Baltimore leaders hope Wes Moore’s upcoming tenure as Governor of Maryland will allow for prosperity and progress in a city often neglected and criticized by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration, Joe Heim reports for the Washington Post.
What were the points of contention between Baltimore City and Gov. Hogan?
The relationship between Hogan and Baltimore City began to sour in 2015, when the governor gutted a $2.9 billion plan to introduce the Red Line, a light rail that would have connected the city’s poorest neighborhoods to downtown business districts. About $288 million had already been spent in the years-long planning process when Hogan called the plan a “wasteful boondoggle,” and instead, diverted funding to the Purple Line in the Washington suburbs. With Baltimore’s plans halted, the city lost $900 million in federal funds meant for the project.
“Many of us have felt that our governor has held our city with contempt and has not always seen us as a part of the whole picture of Maryland. This is a city that’s been looking for a governor that’s simply a friend. But it would be preferable, at minimum, to have a governor that believes in you, knows you, embraces you and sees you as a full part of our state,” said Del. Stephanie M. Smith (D-Baltimore)..
Hogan also criticized the city’s leaders for what he referred to as the failure to prosecute violent crime, including accusing Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott of neglecting to follow through on his plan to address crime and condemning Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s handling of criminal convictions.
“Quite candidly, he’s been more concerned with pointing the finger at everyone else as opposed to actually leading and delivering for a city that is the heartbeat for this state,” Mosby said at a news conference, referring to Hogan.
Anything else I should know?
Some Baltimoreans believe Hogan’s relationship with the city wasn’t as contentious as others considered it to be, claiming that the governor pushed for beneficial projects in the city while also holding leaders accountable. As an example of Hogan’s service to the city, Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council and the former communications director for a previous mayor, cited the redevelopment of the Pimlico Race Course and surrounding neighborhood, as well as Project C.O.R.E—a $75 million project to build green space in place of abandoned buildings.
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