October 21, 2015 6:00 pm ET
No such letters of intent exist regarding Merritt Pavilion
Today, we continue the saga that seems like a “Gone with the Wind Part Deux times 10” sort of story, but it still commands attention on the front page … or the electronic screen, if you will.
Just recently, Baltimore County posted a press release on its website announcing some exciting news to some, but not all.
Such as yours truly.
The message is being delivered in bright colors with fireworks, sparklers, and probably some dancers, too.
Except I don’t quite think that anyone should be in a dancing mode right about now.
Here is a copy of the press release:
Baltimore County announced today that the proposed Merritt Pavilion project at the former North Point school site would create 2,000 jobs for Dundalk, including 1,500 short term construction jobs during its build-out, and more than 500 permanent jobs once completed.
National tenants that signed letters of intent include popular, new to Dundalk, retailers such as Chipotle, Panera Bread, Chick-fil-a and Five Guys.
In addition, the project will include an internationally renowned medical center providing needed services to the community.
The second paragraph is the one that caught my eye, just like it did a while back when Mr. Kamenetz said in the Dundalk Eagle that no one at these companies will talk to me about this subject.
Sadly, in a way, he was right—they sent emails instead.
After reading the press release, I did what all inquisitive minds would do—file the following PIA:
Baltimore County Office of Law
Baltimore County, MD 21286
October 19, 2015
Dear Custodian of Records:
I am seeking the following documents under the Public Information Act Law. Copies may be sent by e-mail and please notify me of any redactions and subsequent reason as to why any material was redacted?
In addition please notify me of any fees involved in this request.
Public Information Act Request
Pursuant to the Maryland Public Records Act, State Government Articles §§10-611 to 628, or the current language contained in the update PIA Law, the following documents are requested:
As per the bounty’s new release dated 10/16/2015 the following documentation to affirm the statement in the press release.
Copies of the letters of intent from the following retailers; Chipotle, Panera Bread, Chick-fil-a, and Five Guys as related to the project and or development Merritt Pavilion.
Copies may be emailed.
Well, this morning, I made a phone call after receiving an email from the county. The voice on the other end of the phone said the following (rounded out to the nearest sentence):
“Mr. Beeler there are no copies of any letters of intent regarding your PIA.” (Sadly spoken)
“Not anywhere?” I asked.
The answer was, “Not anywhere.”
Well there you have (or do not have) it.
I keep thinking that this is some sort of practical joke, and that I will find Allen Funt on the other end of the Candid Camera, holding the letters of intent with a smile and a laugh.
Sadly, that’s not going to happen. First of all, Allen Funt is dead. Second, the only joke is the way that “the powers that be” continue to play on the taxpayers.
Speaking of a play on taxpayers, The DRC just released this plea for a letter writing campaign invoking the county’s fake press release with the following request for taxpayers to write the state BOPW with this statement:
1) This prime corner at Merritt Blvd. and Wise Ave. will feature new eateries and shops including Panera, Chipotle, and Five Guys; medical services and offices that residents and visitors want while creating 1,500 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs.
I guess they bought into the county’s fantasy island of eateries, but I hope someone tells the workers to bring their own dough, seeds and all.