Constituents speak


"We never have trouble getting him out here. He's not like a lot of folk, you never hear from them. He never has stood us up."

Gloria Sipes, president of the Curtis Bay Community Association, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1968.

"I think there is a real lack of communication between him and his department heads because it seems like most times the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. A mayor of a city this size cannot have his hands on everything. He has to be able to rely on the people he hires. But it doesn't seem like the mayor's people tell him everything he needs to know before making his decisions."

"I think overall he's done a good job because he's operated in some tough economic times and he's kept this city with a positive image. National reports have ranked high the city both from a management standpoint and from a financial standpoint, and he ought to be commended for having the city appear financially sound." Paula Mueller, resident of Bolton Hill and a pharmaceutical saleswoman.

"We need a whole new attitude, a whole new approach. I think [Mayor Schmoke] should pursue something in academia because that's where he belongs. If you're going to be a chief administrator, you have to act quickly and decisively. But he vacillates."

Diana Carreon, education coordinator for the East Baltimore Latino Organization

"When [Mr. Schmoke] first came in to office, he really wasn't familiar with our needs or in touch with our concerns . . . Since then, I feel there's been a mutual learning process. He's had to learn about our community and our needs, and we had to learn to be more organized and to be more clear in communicating with him. It took a while, but I think we're on the right track."

"I really do not think the mayor has the executive ability to run a city with the major problems that Baltimore city has. Even with a highly skilled, experienced executive, Baltimore city would be a very difficult place to manage. Our mayor doesn't come with those qualifications. . . . I think Baltimore has suffered from that as a result. I have to be honest with you if you asked the question, 'Do I see anyone with those qualifications who has the opportunity to be elected?' I would say no." "It's refreshing to have a politician who's genuinely committed to what's best for students and best for education. . . . Even if he's successful 30 percent of the time, you would be getting more than you would otherwise get from your run-of-the-mill politicians."

"I'm extremely disappointed. I have not seen any of the promises kept. . . . We've been in the school system for four years and I have not seen any improvements." "As far as education for his term as mayor as compared to past mayors he's done a great job. . . . I think the mayor should oversee but not give directives, so to speak, to the superintendent. Let the school board and the superintendent do what they have to do."

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