We’ve said for a long time that Baltimore County is lacking true leadership.
And we believe this move by those in charge will prove that point.
Two weeks ago, Johnny O took to the airwaves at WBAL radio to announce that he was introducing a nuisance law bill that would give the county the power to shutter businesses where, in the county executive’s own words, “criminal activity is occurring repeatedly or being reported repeatedly.”
To that end, should this bill actually become law, the first target very well could be … the Towson Town Center.
That’s right, folks. Under the new law, the mall that has become such a focal point for the Baltimore County Police Department could be targeted to close.
It seems Johnny O’s PhD may not have helped him understand the ramifications of his proposed law.
Reading the story at WBAL.com, we see that Johnny explained the bill will make it easier to padlock places that engage in prostitution, illegal adult entertainment, and gambling.
By the letter of the law, the bill will allow police to shut down businesses that receive two nuisance violations within a two-year period.
The county executive actually said that the goal is to “make sure we shut down activity that shouldn’t be happening in Baltimore County.”
Will those nuisance violations include crimes like gang fights, robberies, thefts, carjackings, drug violations, and multiple assaults?
If so, then the Towson mall will be directly in the crosshairs. There is no denying that those crimes happen multiple times a year on the mall property.
Maybe this is Johnny and Chief Hyatt’s way of stopping the increased police presence at the mall. Maybe it is all part of their master plan. Maybe the emphasis on building up Towson as the go-to spot in the county means the mall has to go.
Or maybe the county executive acts before he thinks … or has someone think for him.
Either way, the ball (or bill) is now in the county council’s court. Maybe they’ll recognize that this type of nuisance law will simply open a can of worms for any business that ends up on the wrong side of criminal activity or citizen complaints.
Then again, we’re not sure that anyone will accuse the council members of having common sense…