November 1, 2016 11:04 pm ET
Three striKes and Bevins is OUT
Source: Question “K” may KO Bevins
Photo credit/Vote yes on question K (no for me)
The ominous question to Councilwoman Cathy Bevins is “K.”
Some of you may say, what the hell did he just say (write)? What the heck does “K” mean?
In the wide world of sports, a “K” is a strike out.
Some of you knew that, and—for the rest—let me explain my reasoning for saying such a thing.
Question K is what the Sun papers says it shouldn’t be, which you can read for yourself.
Now, if this were a movie review, I would use the term that critics love to use, a box office bomb.
A sports announcer might yell, “Swing and a miss, strike three!”
In the case of Councilwoman Bevins, this K could mean struck out of office. Yes, this issue is that important, and this is part of the reason.
You see, there were 67,333 voters who signed a petition against the building of the Paragon Mall, which will be a large outlet mall that buts right up to Philadelphia Rd. in White Marsh. The addition of the mall would make an already intolerable traffic situation downright catastrophic.
There will be more to come on this one.
If you think this is fluff stuff, you’d better read this article.
Here is a quote from the piece:
“So, how can council members Bevins and Quirk get the project approved and not have to consider the adverse effect of the project on so many neighborhoods.” Good question Mr. Bishop. I’ve been asking the same thing.”
The question of why we need this mall in the first place received an answer when 67,333 people signed a petition against it.
Here is Mrs. Bevins answer:
A sophisticated advertisement from one of Mrs. Bevins’ close associates as the pitch person, along with the developer Kevil Anthill—all of which would appear to be very troubling.
This pitcher (pictures made a lot of appearances.)
At least it is troubling to me. That is a lot of appearances in a big game or development.
This statement is also troubling:
“…a $100 million investment with new and improved traffic and storm water facilities that will bring 2,000 new jobs to the area, without one dime of county taxpayer money.”
Show me one developer that has ever paid for infrastructure upgrades without taxpayer assistance. If you find one, I won’t sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, I’ll give you the damn thing.
It is also troubling for Damon Effingham, Policy Director at MD Common Cause, who stated the following after watching the video ad:
As for this issue – as I said on the phone, I think the relationship of the developer having donated a substantial amount to Bevins and her continued work rezoning despite the question having ostensibly gone to the voters, certainly raises questions for voters about whether Bevins is doing this for the community or for those who have donated to her.
That said, I don’t know if I follow the prestige argument – that her friend is in an advertisement seems somewhat immaterial. Prestige of Office is more of an issue for when a legislator uses their office as a way to get free things, (“Hook me up, I’m a legislator”) or for friends, (“I’m Delegate X and I think you should use Judy’s Dry Cleaners!” in an ad for Judys). That this is all complicated by the fact that Paragon Outlets is so directly tied to a zoning question that’s going to the public (though, is ultimately moot).
So in the ads you sent, Bevins does not cite her position as a legislator, she’s just in the ad. From my brief overview of the Ethics guide, I think that falls on the permissible side of the line as far as the law is concerned.
Are there legitimate questions as to whether Paragon’s developers have an undue influence here, particularly in light of campaign donations? Yes. Are those highlighted further by Bevins’ zoning decision in spite of the question going to the voters? Definitely.
To be fair Mr. Effingham also stated the following, “I don’t think, though, that it shows either of those laws has been violated. If there’s something you think I’m missing here, though, let me know.”
This is the section of the law I was asking him about, because I wasn’t sure:
7-1-306 — USE OF PRESTIGE OF OFFICE
(a) A public official may not intentionally use the prestige of that public official’s for their gain or that of another
Notice in the photo of the planed mall how it butts right up to Philadelphia Rd. With traffic already at capacity on that stretch of roadway, how in the heck will the area accommodate the huge amount of traffic generated by this new outlet mall?
Not to mention the other development projects Mrs. Bevins rammed down the community throats.
Already I have spoken to Middle River residents who have complained about the overflow of run-off water, since there is nothing there to stop it because of the clearing of Mother Nature’s natural defenses against such issues.
Paragon was not the only project rammed through; there have been other projects as well.
“I was elated to learn this morning that the petition drive was a success. Not only have the citizens’ voices been heard, but I believe that the citizens’ signatures have set a precedent for Baltimore County — we WILL join together and oppose legislation which does not support the collective community’s best interest.”
The ad talks about 2,000 jobs. The first thing I thought of when I saw that was all that beautiful green open space, which will be gone, replaced by the monstrosity the outlet mall will eventually be.
A stunning transition to say the least.
As far as the jobs go, how much money do you think a person can make working at an outlet store? Not enough to live on in many cases. It’s all propaganda.
Mr. Antwell, do you care to challenge me on this? How about you, Councilwoman Bevins?
I will give you 1,500 words to defend yourselves and tell us all the great things that are going to happen.
Oh, by the way, here are Damon’s parting words, “In sum, I think the information you’ve provided raises questions about the relationship between this legislator and the developer.”
Yet another “swing and a miss,” folks.