On November 6, 2014, I wrote that “Larry Hogan should do this on Day 1“:
When Larry Hogan becomes governor these O’Malley signs should come down and not be replaced with Hogan ones. The production and installation of these signs might be a small number relative to the overall state budget, but the symbolism is important. It would be further proof of Hogan’s commitment to efficient stewardship of the taxes paid by the hard-working people of Maryland.
I wrote it when I did to make sure that it was seen by Hogan’s transition team in time to forestall any eager bureaucrat in the State Highway Administration from ordering the signs in advance if the incoming governor wanted to make this move.
Months later and just days from Hogan’s inauguration, Thomas Firey of the Maryland Public Policy Institute wrote this on January 15:
Many broad, difficult policy decisions will lie ahead of Larry Hogan when he is inaugurated next week as Maryland’s 62nd governor. But one small, simple action that he could take immediately would have large symbolic value: instruct the State Highway Administration and other agencies to remove and recycle the current “Martin O’Malley, Governor” placards from Maryland’s roadway “Welcome” signs and not replace them.
The placards are of no importance to travelers; I want to know when I cross a state line, but I can’t imagine ever needing to know who the state’s governor is. The cost savings from not changing the placards would be relatively small—perhaps a few hundred dollars per sign—but it’s senseless for Maryland to spend transportation funds on such irrelevant information.
The MPPI’s tag line on their site is “New Ideas to Better the Old Line State” and I appreciate them endorsing my new idea (and I would have appreciated a link or mention as well.)
As I mentioned in November, this idea has been germinating in my mind since O’Malley first took office in 2007 and the media reports mentioned that the signs were swapped out simultaneously with his oath of office, as I recall. It fits in squarely with what Hogan ran on, in my opinion, and it would help set the tone for his administration right from the beginning. Hopefully, it’s something that happens and I hope that bringing it up in November helped start the ball rolling if it does happen. The endorsement by Firey and MPPI would help give the idea further credibility as we head to next week’s inauguration.