Kevin Kamenetz

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Kevin Kamenetz
Kevin Kamenetz.jpg
12th Executive of Baltimore County
In office
December 6, 2010 – May 10, 2018
Preceded by James T. Smith, Jr.
Succeeded by Donald I. Mohler III
Member of the Baltimore County Council
from the 2nd district
In office
1994–2010
Preceded by Mel Mintz
Succeeded by Vicki Almond
Personal details
Born (1957-11-26)November 26, 1957
Lochearn, Maryland, U.S.[1]
Died (aged 60)
Towson, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jill Kamenetz
Children 2
Education Johns Hopkins University (B.A.)
University of Baltimore (J.D.)

Kevin B. Kamenetz (November 26, 1957 – May 10, 2018) was an American politician who was the 12th County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland, serving between 2010 and May 10, 2018, when he died suddenly while in office.[2] He was a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as a four-term County Councilman representing the Second District of Baltimore County.[3] On September 18, 2017, Kamenetz declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the 2018 Maryland Gubernatorial Election.[4]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Kamenetz was born on November 26, 1957,[5] in Lochearn, Maryland, to Miriam and Irvin Kamenetz, a pharmacist who owned an Overlea pharmacy for over 30 years. He attended and graduated from the Gilman School, a private preparatory school for boys located in the Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. He earned a bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1979, he graduated from University of Baltimore School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 1982, and he passed the Maryland Bar that same year.

Kamenetz worked as a prosecutor in the Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City from 1982 to 1987, and practiced law for over 30 years. He was admitted to practice before the Bars of the United States District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Political career[edit]

Kamenetz was elected to the Democratic State Central Committee for terms in 1982, 1990, 1994, and served as Baltimore County Chair from 1993 to 1994.[citation needed]

Baltimore County Council[edit]

Kamenetz was elected to the Baltimore County Council in 1994 and was reelected in 1998, 2002, and 2006, serving a total of 16 years. His fellow members of the Council elected him Chairman in 1996, 1999, 2003, and 2008. He served as Chair of the Council's Spending and Affordability Committee.[6][7]

Baltimore County Executive[edit]

On November 2, 2010, Kamenetz was elected as the 12th Baltimore County Executive, succeeding James T. Smith, Jr.[8]

Baltimore County launched its landmark "Schools for Our Future" program, a $1.3 billion ten-year school construction and renovation initiative designed to meet the needs of Baltimore County’s educational facilities by eliminating existing and projected overcrowding, modernizing learning environments, and improving safety.[9] Through the program, Baltimore County is building 16 new schools and performing 19 major additions and renovations,[10] reducing the number of Baltimore County Public Schools without central air conditioning from 90 in 2010 to 13 in 2017.[11]

In December 2012, Kamenetz had proposed building a new fire station in Towson Manor Park, a pocket park that represented the only green space in the Towson Manor Village neighborhood. The then-existing fire station in Towson was old and located in a site that could possibly be redeveloped for commercial purposes. The property was ultimately sold, and the proceeds used to pay for the new fire station. But the county was able to find space on underused land it already held in downtown Towson, leaving Towson Manor Park untouched.[12] Three Baltimore County Schools and a police station, all on the county's east side, were also affected by similar land sales to developers.[citation needed]

In 2016, Kamenetz was elected President of the Maryland Association of Counties,[13] a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that serves Maryland’s counties by articulating the needs of local government to the Maryland General Assembly. Maryland Association of Counties is the only organization serving the needs of county elected officials and governments across Maryland.[14]

He served on the board of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (Chair, 2012), the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (Chair, 2013), the Board of Visitors, and the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.[15]

2018 Maryland gubernatorial election campaign[edit]

On September 18, 2017, Kamenetz announced his candidacy for Governor of Maryland in the 2018 election, running against incumbent Larry Hogan.[16]

Personal life and death[edit]

Kamenetz resided in Owings Mills with his wife, Jill Kamenetz, and their two sons.

On May 10, 2018, Kamenetz woke up at 2:00 a.m. with tightness in his chest and chest pains. Kamenetz and his wife first drove to a volunteer fire station. Kamenetz walked in and was evaluated and was initially speaking to the emergency medical technicians, but his condition quickly deteriorated, and he lost consciousness. The volunteer emergency medical technicians started cardiopulmonary resuscitation and administered cardiac drugs. Kamenetz was transported by ambulance to the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, where he was declared dead at 3:22 a.m.

Kamenetz had no known prior clinical history of cardiovascular disease and was described by colleagues as eating well and being in shape for his age of 60; there are however people who die of undiagnosed and unknown diseases that lead to major cardiac events. Kamenetz's family elected not to have an autopsy performed, and his funeral was scheduled for May 11, 2018.

Fred Homan is interim Baltimore County Executive until a replacement is found. Flags throughout Maryland were ordered to be flown at half-staff by the Governor Larry Hogan.[2][17]

Honors[edit]

In 2010, Kamenetz received the Valleys Planning Council’s McHarg award for his efforts to reduce density, protect environmentally sensitive land and watersheds, and secure Baltimore County’s rural heritage.[18]

In 2013, Kamenetz received the Outstanding Performance and Community Service Award from the Baltimore County Branch of the NAACP in recognition of his outstanding leadership of Baltimore County government and the significant increases in diversity among County employees.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "County Executive Biography - Baltimore County". Government of Baltimore County, Maryland. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Baltimore County Executive, Democratic candidate for governor Kevin Kamenetz dies, Baltimore Sun, May 10, 2018.
  3. ^ "Baltimore County Md. County Council". Baltimore County, Maryland. January 5, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  4. ^ Wood, Pamela (September 18, 2017). "Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joins Democratic race for governor". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  5. ^ The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. ISBN 9781561600212.
  6. ^ Dance, Scott. "At funeral, Kevin Kamenetz remembered as 'driven' politician: 'He was in this to win it'". 
  7. ^ Wood, Erin Cox, Pamela. "Who was Kevin Kamenetz? Looking back at some of the Maryland politician's career highlights". 
  8. ^ Joyner, Jim (December 7, 2012). "Towson Manor Park not 'off the table,' but other sites may be considered". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "Schools for the Future". Baltimore County, Maryland. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  10. ^ "Kamenetz Budget Accelerates Four Elementary School Projects". Baltimore County, Maryland. April 25, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  11. ^ "Schools for Our Future". Baltimore County Public Schools. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  12. ^ Kamenetz, Kevin (April 14, 2016). "Proposed Operating and Capital Budgets for Fiscal Year 2017". Baltimore County, Maryland. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  13. ^ Reotutar, Brooke (December 6, 2016). "Kamenetz Elected President Of Maryland Association Of Counties". patch.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "About". Maryland Association of Counties. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  15. ^ "Kevin B. Kamenetz, County Executive, Baltimore County, Maryland". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  16. ^ Hicks, Josh (September 17, 2017). "Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County executive, enters Maryland governor’s race". The Washington Post.
  17. ^ Donovan, Doug; Wood, Pamela (May 11, 2018). "Baltimore County Executive, Democratic candidate for governor Kevin Kamenetz dies". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  18. ^ The Valleys Planning Council, thevpc.org; retrieved May 24, 2017.
  19. ^ " Kamenetz wins diversity award from NAACP". WBAL-TV. October 15, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2017.