The below letter was received from the Leaders Helping Leaders 7th Distict Civic Council of Baltimore County. The County Council is scheduled to vote on Monday December 18, 2017, whether or not the county will bail out the Towson Row Development with taxpayer funds. Due to the seriousness of this issue, The Baltimore Post felt was appropriate to publish this letter.
Before you read the letter, the Post will provide our view on the concept of “free enterprise,” which is the engine that drives the nation’s economy.
Free enterprise, or the free market, refers to the summary or conglomeration of all voluntary business activities in a given economic area. Alternatively, free enterprise could refer to an ideological or legal system of organization, in which commercial activities are primarily regulated through private measures rather than by political means.
In the simplest of terms, the free enterprise concept deals with risk versus reward.
The Baltimore Post strongly agrees with the letter published below … and the taxpayers outrage at our political leaders for engaging in the concept of Socialism.
The Post strongly believes that, because a free market system is based on risk versus reward, there should be no government meddling in the business sector. The outrage around such corporate welfare is palpable and continues to grow.
Monday night should be very interesting considering the impact this decision and the tone it will establish for similar future endeavors.
We encourage every taxpaying citizen of this county to either attend the meeting in person or tune in to the live stream of the Council meeting. You will get the opportunity to watch our government in action (or, in this case, possibly “inaction”). It is time for a government that actually lives up to the standard of “by the people and for the people.”
To view the live stream of the Council vote, click this link: http://baltimorecountymd.iqm2.com/Citizens/Calendar.aspx?View=List
Baltimore County Council
400 Washington Avenue
Towson, MD 21204
Re: Towson Row
Dear Baltimore County Councilmen:
Please be advised Leaders Helping Leaders 7th District Civic Council of Baltimore County is a 501c3 Maryland Chartered Corporation. Our current board of directors consists of a delegate from each of its member community associations of the 7th Legislative District of Baltimore County.
On December 4th, 2017 our corresponding secretary provided somewhat acrimonious written and oral testimony (attached), acrimony intented to underscore and bold-face a social context of frustration, mistrust, and in the recent case of the Towson specimen tree destruction debacle “Tree-gate,” clear contempt to the will of the Baltimore County people, their elected servants, and our core value of governance by democracy.
We serve this letter to you as notice the people of Baltimore County demand on December 18, 2017 the Baltimore County Council table all issues for vote regarding the development project known as “Towson Row,” until all fiduciary and legal responsibilities of your offices have been executed properly vetting to the satisfaction of the taxpayers of Baltimore County the issue, starting with the following questions the Catonsville attorney Mr. David Plymyer raised in his eloquent and well referenced article titled The Towson Row Bailout :
- What independent economist did Baltimore County contract to review the numbers and advise them about any risks?
- What legal opinion from Baltimore County exists regarding the County to application of a present value of tax credits that are not earned yet?
- What precedent does this legislation set in term of future resolution from all developers operating in Baltimore County?
- What are the effects this draw-down will have on the County Bond rating?
- Did the County Council get an independent opinion on what new costs the County would have to cover — extra services, road improvements, etc.?
- Did the County Executive and staff give the Council revised budgets that shows how the County will raise the extra $43 million obligation? Will the County cut services like in FY 13 to address projected tax revenue declines (The Baltimore Sun, 6/30/2013)? Will it raise taxes? Will it put us more in debt by borrowing?
- Did the Council hire an independent attorney to review all the legal documents including extra ones referenced inside the 3 documents the public can see on the County website?
- Will the Council require that the County Attorney revise these contracts precluding the Administration from granting any extensions without Council review and approval?
These are only a few of the salient and glaringly apparent questions mandated for response.
We the People of Baltimore County are repeatedly “told,” by the Baltimore County Executive, Council, and Administration no money exists is in the budget for the road repairs, collapsing sewage and water systems, no funds for our children enduring heat exhaustion and asthma attacks resulting from UN-air conditioned schools, and so on…………..but as Mr. Mike Lee testified at the County Work Session,
“MIRACULOUSLY, We have 43 MILLION DOLLARS for CAVES VALLEY DEVELOPER.”
As Mr. Crandell stated at his 2014 inauguration to the Baltimore Sun “Any time you’re taking an oath before the Lord you should be a little nervous.”
Please ask your self is approving Towson Row’s financial assistance in light of the fierce constituent opposition and within merely two weeks of scant review fulfilling the Oath of Office you ALL swore in the name of the Lord and in the presence your brothers and sisters as your very peer and colleague Mr. Mark’s questioned and denied???
You all are wished by the people of Baltimore County “comfort and joy,” as we celebrate the 2017 birthday of the Lord you swore your oaths of allegiance in 2014.