November 20, 2014 5:39 pm ET
Done deal was sealed well before the council vote
Source: Stamped, Stumped, and Stomped
In Pamela Wood’s article for the Sun, she wrote, “Without discussion, members of the Baltimore County Council approved a new contract for the sale of the North Point Government Center in Dundalk to a shopping center developer during the final meeting of their term Monday night.”
You read that right, folks. “Without discussion.”
Let that sink in for a minute.
That means that there was NO DISCUSSION for a major event that caused a tremendous uproar and splashed across the news headlines.
It is as though the members of the Council think we are all dummies. Are they not aware of what just happened at the polls? How brazen and in-your-face was that move by the rubber stamp committee?
We shall find out, it seems.
This all reminded me of a scene from “All the President’s Men.” Allow me to take you to the smoke filled office of Ben Bradley, the Washington Post editor:
“Listen, we didn’t make them do these things—once they did, it’s our job to report it!”
So, why did the council vote 7 to zip on the new North Point contract? It was already a done deal!
“Signed, sealed, delivered.” Or, in this case, “sealed, delivered, rubber stamped.”
The deal was stamped, which leaves me stumped, and we taxpayers have all been stomped.
(And now the title of this blog makes a little more sense…)
A prelude to the fact that fix was in:
BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND
INVITATION FOR BIDS
CONTRACT NO. 14166 PP0
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT PROJECT
BALTIMORE COUNTY POLICE PRECINCT #12 NORTH POINT RENOVATIONS
428 WESTHAM WAY, BALTIMORE, MD 21224
DUNDALK – DISTRICT 12 c 7
CONTRACT COST GROUP “F ($5,000,000 to $10,000,000)“
WORK CLASSIFICATION: I-2
BID DATE: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2014 AT 2:00 P.M. EST
On or after …
Notice the date? October 30, 2014. Now, I challenge anyone who can find an announcement that the county changed the PUD (to M-U-D, it seems). Show me the public announcement to the community?
Simple fact—there was no notice and no announcement.
Here’s the law, folks:
§ 32-4-242. APPLICATION.
(4) The projected impact of the Planned Unit Development on the surrounding community;
(c) Post-submission community meeting. Following the submission of an application for a Planned Unit Development under subsections (a) and (b), and prior to the adoption of a resolution under subsection (d)(1) and (2), the following are required:
(1) Posting on County Council website. The application shall be posted on the County Council internet website.
(2) Post-submission community meeting. A post-submission community meeting shall be held as follows:
(i) The post-submission community meeting shall be held no earlier than 21 days and no later than 30 days after the filing of a PUD application. The applicant shall provide three weeks advance notice regarding the date, time, and location of the post-submission community meeting by the posting of a sign on the subject property in the same manner as required by § 32-4-217(b) of this subtitle. Written notice shall be mailed to:
The law is clear, but the actions of the Council are not. As far as the PUD process goes, the drastic changes to the original RFP are nowhere to be found. For further clarification on the law, click on this link and read.
(Click on the plus button on the left hand side of the page and go to section 32 and scroll down to the PUD process)
Oh, what a mistake it was!
The bottom line, folks, is now we have a sole source contract, due to the fact that the contract is rewritten and the developer is relieved of his responsibilities via the PUD.
Note: I have copies of both the notice of bids and the new contract.
As much as we will all question this course of action, the answer becomes very clear. We all know who drives the (short) bus that guides the Council’s decisions, and we know that the Council continues to RUBBER STAMP EVERYTHNG KAMENETZ WANTS!!!
Mr. Crandell attended a work session on November12 in which Councilman Olszewski, Sr. was overseeing. At the time Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins was not available. Mr. Olszewski politely introduced Mr. Crandell in a professional manner and congratulated him on his victory.
Mr. Crandell then asked the council to table the vote on the contract in order that the community could have input on the new contract. After Mr. Crandell’s request Mr. Olszewski, Sr. thanked him for his input and the meeting went on. Nothing further was discussed on Mr. Crandell’s request.
Delegate-elect Ric Metzgar and Senator-elect Johnny Ray Salling were the only two members of the Republican Party to attend the council session on the vote regarding the contract. Both men spoke passionately against the council vote.
To say that the impassioned pleas fell upon deaf ears would be an understatement.
Karen Cruz and Bob Staab spoke on behalf of Dundalk United, and trust me when I say they weren’t pleased.
At least they weren’t investigated for being disruptive this time.
In my opinion, the bottom line—based on the wording of the contract—is that the Council has blood ink on their hands (from the rubber stamp) that will have to be closely examined to see why this PUD went to a sole source contract. Plain and simple, this whole situation deceived the community while transferring public funds into private hands.
As far as the rest of the Council is concerned, some emotionally filled farewells were given. Mr. Olszewski Sr., after serving 16 years in office, took a parting shot at social media for creating problems for himself and his family.
On behalf of social media, which is my platform of choice, I am happy to receive the acknowledgment of “causing problems” for the good of the people.
And that is what I will continue to do, folks. Scout’s honor.