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Councilman Marks Defends Votes Amid Colleague Criticism

Councilman David Mark's change of heart on some legislation becomes the subject of criticism.

David Marks, in his second year on the job, finds himself at the center of some criticism from his County Council colleagues related to several recent votes.

At issue is how Marks told his colleagues he would vote on three bills in the last year—a , a , and a request for condemnation on a west side property—and how he ultimately voted.

Council members did not want to speak for attribution about Marks' recent voting but said it's causing some concern that the councilman is unreliable.

Marks, for his part, says he's heard the criticism from some of his colleagues. He criticized them in turn for speaking to a reporter but not allowing themselves to be identified.

The Perry Hall Republican acknowledged that he publicly stated intentions to vote for speed cameras and the transgender law before ultimately changing his mind. He said he never committed to a position on the condemnation request despite criticisms that he changed his mind several times before the final vote.

Marks called the speed camera contract and transgender bill "some of the most ideological legislation the council has discussed."

Marks initially said he could vote for the speed camera contract because it was not a vote to expand the program. Prior to the transgender vote, Marks said he could vote for the bill if certain amendments related to public accommodations were adopted.

But his district, which is now more Republican as a result of redistricting than it was when Marks was elected in 2010, opposed both bills, he said.

There may also have been some political pressure placed on Marks by his own party.

Marks acknowledges being asked to vote against the transgender bill by Rep. Andy Harris and told by other members of the Republican party that the issue could be used effectively against him in a primary challenge.

But Marks downplayed the politics and said the desires of his constituents ultimately influenced his final vote.

"It's more important for me to cast a vote based on what my constituents want and that's what my goal is at the end of the day," said Marks. "That's more important to me than swearing loyalty to any one member of the council.

"Each of the council members—none of us is perfect," Marks continued. "Some of us have volcanic tempers at times and some times there are frayed relationships. I'll measure my record on what I've gotten done for the people I represent."

Marks said that if the tables were turned and his party controlled the council and wanted to pass more conservative legislation, "Democrats would be voting a certain way based on their districts."

Marks, who is one of two Republicans on the council, said his desire to build consensus is some times interpreted as wanting to avoid conflict.

The lesson here, he said, is that he'll now be more cautious about discussing his stances on bills.

In the end, the councilman said he was not concerned that the votes in question have hurt his ability to work with his colleagues.

"I've been a very productive member of this council," said Marks. "I think I've been very effective in working with my colleagues."

