June 8, 2015 4:52 pm ET
Council members clam up regarding the MACO scandal
Source: Silence Speaks More Than Words
I have been writing for more than 30 years for various forms of media. I have written for Pulitzer Prize winning editors, and they taught me to always report the truth.
You see, folks, the truth is like a wall—impenetrable from attacks on its validity. Simply put, the facts speak for themselves, and they do so loudly.
It’s hard to argue with the truth. Sometimes it’s uncovered in moments, and other times it takes months to discover the truth. One thing is certain, though—there is no statute of limitations on the facts that lead to the truth.
Within the next several days, I will be writing an article that will reveal some disturbing details regarding the MACO conference that was held in Cambridge back in January. The story involves the County Council, and it will provide some disturbing details regarding their actions. These details are disconcerting because they reveal several issues that the taxpayers and voters of Baltimore County should know.
Let me start from the beginning, but without revealing any details.
I spent 39 years in the Baltimore County Police Department, and—during that time—I came to know a lot of people, both in law enforcement and in the political arena.
When people are unhappy and disgruntled, they seek an outlet to describe what led to the problems within the workforce that created the poor atmosphere.
As a lawyer explained to me last week while we were meeting over another issue, Baltimore County is seen as the most corrupt area in the state. I’m quite sure he was not speaking about the county workers.
If you look at my writings on Patch for the last six years, I have chronicled some serious issues in an agency that turns a blind eye to the rules. The County is now where politicians work for two reason only—to stay in power, and to fill their coffers with campaign money.
With that power comes a tremendous responsibility. Those elected officials take an oath to serve the citizens of this county with the utmost integrity.
And yet, that was not the case in my quest for the truth in what happened at the MACO Conference in Cambridge.
When I got a phone call telling me what took place at the conference, I was shocked, especially considering who was in attendance. But, sadly, when you mix alcohol with any event, things can get out of hand. Some people cannot control their actions when under the influence, and that is what happened at MACO.
When I began my quest for the truth, I was met with a “Watergate-like” atmosphere where the utter lack of response was beyond anything I have ever encountered.
I sent out e-mail after e-mail seeking some comment, but I was shut out by a wall of silence.
I promised to avoid using names if someone had the courage to step forward and speak up, because this kind of conduct at a taxpayer-funded event crosses every line that political leadership should respect.
Yet, it almost felt like I was dealing with the Mafia and its code of silence called Omerta. I wondered why Council members would risk this kind of heat to protect one of their own. After all the work that went into them getting elected, one would think doing the right thing would be paramount to maintain their accountability.
Sadly, that is not what I experienced … at all.
What is even stranger for me to comprehend is that some of the Council members actually played no part in this mess, and yet they still failed to step up and reveal the truth after being offered anonymity.
Did they forget their oath of office? Did they forget the power of their decisions to change their districts for a lifetime, like this one in Towson?
The issues at stake here are the loss of open space and the loss of millions of taxpayer dollars.
This particular project was so egregious that the following quote from the article shows how the political verbiage exonerates the developer from any accountability to pay fees at all:
“The fees are limited in downtown districts — including Towson — and are not charged for student housing projects.”
It gets worse, as illustrated by this quote:
“As a result, the Towson area is potentially missing out on millions of dollars in open-space waiver fees…”
So you can see why it is imperative that our elected officials exemplify the finest character traits and truly represent their constituents, rather than looking out for the interests of developers who care about nothing but the amount of money that can be made by one stroke of a Council member’s pen.
That is the reason that I feel compelled to write the account of what took place at MACO.
After all, I believe the readers (AKA the voters) need to have all of the facts before they get the final say come election time.