Mayor McGrady: Aberdeen City Council “Think They Know Better than the Voters;” Strip Mayor of Powers

From Aberdeen Mayor Patrick L. McGrady:

When we elect a president (like him or not) we don’t try and change the rules to take away his authority granted by the voters, and that is exactly what has been done in Aberdeen.

The Citizens of Aberdeen voted for a Mayor and for a Council in November of 2015, and the City Council voted Monday night to change the results of the election because they think they know better than the voters how the Mayor and Council should interact.

The Charter of the City of Aberdeen is the document that establishes our government– it is our Constitution. It is a radical and unacceptable action to fundamentally change the form of government between elections.

This action is a violation of the fundamentally American principle that voters get to make decisions about their government.

Changes to the structure of government should never be rammed through without the public approving of the changes, and that is what Councilwoman Landbeck, Councilman Lindecamp, and Councilman Taylor have voted to do.

Specifically, these changes will take away the powers of the duly-elected Mayor over the budget, over oversight of the City government, of reporting to the public via the State of the City address, and removes the authority to make appointments for all public commissions of the City.

In order to include the voters in this process, I attempted to make these changes effective after the next Mayor is elected so that the people have a say in these changes. However, Councilwoman Landbeck, Councilman Lindecamp, and Councilman Taylor all voted against this change.

I have had multiple calls from community members to petition this issue to referendum, and I’m evaluating what would need to happen for that to be successful.

Patrick L. McGrady

Comments

  1. Ryan Burbey says

    As a citizen of Aberdeen, I am truly disgusted by the actions of our council. Mayor McGrady and I have very different political beliefs and have disagreed on many issues over the years. This action to change the charter is a stunning abuse of power. I hope all the citizens of Aberdeen will sign the referendum petition.

    16+
    • Aberdeen Resident says

      The city council is a bunch of pathetic little petulant crybabies. We didn’t get our way, so we’re changing the rules.

      I can’t wait to cast my ballot AGAINST every single one of them.

      We voted for Patrick McGrady as Mayor of Aberdeen under the current form of government, these little dictators and wannabees do not have the right to do what they did.

      11+
    • Ralph A Miccio says

      Please tell me where this referendum petition is so I can sign it I am a registered voter in Aberdeen City and I’m disgusted with the fact that the council thinks they are smarter than everybody else can’t wait to vote them all out of the office and two years unfortunately will probably do more damage than good they are babies since they didn’t get the person they wanted elected into office.
      Changes like this should be brought to all the electorate not defined by the council since they didn’t get their person in office the cry babies.

      5+
  2. Linda Baine says

    I attended the Town meeting the evening this was voted on. I had no advance information that this would happen. A change of this magnitude needs to be brought for a vote of the electorate. I voted for Mayor McGrady. He was elected under one charter and now several council members deem to change his powers. This is wrong. They are wrong. Please sign the petition. I did.

    14+
    • says

      Mayor Patrick “Shady” McGrady started his administration off by RIGGING the tie -vote Council seat . He ignored 655 votes for incumbent Stephen Smith because he didn’t like him. He spit on Aberdeen democracy and appointed a unqualified crony over a qualified Stephen Smith.The charter revision will prevent McGrady’s corruption in the future
      .The Council majority isn’t corrupt—the Mayor is corrupt!!!!

      2+
      • Ryan Burbey says

        Mike,
        I don’t like McGrady. I did not vote for him. I did not like the impassioned over the council appointment. However, this is utterly ridiculous and will have far ranging impacts beyond just stripping him of power. It has paralyzed the city for months and will continue to do so. It is a naked power grab which is completely unjustified.

        10+
        • says

          The Charter Reform is not a power grab. It is a clarification of the City Manager-Council form of government.The naked power grabber is McGrady. The rigging of the tie-vote Council seat was a naked power grab to insert a crony. The autocratic decision to change City insurance contract was a naked power grab to help a crony.
          If the cry baby juvenile Mayor wants a referendum every time the Council majority disagrees with him then so be it. Bring on the referendum. You cant win a referendum with 33% of the vote.

          2+
          • Ryan Burbey says

            The “charter reform” was completely unnecessary. It runs counter to all the arguments made to increase the pay of the mayor just a few years ago.

            “The one thing that everybody needs to realize is the city manager is the chief operating officer and I am the chief executive officer,” he said. “Eventually, yes, there will absolutely be a need for a full-time mayor here, putting in eight, 10 hours a day.”
            http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/aberdeen-havre-de-grace/ph-ag-salary-task-force-0814-20130814-story.html

            I find it offensive that first we were asked to pay for an increase in salary due to increased responsibilities, then all the responsibilities are transferred to a non-elected official, who is basically going to be running the entire city without any oversight from the mayor. This conflicts with the code and all manner of reason. I don’t like McGrady but we should not be paying the highest municipal salaries in the county for our mayor to be a glorified gopher holder.

