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Braverman was a top-notch public employee | READER COMMENTARY

Former Baltimore Housing Commissioner Michael Braverman, left, with developer Ernst Valery outside the long-vacant Sellers Mansion in West Baltimore in May 2019.
Former Baltimore Housing Commissioner Michael Braverman, left, with developer Ernst Valery outside the long-vacant Sellers Mansion in West Baltimore in May 2019. (Baltimore Sun staff)

I knew Michael Braverman well during much of the 17 years I was an assistant state’s attorney for housing court (”Baltimore mayor fires housing commissioner amid pandemic; Braverman said termination ‘a complete surprise,’” Aug. 21). He is extremely smart, a very capable lawyer and was never anything but a dedicated public servant. He was always full of good ideas about improving the city, its housing stock and was especially concerned about people in need. He was determined to do real work, geared to real substance and meeting real needs. He saw clearly people’s foibles and could smell the machinations and motivations of hack city functionaries and politicians from a mile away.

Michael was often the smartest person in the room, but I never saw him treat anyone with anything but respect. I don’t believe he had ambition to be a big shot — but he did want to see things done well and done to further some legitimate purpose. He was exceptional dealing with people — very savvy about their needs and motivations and could communicate with anyone. He did not play games to gain advantage. He didn’t need to. He was just really smart, worked hard, had good ideas and was trustworthy. His character and performance got people’s attention and he naturally rose to the positions he attained.

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I have seen Michael only a few times since I left city work and I don’t know details of his performance as housing commissioner. But I can’t imagine anything underhanded being the cause of his dismissal. My guess is that he was ahead of the power structure in his vision and too intent on doing principled, competent work on behalf of our city — that can rub some people the wrong way.

I am heartened by the calls in The Sun for the next mayor to re-hire Michael. Everything I know about him tells me that is an idea well worth considering. He is the kind of public servant we need in these turbulent times.

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Peter C. Dwyer, Baltimore

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