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LETTER: Apology from District 1 Councilman Peter Smith

In a letter to the editor, the councilman from Severn said he is hopeful that the council will hold itself to a higher standard.

Anne Arundel County,

The last few months have been very trying for me. In the few short weeks I have been appointed to this seat, many of you have reached out to me and expressed your displeasure of the current state the leadership in our county has created. 

If you have not been told, I want to officially apologize for our behavior. We are not perfect and we will stumble and like any steadfast servant, we will rise and continue to travel in the direction to move Anne Arundel County forward. Much like every other environment, it is filled with individuals who are only human and whose decisions can be clouded with lenses that are forged with a lifetime of diverse struggles. Recent events have lead us to make some tough choices —choices that will inherently bring with it a variety of different opinions and beliefs. 

I and the other six members on the Council have an array of unique experiences and values. We also have strong opinions and convictions. These can sometimes create rifts in our ability to find common ground. However, I can strongly attest to you that each of them only want what is best. Councilmen Fink, Benoit, Ladd, Grasso, Trumbauer and Walker really are working hard on behalf of the communities and I’ve come to see that during my integration on this team.

As we navigate through this uncharted territory over the next few months, I ask that we continue to be civil and respectful. Marianne Williamson once stated that “In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.”

I am hopeful that this council and other county officials will strive to hold themselves to a higher standard and reflect the values that all can emulate.  Anne Arundel County deserves it not because it is politically tenable to do so, but because every citizen deserves an elected official whose moral compass is fixated on true north. While we may veer off course, the direction will always lead us to do the right thing. The right thing for our budget, the right thing for our schools and even the right thing for our police department.

Our goal is not to stifle ones dreams, but to find mutual grounds to have those dreams co-exist. This county is your home and you deserve caretakers who help guard it with the utmost respect. You deserve leaders whose only interest is yours. There is much work to be done, but I believe the tide will turn and we will make you proud again.

Pete Smith
Anne Arundel County Councilman, 1st District

Mike Daley April 21, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Agree to disagree. Becuase the only one who is pandering is you and your message. I know your kind very well. He didn't vote for your beloved Chief so now he his words are empty. Good luck with your life!
Richard Hertz April 21, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Doc: My point about not being able to find a course of action was in response to your fellow Peter-Smith-fanclub member Mike Daley, who claimed to see "at least 3 items that he is promoting as a course of action." I couldn't find any, and asked for help in locating them. As for "empty platitudes"...some might consider it redundant, others not. I don't. And if you think Smith wasn't trying to sell something profound in his letter you must be the most naive person reading Patch. In fact, the only thing he was trying to promote was himself and his own profoundness. It appears that it worked and he's picked up a couple of supporters...by saying absolutely nothing of substance. I'm glad you got letters from your mother. However, Peter Smith is not my mother. I don't need soothing letters from him.
Richard Hertz April 21, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Mike, I take great issue with your latest comment. I doubt there is a single resident of Anne Arundel County that has a lower opinion of the county police than I do. My comments here relate to Peter Smith's letter, and his letter alone.
Dr. Dave April 21, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Wow, one letter by Councilman Smith trying to project a positive tone and promising and asking for some civility and respectfulness among leaders in our community and it's devolved into another hateful, divisive, partisan, bunch of bickering. People can't say something nice without being denigrated. People can't compliment someone for saying something nice without being called names. People can't say anything anymore without someone getting upset and ranting and raving about it. Go back and look over this thread. It's ridiculous, and all over one letter. One of the posters even said the letter was vacuous and full of empty platitudes and couldn't understand why everybody was commenting so nicely about it, yet was very active in arguing about why everyone was wrong in being happy to see anything positive in the letter. Another poster didn't care about the letter at all, but was angry over the first vote the Councilman made, so was just angry about anything the Councilman said because he voted against the Police Chief. It wasn't the fault of the other three council members who also voted against the Police Chief, just the newest council member, because he posted a positive letter in the Patch. Then I got carried away by letting myself get sucked into the argument when I should have known better and just left well enough alone, knowing you can never achieve anything useful in these kinds of exchanges. Signing off - I've had enough!
TC June 11, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Well said Dave.

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