In a brazen attempt to turn over the North Point Government Center to a developer, Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr. crashed the Eastfield/Stanbrook Civic Association and proceeded to rekindle his father’s attempt to sell the property.
You may remember a similar move years ago that ignited a community backlash. More on that later.
Through an announcement, the ESCA listed a guest speaker, new Baltimore County Administrator Stacy Rogers, for their regularly scheduled meeting. Imagine the shockwaves sent through the large crowd in attendance when Mr. Olszewski, along with members of his administration, showed up unannounced.
Thankfully, someone in the crowd contacted The Baltimore Post and alerted us to the appearance of the county executive. We then sent a photographer to the meeting to capture what ended up being some very insightful video footage.
It should also be noted that the NP Government Center issue was not part of the meeting’s itinerary.
The initial battle over the fate of the NP Government Center started more than eight years ago when then-Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson and the late former County Executive Kevin Kamenetz claimed the former Dundalk Police Precinct 12 should be replaced due to its crumbling infrastructure. That is when then-Councilman John Olszewski Sr. began pushing forth the concept that a PUD would allow the development of the community center, which many saw as “sacred ground.”
Here is what we wrote at the time:
Now, since Olszewski announced that he would not seek reelection in 2014, he is set to leave his controversial mark on Dundalk for decades to come with his version of the PUD.
The selling point behind the proposed PUD was that it would bring additional revenue into Baltimore County through the sale of the land. When the community fought back through the group known as Dundalk United, the sale was stalled. That forced the county to relocate the police precinct, after a $20 million rehab, to the old Eastwood Elementary School.
There were numerous obstacles during the rehab including opposition from surrounding communities.
Now here we are for round 2, folks.
But this time around, Dundalk United has a special weapon to use against this yet another land-grab attempt by a county politician that would benefit his political cronies.
This new defense has the call letters of BOPW; for the layperson, that stands for The Board of Public Works. The two big guns in this defense include Larry Hogan and Peter Franchot. You can read part of their battle plan comments in the last document featured in this article.
Whether the matter goes to court or not, this latest attempt will still be tried in the court of public opinion. And that could cause irreparable damage to Johnny O’s reputation … and his future.