On being a member of County Council

By Danny Golombek.

Dear Councilman Quirk,

I am puzzled by your comments quoted in the WYPR article about Judge Griggsby’s decision to approve the County Council’s re-drawn district map.

You are quoted saying “those who brought the suit wanted to have the power of the county council.” You are a public servant, and, as the founding documents of our nation state, the power rests in the people. You, your colleagues, and all other elected officials are in a sense employees of the citizens of Baltimore County. Not the other way.

Your other statement, that “they were not going to be happy with any other maps unless it was theirs, period,” omits the fact that it was the Council’s reluctance to listen to its constituents that derived in the lawsuit.  Furthermore, the Council changed the adopted Commission’s map only when instructed by the courts, after making a small tweak upon the pressure of the Baltimore County citizens at the only meeting we had to comment on an actual map. All other meetings, like those Chair Jones held in his district or that groups had with individual members of the Council were held without knowing what the map looked like.

Please remember that we still live in a democracy where its citizens consent to be governed and that their representatives make decisions in their name; that is why you have the privilege of sitting up on a dais. Those of us that opposed the Council map were not usurping any power from the Council; we were asking for transparency and that our government listen to its constituents. In a democracy you, and all other elected officials, are accountable to those who elected you to carry out the business of the people. There is no vindication.


Daniel Golombek

Daniel Golombek is the President of the Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club. The views expressed in the letter are his own.

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