It doesn’t happen very often that a Baltimore City Council member vacates their seat. It did happen last month, when 11th District Councilman William Cole was appointed President and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation.
Cole was a member of the Baltimore City Council for 7 years, and now 15 applicants are vying for his seat, which represents more than a dozen neighborhoods. The City’s Charter has a process for filling the seat and Sheilah talks about the process with WYPR reporter Kenneth Burns. We also hear from Cole on what it's like to represent the 11th District, and we learn about major issues in the 11th District from Janet Allen, President of the Heritage Crossing Resident Association.
You can read more about the applicants in this article from The Baltimore Sun.
Allen sent us questions she and some community members had for the 11th District candidate:
- The Sun newspaper once reported that The State Center Project will have the same effect on Baltimore as The Inner Harbor. Yet despite the positive effect this project will have it has not yet become a reality. As City Councilperson what would you do to help this project come into fruition?
- The homeless encampment on Martin Luther King Blvd. is a hangout for drug addicts, hustlers, the homeless and mentally insane. This major thoroughfare is a huge safety hazard, major eyesore and embarrassment. Tax paying residents who live in that area walk that corridor in fear. City agencies have inspected that area and have seen drug needles, the inadequate lighting and smelled the stench of human waste. Yet this encampment still exist what can you do to move the encampment and restore this area back to the community? Also, what can you do to hold city services more responsive to the citizens of Baltimore?
- The City has created beautiful healthy communities where people chose to live and raise their families. What solution do you offer for communities in the 11th district that have been neglected? How do you suggest transforming pockets of poverty into middle class communities? What can or what are you willing to do to bring resources to those communities so that may feel safe to walk their communities at any given time; to enjoy a restaurant or a cup of coffee (besides a fast food chain), without having to drive across town or into the county; to be able to sit at a traffic light without being panhandled, etc.
- Considering what you know about the entire 11th district, list 5 issues that are top priority in your estimation.
Correction: In the on-air segment we incorrectly said the public hearing on the applicants was at 4:30 p.m. on September 23. It is actually 6 p.m. in the Du Burns Council Chamber. We regret the error.