            7+
      • Christina Webster says

        Shady McGrady huh? You mean the guy that rolls up his sleeves and actually does work? The guy that cleans up town? The guy that makes sure the citizens are informed? The guy who’s face most residents see and wave to? Oh you mean the first mayor, in a long damn time to actually do his job. Hell of a job Patrick McGrady!!!!

        11+
        • says

          And he thinks democracy is a flip of a coin! He rolls up his sleeves to pick up trash and he treats homeless human beings like they are trash. Come on. McGrady is a “showboat”. Took him 5 months to rig the tie-vote . A democratic city does it with a democratic process in ten days. He is a political disgrace. Aberdeen is the most undemocratic city in Maryland because of McGradys autocratic behavior.

          6+
          • Ryan Burbey says

            Agreed on all parts except, now the council has done him one better. They have monkeyed with the government solely because they can’t get along with the mayor. Ridiculous!

            5+
      • not registered says

        Mike Callahan, you are not registered to vote in Aberdeen. Why do you keep saying you are?

        2+
        • Mike Callahan says

          I never said I was “registered to vote in Aberdeen: . I said “Me and Burbey are probably the only ones here who CAN vote legally in Aberdeen…” ”
          CAN vote legally” is not saying I’m registered.
          Can you Alt-Right-Teabaggers READ???

          0
          • Another Thought says

            That is so true, you never said that you were registered. Actually registering to vote is, in the view of most libitards and vagina hat wearing folks an impediment to legal voting. Just go vote, where you want and, as often as you want.

            2+
          • seriously? says

            You’re on here ranting about corrupt politicians and elections but you don’t even vote. Please continue… we’re all agog.

            3+
          • says

            It’s called trolling. Troll boy cast his bait and got bites. Personal amusement achieved.

            Tell me about that big rally at the University Center that was just a “joke” again.

            I love reading the insults. Everyone is “alt. Right” and a racist if you don’t agree.

            Troll on troll boy.

            2+
          • Mike Callahan says

            , – Squasage, Seriously?,Another Thought, Daddy Rabbit, Joe Belair, Joe Aberdeen, Mr. Wickwire,Joe Havre de Grace,and Not Registered—–

            Wow! You clowns rant and rave on about nothing. I’m eligible to vote but I’m not registered under my “nom de plume” That would be voter fraud. I’m a bloody honest bloke.

            But Daddy(Hiob) Rabbit is a lowlife racist and Joe Aberdeen is a lowlife misogynist. No two ways about that. Right? We all agree on that? Stop the savagery about women and blacks. Clean up your red neck cave man act.

            Rally in front of Post Office this Saturday: “Retro-Fit the Merritt!!!”

            1+
          • squasage says

            “Rant and rave about nothing.”

            Kind of like what you are doing about the political bickering of Aberdeen.

            2+
          • White dude you'll probably call a racist says

            Everything is so racist theses days, the word has lost all meaning.

            Anyway, you just wanton lable someone a racist, and then what? Going to high five your e-buddies? Would you like a round of applause?

            Why don’t you that passion into figuring out how to keep businesses in the 21001, it has be painfully evident? there isn’t so big waiting list for private business to move into Aberdeen.

            The best thing Aberdeen has got in the past 5 years is a place that sells pit beef sandwiches.

            2+
          • Getting old there Mikey says

            Mike,
            Since you are the racial barometer for all of the posts. Can you answer me a question that I guess I am just not smart enough to figure out? With affirmative action programs and quota systems designed to help black people why will they not, or do not want to assimilate in to a peaceful structured society? Liberal thinkers have taken great measures to help them. Why are they not getting with the program? How come when you query merchants of all colors, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Mideastern, etc in urban areas and asked them who they distrust the most they all have the same responses. Black people. Is that racist? Black merchants will respond the same way. Mike you need to get out of your residence and really see what the real picture is before you indiscriminately claim racism. Sadly most liberals like yourself have no real clue and don’t see the real picture. You think you are helping but actuAlly you are just an enabler. Everybody needs to accept responsibility for the way things are.

            7+
  3. Mr. Wickwire says

    McGrady is the best thing Aberdeen has going for them. This council is a out of control posse of three. They will stop at nothing. These three morons will drive Aberdeen ever more into the unfriendly business city that they have become. No one wants to start a business in Aberdeen. They have the highest property tax rate by far amongst the municipalities 36% higher than Bel Air and 24% higher than Havre DeGrace. The All American City is going down the drain. Great work Posse of three!

