The Developer Cartel's Goal

The Developer Cartel's Goal
No Longer "The Liberty Building"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Diana Waterman's Cow, Oprah

            Diana Waterman is looking for a name for her new calf born two days ago to her Black Angus cow which she named “Oprah”.  No, really, she does have a Black Angus cow and she named it “Oprah”. (click here to see her Facebook announcement.)  Now I’m sure she chose that name because she has a close friend named Oprah and that it has nothing to do with the immensely popular and successful black woman, Oprah Winfrey.
            Well, who is this Diana Waterman woman and why does it matter? She is the Financial Records Manager with Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty.  She is the treasurer of the United Way of Queen Anne’s County. Diana is the 1st Vice President of the Maryland Federation of Republican Women and also a member of both the Chesapeake Women’s Network and the QAC Chamber of Commerce.
            Now comes the part that matters.  Diana Waterman serves as the Chair of the Queen Anne's County Republican Central Committee and get this, she is also Vice President of the Maryland Republican Party.  One of her listed duties in these important positions is to “promote a positive political image” for the Republican Party.
            As a Republican, I do not believe that Diana Waterman comes even close to promoting a positive image for the party.  During our recent county election she campaigned with Robert Mansfield, one of two Republican Candidates for County Commissioner from District 1. The huge problem was that Diana was a top officer (Vice Chair) of the Republican Central Committee of Queen Anne’s County at the time.  She knew that by campaigning for Mr. Mansfield (who just happened to have a lengthy criminal past) against another Republican, she was abusing her position on the Central Committee.
            Each Central Committee member is elected by all party members and is supposed to be a representative of the entire party -- not certain elements or constituencies within it.  Under the by-laws of both Republican and Democrat Central Committees, it’s the role of each member, and the Central Committee in general, to remain completely neutral in their support of declared candidates until after the primary.  This is a good rule because it allows all candidates to be a part of a fair and ethical election process, supported by their local central committee.  It was obvious that Ms. Waterman simply did not care about following rules, treating Republican candidates fairly, or exercising good ethics.
            Now there is a slim chance that Diana Waterman names all of her pets after prominent black Americans she admires, but I doubt it.  In fact, I’m betting she names her new calf “Michael Steele”.  Perhaps she will give him a quick call and see if he’s okay with that. (Actually, I’m betting that when she reads this, a few of her recent Facebook posts disappear.)
            Sadly, Ms. Waterman, you are precisely why an enormous number of Americans view Republicans as racists.  You certainly do not represent my values or the values I want the Republican Party to espouse.  Do us a favor and resign immediately!

Sveinn C. Storm

Mr. Arentz Puts the Citizens in Last Place

           During the campaigns of our newly elected county commissioners, we repeatedly heard affirmations of their desire to hear and act upon the concerns of all of the citizens of Queen Anne's County.  However, the first major change to our county commissioner meetings was the removal of the public comment period from the beginning of those meetings.  The responsibility for this decision lies with the commission president, Steve Arentz, who is responsible for setting the meeting agendas
            While Mr. Arentz did not get rid of public participation altogether, he moved it to the very end of the meetings which he knows is the most inconvenient time of the citizens. The citizens know that the early comment period was their most valuable and practical means of exercising their right to participate in their county government.
            Half of the commissioner meetings are morning meetings and half are evening meetings.  Prior to Mr. Arentz’s new dictate, the public comment periods were always near the beginning of these meetings.  Previous commissioners were aware that most citizens need to go to work late in order to speak at a morning meeting.  They knew that by moving public comment to the end of the morning meetings, it would mean people would have to take the whole day off, and that few people could afford to do that.  They also knew that moving public comment to the end of an evening meeting would mean that few citizens would, or could, stay to eleven or twelve at night in order to speak.  Their goal was to encourage and make public participation possible, not prevent it.
            At the very heart of our representative democracy is public participation and as Americans we have both the right and the responsibility to participate in our government.  We vote for the leaders of our government which in turn we expect to act on the will of the people.  However, our participation means far more than just casting a vote. It means becoming and staying informed, attending meetings and voicing our beliefs and desires to our government.
            When citizens are prevented from public participation, government officials make decisions without hearing the people’s will, which greatly reduces their responsibility to be transparent or accountable for their actions.  Limiting citizen comment encourages a genuine abuse of powers and the erosion of our democratic society.
            All too often, Americans have been withdrawing from public participation in their town and county governments.  Many believe their voices will be ignored and that most politicians are self-serving and crooked.  When it comes to public participation, however, our history is rich with examples where it only took a few people, at key points in time, to effect great change.
            Queen Anne’s County Commissioners Dave Dunmyer and Bob Simmons have stated their full support of putting public comment back near the beginning of their meetings. Commissioner Phil Dumenil has stated, “It really doesn’t matter to me if we do it before or later in the meeting.”  Commissioner Dave Olds has not returned emails and phone calls requesting his opinion on the matter.
            By putting the opportunity for Queen Anne’s County citizens to participate in their government last on his agenda, commission president Steve Arentz’s is making a strong statement.  For those who believe in our democratic principles of government and don’t believe that any citizen of our county should be in last place, please email, call or write your commissioners.  Their information is listed below.
            Better yet, attend the next county commissioner meeting, Tuesday, February 22nd.  It will be in the evening, however, the agenda has not yet been posted.  When it is posted, you will be able to click on the following to see if you’re still in last place: http://www.qac.org/default.aspx?pageid=1366&template=3&PageLevel=2&toplevel=36&cid=44

