by Yasemin Jamison
Along with more than 250 of County Executive Steve Schuh’s constituents, I have been asking for a real Town Hall with our County Executive for months now. We have some deep concerns about how he is handling issues in our county such as immigration, education, and development, that we would like him to give some explanations about. Schuh claims that he has held two town halls in the county, but they were not town halls at all. They were budget meetings.
Although I traveled to both, they turned out to be more like circus shows than legitimate engagement with county residents. He not only held them as far out as you can get in South County and North County, but he didn’t answer any real questions. At the first one in South County, he only let one person talk to him at a time, so that others could not engage in the conversation. He claimed to a constituent that he had not heard any complaints from anyone about a program to turn AA County detention officers into ICE agents. She had contacted his office several times. At the second one, citizens asked about a controversial policy to use the Ordnance Rd. Detention Center as a place to hold undocumented people for the federal government, but his answers to questions about the plan were confusing, contradictory and curt. This program has proven costly and ineffective in other counties. Still, Schuh refuses to meet with us so we can discuss it with him in a real Town Hall.
Schuh claimed that he has not heard from his constituents who are against this program, or from anyone wanting a Town Hall. So we sent emails, called his office, and started a petition. Thus far we have sent 50 emails which received form-letter responses from the County Executive’s office. We now have collected nearly 250 signatures on our petition.
Today, Steve Schuh will meet with Governor Hogan (also MIA after month’s of requests for a Town Hall from constituents) and Chamber of Commerce representatives in Glen Burnie. Apparently, Schuh will meet with Big Business but not his own constituents.
We would like to have as many signatures as possible to let Schuh know that we want a real Town Hall. We are not going away.
Please sign our petition to ask Steve Schuh for a real Town Hall where we can all get some real answers to our real questions.
Yasemin Jamison is a Turkish-born American, citizen activist, and resident of Arnold, Maryland.
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