Baltimore Votes 2016 Q&A: Francisco Logan

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Frank Logan is an Independent Write-In candidate for Baltimore City Mayor

(Additional reporting by Christian Bielski)

 

Q: Background info

A: I was born at Johns Hopkins, August 1966 to Joseph and Annie May Logan; lived the first few years of my life in the 1700 block of Montpelier Street before moving to 3000 block of Wayne Avenue in Gwynn Oak in July 1968, where I resided until my enlistment into the military 1984. Attended Howard Park Elementary, Mount Washington Country School for Boys, John Paul Regional School (Woodlawn); and attended BCPS high schools at Baltimore Polytechnic, Forest Park and Walbrook (grad. 1985). Completed over 2-1/2 years in the Army Reserves before enlisting into active duty where I served 20 years, retiring at the rank of Sergeant First Class as an Instructor/Writer for the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.

After retiring from the military, I’ve been employed as a transit driver for VIA Metro in San Antonio, TX, a behavioral management aide for Comal Independent School District (Texas), capitol security police with Texas Department of Public Safety (Austin, TX) and special projects manager for Texas Division of Emergency Management (Austin TX).

Currently, I am a Procurement Specialist with MDOT State Highway Administration in Hanover, MD. I possess a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a MBA in Public Administration from Columbia Southern University with supplemental courses from Baltimore City Community College, UMUC-Europe, UMUC-Asia, Texas Central College, Big Bend Community College, City Colleges of Chicago, UMASS-Lowell and Mount Wachusetts Community College.

I’ve been married twice: first to Linda McAllister of East Baltimore for 15 years until her lost with breast cancer in 2001; and currently to Wendee Taylor of Las Vegas, NV since 2002. I am father to four daughters ranging in age 16 to 21; three biological with Linda and my stepdaughter with Wendee.

Q: Do you think there are ‘Two Baltimore’s’? Why or why not? If so, how would you try to reconcile them?

A: Yes, I do think there are two Baltimores. During my 20-year military career, each year that I came home to visit I seen the changes to certain areas of Baltimore and not others. In past two years since I’ve been residing back home, it is evidenced where the economic development dollars has been placed. There has been very little development in areas outside of the Inner Harbor. What some are calling economic development in Edmondson Village, Mondawmin, Reisterstown Road and Garden Village are just crumbs compared to the Inner Harbor, Harbor Point East, Fells Point, Federal Hill and Canton. Cherry Hill, Westport, Mount Winan, Violetville and other areas of our city are still left out of the economic picture.

My reconciliation is to say “NO” to the current Port Covington TIF plan, as it is being requested in present form. If we seek $535 million in TIF, I would make the city, as a whole, eligible for the TIF and distribute an equal portion to each of the 9 major communities with a strong accountability and transparency process.

This would enhance, both, communities and small businesses to either expand or increase their capabilities and products while simultaneously produce employment numbers from within. As we rebuild our city’s infrastructure, the city would begin to increase its population because we would have revitalize the city as a whole and not just one area for those outsiders seeking a new zip code to live in. As we rebuild, we can adjust our tax base accordingly to be more enticing.

Q: Were you for or against the proposed Red Line? Why or why not?

A: I was against the proposed Red Line prior to Governor Hogan pulling the plug. I believed it was not the right proposal for the city in the form it was being presented.

Q: How would you help improve Baltimore’s transportation system?

A: I would have like to revisit the 1966 transportation plan for the city, which mirrored Washington, DC transit plan. The system would have surrounded I-695, as well as crisscross the city to maximized ridership. There would be less need for busses to act as connectors and I would have sought to make better connection to areas just outside Baltimore, like Columbia, Hagerstown, DC, Philadelphia and York PA.

Q: How often would you like to see City agencies audited? Which department do you think is the worst offender in avoiding audits?

A: I would like to see our city agencies audited every year. Currently, all departments are the worst offender. In 2012, Baltimore City voters mandated an audit of ALL agencies. To date, 4 years later, we have only received a performance audit from DPW indicating that 90% of the street lights are operational. This doesn’t tell our citizens anything of where monies came from, nor what monies was spent on. I’m seeking to inform our city taxpayers of every dime we’re collecting and spending. They deserve this knowledge when they are paying for civil services.

Q: How would you propose to make the Charm City Circulator cost effective? Do you agree with the DOT of Baltimore eliminating the Banner and Green lines?

A: I believe there is a way to make the circulator more cost effective. Currently, it is estimated that we are $11 to $14 million in the red annually. There may be a proposal to create a $1 fare, as the current service is currently free.

Q: What was going through your mind during the unrest of April 2015?

A: During the Baltimore unrest of April 2015, there were many thoughts going through my mind. “Where was the city’s leadership? Why aren’t people who were clearly breaking laws not being arrested? Who was telling law enforcement officers to “stand down”?” Nothing that I had learned from my military nor my Emergency Management training seemed to be initiated or executed properly.

Q: Now that the trials of the Baltimore Six are over, and all have been acquitted, how can Baltimore heal?

