BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It wasn’t just family and friends who showed up Friday to pay their respects to Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz – constituents, business owners and even strangers honored him.
It was a somber scene that was surreal for all of Baltimore: a final goodbye to the man who served the county with pride and compassion.
“His demeanor, his honesty. He was a well-respected man,” resident Oney Hazelwood said.
Outside the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, it was a show of solidarity and a hero-like send off.
“Being an elected public servant is a very honorable thing,” one woman told WJZ’s Rick Ritter.
Hundreds showed up to pay their respects.
“We’re going to miss him terribly. I think we all are,” one man said.
Many reflected on the relationship with Kamenetz, including Abby Beytin of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County. As she fought back tears, Beytin explained how she witnessed his passion for education firsthand.
“I could count on him to listen. We didn’t always agree, but I knew that he always cared,” she said.
Kamenetz was described as a 60-year-old who was stepping into the highlight of his political career.
“He really blossomed into a wonderful manager and everybody knew that he cared,” community activist Sharon Bailey said.
Even complete strangers stood along the procession to honor their county executive.
“I felt that I must come and show my respects some kind of way,” Hazelwood said.
Many people remembered Kamenetz for putting more money into public schools than any county executive before him, revitalizing the downtown Towson area and never raising taxes.