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Scott, Young fight is bad for Baltimore | READER COMMENTARY

Baltimore mayoral candidates businessman Bob Wallace, City Council President Brandon Scott and Pastor Shannon Wright participated in their final virtual debate Tuesday on WBAL-TV Channel 11.
Baltimore mayoral candidates businessman Bob Wallace, City Council President Brandon Scott and Pastor Shannon Wright participated in their final virtual debate Tuesday on WBAL-TV Channel 11. (Kenneth K. Lam)

It was profoundly disheartening to read in The Baltimore Sun of what seemed like a highly maneuvered and successful push by outgoing Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young to get approval of nine new staff positions for the City Council president’s office (“Baltimore’s lame duck mayor is making a $715,462 mistake,” Oct. 29). This sudden staff expansion from 27 to 36 positions comes amid several troubling issues: We learn that City Council President Brandon Scott strongly opposes the staff additions and was not informed by Mayor Young of his intention to expand office staffing. The city not only faces very large revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19, but Mayor Young has already levied a non-essential hiring freeze and announced plans to lay off more than 60 workers within the public works department.

As a citizen who wholeheartedly loves our city, even small signs of serious discord among outgoing and incoming leaders in these deeply uncertain times signals to me all too familiar echoes of petty power plays that too frequently bedevil our city administration to an exhausting and harrowing degree. I’m reminded of the wise proverb: “When the elephants fight, the grass always suffers.”

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Now, if ever, is a time for cooperation as we face enormous challenges as a city.

Jane Harrison, Baltimore

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