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Disappointing remarks in Harford Council farewell [Editorial]

The Aegis

A couple of weeks ago, we took Harford County Council President Richard Slutzky to task for what we felt were his intemperate remarks following the Rite Aid workplace shootings.

Briefly, in his first public comments after the deaths of four people and the wounding of two others, Slutzky chose to do his best Donald Trump imitation and take the media to task for reporting the shootings took place in Aberdeen, not Perryman, even though he himself acknowledged the Rite Aid facility is within the Aberdeen ZIP Code.

We called the remarks “classless,” and in the same editorial complimented Councilman Mike Perrone for having the decency, after Slutzky’s harangue, to ask that people remember the victims and their families.

Unfortunately, we may have been premature in the latter assessment. At the council’s final session Oct. 16, Perrone, who was an unsuccessful primary candidate for county executive this summer, chose to deliver of harangue of his own about his colleagues and the county administration when he made his farewell remarks as a council member.

Though he did praise local religious and community organizations, Perrone spent most of his time lambasting the rest of the council and the county executive’s support for the agricultural community at his perceived expense of his Route 40 district that includes Edgewood and Joppatowne.

Fair enough. Perrone has made his case on this and other issues that have come before the council during the past years in which it could certainly be argued his District A got less of the money sloshing around in the county government coffers than did other areas of the county.

And, while he’s certainly entitled to speak his mind on any occasion, we really have to question what purpose a comment like this served in his final remarks:

“To those members of the next council who decide to stand up to the political elite and fight for a transparent and impartial system that plays no favorites, I thank you in advance for your efforts and I appreciate you, and I look forward to the day when Harford County can completely rise above the Hazzard County label.”

Legislative battles are won and lost. They are decided by majority rule in the end, like it or not. The rules are the rules. Perrone lost many battles. And while his fights may have been courageous in the eyes of many of his constituents, his exit from the council was not the time or place to rail against his colleagues one more time.

Frankly, it was a disappointing end to what had otherwise been a solid effort, and we suspect the bridges Perrone chose to burn won’t soon be rebuilt, if ever.

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