August 21, 2014 4:17 pm ET
Taxpayers again picking up the tab for the North Point Government Center follies
The big announcement (i.e., press release) on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner at the North Point Government Center was, in Hollywood terms, less of a blockbuster and more of a flop.
You see, folks, your “bread and butter” jobs are melting away in the hot glow of political hype. And all you get in return is more food stamp and Section 8 recipients.
Sorry for the puns, some intended, some not, but they help to set the stage.
I’m sure you’re wondering how I, your humble correspondent, could possibly utter all of those words after all the hard work and back room deals by the county that falsely promised to sell our land in order to help the good citizens of Dundalk, as well as others around the county, stay out of debt.
Let’s just say that the hype machine is falling short on backing up those claims. Of course, “short” is a relative term, similar to saying that the Grand Canyon is “a bit of a hole.”
So, without further ado, here’s the meat and potatoes of the story. Let me know if you want a medium fries and diet Coke with that order.
First and foremost, the press release by the county is the worst kind of propaganda uttered by clueless government officials who have never heard of homework or research. This nonsense belongs in the fiction category of the Sun’s book review page.
Let’s take a look at what was spewed forth as the saving grace of Dundalk by using a word that rarely appears in the county’s vernacular—truth.
I’ll cut to the chase. Three restaurants are supposedly coming to the Promised Land. Names aren’t important; let’s stick to the facts—which would produce some gastric distress after dining at one of those eateries.
Get ready for this folks. “Taxpayers spend about $7 billion per year to help pay workers who are employed by an industry that rakes in $200 billion annually.”
Let’s look at just one of the culprits, McDonald’s. It cost’s taxpayers $1.2 billion a year to help offset the poverty wages these workers earn in order for them to survive.
The list and the cost go on and on.
Let’s take a look at more gobbledygook released by the county:
“When we first started talking about this project, I was insistent that the developer bring businesses to Dundalk that would send a very strong message about the strength of our community,” said Councilman John Olszewski, Sr. “When fast casual restaurants of this caliber want to come to Dundalk it speaks volumes, and I am very pleased that families that live here will have food options that in the past were unavailable in the area. This is great news, and it will give a real boost to our economy creating hundreds of new jobs in the community.”
And yet more BS from the county:
“The County’s intent, from the very beginning, was to make sure that a high quality commercial/recreational complex would be built on this site, creating a unique destination in the heart of Dundalk,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “I congratulate Councilman Olszewski for his hard work and determination in making sure the people of Dundalk get something very special. This is a significant step forward for the community.”
What a bunch of crap, pardon my language.
Mr. Kamenetz’s first announcement via the press:
“We’re going to try and sell the property and generate enough money to build the (new) buildings for free, and then any leftover money that we have, we’re going to invest in school renovation projects,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. (WBAL TV 11)
Fine, Mr. Kamenetz. Let’s talk about money. Let’s see, the Government Center was worth around $8 million. Vanguard paid $2.1 million. Another Yorkway? You be the judge.
Also, did anyone figure in the developer’s tax breaks? Mr. Weinberg must be licking his chops about this one. After all, Mr. Weinberg is such a benevolent person that he could not spare a dime.
Now, back to the money issue. A 25% donation to the artificial turf field is being made, while the taxpayers are forced to pick up the other 75%.
Oh, the shame.
What about the moving the police precinct to the Eastwood Elementary School? That will be another multimillion dollar renovation project because the school is not large enough to accommodate the police precinct. Other support units will have to be moved as well, which is more dough attached to your burger and fries.
Additionally, what happens to the community’s ball field? I guess we’ll never know.
The good news is the fireworks will stay next to Grange Elementary. However, there is no guarantee that they will start on July 4th.
Needless to say, there are a lot of disappointing “facts” in the county’s attempt at a press release. So much so that we all should be outraged at the lack of true leadership.
I plan on letting my outrage color my decisions at the polls in the general election. Maybe you should do so as well.