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pearl March 10, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Regardless of how the information gets out there, the flipping is a problem. It is not just a problem among the other council members. There were constituents who were certainly led to believe, up until the 11th hour, that Mr. Marks would vote yay on the Human Rights Act. Although he denies it, it is just too coincidental that the change of heart came on the heels of a call from Andy Harris. Do all of these moderates in the district really want Mr. Marks to do Andy Harris' bidding? Many people don't understand what a representative democracy is, but yes, we have one. What this says to me about Mr. Marks is that he is not confident enough to trust his instincts on issues and do what he thinks is right. Blaming constituents gets old and it is the ultimate form of political expediency. What threat can Andy Harris make to Mr. Marks that convinces him to change his vote? It has nothing to do with a constituency. It has to do with staying in office and keeping the power. Even if Mr. Marks is doing a good job, keep you eyes open. He is obviously capable of being manipulated and everyone needs to know who is doing the manipulating.
Mike Lurz March 10, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I knew it wouldn't be long before the paranoia
Bart March 10, 2012 at 09:45 PM
I would prefer to have a councilperson who tackles issues as they are presented, and not as they were. The transgender bill had amendments added that made it unenforceable. I like that Mr. Marks thinks on his feet, and changes his opinion if it is necessary. I don't want someone who is so inflexible to be a robot. Some might call that flipping; I call it facing facts. David Marks made promises to his constituents, and he has stuck to them. He has downzoned over 500 acres of property to protect the citizens from uncontrolled development, and he proposed the Term Limit bill, as he promised. He has solved many problems in my neighborhood of Towson in direct and economical ways. He has been a positive force regarding school overcrowding, and has really made a charge to improve the business environment of Towson. We are lucky to have him as our representative to the County council.
Tim March 11, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Absolutely!
Buzz Beeler March 11, 2012 at 01:53 AM
This comment from the article is interesting because it stifles the dialogue between the constituents and the elected officials: "but not allowing themselves to be identified." I think they coined a term for this and it's called - talking to a wall, or in this case a anonymous wall. I would say that Councilman Marks is, pardon the pun, head and shoulders above the rest of his colleagues by engaging in the democratic process with us mere mortals. A good photo-op as demonstrated by this link is one thing, but standing in front of the podium in these tiny boxes is far more valuable thank a Kodak moment. http://dundalk.patch.com/articles/eastern-baltimore-county-honors-jim-smith-1e7f6f4c There are those usual suspects that use this site to further their agenda by espousing to the formula of - hear me, but I don't hear you as illustrated by this link. http://dundalk.patch.com/articles/olszewski-hiking-boater-fees-not-the-answer
Robert Armstrong March 11, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Hey Councilman Marks! What's up with Bueller trying to stifle the First Amendment? From Bueller: "This can be done the easy way or the hard way. Reference CC# number 12-040-0914, call CID Unit at Pct. 12, 410 887-7309 and ask for Det. Sgt. Gallaway. If he does not hear from you we go to the next step. Under the statute I warned you and you chose to ignore that warning. " I am getting ready to go on vacation so I wish Bueller would direct his bud Sgt Galloway to call
Mike Lurz March 11, 2012 at 02:27 PM
And so far you have done exactly what you have set out to do, don't let the naysayers ( or the not knowing) change your mind or your course
Buck Harmon March 11, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I respect David Marks for commenting in these blogs, something Tom Quirk hasn't mastered yet. Great communicator!
Mike Lurz March 11, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I think we re all for free speech, but come on..is this the place?
Buzz Beeler March 11, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Mr. Armstrong, I sent you a private message to give you the opportunity to resolve this issue, but now, since you have chosen to make it public then I will respond. You would save time by calling and revealing to the Sgt. your identity. Otherwise during the course of an investigation, because of privacy acts a certain protocol must be followed. I gave you the opportunity to reveal your identity by making a phone call. I am assuming at this point you have not and the Sgt. will follow the proper guidelines in identifying you. The First Amendment does not cover the right to harass or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other. Read MD Criminal Law Article 3-803 under Harassment. Freedom of speech does not allow 27 full pages of remarks and 6,000 words similar the ones I will illustrate below. I apologize to the readers for the language being used. You have crossed a line between public discourse (free speech) and the crime of Harassment a long time ago with repeated remarks like the following: Robert Armstrong 10:58 pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Buzz, read my comments You are a Stupid Asshole. Robert Armstrong 11:18 pm on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 LOL Bueller No difference??? One you are in the ring getting the shit kicked out of you and the other one you are just a poser. Kinda mimics your career. How did you manage to get a 4f to avoid Viet Nam when you were a bodybuilder???
