My wife and I were on vacation at the beach in September of 2003, watching the weather report each day tracking Hurricane Isabel. As the Chesapeake Bay was in the crosshairs, we decided to head home early to Bowleys Quarters to batten down the hatches. But to no avail. Our house was inundated by the storm surge, we lost power for over a week, and after a few days we were physically exhausted from dealing with damage control, not to mention the mental strain and uncertainty in trying to imagine a recovery plan.
As we and our neighbors were continuing to remove waterlogged belongings from our ruined homes, we heard about a meeting that several local elected officials had scheduled to talk to victims of the tropical storm. We were relieved and encouraged that we might get some good news, so we drove our one good car (the other one drowned) to the meeting hall in our community.
The room was totally packed with many of our friends and neighbors who were eager to hear about what help they might get. There was much anticipation in the audience, and the crowd quieted down as an elected official took the podium. As he announced the next speaker, the newly appointed insurance commissioner, I can say we all paid attention. Then Al Redmer took the microphone and said words to the effect of, “Ladies and Gentlemen, there are folks in North Carolina who were hit harder than you, so you’ll just have to wait your turn.”
The room erupted in chaos, confusion and frustration. No one was questioning the fact there were storm victims elsewhere, but why wouldn’t this “public servant” be talking about what he could do for us instead of telling us to take a number?
Al Redmer was not all that helpful back in the fall of 2003 as Maryland’s new insurance commissioner. Fifteen years later, I say he should wait his turn for public office and take a number.
David Hash, Middle River