Monday, May 31, 2010

R's & D's Avoid Patriotic Armageddon

Dear Readers:

Well, we avoided the train wreck of out-of-control politicians. Or maybe it is just on hold for 30 days.

First to blink were the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee and the D-30 Club, who quickly retreated when two prominent Democrats and war veterans complained about their planned 'counter march'. Apparently the organizers of said march never asked for approval of their own Committee, whose Chairman was in Europe on vacation and whose Vice Chair position is unfilled.

Coup masters after my own heart, those Dems!

Then the Republicans heard some back lash from outside their own ranks, reduced the size of their campaign contingent that was scheduled to march. And placed Erhlich campaigners near the reviewing stand in the crowd to crow for their candidate. They got their hyper-patriotism done, albeit more subtly.


Never fear, in a month will be the normally heavily politicized 4th of July Parade. No doubt everyone but the Chinese Communist Party will be there wrapping themselves in our flag and professing everylasting faith in American liberties.

Like your right to make an ass of yourself.

King of George

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Republicans and Democrats Attack America

Loyal Friends:

It's a little known fact that the King is a veteran. In some cases, of the wrong side. Like when the regiment I commanded burned Washington in the War of 1812.

He is sensitive to the need, nay necessity, of honoring and remembering our war dead.

So the confirmed plan of the Republican Central Committee to march with former Governor and freshly pressed candidate Robert Ehrlich as a political campaign event in Annapolis' Memorial Day Parade has me aghast. Don't the Republicans engage in enough flag waving and hip-hip-hooraying to out prove to everyone that they are hyper-patriots?

They do not have to bring their small minded political campaigns to the only public remembrance of our war dead.

Not to be outdone in the small minded category, Annapolis' Democrats are now planning to counter march. So now we will have both major political parties carrying a political message on a day that, should be, off limits to them.

Is it because both groups are primarily made up of people who are have never served in the armed forces and know no one who fought and died for their country? Word has it that combat and other veterans associated with both parties are livid with the sacrilege of Mr. Ehrlich and the Annapolis Democrats.

In prior years, Karen Engelke, former Mayor Ellen Moyer's special events coordinator who lost her naval aviator husband to combat in Vietnam, cajoled and obfuscated. And didn't make friends with everyone. But kept political groups out of the Memorial Day event and put them in the July 4th Parade.

Mayor Cohen: show some leadership.

Keep politics out of our day of remembrance.

King of George

Friday, May 28, 2010

Smith's Coup or Two

Dear Friends:

The King has always enjoyed a good coup or two. Especially when our side wins and your side loses. Such as the end of that Chilean dastard Allende or the overthrow of Greek President Georgios Papadopoulos in '73.

So I have continued to follow with great interest CAO Doug Smith's continuing circumvention of the laws and City Council.

If yesterday's Capital newspaper editorial is to be believed, then Herr Smith's effort to suppress the democratic process remains at full tilt. The editors report that Herr Smith is 'considering cutting', 'raising fares' and 'ending' contractual obligations of the citte (read: lawsuits are a comin'). He also wants to install Pay and Display parking machines across the citte. How these could get paid for at ~$10,000 a pop he does not say.

Maybe he'll sell us some magic beans.

The Capital also doesn't understand there isn't a public transit system in the world that makes money. And Annapolis' does better than most, with city taxpayers picking up only around 20-30% of the operating costs, depending on the route. If you drive a car in the citte, government subsidies pay much more of the road costs. Like 100%.

(The Capital, proving yet again they never met a fact they could not twist, also erroneously reported in the same piece about parking meters "whose revenue sustains the transit system". Oops, wrong again boys. Parking meter monies go into the general fund.)

Although it is a new discovery to The Capital, these ideas of Herr Smith have been around for ages. Some go back to ancient times before the Ward One Sector Study. That Herr Smith has repackaged them and sold them to The Capital is a jolly good farce!

Of course, Herr Smith has no power to do any of this. A fact The Capital editors only obliquely reference. Only the Council can take these actions. The question is: how much longer will Council members allow their authority to be diminished?