    20+
    • says

      Mayor McGrady refused to reduce the property tax his first year in office after running on a lower taxes platform. Democrat Barbara Kraemer called him on it at a meeting and he just laughed.

      1+
      • Joe Aberdeen says

        Barbara Kreamer…..really?
        Now that’s one crazy assed sow!
        That’s the best you can do Mr. Callahan, quote Blabs Kreamer?
        If you had started your argument with any credibility (which I don’t believe you did), you certainly lost it by mentioning her name!

        7+
      • Ryan Burbey says

        Property taxes should not have been reduced. The city has needs which are going unmet. Thus, property values continue to be stagnant. You can talk till you are blue in the face about a higher rate in Aberdeen. However, that higher rate is paired with lower assessable values, thus, less revenue.

        4+
  4. SoulCrusher says

    The Council has overstepped its authority and has acted as usurpers of the Mayor’s duties and powers. Since this act is such a drastic variance from the former order of powers and the councilmen did NOT inform the voting population that this was their intent when they ran for office, I see this as a flagrant and vulgar conflict of interest and believe that the councilmen did lend the prestige of their offices to one another to increase their own authority and will benefit personally from their actions. I believe the people should vote on this referendum via an election ballot and the former stations of government should remain in effect until the people have voted on this. McGrady should sue in Court and let the reigning organized crime syndicate of Harford County’s Circuit Court rule on the legality of this resolution. Once the Organized Crime Syndicate of Harford County, known as the Harford County Circuit Court, rules in favor of the corrupt council, McGrady should then appeal and keep the resolution tied up in the appellate court until the people can actually vote on this during the next election. There are two more courts of organized crime in the appellate courts and this should definitely tie things up until the legitimate vote by the people occurs…..

    11+
  5. Lance Hersh says

    The City Charter should be rewritten to have a full time Mayor that is held accountable to the people, not a City Manager that is appointed and not held accountable. Also, when you change a governed law, you better think long and hard about it so that when “your” delegates aren’t in charge, are you going to like the way that change will be used. For disclosure, I have no City Business dealings with the Mayor or Council.

    8+
    • Ryan Burbey says

      The bottom line is that they did not need to change the charter at all. It was fine. This was done purely for political reasons. It is a naked power grab and a sad day for the citizens of Aberdeen since we will now be once again embroiled in unnecessary controversy.

      8+
      • says

        If the crybaby Mayor wants a referendum then get the petitions signed. Lets waste some more time and money because McGrady doesn’t agree with the Council majority.

        1+
          • says

            Me and Burbey are probably the only ones here who can legally vote in Aberdeen and he is smart enough to see the errors in his ways. This is a virtual town meeting but its not reality. .

            2+
          • Unregistered says

            Mike Callahan is not registered to vote in Aberdeen. Why does he pretend he is?

            4+
        • Chris says

          Art Helton! Why do you hide behind this fake name? You’ve been around too long for us townies to not know you for the slim you are.

          2+
    • Joe Aberdeen says

      You own a business in Aberdeen (Saxon’s), which can and will be affected by the actions of the Mayor and three idiots on the Council.

      4+
    • DaddyRabbit says

      Shortly after he was elected, a former Council person advised Mayor McGrady that he absolutely had to get the City Charter rewritten. Under the Bennett/Helton administration the council, primarily Garner and Landbeck, created a major rewrite, without any public input, that gave emperor Bennett unlimited power. Now Landbeck, Garner son-in-law and their useless dupe did it again. It will eventually require a petition to create a panel to rewrite the charter and bypass this non functional panel of narcissists.

      4+
      • says

        So, if I understand —-according to Daddy Rabbit a former Council person (Mike Hiob?) told McGrady he had to get the charter rewritten because the “Bennett/Helton administration” (Only Mike Hiob uses such terms) gave “emperor” Bennett “unlimited power”

        Daddy Rabbit says: “Now Landbeck, Garner ,and ‘their useless dupe’ did it again.” Daddy Rabbit calls Councilman Melvin Taylor a “useless dupe” Maybe he couldn’t remember his name or maybe he is just a redneck racist. Lets just say Daddy Rabbit is a thoughtless bigot.

        Finally according to Daddy Rabbit—-to stop the Charter Reform that wants to get rid of the “Emperor-powers” will ” require a petition to create a panel to rewrite the charter “. I don’t know what Daddy is talking about. To get rid of the Charter Reform now you have to petition for a Referendum.
        And then Daddy Rabbit refers to City Council majority as a “non-functional panel of narcissists” Aberdeen democracy according to Daddy Rabbit is a “non-functional panel of narcissists.” when you don’t agree with them.

