Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz was publicly chastised Friday for not being responsive to the concerns of the county's lawmakers in Annapolis.
Del. Stephen Lafferty, a Towson Democrat who chairs Baltimore County's group of state delegates, told Kamenetz that he should spend more time talking with legislators and helping them with county issues.
"I have not seen you, for instance, in the House building until today," Lafferty told Kamenetz during a meeting of the county's House delegation on Friday. "I think it would benefit all of us if you would spend more time with us, if you would be communicating, be in the hallways, visit with us when you're here on Wednesdays."
Kamenetz responded that he's spent more time in Annapolis during this year's General Assembly session than in past years. In addition to his past practice of spending Wednesdays in the state capital, he has attended more events and committee meetings, especially in his role as president of the Maryland Association of Counties.
"I'm sorry that you have not seen my face, but I have been in Annapolis since the session started, probably four out of five days a week," Kamenetz said.
Baltimore County's senators are also frustrated with the county executive, said Sen. Jim Brochin, their chairman.
Kamenetz canceled a planned meeting with the senators a couple of weeks ago and a new date wasn't set, Brochin said. Then, the county executive showed up unannounced to a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Brochin said.
Brochin, a Towson Democrat, said he made room for Kamenetz on the agenda.
"He certainly met with us, but numerous senators had concerns and he dismissed the concerns. I don't think he was responsive," Brochin said. "Did he listen? Yes. Did he do anything? No."
Don Mohler, a spokesman for Kamenetz, downplayed concerns about the county executive's relationships with lawmakers.
Mohler said Kamenetz has had plenty of meetings with lawmakers and crafted his list of priorities for the General Assembly based on input from them.
Kamenetz's agenda includes obtaining state money for school and transportation projects, modifying laws related to sexual assault investigations, passing restrictions on prescription drug price gouging, reforming the state's bail system and banning hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for natural gas.
Mohler also noted that the county has three employees working full-time in Annapolis during the 90-day General Assembly session.
"The county executive is extremely accessible, extremely open to working with our senators and delegates and is in constant communication with them," Mohler said. "I don't see how County Executive Kamenetz can be much more visible in Annapolis than he's been."