His management circumventions have become even clearer as some of the pay-for-silence consulting arrangements have begun to end. These are the payments made to some senior city officials who were let go but had agreed to 'consulting' payments being made to them for up to 4 months. For doing no consulting. (see: Silence Can Be Golden, 5 April)

So the cone of silence has begun to lift. It turns out Herr Smith cannot hold his temper in check, say some of these city people. Threatening one 'don't make me mad' and treating others in demeaning and rude ways. He has even back doored the Mayor, turning off a second chance program for offenders that Mayor Cohen campaigned on.

We understand all of this. Coups are never pretty. But they are necessary if we are to re-establish our rule-by-elite in the citte.

Bully for you Herr Smith. Your time is almost done.

But the damage you've done will keep on giving.

King of George

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arnett Bags Bums

Dear Hearts:

We all know why our citte government exists: to serve us, the elite of the Historic Core.

When citte Public Works Department workers are seen replacing the sidewalk of a private individual on private property during working hours, we know the world is as it should be. Even if, under the severe direction of CAO Doug Smith, the Public Works Department is rudderless and has been provided with no leadership whatsoever.

So why, must I ask, did Alderman Arnett feel the compulsion to turn them in?

Yes, apparently the killjoy Alderman from Eastport felt a strange need to nab the city workers. Just out doing a favor for a friend. During regular working hours. Using city tools.

And so what if it wasn't even in Ward One?

Alderman Arnett: if you expect this is the way to ingratiate yourself into the salons of the Historic Core, then it won't work. We enjoy using city employees as our personal labor force.

After all, we've been doing it for over 300 years now.

King of George

Israel's Coup

Fellow Elite:

Excellent news. Our coup is about to occur.

Young Mayor Cohen has made the eggregious error of putting us in charge. Alderman Dick Israel in charge to be exact. As Acting Mayor in his absence. See scan above.

The die is struck. This will be a Memorial Day to memorialize.

HPC officials wandering throughout Annapolis, shutting down plastic and fakery. WORA complaining about bars and noise in Eastport. And parking problems throughout.

I say Bully! It's about time the rest of citte in the outer wards suffer along with us.

Thank you Josh. We knew there was some reason we voted for you.

King of George

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lies, Damned Lies and Accounting

Confounded Friends:

Oh dear.

Just when I thought our fabricated financial confusion was begining to stick. Along comes a damnable accountant.

We're found out.

It seems the City Council, last year before our current financial 'crisis', decided to hire an outside accountant to analyze the City's books. To finally get to the bottom of Moyer's City finances. Aldermen Arnett and Israel's idea we were told.

Be careful what you ask for, because now you got it boys.

In this case the news, delivered to Finance Committee Chair Classie Hoyle by Council Auditor Robert J. Pellicoro, that there is no crisis.

See the email below:

Sent:Tue, May 18, 2010 8:09:42 AM
Subject:Re: Fw: Annapolis finances


The term "deficit" is not appropriate when defining the current fiscal status for the City. The Mayor's Proposed FY 2011 Budget is balanced for each Fund and estimates an $11.2 million combined Fund Balance as at June 30, 2011. This equates to 14% of the combined FY 2011 estimated operating budgets, well above the City Code requirement of 5%.

Excluding the Water and Sewer Funds, even though the Code does not, results in a Mayor's Proposed FY 2011 combined Fund Balance of $4.7 million or 6.9% of the combined FY 2011 estimated operating budgets, again complying with the Code requirement. The Code also states that an additional 5% shall not be expended without the approval of the Finance Committee. To achieve a 10% combined Fund Balance, as early as June 30, 2011, would require a $2.1 million reduction in FY 2011 Proposed expenditures.

The Mayor's Proposed FY 2011 budget for the General Fund assumes $2.4 million savings from salary and benefits concessions from City employees. If no concessions are made, an additional $2.4 million in cuts to FY 2011 budget expenditures would be required. I believe the status of these deliberations are not yet final.

Hence, the City's actions to finalize the FY 2011 Budget would first require reductions to make up any shortfall resulting from concessions of less than the $2,4 million included in the Mayor's Proposed FY 2011 Budgets. Then, the City, which is in compliance with the 5% Code requirement, can adopt a plan to restore the combined Fund balance to 10%, without adhering to the significant reductions in expenditures presently before the Council.

