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Mike Pantelides, a Republican, kicked off his campaign for Annapolis Mayor on June 27, 2013 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Edgewater, Maryland. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mr. Bob Duckworth, clerk of the court for Anne Arundel County, enthusiastically introduced and endorsed Mr. Mike Pantelides saying he has Mr. Pantelides has the leadership skills, heart and vision to do the job of mayor of Annapolis.
In his speech, Pantelides said he views the mayor’s office not as a way to stop business using planning and zoning. Rather, he views the mayor’s job as helping people get on the right track for success. Pantelides says he wants less regulation. “Running for mayor isn’t about being a Republican or Democrat. It’s about loving Annapolis. We need to save our city.”
Pantelides stated that the city of Annapolis has been going in the wrong direction for the last four years and cited massive tax increases, doubling of water bills, and speed cameras. He pointed out that Annapolis was so fiscally unsound that the city had to borrow $10 million to make payroll and keep the lights on. One of the projects Mr. Pantelides criticized was the revitalization of the Historic Market House at the City Dock in Annapolis. He said it was a prime example of foolish waste of taxpayer money. Millions of dollars were wasted on the Market House in Annapolis, which has become a disaster and an embarrassment. The property remains mostly unused with no public re-opening events scheduled. More information on the City Dock Market House here and here.
Pantelides promised that on is first day in office he plans declare no new taxes in the city of Annapolis until he reviews the budget line by line in order to get city spending under control. He pointed out that senior citizens have been especially hard hit by rising taxes in Annapolis. Pantelides wishes to address the mounting debt while also addressing crumbling infrastructure.
Another project Mr. Pantelides discussed was the development of Crystal Springs in downtown Annapolis. Mr. Pantelides said this project is supported by the current mayor because the city is broke and they are looking for revenue sources. These revenue schemes come at the expense of the quality of life and historic charm in Annapolis and would especially affect the already overburdened traffic infrastructure and result in disruption of commerce to already existing local businesses.
Pantelides also cited a re-development project endangering 300 years of history and culture. He says these are characteristics that make Annapolis special and unique. Fifteen groups oppose the Crystal Springs Development Program, including the Historic Society, Ward 1 Foundation, and the Annapolis Business Association because of traffic and interruption of business. Pantelides joked that these three groups never agree on any issue, but then said that this broad opposition to the Crystal Springs Development is an indicator of the overwhelming dissent this project has across Annapolis. Pantelides said if he’s mayor he will “put a stop to over-development of Annapolis” at the cost to taxpayers and taxpayer’s quality of life.
A large group of Annapolis notables were in attendance for Pantelides campaign kick-off including: Jerry Walker – Anne Arundel County Council District 7 (Council Chairman), Dick Ladd – Anne Arundel County Council District 5, and John Grasso – Anne Arundel County Council District 2. Also in attendance was Lauren Parker – Anne Arundel County Register of Wills, Nancy Phelps – The Chief Judge of the Orphans Court, and Amy Leahy, and President of the Severna Park Republican Club. Food was provided by Chris’s Charcoal Pit of Annapolis.
A full-length video of Pantelides’ speech can be found here.
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