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(Publisher’s Note: The following letter was submitted to The Baltimore Post. It is published with minor corrections that do not change its meaning or context.)
A recent article by Bob Staab, “Open Space Irony (aka open space hypocrisy),” was insightful and prophetic. While hypocrisy is indeed a strong word, it is unfortunately “spot on” in the case of Mr. Olszewski not only in describing his desire to sell public land in Dundalk for private commercial development but also in his desire to preserve “the good ole boys’ network” in Baltimore County. Not only is public land for sale, but apparently so are his credibility and integrity.
In a true show of his “character,” Johnny O attempted to advance legislation that would limit the power and independence of the County’s Inspector General—an office that HE created. This “action” occurred subsequent to a County Council debacle in which several of his Council “friends” embarrassed themselves with petty attacks against the county’s independent IG. Apparently, Ms. Madigan’s investigations were hitting too close to home. Instead of having the guts to give HIS Inspector General the full-throated support she deserved, he in a spineless move attempted to legislatively “cut the legs out from under” his IG. Upon receiving blowback and facing public humiliation, Olszewski did not have the courage to advance his promised legislation opting instead to appoint a committee to study matters. As the Office of the IG is functioning as intended and is “not broken,” it does not need to be “fixed” by Mr. Olszewski unless “the fix is in.” Any attempt to propose additional legislation to control the Inspector General would be tantamount to “putting lipstick on a pig!”
WHY is he obsessed with selling 60-year-old public land for private development? Why are he and his council “friends” so afraid of a fully independent Inspector General? All too often the answer to these types of questions can be found by looking for the “deep pockets” and “following the money.” Does anyone REALLY think that some donate thousands of dollars to a political candidate because they feel charitable?
The creation of the Inspector General’s Office gave hope that “at last” something was being done to address the corruption long associated with the “pay for play” mentality in Baltimore County. Apparently, it was only a convenient political slogan for Johnny O and his “friends.” The “out of step” tone deaf actions of Mr. Olszewski and his three amigos on the Council make Boss Tweed and the Tammany Hall crowd look like amateurs.
— Submitted by Skip Wahl