        So if I’ve got this right : Daddy Rabbit (aka Mike Hiob) who was thrown out of office for supporting the corrupt land grab annexation is trying to help get back the “Emperor Powers” for corrupt” Shady” McGrady. And we learn that Mike Hiob is a racist!

        I now support the Charter Reform even more. Its all about getting rid of the “Emperor Powers” that were unnecessarily added during the Bennett administration.
        . And the McGrady effort to petition the Reform to get back the “Emperor Powers” is supported by a racist who thinks Taylor is a nameless “useless dupe”.

        This is complicated but interesting. I just hope Burbey gets on the right side of this matter
        . .

        I’m glad Daddy Rabbit shared his story. .

        1+
        • DaddyRabbit says

          I’m guessing that it drives “Mike Callahan” nucking futs when somebody doesn’t rise to his juvenile rants. Check Marx and Engel’s writings and you’ll see that this troll adheres to the theory of simply destroy your adversary, don’t sweat countering the argument.
          My bet is that this troll is really Art Helton. By the by I’m not even acquainted with anyone named Hiob, and I am registered and vote in Aberdeen. Look under R for Rabbit

          4+
  6. Vicki says

    Several years ago, a young man stopped by my house to ask he could claim a bike, discarded by the curb for trash. His intention was to repair it and return it to service in the posession of a young acquaintance who was without one. The recipient was not a relative or family friend. Just a boy without a bike. That young man is now the current Mayor of Aberdeen. Public service in the truest sense was in his DNA back then and it still is. He takes no salary, and offers his time and talent beyond mayoral leadership. It makes me want to move to his municipality so that I can benefit from his enlightened view of government. The career politicians and wannabes should tear a page from his playbook.

    14+
    • says

      McGrady is a trust-fund baby! He was born on third base,thinks he hit home run! He does not have to worry about money. Being Mayor is his Libertarian hobby —a political toy to play with. And he appears to have never learned to get along with the other children.

      7+
    • Ryan Burbey says

      Pat McGrady has been a three time losing ideologue hack until he was handed the mayor election. However, the Aberdeen City Council members who voted to change the charter are now worse. I don’t like siding with Mayor McGrady but he is right. The actions of the council are despicable. They have disenfranchised the voters who elected the mayor. It is reprehensible. Councilwoman Landbeck can prattle on about how this was to “fix this or fix that”. The truth is that there was no conflict and there was nothing to fix. In fact, the charter now conflicts with the code and we are paying the mayor the most of any mayor in Harford County to be a glorified gopher holder.

      5+
  7. Joe Belair says

    It seems like Mike Callahan is keeping with his philosophy of ‘Quantity, not quality’ of posts. How can someone write so much and be so consistently on the wrong side of matters?

    7+
    • Ryan Burbey says

      That is the sad commentary on Aberdeen Government. Local officials in a city in MD acting like legislators in North Cackalacky…Sad…Sad day.

      2+
      • Cdev says

        Agreed, I think this is wrong but I can’t help but think that this Mayor doesn’t think what is happening to the governor of NC is just as wrong!

        0
  8. Mr. Jackson says

    These comments are hilarious. Mr McGrady comes from a successful business family that has created jobs and stressed personal and fiscal responsibility. Things that Dems and Libs hate. They think the government and and unions should be in control of everything. Every major city controlled by Dems are in fiscal ruin. I hope the three council members are kicked out in the next election cycle.
    Keep up the good fight Mayor McGrady.

    6+
    • Mike Callahan says

      Republicans are just corrupt when they get in to office. McGrady corrupted Aberdeen democracy.to benefit his cronies. Trumps corrupting the Federal government to benefit himself. You’ll find the word republican in the dictionary between reptile and repugnant. How do you explain that?

      4+
      • says

        Good ol’troll boy.

        Russians, fake news and for you, fake rallies.

        I think there are other issues to attend to, especially when I drive down Pulaski through the 21001. Lots of vacant buildings.

        4+
          • Local Yocal says

            Thanks to Bennett, Landbeck, Garner and Young. Because of their anti-development “mind”set, any prospective development and/or re-development said NO WAY to Aberdeen!
            Ask around and you will see that I am correct!

            2+
  9. says

    The Aberdeen charter can be changed at any time with a majority vote. The state required by law procrastinating McGrady to fix the tie vote section of the Charter before he would do it. That s democracy . Its not rigging the election outcome like McGrady did with his abuse of power. McGrady cant be trusted with “emperor powers” He is a corrupt, dirty, backstabbing politician with his authoritarian libertarian juvenile philosophy. You cant believe anything he says. He is like John Wilkes Booth—-he is always performing—putting on an act of concern when he is really trying to manipulate with misinformation and goddamn lies.

