County ex­ec­u­tive dies at age 60

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz died of car­diac ar­rest early in the morn­ing of May 10. He was 60.

Born in Loc­hearn, Mary­land, the youngest of five born to Miriam and Irvin Kame­nentz, Kamenetz worked in his fa­ther’s Over­lea phar­macy in his youth.

He grad­u­ated from the Gil­man School be­fore earn­ing a bach­e­lor’s de­gree at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity in 1979. He would go on to grad­u­ate from Uni­ver­sity of Bal­ti­more School of Law and pass the state bar in 1982. He served as a prose­cu­tor in the Bal­ti­more City State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice from 1982 to 1987.

For Kamenetz, his in­ter­est in pol­i­tics be­gan early on. He vol­un­teered on po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns be­fore serv­ing on the Demo­cratic State Cen­tral Com­mit­tee for sev­eral terms.

He was first elected to the Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil in 1994, go­ing on to serve 16 years be­fore be­ing elected Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive in 2010.

Kamenetz was in his sec­ond term as County Ex­ec­u­tive when he died. As per the county char­ter, county ad­min­is­tra­tor Fred Ho­man will be­come act­ing ex­ec­u­tive un­til the coun­cil ap­points a re­place­ment to ful­fill the re­main­ing months of Ka­manetz’s term. A new county ex­ec­u­tive will be elected in Novem­ber, tak­ing of­fice in De­cem­ber.

Kamenetz had been run­ning in the Demo­cratic pri­mary in this year’s gubernatorial race at the time of his death.

Con­do­lences be­gan pour­ing in from across the state and county as the news spread Thurs­day morn­ing.

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) re­leased a state­ment, writ­ing, “I am deeply sad­dened by the sud­den death of County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz. My heart is with his fam­ily and the en­tire Bal­ti­more County com­mu­nity. Kevin ded­i­cated him­self to our com­mu­nity and his good works are all around us. He will be deeply missed.”

“I was shocked and in­cred­i­bly sad­dened to hear the news this morn­ing of Kevin’s pass­ing. None of us know when the mo­ment might come, but for Kevin, it was way too soon. He had so much more to of­fer and was in the prime of his ca­reer,” said U.S. Rep. Dutch Rup­pers­berger, him­self a for­mer Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive.

“Some might say that Kevin was his own brand. But I was proud to call him my friend al­ways. He was ex­cep­tion­ally smart, ex­tremely prin­ci­pled and al­ways did what he felt was in the best in­ter­est of his com­mu­nity,” Rup­pers­berger added.

Not­ing Kamenetz’s long po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, Rup­pers­berger also praised him as “an in­volved dad, a ded­i­cated hus­band and a loyal friend.”

Gov. Larry Ho­gan (R) or­dered flags be low­ered to­day through sun­set on the day of Kamenetz’s in­ter­ment.

Call­ing Kamenetz a “ded­i­cated pub­lic ser vant,” Ho­gan stated, “Our prayers go out to his wife, Jill, his sons Kar­son and Dy­lan, and to his en­tire fam­ily. In the dif­fi­cult days to come, we will pro­vide any sup­port we pos­si­bly can to the Kamenetz fam­ily and the cit­i­zens of Bal­ti­more County.”

Mem­bers of the Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil also re­acted upon learn­ing of Kamenetz’s sud­den death.

“I send my sym­pa­thy and con­do­lences to the Kamenetz fam­ily. I was shocked to awaken to the news of the County Ex­ec­u­tive’s pass­ing this morn­ing,” Coun­cil­man Todd Cran­dell (R-7) said in a state­ment on Face­book.

“My ser­vice on the Coun­cil co­in­cided with his ten­ure as Ex­ec­u­tive. County Ex­ec­u­tive Kamenetz was a strong and smart leader who pro­vided 24 years of ser vice to Bal­ti­more County. My prayers are with his fam­ily dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time,” Coun­cil­man David Marks (R-5) noted on his Face­book page.

Coun­cil­woman Cathy Bevins (D6), also re­acted via Face­book, writ­ing, “I am shocked and sad­dened by the sud­den death of County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz. County Ex­ec­u­tive Kamenetz was a ded­i­cated pub­lic ser­vant who gave 24 years of ser­vice to Bal­ti­more County. I knew him to be a won­der­ful fa­ther and hus­band. My thoughts and prayers are with his en­tire fam­ily.”

Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent Ver­letta White also re­acted to the sud­den pass­ing, stat­ing, “First and fore­most, my thoughts and prayers go out to the fam­ily of County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz.”

“We are sad­dened and shocked by the news,” she added, not­ing, “Kevin was a tire­less sup­porter of Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools, and I am thank­ful for his com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion to the chil­dren of Bal­ti­more County.”

Kamenetz’s ri­vals in the Demo­cratic pri­mary for gov­er­nor also re­leased state­ments in the wake of his pass­ing.

Rush­ern Baker, Prince Ge­orge’s County Ex­ec­u­tive and gubernatorial can­di­date, re­acted to the “ter­ri­ble shock­ing and sad news,” not­ing that he had just seen Kamenetz the night be­fore at a fo­rum at Bowie State Uni­ver­sity.

“Over the past seven years, we worked to­gether on crit­i­cal pieces of leg­is­la­tion and shared goals for im­prov­ing the ed­u­ca­tion of Mary­land chil­dren, achiev­ing qual­ity health care for all the state’s res­i­dents, and cre­at­ing jobs and op­por­tu­nity for our con­stituents,” Baker stated. “As much as Kevin was ad­vo­cat­ing for what was best for Bal­ti­more County, he was also al­ways look­ing out for all Mary­lan­ders.”

State Sen. Rich Made­leno, also a con­tender for gov­er­nor, said in his state­ment, “Kevin’s story of grow­ing up in Loc­hearn, work­ing at his fa­ther’s drug store and ul­ti­mately ris­ing to be­come Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive is a clas­sic tale of Mary­land grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion. His knowl­edge and ded­i­ca­tion to all Mary­lan­ders will be sorely missed. Our deep­est sym­pa­thies go out to Jill, his sons, and his fam­ily.”

“I’m in­cred­i­bly sad­dened to learn of the pass­ing of Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz. He ded­i­cated his life to pub­lic ser­vice, to mak­ing a dif­fer­ence and he helped to move Mary­land for­ward,” can­di­date Ben Jeal­ous wrote. “My sin­cer­est thoughts and prayers are with Jill and their two sons.”

Bal­ti­more lawyer, can­di­date Jim Shea called Kamenetz’s death “a tremen­dous loss for Mary­land,” not­ing, “He was a ded­i­cated pub­lic ser­vant, and I con­sid­ered him a friend. My heart goes out to Jill and his fam­ily, along with his many friends and staff.”

Both the cam­paigns for Baker and Alec Ross an­nounced that they would tem­po­rar­ily sus­pend cam­paign ac­tiv­ity in the wake of Kamenetz’s pass­ing.

Kevin Kamenetz is sur­vived by his wife, Jill, and sons Kar­son and Dy­lan.

KEVIN KAMENETZ

PHO­TOS BY NI­COLE ROD­MAN

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz pre­sented a ci­ta­tion to Flem­ing Se­nior Cen­ter di­rec­tor Cyn­thia Mingo and cen­ter coun­cil pres­i­dent Don­ald Jones last Thurs­day.

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