Franchot Says He'll 'Communicate' with Ulman About Meters

Several Main Street merchants ask the state's comptroller for help in fight against metered parking.

Maryland’s comptroller has been thinking about a run for governor, and Main Street merchants in Ellicott City think they may be able to use that to their advantage. 

Peter Franchot made a stop on Main Street last week to present Phoenix Emporium owner Mark Hemmis with a certificate recognizing the support the restaurateur gave to local county workers and CSX staff during the aftermath of the Ellicott City train derailment.

After the last picture of Hemmis and Franchot shaking hands was snapped, business owners turned to other subjects.

Sherry Fackler-Berkowitz, co-owner of Great Panes Stained Glass, asked Franchot if he was considering a run for governor, something which Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has not ruled out, either, when asked about his aspirations.

“A lot of people have been tugging at my sleeve saying ‘let’s do this,’” Franchot said, but added that he wouldn’t make a decision until the end of the year. “I have a love affair with being comptroller.”

Still Life Gallery owner , pled her case against the meters to Franchot.

“We’ve tried to get (County Executive) Ken Ulman to meet with us,” she said, but to no avail.

Franchot said that he would be happy to “communicate” with Ulman about the parking situation in the Historic District.

“I know Ken Ulman cares about small business,” Franchot said standing in the Phoenix. “I’m against anything that gets in the way of small business. I’ll call him on the phone or write a letter,” he said. “We all have a good intentions."

As of Monday afternoon, Ulman had not heard from Franchot, according to county spokesperson Kevin Enright.

Arditti said that she emailed Franchot over the weekend and has not yet heard from his office. 

Enright said that the administration plans to meet with stakeholders about the parking issue, though the meeting will likely be hosted by Steve Lafferty, director of special projects in the Department of Planning and Zoning, not the county executive.

Related articles:

- Do You Want to See a Metered Main Street?

- Merchant Petitions Against Main Street Meters

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Sara Arditti October 09, 2012 at 06:37 PM
UPDATE TO THIS STORY: Ken Ulman has refused to meet with the community regarding the paid parking system. This system will drain over ONE MILLION DOLLARS out of our local economy and put it directly into the pockets of two out of state corporations supplying the equipment, software,and maintenance over the initial four year contract period. It will not result in any increase in net revenue to Howard County. Streetline Inc of California was awarded up to $830,000 in the first four years and was THE SOLE BIDDER on the project. I am calling for an investigation into the procurement process. Anyone wishing to see the projected revenue charts, Howard County Purchasing Dept documents, Desman Parking Study, or other documentation contact me at saraarditti@yahoo.com as should anyone wishing to be notified of the upcoming meeting with Steve Lafferty.
bill bissenas October 09, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Ken "dirty filthy" Ulman simply doesn't care what the merchants want. When he's satisfying a more important constituency, the lesser constituency will lose.
bill bissenas October 09, 2012 at 07:03 PM
The most recent scandal in the shameful tenure of Ken Ulman.
Ralphie October 10, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Is Franchot going to hack into a highway message board? That's pretty much the only way to communicate with Ulman these days. Unless your name is Lance Armstrong, and he thinks he can use you to further his agenda to become Governor.
Joe Shapiro October 12, 2012 at 02:55 PM
UPDATE: Just wanted the readers to know that, as I told the reporter on Tuesday, Comptroller Franchot directed his chief of staff to call County Executive Ulman's office to relay the concerns he heard about the proposed parking meter changes while he was in Ellicott City. That call was made Tuesday morning and we were able to pass along those concerns as promised. Comptroller Franchot is a big supporter of Ellicott City businesses and residents and is confident that the County Executive and his staff will be responsive. Joe Shapiro, Director of Communications Maryland Comptroller's Office


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