KITTLEMAN PRESSES SHERIFF TO QUIT: Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman pressed his county’s embattled sheriff again Monday to resign, and said he’s exploring legal options to force the sheriff out, reports Pamela Wood in the Sun. Sheriff James Fitzgerald has been accused of using racist and offensive language, discriminating against employees and retaliating against those who did not support his re-election bid.
- In an interview with Bryan Sears of the Daily Record, Kittleman said he is looking for other avenues to remove his county’s embattled elected sheriff and has called on the county attorney to look for other options.
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports that some lawmakers, even those who are offended by Fitzgerald’s alleged racial epithets and claims he harassed subordinates, say they have questions about the legal standard for impeachment and whether his actions outlined in a September Howard County Office of Human Rights report are better suited to be settled by voters in 2018.
DIXON TO LAUNCH WRITE-IN EFFORT: Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, who narrowly lost the Democratic primary to reclaim her old job, is expected to launch a write-in campaign for Baltimore City mayor today — a move expected to shake up what’s been a relatively quiet general election race, Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports. The story is topped by a short video explaining the write-in campaign and its chances of success.
- It is unclear how much a Dixon write-in, rumored for weeks but taking on concrete form this weekend, will change the sleepy dynamics of Baltimore’s mayoral election, writes Mark Reutter for Baltimore Brew. The Democratic Party candidate, state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, had been relying on the overwhelming number of registered Democratic voters to coast to victory against Republican Alan Walden and Green Party candidate Joshua Harris.
SPEED CAMERA COLLECTIONS DOWN: The 45 Maryland jurisdictions with speed-camera programs collected nearly $57 million in fines in fiscal year 2015, according to the most recent data provided to the Maryland comptroller. That represents about $3.1 million more than was collected the previous year but $13 million less than fiscal 2013, Luz Lazo reports for the Post.
OYSTER RESTORATION: When members of Maryland’s Oyster Advisory Commission left last month’s meeting, they took a homework assignment with them. The Department of Natural Resources officials who ran the meeting asked commission members to each come back with a list of recommendations for which of the state’s tributaries should be selected next for targeted oyster restoration efforts, writes Megan Brockett for the Annapolis Capital.
- John Lee of WYPR-FM reports that environmentalists are trying to rebuild the population by growing oysters. And one of the so-called oyster gardens is in an unlikely place– Baltimore’s polluted Inner Harbor. It’s part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Baltimore Initiative.
GOP WOMEN STAND WITH TRUMP: Congressional candidate Amie Hoeber and Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga will stand by their man Donald Trump for president despite his vile language describing sexually assaulting women because he can, writes Louis Peck for Bethesda Beat.
- While most in the Republican establishment are turning their backs on Trump, Ellen Sauerbrey, who is as establishment as it gets in Maryland politics, still supports the nominee. She said Trump’s sexual comments that went public Friday should not matter in the big picture of this election, George Lettis of WBAL-TV reports.
- The Sun’s Alexander Pyles compiles short takes about what a few other Maryland politicians think from their Facebook feeds.
STOP ONLINE VOTE PLAN: Michael Collins in a column for MarylandReporter.com writes that the State Board of Elections has decided to move forward with a scheme to allow voters to request absentee ballots on-line. This is a bad idea that should be stopped. Cyber security experts have warned that the system is extremely vulnerable to hacking and fraud.
VOTE: This year’s apparently one-sided presidential election in Maryland may encourage some people to consider not voting. Polls consistently have Democrat Hillary Clinton ahead of Republican Donald Trump by a whopping 30 percentage points – and this was before release of Trump’s X-rated remarks about his sexual pursuit of women. While there are few other races of consequence on most local ballots, there are plenty of other reasons to show up at the polls or cast an absentee ballot, opinionator Barry Rascovar writes for MarylandReporter.com