November 17, 2014 9:11 am ET
County Executive trying to push through stinky government center deal
Source: Rush, Hush, and Mush
Note: Click on this link to read the two files explaining the financial arrangements in the revised contract. They are titled Fiscal Notes FM-3and Facts on the new Deal. Click on this;buzzbeeler.com/downloads/
Regarding the County Council, there is a plain and simple game that is played. It’s called, “Whatever Mr. Kamenetz wants to play, and everyone plays by his rules.”
In fact, the name of the game could be “bounce,” since the Council has a stamp suited for that task—the Rubber Stamp! In political jargon that means anything that comes from the Executive’s office is handled like the U.S. mail—it gets a rubber stamp and is passed right on through.
However, those days could be coming to an end, since we just witnessed history in the making as the democrats just took a pounding at the polls. In a sense, the voters used a rubber stamp of their own to stamp a big No across the foreheads of some Dems running for office, or an Exit for those already in office.
Even those that managed to hold to their hats in that storm did so by using pins and needles.
Now, for those of you not aware of the current “another fine mess,” as the late Oliver Hardy would say, that Mr. Kamenetz has gotten us into, check out our new terms of the North Point Government Center. It appears that Mr. Kamenetz is in quite a hurry to get this calamity through the “hollow halls” (pun intended) for a quick vote.
Why, you may ask? Because this deal stinks!
According to the Council staff, the normal procedure is for the Executive’s office to send the Council members—or, for the moment, member less—a stack of contracts that is then perused by the Council at a work session. The following Monday, the Council—who were supposed to do their homework instead of playing bridge with the Ethics Commission—is to vote on the contracts.
Usually these contracts are voted on in one lump sum, as the work session was supposed to work out the kinks before the final vote.
However, there are so many legal issues surrounding this issue that anyone’s head is likely to spin.
One important thought that was brought to my attention (one of many) is that this new Government Center deal negates the desired effect of the original RFP. In a sense, that puts the process back to square one. The reason for this giant step backwards is that now we have a different ballgame being played.
The old deal is now the new deal with some key ingredients missing, such as what was promised to the community in the RFP. That promise is now history with the loss of those amenities. Some of those amenities are now off the table—a move done behind the community’s back, which is a big NO-NO in the procedure process.
This quote may interest you: “If the application elects to proceed under this Act, the Council, by resolution, may waive the requirement for a community input meeting if one has already been conducted prior to the PUD review.” This negates the bid process as the original RFP has been changed in the 11th hour.
In fact another developer could actually sue the county for the 11th hour deal that seems to violate the entire PUD process.
There is one particular interesting document that I posted on my website that describes in vivid detail the new financial arrangements, as well as this important quote, which was pivotal to the community: “relieved of its responsibility for developing the recreational amenities…”. That quote deals with Vanguard’s meeting the requirements of the county’s RFP.
So, we know that a stinker of a deal is on its way, but what will be done with the stinky mess?
That, folks, is up to the County Council. It’s quite obvious that, despite the cooking that went into this humdinger of a sweetheart deal for Vanguard, the final say lies with the Council, which will vote on this issue Monday night.
I will say this: Any Council member who votes “yea” on this is risking the boneyard of political careers, which is littered with broken dreams … or nightmares if you prefer.
We voters tend to have long memories.
There is no need to rush to judgment a few weeks before the new members of the Council are sworn in. Another rubber stamp will show that the remaining members of the Council, which include Democrats Kathy Bevins, Vicki Almond, and Tom Quirk, are quite content to head to the boneyard that awaits them. The loan Republican is David Marks.
In my humble opinion, Mr. Olszewski Sr. will end his Council career one of two ways. He will push the new contract and the remaining Council members will rubber stamp it, with the possibility that David Marks will vote no. In that instance, Mr. Olszewski Sr. will forever seal his mark on our area. Or, in the second scenario, Mr. Olszewski Sr. can take the high road and table the matter, giving the community a chance to digest this sweetheart deal, and giving the new Council members the chance to act accordingly. There is much more at stake than his potential vote in this manner. Redemption is still an option.
Don’t forget we now have a three Republican’s waiting in the wings who could pick up a phone and make a call.
Either way, like the singer Sting said while in his band, The Police (what else?), “I’ll be watching you.”