Commissioner Address:  107 N. Liberty StCentreville, MD 21617     
Ph: 410.758.4098   Fax: 410.758.1170
President: Steve J. Arentz  (443) 262-5303  email: sarentz@qac.org
Vice President:  Philip L. Dumenil   (443) 262-5367   email: pdumenil@qac.org
David L. Dunmyer   (443) 262-5315   email: ddunmyer@qac.org
Bob Simmons   (443) 262-5324   email: bsimmons@qac.org
Dave Olds   (443) 262-5411   email: dolds@qac.org

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paul Gunther Tells Whoppers

First there was commissioner candidate Phil Dumenil admitting that he had not earned a college diploma.  He quickly removed this claim from his campaign website as well as his business website when a document (click here to see that document) was produced refuting his initial assertion that he had a college degree.  I can’t for the life of me comprehend how anyone could suffer uncertainty over such a momentous event.

Next came commissioner candidate Steve Arentz’s rapid succession of falsehoods when asked by a citizen at the League of Women Voters’ to explain the long history of health violations at his restaurant, Hemingway’s. (Click here to read that account.)  Arentz had to have seen the questioner holding his health department documents in her hands as he answered.

These deceptions were soon followed by an advertisement from commissioner candidate Dave Olds which included the most blatant lies imaginable about his opponent, Jack Broderick. (Click here to see that account.)

Not to be outdone, Paul Gunther is concluding his campaign by telling some real whoppers.   First came his declaration a few days ago at the Farm Bureau Candidate's Forum that a Queen Anne’s County farmer could net $15,000 per acre raising strawberries.  This statement was made just a few seconds after Mr. Gunther spoke in a rude and condescending manner toward his opponent stating “you don’t know jack about farming.” I was not the only one in a room full of farmers that knew Paul was stretching the truth beyond an acceptable limit.

Soon Gunther’s second lie followed when I asked if he could introduce me to a couple of the highly successful strawberry farmers.  He adamantly denied he ever said that a farmer could net the $15,000 per acre and angrily replied, “Storm, maybe you should get your f#@%king ears cleaned out so you can hear better.”  Later, without heeding Paul’s advice, I listened to the recording and confirmed what he said. (Click here to listen to those remarks.)

The following day I read Paul’s campaign ad in the newspaper where he said this: “I have been farming my  750+ acres for over 40 years and I can assure you that, I earn my profit the old fashioned way”.  However, a careful study of the land records show an entirely different picture than Mr. Gunther paints.  The main farm Paul frequently refers to is a total of 467.67 acres but it is in half ownership with William J. Milliken and William J. Milliken, Jr. (click here to see record)  Splitting the remaining 233.835 acres (owned by the Gunther General Partnership) four ways with his brothers brings Paul’s share to 58.46 acres.  One forth of 191.58 additional acres owned by the Gunther General Partnership is 47.89 acres, bringing Paul’s land ownership up to 106.35 acres.  Paul also owns his home on 1.01 acres, two homes in Church Hill on .39 acres and a 20.8 acre parcel with his wife on Neighbors road.  This brings Paul’s total acreage to 128.55 acres.  That’s a far cry from 750.