A: It will be difficult to heal because we need to clean and get our house in order. With the Justice Department finally issuing their scathing report, I believe the healing begins when we, first, elect new leadership throughout City Hall. Second, if necessary, disband the Baltimore City Police Department and begin a new hiring program from scratch. Officers without civil complaints would be unaffected in this process. My preference and goal would be to purge all city departments of the bad elements. Currently, the FOP is seeking a new contract and until civilians are added to trial boards with subpoena powers under the Civilian Review Board, I would not sign a new contract.

We, as city need to get back to the basics of community. We need law enforcement to engage with the communities they serve, as well as communities engaging with law enforcement along with their district and local leaders. Local government needs to be more responsive to all of its citizens’ concerns. The rubber-stamping and kangaroo court style of running the commission boards need to be eliminated and ran more effectively. When citizens are prohibited from providing more than a 2- minute testimony, there is a perception that a measure or proposal has been pre-approved behind closed doors and the public hearing is just to meet legal formalities. We can heal, but it will take some time to re-build the trust between citizens and government unless we can eliminate these types of perceptions. There can be no “them versus us” if we are to become a more perfect union. And compromising is what democracy is. If elected, I will lead by example.

Q: Do you support the Port Covington TIF? Why or why not? What did you think of BUILD’s concerns about the TIF? Do you agree with Councilman Stokes measure to delay the approval of the TIF?

A: In its current form, NO! Infrastructure leading to the compound I can support. The interior of the Port Covington project should be dependent on the developers. They purchased the property below valued cost, so they should be the one to develop it. It would be like I brought my house in Northeast Baltimore, but want the city to provide funds for me to make the enhancements so that I could collect tax credits on it and the city get a little of the interest returns over a 40 year term.

BUILD basically has three main concerns which are some of the same concerns I have, when the Port Covington deal came to light. There’s a lack trust, transparency, and accountability. BUILD’s concern is around public profit-sharing agreement between Sagamore Development and the city; a 51 percent local hiring guarantee for all jobs related to the deal; and a commitment that the city be reimbursed any state school aid loss due to the project increased local wealth, which is a factor in the state’s formula for determining aid. Other concerns of mines are more cynical. Why are there more TIFs recommended and approved through BDC for District 11 than other districts around the city? Is this because the CEO for BDC is the former council-person for that district? Wouldn’t this be consider a conflict of interest?

I think Councilman Stokes and City Council should postpone any measures or votes until the new city administration is sworn in and is able to take a fresh look at the proposal and address those concerns, not only of BUILD, but of the citizens of Baltimore City.

Q: Light City was a huge success for Baltimore this past year. How would you help cultivate the Arts & Entertainment districts around the city?

A: Having been in the entertainment business for over 12 years as an independent company, I would like to promote more arts and entertainment programs led by local artists. Baltimore has a tremendous amount of talent and we do not do enough to highlight what we have in own back yard. Promote home first and we can expand. But we must allocate an equal funding to all of our arts and entertainment institutions.

Q: There is a $15 minimum wage bill coming before the City Council. Do you support it, why or why not? If not, what wage would you support?

A: I support a $15 minimum with a caveat. It would need to be scaled to certain employment sectors. The problem I have is how does $15 an hour affect small businesses and would it drive away larger company seeking a new home base here in Baltimore? The Seattle experiment is still being analyzed. I would like to gain more information, comparing several cities over a three year period to gain a better assessment and provide a more detailed response.

Q: What is the biggest challenge in Baltimore?

A: Rebuilding trust between the citizens of Baltimore and government. Many citizens I’ve talked with see our local government pandering to corporations and special interest groups more than them.

Q: What is ONE core issue you will fight for if elected?

A: If elected, the plight of homelessness in our city would be One core issue that I undertake. We have structures that could be renovated and made into transitional housing. We need to give people, who through no fault of their own, a chance to get back on their feet. For me, the current administration has been a lame duck since April 2015 and city council have been consumed to meet the corporate and special interest needs, that they forgot about what government is supposed to do for its’ citizens. If our corporate and institutional partners are not willing to assist us in transforming our city, then they do not need to come to me asking for a hand out when our citizens needs a hand out. People over profits is where I am at on this issue.

Q: Why should people vote for you?

A: I believe we are stuck in a status quo mindset. Baltimore has been under a Democratic Party led government since the mid-1960s, for which the outcome through today has been a degradation of our city. The Democrat nominee for mayor have held elected office for nearly 30 years with little accomplishment to show. We’ve lost manufacturing and shipping based employment not being prepared for the technological age. We’ve lost over 1/4th of our residents due to the lack of infrastructure, such as affordable housing, transportation and poor educational output. Lastly, we have a mistrust of government by the citizens, who’ve seen special interests dominate the city’s agenda and a law enforcement agency gone rogue in minority poor communities.

So, people should vote for me because of the following:

1) Because of my myriad background in the military, government and private sector, I will rebuild trust among the people that their city government will work for them, not special interests.

2) I am an Independent candidate, thus my only alliance and allegiant is the people.

3) I have a real vision for the city and all of its residents in regards to education, public safety, economic development and housing that will be proactive, effective, efficient, transparent and accounted for.

4) And that I understand people are tired of the same old revolving-door, lip service politics that has not achieve much for the city and they now seek new leadership that will get true results, for which they would find in my candidacy.

 

Visit Francisco’s Official Website