While most people think that the best way to affect change is to move into government, Deputy Mayor Andrew B. Frank appeared to indicate an opposite opinion yesterday: he is leaving his governmental post for a private position with a university.
Baltimore Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development Andrew B. Frank announced his resignation yesterday, along with his intention to leave City Hall mid-May for a advisement job with John Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels. His new job includes economic development advising, and working on neighborhood revitalization with the East Baltimore Development Initiative and the East Baltimore Community School. The massive east side redevelopment project has been long stalled, and strongly opposed by displaced locals.
Frank is a strong member of City Government and will be sorely missed. Baltimore infrastructure has seen significant improvements: the city maintained a high bond rating, experienced population growth downtown, and the “Superblock” was completed. Previously the Executive Vice President for the Baltimore Development Corporation, he is admired by many city businessmen, who used their influence to assure that he would remain in office after Dixon’s resignation.
So why leave?
One of the highest-ranking officials from the Dixon administration retained by Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Frank claims that disagreements with the new mayor had nothing to do with his decision. However, several occurrences may indicate otherwise.
Former Mayor Dixon’s legal troubles partly stemmed from her relationship with developers, and city officials have privately speculated that Frank was considered “too close” to Dixon. Furthermore, Rawlings-Blake made several changes to Frank’s staff, “dismissing one assistant deputy mayor and demoting another. Kaliope Parthemos, Rawlings-Blake’s former assistant chief of staff and childhood friend, became Frank’s sole assistant deputy mayor,” according to the Baltimore Sun. Interesting.
She has also publicly declared that the Baltimore Development Corp. should be more ‘transparent’, and a mayoral spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Frank had lost his city-owned take-home car (a 2006 Ford Escape hybrid) after Rawlings-Blake took office.
Needless to say, whoever Rawlings-Blake chooses to fill Frank’s position with will certainly be a decision to watch. Considering the pertinence of economic issues to Baltimore, it will certainly a good indicator of her upcoming term.
If Frank’s job is anything to judge by, East Baltimore will soon be experiencing a huge redevelopment overhaul: check out listings on CondoDomain now, and beat the rush.