not super clever–but then again, I don't understand what "Observer for Observer" means either.

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  112. look it up yourself. says

    He thought that chumly and I were Steve and Fred, and that we decided to have this conversation in order to "trick" other blog enthusiasts to vote Fred for mayor. You know, the old Dagger conspiracy maneuver. Works everytime, but apparently only if you have sweaty palms. (What???)

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