County Council's Diversity in Question
The debate involving the deadlock over the vacant 1st District Anne Arundel seat heats up as the desire to diversify is discussed.
The situation surrounding the stalemate on the Anne Arundel County Council's open seat continues to broil as council members fail to act on a replacement.
A columnist at The Baltimore Sun recently discussed the need for diversity on the council and what he deemed an embarrassing failure to make an appointment. The seat was last held by Daryl Jones of Severn, the only African-American member.
The question of diversity is now revolving around a comment from Derek Fink.
"I can't believe that today I'm being asked to vote for someone … solely on diversity," he was quoted as saying by The Sun. "It just blows my mind."
Jones, a Democrat and former representative from the council's 1st District, was convicted in November after he pleaded guilty for failing to file 35 federal income tax reports between 2002-2007.
The council declared his seat vacant in January, saying his incarceration violated the council's residency requirements.
The resulting deadlock, which prompted the column in The Baltimore Sun, saw 100 rounds of voting at a recent council meeting that ended just before midnight. Ten candidates made presentations to the council, but the list was narrowed to two—Peter Smith and Mike Wagner. Smith is African-American, and Wagner is white.
The council is expected to take up the vote at its next meeting at 7 p.m. March 5.