The " old reserve " , which is the combined Fund Balances of the General Fund and the eight Enterprise Funds at some point in time, was $16.3 million as at June 30, 2009. This has declined to a Projected June 30, 2011 balance of $11.2 million. The bulk of the decline, by Fund, are : Transportation Fund - down $1.5 million; General Fund - down $1.8 million; and Water Fund - down $1.3 million.

With regard to credit ratings, a Fund Balance is one of the several factors that are considered in determining ratings.



So there it is. A $2.4 million shortfall - and only if the unions don't fill the gap. And addding to the reserves is not mandatory now. And the City Charter is not being violated.

Damn you CPAs. I hope you are happy.

How will we hide our naked political agenda to shut down city government now?

Young Mayor Cohen will undoubtedly hear of this and, perhaps, take action to back off CAO Doug Smith's firing binge. And Alderman Arnett and his 'expert' minions are shown to have no clothes at all. Not a pretty sight. And Finance Director Tim Elliott may actually have to answer the Council's questions and stop lying to the Mayor. OMG.

Don't panic. Think, damn it, think.

Maybe we still have time to cook up some other crisis. The Capital and Josh Stewart will flog it. Taliban on West Street. Or Martians on City Dock.

Of course. Foer. Get Foer in here! He'll gleefully lie about anything to back stop us.

I beg you. Throw me a bone here or we're all going to get busted.

I hate it when well paid actors don't stay on script.

King of George

King of George Bottom Blog In Area

Fellow Elite:

Other blogs trumpet their readership. King of George knows better.

It happened sometime last night and we want to brag a little. King of George is likely the bottom blog in the area in terms of traffic and unique visitors.

We achieved this distinction by focusing on us, the elite of the Historic Core. Our concerns are the only things germaine to Annapolis.

Others need not apply.

So, please, if you are not of the elite, leave us. Neither do we like you nor do we see any positive result your readership could possibly produce.

And to our friends who are into their page views and unique visitors, we say bully!

But understand we really don't want these things. They bore us.

And please don't spread it around.

King of George

Slavery Museum Coming to City Dock?

Fellow Historics:

The King enjoys a reflective look backwards in time. Or attempts to turn back the clock to revise this 'representative democracy' thing. Or even a reactionary proto-revolutionary movement to restore our colonial allegiances to the Royal Hanoverians.


So, he was generally supportive when he first heard the scheme for a National Slavery Museum in the Historic Core.

But then -- warnings.

The group is being lead by noted histrionic and defiler of property rights, Mr. Craig Purcell, AIA. The same individual who has come into our streets, gardens and courtyards. Digital camera at port arms. Snapping away at what he has decided to be violations of HPC codes.

Last year he went so far as to turn in Annapolis into the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 most endangered places list. And forced many property rights loving Annapolitans to tear out plastic fences and windows. And led the effort against dear Bryan and Valerie Miller's plastic columns.

(Having lost in District Court, they are now at the Appellate Court level. Fight on brave souls. God speed!).

We understand that this Purcellian group has already done some design work and selected a site -- the Donner Building across from the Haley monument. Our contacts have confirmed that a high 7 figure price has actually been agreed to between the group and the property owners.

How this rag tag band of Patapsco swilling ruffians will raise that amount of money is unknown. Perhaps a casino on the site might help.

Unlike the National Sailing Hall of Fame, the project is completely on private property. So the plans won't hit public purvue until permits are requested or for the required HPC review of architectural plans. So it is expected little public knowledge of this effort will be forth coming in the near future.

I am very supportive of recollections of Annapolis' checkered history. Yet, I must strongly object to another attraction to draw visitiors to the Historic Core.

I have become very fond of my afternoon naps. More screaming urchins on King George, Prince George and the other environs of us elite does not sit well with the King.

Edgewater might be a better location. I understand there are people there who would be much more welcoming of such a necessary historical reflection.

King of George

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Israel's Markethouse Fix

Dearest Friends:

Apologies to my correspondents that have missed the King's decrees. Urgent matters in my Greek investment portfolio required an unscheduled trip on the G5 to London. It seems the European debt crisis has caused the value of my Thessalonian olive groves to collapse. So we displaced the current diefthyntĂ­s and replaced him with a new manager. Blindly loyal to me.