Buzz Beeler March 11, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Mike, how do you stop this? I have tried numerous times. I would not have made a comment, but now he's involving a councilman in this issue. I have been the subject of his vicious and slanderous attacks for a long time and I decided to take a stand so that others won't have to deal with this. This article just appeared in the Sun and is causing serious concern. http://soetalk.com/2012/03/05/school-bullying-on-you-tube/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harassment_by_computer Who will stand up for me if not myself. He's now involving Councilman Marks. Who's next? I must take a stand which hopefully will protect and prevent others from becoming such victims. This kind of conduct cannot be allowed in public discourse. There is a line, otherwise, God forbid what harm may some do to another's reputation. There are two legal issues here, one is slander, which I am addressing through council, and the other is criminal which is why I filed the report with the police. I was asked at the bequest of the authorities on who the person might be and if I could provide assistance in identifying him it would be helpful. I told them I was not sure. His true identity is unknown and I offered him a chance through a private message to come forward. He chose to make this a public matter now.
Mike Lurz March 11, 2012 at 09:35 PM
You stop by stopping, don't respond to buffoons . If they continue and you ignore, it's on them
Buck Harmon March 11, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Things written would be liable...not slander...
Buzz Beeler March 11, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Mike, and what happens to your reputation? What happens to your name. I did stop it does not work. This has been going on for a year. Guy's like this don't let go. They can't. It becomes an obsession. Suppose a person is married and someone begin to accuses them of adultery or committing crimes against children. Are you saying ignore that? Let it go on and on? I tried your way and it did not work. Do you think these people listen to reason? "It's on them", I don't think so, not when "them" are accusing me of crimes. Here are two examples of what I'm talking about. I think AdamBaum is one in the same as RA. http://dundalk.patch.com/articles/friends-family-hold-vigil-for-fallen-soldier http://dundalk.patch.com/blog_posts/lincoln-electric-acquires-local-firm-techalloy-70-million-in-sales-and-55-jobs-lost-to-area I don't mind buffoons but I do mind when that person accuses me of commenting crimes along with comments like this that never stop: Robert Armstrong 1:35 am on Sunday, February 5, 2012 ...and stay away from my kids you creepy fat pervert. I tell you what, if anyone out there wants to provide me an example of your advice I will take it. Until then I will stand up and fight. Americans are noted for that.
Bart March 12, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Buck, you're right......a way to remember: Slander - Spoken. Both S's
Mike Lurz March 12, 2012 at 03:08 AM
this is a public forum, not a court room. If you suffer because of comments here, you have options legally. If you re referring to comment somebody writes in a blog, you don't have much sympathy here. I have been called many things by some despicable people online...their opinion is of no consequence to me. However this may offer some solace, in this age of instant information availability we can find out anything anytime. The upside is that these comments are just as quickly forgotten. I also question this as the proper venue for this discussion in the first place.
Mike Lurz March 12, 2012 at 03:10 AM
To directly answer your first question, your reputation is not sullied if the person doing the sullying is not reputable.
Buck Harmon March 12, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Proving that you have been damaged by the sullying is much more difficult than feeling that you have been sullied. Think of it this way Buzz....Someone must first earn your respect before you will allow them to insult you in any way. I can understand the frustrations...
Buzz Beeler March 12, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Buck, I'm posting this link to shed some light on the issue. There are two aspects to this situation. One is a civil tort and the other is a criminal matter. http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32458#1 Here is the statute under MD law: Criminal Law Article 3-308 which states under HARASSMENT - Defined Penalties - ... or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other: (1) With the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other: (2) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other. After a 28 complete pages and 6,000 words, that is enough. That is the law. I to have engaged in may acts of discourse on this site and have never had a problem, because most of us are adults and after a few barbs we shake hands and move on. Mike, how many cases involving crime figures or how man murders have been solved based on testimony from unscrupulous characters. Who put John Gotti away for life - Sammy the Bull. The impact of the words are more serious than the one speaking them. What I don't understand is why isn't there a concern from others who comment on this site over this kind of conduct. Is it because of the proverbial - it's not my problem, or have people become so jaded that anything goes.
Mike Lurz March 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Jaded? perhaps, but I see it as filtering out the noise so that I can actually hear some of the statements. Nobody can give everybody attention on the internet.
Buzz Beeler March 12, 2012 at 01:16 PM
You lost me on that one.
Buck Harmon March 12, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Have you formally requested that Patch assist you with this situation Buzz?
Mike Lurz March 12, 2012 at 01:47 PM
OK, I'll make it really simple, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE ABOVE ARTICLE?
Bart March 12, 2012 at 01:58 PM
................and yet another thread hijacked.
Buck Harmon March 12, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The Marksfest was pretty much exhausted anyway....
Mike Lurz March 12, 2012 at 02:21 PM
then we should just stop posting
Buzz Beeler March 12, 2012 at 03:00 PM
The police have to do their job first before any charges can be placed. Where have I heard your name before, oh now I remember. http://dundalk.patch.com/articles/friends-family-hold-vigil-for-fallen-soldier
Buzz Beeler March 12, 2012 at 08:01 PM
You tell me, you have all the answers. Does it bother you that someone who was there questioned your motive for the things you said. " ... who are these people complaining that the media were there? Unless they were his students, his friends, his comrades in the National Guard ..." You were not any of the above.
Robert Armstrong March 13, 2012 at 02:46 AM
The Dude is flat out nuts. If you don't want him stalking you on Facebook or hiding out in your driveway, don't respond to him.
Bart March 13, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I know I'll be looking for that 10 foot pole.

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