Eye on Democrats: Kevin Kamenetz Takes Heat For Hot Schools
During a January 8, 2018 interview on WOLB 1010AM, while discussing the recent news regarding Baltimore’s cold classrooms, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz criticized Gov. Larry Hogan for pushing both Baltimore City and County to install window air conditioning units, calling Hogan’s efforts “stupid.” In response, Coach Butch Adams slams Kamenetz, asking, “How can you say ‘stupid things’ when … classes had to be canceled at the beginning of school because it was too hot for the students to sit in the classroom?” Kamenetz defended his failure to install air conditioning, but Coach Adams refused to accept Kamenetz’s explanation, and instead advocated for the Baltimore City students, saying, “it is unfair, it is unconscionable to have students of any ethnicity or social economic level to be in a classroom that’s thirty degrees or ninety degrees.” Despite his casting blame on Hogan, once Kamenetz is put on the spot about his own decision to leave kids in sweltering classrooms, he says that poor climate control has been a persistent issue in schools for decades.
In A January 2018 Interview, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz Criticized Hogan For Pushing Both Baltimore City And County To Install Window Air Conditioning Units, Calling Hogan’s Efforts “Stupid” And A “Waste of Money.”
AUDIO: In A January 8, 2018 Interview With WOLB 1010AM, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz Boasted About Resisting Pressure from Gov. Hogan To Install Window Air Conditioning Units To Relieve Schoolchildren From The Sweltering Heat. KAMENETZ: “So he [Gov. Larry Hogan] was pushing me to put in window air conditioning units, I said, ‘no, we’re not going to do this.’” (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 0:04 – 0:10
- AUDIO: Kamenetz Called Hogan’s Push For Air Conditioning “Stupid.” KAMENETZ: “So here you’ve got the Governor, who pushed them [Baltimore city] to prioritize window units in place, in my opinion, in place of normal maintenance. And then, when they knew they had to do the normal maintenance, that got bumped to the bottom; the city didn’t have the money to forward fund it, doesn’t get done. So for him to sit there and say it’s the city’s ineptness and mismanagement and wasting sixty million, none of that is true. Now, does the city need to make sure all the heating systems are in operational order? Of course. I’m not excusing any of that, you know that’s the obligation. But not his dog-whistle, finger-pointing, when he’s part of the problem because he wanted to be political with this stupid thing about window air conditioning units.” (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 2:42 – 3:32
Coach Butch Adams Challenged Kamenetz On His Use Of The Word “Stupid” When Describing The Air Conditioning Units That Were Installed In Schools
AUDIO: Coach Butch Adams Questioned Kamenetz On His Use Of The Word Stupid, Saying, “How Can You Say ‘Stupid Things’ When … Classes Had To Be Canceled At The Beginning Of School Because It Was Too Hot For The Students To Sit In The Classroom?” COACH BUTCH ADAMS: “But County Executive, with all due respect, and I mean with all due respect, how can you say ‘stupid things’ when – as I recall – at least two, maybe three days, maybe more, that classes had to be canceled at the beginning of school because it was too hot for the students to sit in the classroom? It was the opposite of what we’re going through now: too cold for the students to be in the classroom, too hot. And my rebuttal then was the same as this morning: I understand the new buildings, and the new buildings to have modern amenities. But in the meantime, you still had two years – two school calendar years – left. And so my question then, and my question today, what would happen on a 95 degree day in September, or May? And we saw what happened. School had to be canceled.” (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 3:33 – 4:40
AUDIO: Despite Blaming Hogan For Hot Schools, Kamenetz Went On To Say That “We’ve Been Sitting In Sweaty Classrooms For Our Entire Lives.” Asked Coach Adams If He Would Purchase A Window Unit Even If He Knew That He Would Have One Installed Next Year; Coach Adams Responded That He Would. KAMENETZ: “You know, Coach, this didn’t just happen overnight. We’ve been sitting in sweaty classrooms for our entire lives. So I get that it’s a problem. (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 4:41 – 4:50
Kamenetz Tried To Bait Coach Adams Into Defending His Decision To Not Install Window Units, But Coach Adams Rejected Kamenetz’s Premise And Took Him To Task. KAMENETZ: Let me ask you this: you just signed a contract to put central air in your house. But you can’t pay for that until next year. But you already signed the contract and the deal is done and the man is going to come and put central air in your house next year. Are you going to buy window air conditioning units just for this next year?” COACH: “Yes, I am. You know what, County Exec., Coach Butch McAdams will because I’m thinking about the number of days that I have to wait to get there. And again, we’re not talking about a matter of three, four months. By my count it was two years. And we did have to. And I say ‘we’ because I’m a stakeholder in education. You had to close the schools down because it was over heated in the classroom. And I don’t think that anyone can just dismiss that and call it a stupid idea.” (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 4:40 – 5:54
- AUDIO: COACH: “You Had To Close The Schools Down Because It Was Over Heated In The Classroom. And I Don’t Think That Anyone Can Just Dismiss That And Call It A Stupid Idea.” (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 5:41 – 5:54
Kamenetz Attempted To Explain That His Use Of The Word “Stupid” Meant A Waste Of Taxpayer Money Because, He Claimed, Wiring In Older Buildings “Doesn’t Handle It.”
AUDIO: Kamenetz: “When I Say Stupid, I Meant It’s Not An Efficient Use Of Tax Dollars. … And When I Say Stupid, It Was Stupid Because You Can’t Put Window Units In Buildings That Are 60, 70 Years Old. The Wiring Doesn’t Handle It.” KAMENETZ: “When I say stupid, I meant it’s not an efficient use of tax dollars. Okay, we only have so much money in the pot. If I had to sit there and use money for temporary window air conditioning units that means I have less money for the permanent cure, all right? This money isn’t endless. I only have a finite set of money, I’ve got to decide what’s the best expenditure to make here. And when I say stupid, it was stupid because you can’t put window units in buildings that are 60, 70 years old. The wiring doesn’t handle it. So – ” COACH: “Well then close the schools then.” (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 5:55 – 6:32
Under Fire From Coach Adams, Kamenetz Continued To Defend His Inaction, Insinuating That Children Today Should Have To Endure Conditions Similar To What Might Have Been Found In Schools 50 Years Ago.
AUDIO: Coach Adams Sparred With Kamenetz, And Said, “It Is Unfair, It Is Unconscionable To Have Students Of Any Ethnicity Or Social Economic Level To Be In A Classroom That’s Thirty Degrees Or Ninety Degrees.” KAMENETZ: “Well, let me ask you coach, [crosstalk], what did we do 30 years ago, what did we do 40 or 50 years ago when we were children in schools?” COACH: “40 years ago we didn’t have access to the modern amenities and all I’m looking at, as I know you are too, because most of the issues you and I agree on, we’re eye-to-eye, but on this one we’re on opposite ends. It is unfair, it is unconscionable to have students of any ethnicity or social economic level to be in a classroom that’s thirty degrees or ninety degrees.” (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 6:32 – 7:13
AUDIO: Kamenetz’s Defense Of Baltimore City Schools Was Batted Down By Coach Adams Who Said He Believed That Baltimore City Was Inept, Mismanaged, And Wasted $60 Million. KAMENETZ: “Coach, I agree with you 100 percent. Now, do you agree that the city was inept and mismanaged and wasted sixty million dollars?” COACH: “Absolutely, and the information that was given to us in that report, how else would you call it? In terms of – and I’m just going by what was reported.” (Kevin Kamenetz, Interview With WOLB 1010AM, 1/8/18) Minute 7:13 – 7:45