May 23, 2016 11:17 pm ET
Issues deals with photo, Bevins, and Greenleigh PUD
Source: McDonough: “They lied to me.”
Over my years as a journalist, I have received all kinds of phone calls that others might regard as shocking.
Quite frankly, nothing shocks me anymore. At least, that is what I thought…
This particular call was a tad different. I was upstairs talking to someone in my office and, as I often do, left my handset downstairs.
So, when the phone rang mid-conversation, I knew the voice mail would pick up the message.
That message consisted of someone screaming into the phone (things I can’t repeat) about a photo.
Naturally, I followed up and found the affirmation photo in my email. Upon looking at it, I thought, “Wow, what’s this all about?”
Why would Del. Pat McDonough—a maverick and conservative politician who is also running for Congress against long-time Congressman (and cemented in his seat) Dutch Ruppersberger—pose in a photo with Councilwoman Cathy Bevins?
Did I mention the Greenleigh PUD?
That, my friends, is—or soon will be—another city of mammoth proportions. If you think I am exaggerating, take a gander upon this:
It seems that there was a groundbreaking ceremony this week during which the first shovel went into the taxpayers’ pockets first and the ground second.
Here is another item concerning the project in the Baltimore Sun:
After all of that, I did what I always do and let my fingers do the walking (an old Yellow Pages slogan) and called Del. McDonough to ask him what the hell he was thinking.
Why would he step into the proverbial lion’s den and pose with a PUD-master like Bevins?
His first response was, “They (whoever they are) lied to me.”
I asked Pat to elaborate since I was told he supported the project by pushing for funding in Annapolis.
He said that was true—he did help sponsor funding for the project, which was the expansion of Route 43. The reason for that funding, he explained, was that, during the Ehrilch administration, Route 43 was supposed to contain manufacturing for the purpose of paying living wage jobs.
“Hmm,” I wondered. “Is that true or just a political dodge?”
Then I read Pam Wood’s article in the Sun and … there it was: a quote that was the equivalent of a late night call from the Governor’s office just before they dropped the gas pellets.
“When planners and politicians extended Route 43 from White Marsh to Middle River, they envisioned a ‘road of opportunity’ that would be home to half a dozen factories.
But as manufacturing declined, developers of the area — dubbed Baltimore Crossroads — switched to offices and light industrial buildings.
Now they’ve changed direction again.”
OK, I can buy that. However, what I asked the good delegate is why he would put himself in that position where a picture will scream out a thousand words with a couple of dangling participles, as the nuns used to tell us.
“I have constituents in that area that I stay in touch with, and it is my area,” he said.
McDonough went on to say it was just a photo-op for which he was asked to pose.
I asked him how he thinks people will perceive this. His response: “Let them think what they want. Everyone knows where I stand on these issues.”
I then asked him about his major concerns over the size of this project and all of the hoopla, which contains little substance.
McDonough said some of his major concerns were traffic congestion (do you think???), living wage jobs, and the cost to the taxpayers in such matters like tax breaks (i.e., Kevin Plank and his tax breaks that impact the city), upon which the state bases its education funds.
Additionally, McDonough was worried about the impact to the Perry Hall business community, based on the size of this self-contained metropolis.
I made some great points, if I do say so myself. I even asked if he got the chance to speak at the ground breaking, and he stated he wasn’t asked to do so. He said that Mr. Kamenetz would not let go of the microphone.
Well, to be honest, I had no doubts about that one.
However, in this case, since it involved big time developers and a ton of money, I believe that the county executive probably was a bit more cordial.
Come to think of it, maybe Pat wasn’t too far off on this one after reading this quote in the Sun:
“I feel like it’s a good mix,” said Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, a Middle River Democrat who represents the Crossroads area. “We’re finally getting the jobs we wanted.”
She means more service industry jobs, and tax breaks that will wipe out any gains on that issue.
The nightmare will take 10 to 15 years to build. Imagine the trucks (and trucks … and more trucks) making more and more dust, tying up traffic to the point of total gridlock.
I can’t wait to see the state’s traffic study on this one.
Pat, let me offer you some advice: the next time something like this happens, you might want to hold a Dutch face on a stick when you are told to smile for the camera.
Because, unfortunately, this is no laughing matter.