Brochin en­ters race for Balto. County Ex­ec­u­tive

The Dundalk Eagle - - OPINION - By GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­ Fol­low me on Twit­ter @TheAv­enueNews

State Sen. Jim Brochin (D42) has of­fi­cially thrown his hat into the Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive race.

Speak­ing to an au­di­ence at Es­sex-Holly Neck VFW Me­mo­rial Post No. 2621 on Oct. 19, Brochin stressed that one of his big­gest goals as County Ex­ec­u­tive would be to dis­man­tle the “pay-toplay” sys­tem in Bal­ti­more County where, he al­leged, de­vel­op­ers give small cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions to coun­cil mem­bers in or­der to let them build what­ever and when­ever they want. He said it is plagu­ing the county and al­low­ing de­vel­op­ers to wreak havoc on com­mu­ni­ties.

“What I re­al­ized is, I was spend­ing more and more time as a sen­a­tor try­ing to stop de­vel­op­ers and county gov­ern­ment from tak­ing peo­ple’s land, from tak­ing pub­lic land, tak­ing open space. The list starts at the [North Point] Gov­ern­ment Cen­ter, the list goes to Paragon Out­lets in White Marsh, it goes to the Royal Farms in Tow­son, it goes to Chestnut Ridge in Pikesville, it en­com­passes the en­tire county,” he said. “The more I saw it, the more I got frus­trated. I’m run­ning as a cit­i­zen that is re­ally, re­ally pissed off.”

As a sen­a­tor, he said he has seen his con­stituents’ frus­tra­tions and their ques­tions about how de­vel­op­ers are get­ting th­ese spe­cial deals while their feed­back is seem­ingly ig­nored.

He said, in­stead, the county’s gov­ern­ment should fo­cus on pro­tect­ing the parks and pub­lic land while pro­mot­ing the preser­va­tion of green space and open space and push­ing for “smarter de­vel­op­ment”.

“I don’t do party; I’m go­ing to do pub­lic pol­icy,” he said, ex­plain­ing that on fi­nan­cial mat­ters, such as whether or not to raise taxes, he would vote more con­ser­va­tively, while on so­cial is­sues, like en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, he would “vote much like a lib­eral Demo­crat.”

Brochin then be­gan to ex­plain what sets him apart from the other can­di­dates for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion, for­mer Del. John Ol­szewski Jr. (D-6) and Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil­woman Vicki Al­mond (D-2). The big­gest dif­fer­ence, he said, was his opinion on the ex­ec­u­tive or­der is­sued by cur­rent Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz this year that made Bal­ti­more County a “sanc­tu­ary county” by for­mal­iz­ing poli­cies that res­i­dents can­not be pro­filed or de­tained based on their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

Brochin said that his op­po­nents ex­pressed ap­proval over this or­der while he would re­verse it if elected.

“If you get ar­rested for a crime, and it’s your sec­ond crime and you’re here il­le­gally, we are go­ing to honor the ICE de­tainer and that’s go­ing to be the pol­icy of Bal­ti­more County.”

He also dif­fers from Al­mond and Ol­szewski in his stance on the failed Bill 46-16, which would have pro­hib­ited land­lords from dis­crim­i­nat­ing against ap­pli­cants us­ing dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits or Sec­tion 8 hous­ing vouch­ers.

Brochin had killed the bill in the Se­nate mul­ti­ple times, he said, be­liev­ing that it put too many lim­i­ta­tions on and took away too many free- doms from prop­erty own­ers.

“At the end of the day, we need to do ev­ery­thing we can to en­cour­age home own­er­ship in Bal­ti­more County, and we shouldn’t be forc­ing the Bal­ti­more County Hous­ing Author­ity down any­one’s throat.”

Brochin then ad­dressed the opi­oid cri­sis in Mary­land, propos­ing so­lu­tions like a long-term project to build an ad­dic­tion treat­ment cen­ter in Bal­ti­more County. He also said that Bal­ti­more County should use Anne Arun­del County as an ex­am­ple for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a “Safe Streets” pro­gram where ad­dicts can ac­cess treat­ments at fire and po­lice sta­tions while be­ing con­nected to a case­worker.

“It’s not go­ing to be easy. But there are peo­ple we can save. We can prob­a­bly save 50 to 60 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion who is ad­dicted. We need to be a county that cares. We’re go­ing to be judged in the fu­ture on what we do now, and what we do now is noth­ing, or very, very, very min­i­mum.”

Although Brochin had teased the run ear­lier in the year, he an­nounced that his cam­paign is now of­fi­cially ready to get started, adding that his team will be open­ing up a cam­paign head­quar­ters in Dun­dalk in early 2018.

The Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can pri­maries will be held on Tues­day, June 26, 2018. The Mary­land Gen­eral Elec­tion will be held on Tues­day, Nov. 6, 2018.

State Sen­a­tor Jim Brochin (D42) has en­tered the race for Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive.

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