I won't make money, but I'll feel good.

En route I was heartened to read Alderman Israel's feel good legislation on the Markethouse. Once again, he has boldly stepped to the plate. Like greek olive groves, dear Richard understands the best way to manage an asset is to put in your own pocket.

So, while attention was diverted on the pretty pictures and ideas of the markethouse presentations this week, dear Richard put the fixe in. In the legislation that is.

He is sponsoring legislation that allows for a Markethouse Authority to 'govern' it. What this 'governing' entails is unspecified, so it will undoubtedly allow for large power grabs by the Authority once established. Money, vendors, hours, products and design apparently will all be decided by this junta.

And the Authority will be made of of 7 people, insiders all. Some retailers with a financial conflict of interest, some surely petulant Ward Oners, he has again kept the makeup of the board in the hands of the merchants and elite. Interestingly, the #1 group that visits the market house, out of town visitors, are precluded from membership. A true harbinger of success.

Furthermore, his legislation allows for no oversight or control over the junta. Nor is it clear that this group would have any responsibility to the public at all. No public meetings, no public accounting, no public period.

One participant at the presentations has privately told others that he will withdraw their market house offering if this legislation passes. Meddling and obstruction, our way.

At best, we'll get a barely functioning markethouse run by us, the elite of the Historic Core. At worst, we'll have years of financial and managerial scandals to amuse us.

Dear Richard has never let reality intervene in his make believe world.


King of George

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Kiss on the Cheek May be Quite Continental

Dearest Friends:

Words are so tricky.

"You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto. Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto."

"Let's call the whole kerfuffle off." - to paraphrase poet-laurets Ira and George Gershwin.

Another Ward One tempest in a thumbnail has hit the King's sensitive ears. This time involving an Alderman and MOM (Mother of the Mayor).

My agents who guard the perimeter of the Historic Core have heard scurrilous reports from outside the walls. Emanating from Monticello. That dear MOM Cohen has been telling neighbors stories that Alderman / Pilot-Bombardier Col. K.A. Kirby called her an "elite thin, crisp biscuit". She is implying he said so at a public meeting of the Murray Hill Residents Association (see: Col. Kirby's Surprise Assault on MHRA, May 13).

Problem is, no one heard him say it. Even those who could not be described as, ummm, delicately put, 'fans' of Col. Kirby never heard the biscuit reference.

MOM Cohen is also saying that the dear Alderman was not invited to her MHRA meeting. Even though they distributed fliers throughout Murray Hill and the Clay Street area to oppose the proposed 7-11 on the corner of Lafayette and West Streets. And the fliers included Alderman Kirby's name and personal phone number.

So it's OK if we bring you to trial in absentia. But please don't show up to defend yourself. It's an Annapolis tradition. Get over it.

Ever the peacemaker, at a restaurant ribbon cutting on Saturday in Murray Hill, Col. Kirby went so far as to plant a kiss on MOM Cohen's rosy cheek. To cement peace and assure an alliance.

One can only observe that not much was set or assured as a result.

Interest in this chain of events has now reached 160 Duke. We're not sure why. It's only another small kerfuffle in the citte.

So what if these small happenings are our oxygen and animate our public lives?

We are an Ancient Citte.

King of George


Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
Ira & George Gershwin, 1937

Chorus - 1
You say either and I say either, You say neither and I say neither
Either, either Neither, neither, Let's call the whole thing off.

You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto, Let's call the whole thing off

But oh, if we call the whole thing off Then we must part
And oh, if we ever part, then that might break my heart

So if you like pyjamas and I like pyjahmas, I'll wear pyjamas and give up
For we know we need each other so we , Better call the whole off off
Let's call the whole thing off.

Chorus - 2
You say laughter and I say larfter, You say after and I say arfter
Laughter, larfter after arfter, Let's call the whole thing off,

You like vanilla and I like vanella, You saspiralla, and I saspirella
Vanilla vanella chocolate strawberry, Let's call the whole thing off

But oh if we call the whole thing of then we must part
And oh, if we ever part, then that might break my heart

So if you go for oysters and I go for ersters, I'll order oysters and cancel
the ersters
For we know we need each other so we, Better call the calling off off,
Let's call the whole thing off.

