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Ladd Flips: Smith Voted in 4-2

The Severn resident will replace the imprisoned Daryl Jones.

UPDATE (2:36 p.m. Tuesday)—A 32-day stalemate on the Anne Arundel County Council was broken Monday night when Councilman Dick Ladd (R-5th District) changed his vote to support Severn resident  as the new councilman for District 1.

Ladd's was the decisive vote  across four different council sessions ended in a tie between Smith and  of Glen Burnie.

The first round of voting continued as usual, split 3-3 between Smith and Wagner. But during the second round, Ladd announced he was changing his vote to Smith.

"It is with some trepidation that I will change my vote to Mr. Smith. I do this with a great deal of concern, deep thought, and I suspect ... trepidation about my future as a member of this council, but nonetheless I will vote for Mr. Smith," Ladd said to a round of applause from the audience.

The 108th vote for the District 1 succession ended 4-2. Smith's supporters were Councilmen Jamie Benoit (D-4th District), Chris Trumbauer (D-6th District), Jerry Walker (R-7th District), and Ladd. Wagner's supporters were Councilmen Derek Fink (R-3rd District), and John Grasso (R-2nd District).

Directly after the vote, Ladd exited the room. Minutes later, he spoke with Smith in a room near the entrance to the council’s chambers. Their meeting ended with a smile from both of them before Ladd returned to the meeting.

Patch then caught up with Smith about his appointment to represent District 1. His first response was: "Wow."

"I'm just grateful that the county was able to come to a resolution,” Smith said. “If I could say something to all six (council) members, specifically to those who maybe weren't sure of me—they have no need to fear me, at all.”

Smith said he or Wagner would have been a good councilman, and that given Wagner’s experience, he may call on him in the future.

As he exited the council meeting, Wagner also gave his support to Smith, adding that he was relieved that the selection process had ended.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Wagner said. “I think he [Smith] probably has some catching up to do, but I think he’ll do good.”

Smith is set to be sworn in as the new District 1 councilman at a special session Monday. He was originally scheduled to be sworn in on April 2.

Amy Leahy March 20, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Thank you Dick Ladd for casting the deciding vote. Trepidation aside, I believe you did the right thing. Thanks for 'putting the baby to bed' on this issue.
Angela Rodriguez March 20, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Dear Mr. Smith, Please keep Linda Harris on as your Legislative Aide. She not only can help you in your new role as Councilman, but she knows the people of Anne Arundel County and we love her greatly. She will be an asset as you make the transition into your new role! Thank you, Angie Rodriguez Brooklyn Park Improvement Association President
Jennifer Donatelli March 20, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Angie, You might want to correct your association's name to the Brooklyn Heights Improvement Association before other associations raise objections. Thanks, Jennifer
Tom Lerario March 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Dick...I know this was a tough decission. I just hope this does not mean we have now lost the new Severna Park High School funding. Our community can not accept that.
Crofton Dude March 20, 2012 at 03:22 PM
yes it does
Crofton Dude March 20, 2012 at 03:27 PM
A new high school for Severna Park and we can't even fix the leaky roofs on half the schools in the county. Give me a break Be happy with the 55 million dollar remodel you got at Severna Middle School
john March 20, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Does "yes it does" mean the funding has been lost or that the community accept it?
Michele Behan March 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Kudos to Dick Ladd! His decision to end the deadlock was courageous and will allow the Council to move forward in the future.
Ann-Marie Remillard March 20, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I congratulate Councilman Ladd for making the decisive vote for Peter Smith. That was courageous. It shows how much thought he gave to the process. Ladd turned off the noise and folllowed good judgment. Knowing Pete, I know he will never regret his vote. Councilman Ladd has my best wishes and prayers.
Dr. Dave March 20, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Maybe it was Grasso's ignorant remarks about the military that were the last straw that pushed Mr. Ladd to support Mr. Smith. I know that would have been enough to move me away from any position that Grasso held. I'm just happy someone had the courage to make a decision, one way or the other, before Jones's sentence was over and he was back to reclaim his seat.
Millersville March 20, 2012 at 07:23 PM
What a pitiful spiteful small person "Crofton Dude" is. Ladd is the only person with the balls to break this deadlock and get it over with and to get down to business. why doesn't Crofton dude stop running his mouth and run for office. we need more worthless politicians
Patrick Mondor March 21, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Crofton Dude. Really? If you have nothing meaningful to add to the discussion, why post to simply flame spite? Severna Park Middle was built in 1967, houses 1500 students and is fed by six elementary schools. It's renovation was long overdue. How about Crofton Middle? Fed by only four elementary schools, has over 300 less students and is a far newer facility. The reason for the frustration of many SP parents is that many schools have been built, renovated and rebuilt again, while SP schools remain as is. For example, the last major renovation at SP High (built in 1959) was back in 1970! Arundel High had additions in 1966, 1985 and 2006. How long do you want SP taxpayers to wait? Bottom line, SP families have been very patient in awaiting their schools to be renovated. Your attitude and lack of attention to facts does your argument a big disservice.
Crofton Dude March 21, 2012 at 04:10 PM
You make good sense and I'm aware of your facts. It's not all about Crofton, it's about the needs of all the schools in the county. And right now the county doesn't have 100 million to rebuild your high school
Patrick Mondor March 21, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Crofton Dude...and that is an area where we can definitely agree on. It kills me that kids in our county, Crofton, Bowie, SP or anywhere are in schools with no AC, leaking ceilings and sub-par facilities. It is a disgrace that with all the taxes flowing into the coffers of the county and state that by the time it comes to allocating funds to keep these schools up to date, it turns into a "shell" game of who gets renovation dollars and who doesn't. The fact is that if there was a coherent maintenance plan for all the schools...you wouldn't be faced with a $100 million dollar renovation cost at SP High. Again, the last major renovation at SP High was 1970...that was 42 years ago! If an effort would have been put forth to allocate several million dollars let's say every 5-7 years to keep the school up to date...then a $100 million price tag might not be in the cards. You can kick a can down the road, but eventually you pay...and sometimes it is painful.
JH March 22, 2012 at 07:31 PM
So true. Part of this problem is caused by too many freeloaders. Only about half the households in the state pay state and loca income taxes. Therefore, those of us that do pay state and local income taxes get a bad deal ---- and so do our children.

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