What took place Monday night at the County Council meeting was reminiscent of the famous Boston Tea party.
This famed act of American colonial defiance served as a protest against taxation. Seeking to boost the troubled East India Company, British Parliament adjusted import duties with the passage of the Tea Act in 1773. While consignees in Charleston, New York, and Philadelphia rejected tea shipments, merchants in Boston refused to concede to Patriot pressure. On the night of December 16, 1773, Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty boarded three ships in the Boston harbor and threw 342 chests of tea overboard. This resulted in the passage of the punitive Coercive Acts in 1774 and pushed the two sides closer to war.
The Baltimore Post has developed a reputation for pulling back the curtain on many egregious affronts to Baltimore County and Maryland taxpayers. We prefer to give up an exclusive story, since it is more important to be truthful and gather all the facts before proceeding forward.
So let’s take a close look at what took place Monday night as the Council’s Democratic majority voted to take your hard-earned tax dollars ($43.9 million) and fill not a gaping hole at Towson Row that was created by the developer’s blunder. More importantly, the vote Monday will pad the Dems’ campaign coffers without regard for their constituents’ concerns.
One State Senator stated the taxpayer liability could reach as high as $80 million.
The vote was based along party lines, meaning the four Democrats voted to fund the famous hole in the ground, while the three Republicans voted against this corporate bailout.
So much for councilmatic courtesy. That only comes into play when the vote doesn’t involve developers.
So what really took place at that legislative session on December 18, 2017?
Council Chairmen Tom Quirk led the proceedings by introducing members of the Sage Policy Group, which was paid by Baltimore County to study this issue. Below is a quote taken from a Baltimore Sun article:
“Sage Chairman and CEO Anirban Basu said public-private financing for infrastructure could help lure a manufacturing company to Tradepoint. Otherwise, Basu thinks the industrial tenants would be distribution and logistics tenants, which have lower-paying jobs than manufacturers.”
Folks, you can clearly see that the Sage Group was not referring to Towson Row, but rather Tradepoint Atlantic. The reason we chose this quote was to show that taxpayer money used in the funding of these studies can result in any finding that suits the needs of those supporting a particular agenda.
I think it is safe to say that the Sage Policy Group was a “shill” for Baltimore County.
It was quite evident at the last council work session that taxpayers were outraged that the pols were considering ingratiating the bottom line of these wealthy developers.
It was apparent that Council Chairman Tom Quirks had a love fest with the new developer, Brian Gibbons, chairman and CEO of Greenberg Gibbons, an Owings Mills development company that was brought in by original developer Caves Valley Partners to undo the Towson Row mistake. Joining the party line were fellow Democrats Cathy Bevins, Julian Jones, and ever-absent County Executive Candidate Vicki Almond.
Those four have all benefited from a massive infusion of cash into their campaign coffers, by the way.
In response to Councilwoman Bevins’s vote, Ryan Narowcki stated on Facebook, “It is time to flip the County Council and put the taxpayers first.”
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Shortly thereafter, the invitation was removed from Mr. Olszewski’s Facebook page. That seems like censorship to us.
Here is the reality of the Towson Row project. It is a private enterprise development where the concept of risk versus rewards applies. The Towson Chamber of Commerce applauded the estimated 2,000 construction jobs, along with the additional jobs needed to maintain the development. What the TCOC spokeswoman did not say was how many of these jobs are living wage jobs, or that the construction jobs would add to the Baltimore County taxpayer base funds. Those points were never addressed despite the fact that this entire process was placed before the taxpayers for two weeks.
We challenge anyone that has the time to comprehend this very complicated situation to be able to study the numbers in two weeks.
We defy anyone to predict what the economy will be in the next 10 to 20 years. Just look around and see the condition of our schools, roads, and other infrastructure in decay and you will understand exactly what we mean. The future is unpredictable, especially when the taxpayers are forced to take the gamble rather than the developer.
Before closing, there are a few more important points that we would like to make. The first one deals with the warm greeting and unlimited time devoted to the developers and the Sage group that was given to prop up this potentially disastrous decision.
Secondly we want you to go to the video below and click to the time-frame of 58 minutes and 30 seconds–watch the arrogant and humiliating treatment of a taxpayer. Pay particular attention to Councilman Julian Jones and his harsh criticism of the gentleman speaking on behalf of the taxpayers.
Here is another interesting quote from the developer, Greenberg and Gibbons:
Officials with Owings Mills-based Greenberg Gibbons say the project needs the financial assistance from the county in order to secure funding from its main investor, a pension fund in California.
“If we don’t get it, we don’t go forward,” said Brian Gibbons, chairman and CEO of Greenberg Gibbons.
Folks, that is Socialism. The taxpayers take the risk, while the developers reap the rewards.
If anyone has doubts about this danger, just remember Julian Jones’ comment regarding Mr. Homan when he said, “If it’s good enough for Mr. Homan, it’s good enough for me.”
Well, these were the results of Mr. Homan’s interference with our precious taxpayer funds.
(Note: The Baltimore Post will be publishing remarks from various politicians pertaining to this issue in the future.)