Chorus - 3
I say father, and you say pater, I saw mother and you say mater
Pater, mater Uncle, auntie, let's call the whole thing off.

I like bananas and you like banahnahs, I say Havana and I get Havahnah
Bananas, banahnahs Havana, Havahnah, Go your way, I'll go mine

So if I go for scallops and you go for lobsters, So all right no contest we'll
order lobseter
For we know we need each other so we, Better call the calling off off,
Let's call the whole thing off.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Aldermanic Mud Wrestling

Fellow Historics:

The King is a big proponent of the physical competition of Mano a Mano sport. Pugilism, Greco Roman wrestling or even the mock combat of jujitsu brings a smile to my face.

So you can imagine my exuberant delight at discovering Mayor Cohen has scheduled a contest unlike any other ever seen in the Ancient Citte: a get together of former Alderman.

Yes, you heard right. Mayor Cohen has scheduled just such a brutal and inhuman event under the transparent guise of a 'Annapolis City Council Reunion'. See the above scan.

We don't believe for a minute that past or present members of City Council actually want to spend more than a nano second socializing with each other. The Hammonds, Taylor, Fox, Stankivic, Moyer, Tolliver, Cordle, Shropshire, Kelly, Carter, Chambers or 'Aussie' Christman?

Give us all a break. Something else is afoot.

Is it Herr Smith's brilliant plan to get us out of debt? A steel cage to be erected at Mears with online bookies setting the odds and taking the action -- with a cut for Tim Elliott? The King believes he knows what really is going on here.

It is just a simple affair: a Royal Tournament - a series of thrilling matches between knights!

Just imagine the tag team of Louise and John Hammond challenging all comers in a Texas last-man-standing death match! Or Ellen Moyer wrestling a bear! Or Josh Cohen himself taking on all fellow Democrats in a fight to the finish!

The opportunities for mirth are almost limitless.

So we plead with the Mayor to open the event to us, the mere mortal citizens of the citte.

After 6 months of this, God knows we need the entertainment.

King of George

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Save the Environment. Send Cash.

Dearest Readers:

As you know, the King enjoys the out of doors as much as the next royal (see: Should the Historic Core Remain Green?, March 13). The fresh aire, the path and and a serene mountain scene helps him with his ennui.

These pleasures must be reserved for the elite.

The King has had some disquiet when Mayor Cohen ran for office. His concern for pedestrian environmental pleasures is well know. Wading in the creeks, frolicking in oyster beds and embracing fellow greens. In fact, his wife is a member of that near-communal group, The Green Party.

Yet, my concern has been poorly placed. Under the guise of the budget 'crisis' engineered by Herr Smith, most city environmental programs have been cut, storm water run off personnel fired and even a city park closed. And there has been no action whatsoever on the City's Wind Farm.

This means one thing: once again, only the elite can enjoy the environment because we will be the only ones who can afford to support private pristine enclaves.


What has contributed to the King's glee are all the local environmental organizations and environmentalists that have rolled over. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. They are doing nothing to oppose the largest set back to environmental stewardship in a generation.

OK. Technically, that isn't exactly correct.

During these cutbacks, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has sent six letters to the King asking for money. While the Maryland League of Conservation Voters has sent two. And the Sierra Club has sent merely one appeal. (Gadzooks. They need to get on the stick.)

These appeals for funds are neither to turn back the citte's cut backs, nor fund lobbying of citte officials nor, worse yet, actually go into the field and improve the environment. They want your cash for legislative actions at the state level and to cover their own overhead.

The citte's own creek conservancies have been noticeably quiet. Even Sierra's local Director, David Prosen, who so loudly spoke against plastic bags, has seemingly come down with laryngitis.

So, thanks environmetal organizations and the good folks that run them. Your concern for the Bay's environment has been shown bare.

It begins and ends at your bank accounts.

King of George

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Doug Smith's Next Move

Dearest Neighbors:

The King has never sullied his hands with work. The trust fund has seen to that.

So I imagine being an employee is hard. Having a boss, listening to all those instructions. And changing jobs has to be doubly hard. Having a new boss, listening to all those new instructions.

