Just about every election season,
word circulates that this or that elected official (or candidate) does not actually live in his or her district. Most recently, City Councilwoman Belinda Conaway faced questions about the home in Randallstown—in Baltimore County—she has owned since 1997. She told WBAL-TV she and her two children live at 3210 Liberty Heights Ave., which her father, Circuit Court Clerk Frank Conaway; and brother, state Del. Frank Conaway Jr. (D-40th District) also claim as their home in election documents. Last year Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young testily gave reporters a tour of his Madison Street house (“Do you want to see my damn underwear?”) while acknowledging that he does not live there full time, but instead often sleeps in a house around the corner. Councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector has for years acknowledged that she spends “a lot of time” at a swank Harbor View condominium she shares with her long-time companion.
The law on this is, apparently, settled. In 1998 the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that, for the purpose of political representation, “residency” means, basically, whatever the candidate says it does—so long as the voters concur. With that in mind we visited the addresses of record of every City Council member, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Comptroller Joan Pratt. Here is a map of those locations, with the most recent available district lines, photos of each residence, and some basic information about each. Our source is their campaign committee filings.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D)
A Cold Spring garden condominium with parking garage beneath, up on the hill near the Waldorf School.
Comptroller Joan Pratt (D)
2,100 square feet on a 12,800-square-foot lot
Posh, two-story detached single-family home in Bellona-Gittings, facing the traffic of Northern Parkway, just east of North Charles Street.
City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D)
Three-story brick rowhouse in the Gay Street neighborhood, just west of Johns Hopkins Hospital.
1. City Councilmember James B. Kraft (D-1st District)
2,500 square feet on 1,300-square-foot lot
Grand, three-story rowhouse facing Patterson Park.
2. City Councilmember Nicholas D’Adamo Jr. (D-2nd District)
1,500 square feet on a nearly half-acre lot
One-story detached single-family home at the end of a cul-de-sac, perched on a hilltop in Glenham-Belford.
3. City Councilmember Robert Curran (D-3rd District)
1,200 square feet on a 4,300-square-foot lot
Humble brick duplex in Original Northwood, just off Loch Raven Boulevard.
4. City Councilmember Bill Henry (D-4th District)
1,400 square feet on a 7,900-square-foot lot
Cozy, wood-shingled home in the Radnor Winston neighborhood.
5. City Councilmember Rochelle “Rikki” Spector (D-5th District)
Two-story brick-front Slade Village condominium with off-street parking in Fallstaff.
6. City Councilmember Sharon Green Middleton (D-6th District)
Purchase price/date: $201,552 in 1996.
1,800 square feet on a 4,800-square-foot lot
Smart, new home in Cold Spring with a two-car garage and a back deck overlooking Cylburn Arboretum.
7. City Councilmember Belinda Conaway (D-7th District)
3210 Liberty Heights Ave.
Yes, of her father, Frank Conaway Sr.; Belinda Conaway and her husband have a Baltimore County residence, 9810 Southall Road in Randallstown, that they claim as their principal residence on tax forms.
4,000 square feet on a 12,800-square-foot lot
Stately looking two-and-a-half story brick Colonial in Ashburton.
8. City Councilmember Helen Holton (D-8th District)
1,200 square feet on 2,200 square-foot lot
Modest, two-story brick rowhouse in Ten Hills, close to where Route 40 West crosses the Baltimore County line.
9. City Councilmember William “Pete” Welch (D-9th District)
No. It is a commercially zoned property not owned by Welch.
1,300 square feet on a 1,400-square-foot lot
Comparatively well-maintained “commercial” space on a block of boarded rowhouses in the Western neighborhood, where Route 40 West and Edmondson Avenue merge together. Welch says he actually resides at 2927 Mosher St., a 1,300-square-foot rowhouse owned by his mother, former 9th District City Councilmember Agnes Welch.
10. City Councilmember Edward Reisinger (D-10th District)
1,000 square feet on a 1,800-square-foot lot
Tiny, two-story brick rowhouse on a one-block stretch of homes in Morrell Park.
11. City Councilmember William H. Cole IV (D-11th District)
Three-story brick rowhouse in Otterbein.
12. City Councilmember Carl Stokes (D-12th District)
Not available, but the lot is 2,700 square feet.
Typical Victorian rowhouse on a block of painted ladies in Barclay.
13. City Councilmember Warren Branch (D-13th District)
Branch does not own the house.
Not available, but the lot is 1,000 square feet.
Little two-story house with a small porch, on a nicely kept block near the Amtrak tracks in Madison-Eastend.
14. City Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke (D-14th District)
2,100 square feet on a 1,700-square-foot lot
Nice brick rowhouse on a tree-lined street in Tuscany-Canterbury, near Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Campus.