Gardina May Be Kamenetz’s Green Guy

Retiring councilman could head environment office … Brochin predicts rise of ‘liberal agenda’ … Oliver rejects same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue … The green campaign for campaign signs.

Moving the pieces: While there’s been nothing official from County Executive-elect Kevin Kamenetz, it’s never too early to speculate on who’s in and who’s out in the next administration.

If Kamenetz follows through with statements made at forums in Middle River and Catonsville prior to the election it would appear that the Office of Sustainability will likely be booted off the mezzanine in the Old Courthouse.

Kamenetz said prior to the election that he would eliminate the cabinet level office created by County Executive Jim Smith in 2007.  David Carroll becomes the first and only head of the new office after being moved from his position as director of the Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management.

The office, which has no official budget and just two employees including Carroll and his aide,  is seen as performing functions that other departments could carry out. Kamenetz said the office would be moved into Carroll’s former department and the new configuration would be renamed the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability.

Carroll and Jonas Jacobson could find themselves out of a job as it is believed that Vince Gardina, who is widely seen as the council’s leading environmental voice, will be named to head the newly reconfigured department.

Gardina is owed a favor—he donated nearly $160,000 to Kamenetz’s campaign and was seen as a tireless worker for the new county executive in both the primary and general election campaigns.

Rise of the liberal agenda? Losses of conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans coupled with Democrats flipping two Republican seats could lead to a deeply divided Senate more prone to pushing through a so-called liberal agenda, according to Sen. Jim Brochin.

The moderate Democrat who represents Towson told me Sunday night on Jay Liner’s “All Politics is Local” show on WCBM 680 AM that the losses will likely lead to a change in the Senate Judicial Proceedings (on which Brochin is a member) and those changes could lead to the passage of same-sex marriage or the repeal of the death penalty and some tax increases.

“There are going to be people on the left that are going to be like, ‘No, let’s ram that stuff through,'” said Brochin, adding that the shift may leave Gov. Martin O’Malley and Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller looking like moderates.

“They’re going to be the the ones holding the liberals back,” Brochin said.

“I think the liberals are going to have the day,” said Brochin, noting the new 35-12 Democrat-to-Republican split.

“There’s not enough votes for a filibuster and not enough independent-minded conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans,” said Brochin, who frequently crosses party lines to vote with Republicans.

Oliver rejects same-sex marriage: County Councilman Ken Oliver has one Marylander unhappy with the prospect of same-sex marriage in the state.

“I have a major problem with that because of my beliefs and a lot of African Americans have the same problem with that,” said Oliver, a Democrat who was recently elected to a third term representing the minority-majority Fourth Council District.

“We don’t believe in same-sex marriage,” Oliver said on “All Politics is Local.” “We believe in Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.”

But some same-sex marriage advocates liken their struggle to that of the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.

“I disagree with that whole-heartedly,” said Oliver.

I tried to pose a follow up but Oliver cut me off twice before I could finish.

Recycle those signs: Now that you’ve supported the candidate of your choice, Baltimore County officials are hoping you’ll consider recycling those little pieces of free speech decorating your yards and businesses.

Residents can recycle the paper, cardboard or corrugated plastic signs that haven’t already been stolen or removed for zoning law violations by simply placing the signs out with the recycling.

Larger signs, such as those pesky 32-square-foot signs, should be broken down before being set out for collection.

Those wooden and metal signposts are recyclable, too. Residents can take them to collection centers in White Marsh, Cockeysville and Halethorpe.

Birthdays: Washington Examiner publisher Michael Phelps.

Belated birthday wishes to Len Foxwell, 40, chief of staff to Comptroller Peter Franchot; J. Doug Gill, 51, freelance writer; and Lowell Melser, WBAL TV reporter. All three celebrated their birthdays on Nov. 6. And on Nov. 7, Christine Hansen, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O’Malley.

This post was updated to correct an error in the Democrat-Republican split in the state Senate.

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