    2+
    • hodor for president says

      Wow. Hate much? Hope the guy knows what kind of car you drive so he can watch out when he crosses the street. creepazoid.

      4+
  10. Joe Fleckenstein says

    Mayor McGrady and Ryan Burbey are both correct on this issue. The Charter of the City of Aberdeen should not be altered and put into effect during the 2015-2019 term.

    6+
  11. John Landbeck says

    Right now, the language of the Aberdeen Charter confuses the role of Mayor. At the municipal level, all elected officials play a role in one of two branches of government, either the executive branch or the legislative. The role of mayor is designed to be one of two things, either the chief executive, or the chief legislator. Right now, in Aberdeen, the language gives both of those powers to the mayor. This is a great unconstitutional aggregation of power to one position. It violates both the US and the Maryland Constitutions.

    This mistake has been allowed to stand in Aberdeen because in the past, the Mayors have only exercised authority as the chief legislator.

    2+
    • Vicki says

      So, was it a “great unconstitutional aggregation of power” when the sponsors of this legislation put the very powers they seek to remove in the mayor’s hands when their guy was in that position? The people of Aberdeen elected Mayor McGrady to provide a style of leadership that few have seen or can remember. It seems to me that rule of law and government of, by, and for the people has become nothing more than a slogan. I wonder if most recent graduates from government schools are even familiar with that proclamation. I’ve been following the goings on in Aberdeen and the crybaby whiners are the council holdovers that are doing all they can to thwart the policies of a mayor they despise and fear. How I wish I could sign this position. Guess I’ll have to support the mayor by helping him collect signatures.

      2+
      • Ryan Burbey says

        Now, let’s not go too far with this. Patrick was elected due to poor election rules and a confluence of selfish behavior on the part of candidates. He was elected by a majority of votes but not a majority of voters and certainly not a majority of eligible voters. he ran a divisive and deceptive campaign. He is not the second coming of ethical leadership to Aberdeen. However, the city council has dived into the sewer by stripping him of his powers. He was elected fair and square. Disenfranchising voters and changing the rules after an election is reprehensible.

        There was no need to change the charter. I am signing the petition and will encourage all my neighbors to do so as well.

        2+
        • Vicki says

          Your comments on Mr. McGrady’s ethics are opinion to which you are entitled. It seems that the voters in Aberdeen hold a different opinion. You try to minimize his victory with your accusations of deceptive campaigning and divisiveness. One man’s divisiveness (excuse my insensitive use of gender specific language) is another man’s exercise of integrity and principle. Something so seldom seen in politics that it might go unrecognized. Being hard to work with may really be a refusal to play the good ole boy’s go along to get along political game.

          But thank you for being able to see this for what it is. While I often disagree with you, Mr. Burbey, I have to say you have earned my newfound respect. All your future statements and positions will be seen in this light. The fact that you are able to think outside your liberal box and consider the worthy position of a political adversary elevates you.

          3+
          • Ryan Burbey says

            Thank you. There are no liberals or conservatives in local governance. If the council and mayor would just get down to doing the business of the city, we all would be better for it. Unfortunately, despite pleas to abandon the ridiculous charter amendments, the city council chose to move forward. Now, they have frozen the city in this hubbub for God knows how long.

            3+
    • Ryan Burbey says

      John that is just not true. There is no credence to the distinction you are making. There was no confusion in the charter. Actually, the changes make the charter conflict with the code. It is sad that folks are acting in such an unethical and reprehensible manner. It is equally discouraging that they are constantly trying to justify their actions by telling our citizens that they just don’t understand and there was confusion and all other manner of nonsense. I am certain that mayor McGrady is not easy to work with. He won. he should be g9iven the opportunity to do the job which he was elected to do. No one suggested that there was any confusion or that the charter needed to be changed while Mike was mayor.

      3+
    • Ryan Burbey says

      “The creation of a hybrid allows a government to select the structures and elements that it perceives as most suited to local needs. In many cases the selected elements aim to satisfy one or more important political interests. In the above case, the municipality already operates as a Strong-Mayor form. Proponents of the proposed change believe that the only politically viable way to become a Council-Manager form of government is to allow some elements of the present Strong-Mayor form to continue: hence, the splitting of certain authority between the mayor and the professional manager and allowing the mayor to continue as a full time job with dedicated staff.” http://www.mdmunicipal.org/DocumentCenter/View/1385

      1+

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