City CAO Doug Smith is rumoured to have a solution. For himself at least.

There is now talk in 160 Duke that Herr Smith will be refit and placed into service as Public Works Director.

Adding fuel to the fire are comments from Mayor Cohen at the late April Council meeting. The Mayor said he looked forward to continuing to work with Herr Smith post CAO debacle.

Plus he is a chemical engineer - a requirement of the Public Works Director is to be an engineer.

Some Council members are vexed about another Mayor Cohen maneuver to avoid them. Appointing someone with neither proper qualification nor council support.

Mayor Cohen should be concerned. Herr Smith could do him severe political damage in the salons of Ward One. A place he only got 40% of the vote anyway. Next time his lack-of-plurality might drop to 39%.

But all these political considerations are irrelevant to Herr Smith. He undoubtedly has learned a lot in his short time in government. His problem is solved if he can use his ill gotten information as blackmail to pull off this hat trick.

Meet Doug's new boss, same as Doug's old boss.

King of George

Friday, May 14, 2010

Celebrate Public Service Day

Dearest City Public Servants:

I am so happy to report from Google Analytics that, as of yesterday, you have become the largest single identifiable group of readers. 25% of all King of George 'page views' now come across the City of Annapolis server. I don't know who you are, but I do know what server you use.

This means that our City Government continues to hear the King as he speaks for the concerns of the elite.


Of course, some of you may be pinned down with your flak jacket on. While others of you may be manning the 50 cal. at the top of the ridge doing the shooting (seen Pacific?).

It is so fascinating to watch city government consume itself.

Nevertheless, it is heartening to know the King has become Radio Free Annapolis to all combatants.

King of George

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Col. Kirby's Surprise Assault on MHRA

Fellow Historics:

Last night at Maryland Hall, Colonel Kenneth A. Kirby conducted a surprise air assault on the bastion of the Murray Hill Resident's Association. Reminiscent of the 1942 attack on Tokyo by Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, little physical damage was done but much psychological shock ensued.

We Historics have always used these rump groups to do our political bidding in the citte. This has included endless whining about everything from flower baskets and street cafe's to 2 am licenses and parking. Although few of their members are actual elite of the citte, we do populate most of their ranks with our wannabe friends and servants from Murray Hill.

A 7-11 in the core of historic Singapore.

The case in point this time is the proposal to open a 7-11 store on the the site of the Exxon station at the corner of Lafayette and West Streets.

You see, Alderman Kirby seems to think that more than the MHRA mafiosi should have an input into the proposal. He wants the probable customers of such an establishment to have input as well.

The MHRA member who told him he could not speak because he was not from Ward One did little to ease the tension. Alderman Kirby's family still owns their home in Ward One on Silopanna Road, where his mother spent her last years; Mr. Kirby himself is Chair of the City's Housing and Community Development Committee, tasked to review the needs of various communities across the citte; and he is the new Alternate of the dreaded Mr. Weikel, At Large Member of the Democratic Central Committee. Representing Democrats citte wide.

Not a smart move, MHRA-ettes.

Murray Hill's defensive line broke under this pressure and this gave Mr. Kirby the opening he needed. Apparently for him, it's an issue of institutional class and elitism. Reminding attendees that there are others in Annapolis besides themselves. He added that there needs to be an equal playing field for all business owners. And that he knows about equality. He even reminisced about his days at Maryland Hall when it was Annapolis High School at the end of the desegregation era.

MOM (Mother of the Mayor), who attended last night, was not pleased. Rolling her eyes at the esteemed Alderman. There will be hell to pay in City Hall today.


Ancient Citte class tensions are the highest in recent memory as other changes are afoot as well. There is a seismic shift at HACA as new power alignments replace the decayed structures and strictures of olde. Executive Director Eric Brown has been fired this morning and replaced by former Annapolis Police Chief Joe Johnson on an interim basis. Reports are that Mr. Brown is "mad as hell".

The King shares his angst. It is wrong for the elite to be challenged by the rabble. Even if it is our servants and toady Monticellans from MHRA being challenged.

So I say: to the barricades!

It is time to defend our right to deny you a Slurpee!

King of George