Minority contractors using fliers against the mayor


The head of the Maryland Minority Contractors Association says the organization will continue to campaign against Kurt L. Schmoke's bid for a second term as mayor of Baltimore.

Members of the association picketed outside the B&O; Railroad Museum on June 21 while Schmoke was announcing his candidacy. The organization has also passed out thousands of fliers accusing the Schmoke administration of failing to enforce the city's minority set-aside law.

The fliers say: "Thanks to Mayor Schmoke, minority and women businesses are in financial trouble!"

The fliers also say that the "minority community has been left out of the city's economic empowerment and development process!" and that the Schmoke administration has "deliberately" excluded minority contractors from city projects.

Arnold M. Jolivet, the group's president, said Schmoke has done a poor job of enforcing the law, which guarantees 20 percent of the work on city projects to firms headed by minorities and 3 percent to firms headed by women.

"We want and demand a fair deal," Jolivet said, adding, "all too often the mayor and the city solicitor turn their heads when it comes down to enforcing the law."

Clint Coleman, the mayor's press secretary, said the administration has vigorously enforced the law. He also said the tactics of the minority contractors' group are "politically motivated and factually inaccurate."

Coleman cited the $300 million Inner Harbor East project as an example of the administration's efforts to help firms headed by minorities and women. About $85 million in contracts for that project will be set aside for minorities and women, Coleman said.

A stormy relationship exists between Jolivet and Schmoke. They have clashed angrily during discussions of the minority set-aside law at Board of Estimates meetings.

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