So why couldn’t Paul just be satisfied to say, ”My brothers and I have been farming for a long time and we can assure you that we earn our profits the old fashioned way.”  Having been part owner of a family farm and half owner in a business with my brother, I would never have referred to them as my farm or my business.  There’s nothing wrong with sharing the credit with those who deserve it.

I suspect Paul said what he did for the same reason he chose to denigrate his opponent, Bob Simmons.  It was an attempt to make himself look big.

What Dumenil, Arentz, Olds and Gunther all have in common, is that they are all candidates handpicked and supported by Mareen Waterman and his “Developer Cartel”.  What they also have in common, is a great deal of difficulty telling the truth.  One could even conclude that they will tell a lie when the truth would fit.

Perhaps it’s impossible to find an honest candidate to fulfill the developer’s goals.

Sveinn C. Storm

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dave Olds, Cartel Candidate

It is somewhat difficult for Queen Anne’s County citizens to believe that Dave Olds is a serious candidate for county commissioner.  You simply don’t see him putting an effort into his campaign in the same way the other candidates are.  There is no campaign website to say who he is or what his positions are on the issues.  You haven’t seen a door to door, greet the voter effort from Mr. Olds.  Not only won’t you find a campaign phone number, you won’t even find a place to go where you can give Mr. Olds a campaign contribution.

So how is Dave Olds an honest to goodness choice to be our next county commissioner?  He isn’t.  No, really, he isn’t.  What he is, is perhaps the most loyal, of all the developer candidates, to Mareen Waterman.   That’s why he doesn’t put forth an effort similar to the other candidates.  He doesn’t need to.  He is backed to the hilt by the Waterman machine and to a great extent is riding the coattails of his developer teammates.  If developer dollars can’t buy him in, he won’t get in.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Five Lies Per Minute

Steve Arentz wants everyone to believe that he is an outstanding entrepreneur whose business skills qualify him to be a county commissioner for Queen Anne’s County.  The appalling health inspections of Hemingway’s, his recently closed restaurant, tend to show that nothing could be further from the truth.

On October 12 at the League of Women Voters forum Mr. Arentz was asked to give an explanation of his lengthy and frightening list of health violations.  What followed was perhaps the most rapid-fire sequence of lies you will ever hear. (Click here to see the video.) In one minute and nineteen seconds Mr. Arentz claimed the following:
    1) The awful health reports were all a rumor.
    2) His restaurant was not forcibly closed.
    3) His restaurant’s health violations were landlord related.
    4) It was he that reported his restaurant’s poor condition to the health department.
    5) If you walked into any restaurant with a health inspector there would be between 30 to 50 health violations.
    6) Most restaurants have the same types of violations as Hemingway’s did.

Verbosity versus Integrity

Paul Gunther's modus operandi hasn't changed. As a county commissioner, his vile language and verbose statements are demeaning and have no place in civil debate. Attacking Bob Simmons' knowledge of farming during the Farm Bureau's forum was a cheap shot, not thoughtful debate or discourse.

Mr. Gunther's statement implying that HE has 750 acres is a stretch of fact.  However, this is in concert with his past utterances such as his statement a few months ago, maligning goose hunters (one of our best sources of income for our landowners) by implying they are high on blackberry brandy while hunting.  Additionally, the statement that farmers can earn $15,000 an acre raising strawberries is verbal manipulation and twisting, and as a commissioner is not being a good custodian of integrity.

There's a thin line between artful verbosity (BS) and reckless abandonment of truth. Our citizens deserve better.

The voters are about to decide if they've had enough!!!???

Ed Walls

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thin Skin and Foul Mouths

Wednesday evening (October 27, 2010) I attended the Queen Anne's County Farm Bureau Candidate's Forum, at the Ruthsburg Community Center.  In the moderator’s opening comments was the request that everyone remain civil.  County commissioner candidates Paul Gunther and Dave Olds failed miserably with respect to that request.

After an answer by Bob Simmons on a question related to farming, Gunther responded by telling Mr. Simmons that he “should have stayed in the furniture business because you know jack about agriculture.”  Gunther went on to declare that there were farmers in our county netting $15,000 per acre raising strawberries.  This remark illustrated Paul’s immediate disregard for the rules on politeness.  It also raised concern that Paul didn’t know as much about farming as he claimed.  If there was a $15,000 an acre profit in raising strawberries, our farmers would not be planting corn, wheat and soybeans.