Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. at a news conference with Mayor Catherine Pugh. ( Photo credit/WBAL TV 11)
“Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
— Winston Churchill
This almost seems like the beginning of a bad limerick, folks.
Johnny O had to know what lay ahead while running to become the current Baltimore County Executive.
Johnny O also had to know about the façade that he was presenting to the voters of Baltimore County.
This kind of fiscal calamity does not happen overnight; rather, it develops through years of political and corporate welfare, cronyism, and corruption.
How in the world does a seasoned politician whose father served 16 years as a county councilman and had the backing of the previous county executive along with a financial planner on the council not understand the fiscal crisis facing the county today?
The day of reckoning is upon Johnny O, and we believe he will face the wrath of the already stressed middle-class taxpayers of Baltimore County as a result of his proposed tax increases. The potential bloodbath could engulf the County Council as well.
Council members Julian Jones and Todd Crandell, through their legislation, actively made Tradepoint Atlantic the beneficiary of a $78 million taxpayer loan. We want to note that Johnny O strongly supported this corporate welfare endeavor.
The Baltimore Post will present some evidence that shows what led to this fleecing of the taxpayers. We believe the evidence that this did not happen overnight is clear and concise. Let us go back to the beginning and see how this diabolical betrayal of the voters took place.
We begin our journey on the road to the truth, avoiding the lies and propaganda spewed forth by these crass politicians, by going back a few years. It all started under the administration of then-County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger. Do you remember Yorkway? Does the name John Vontran ring a few bells?
The following photo will give some insight into where this article is going:
Yorkway involved a group of rundown apartments in the heart of Dundalk that Dutch and his political cronies including another County Executive Jim Smith all had their eyes on this “flip.” That debacle eventually cost the taxpayers over $20 million. At first, Dutch thought he could seize control of the old apartment complex through eminent domain. The plans were to then have John Olszewski, Sr., the 7th District Councilman at the time, invoke the cooperation of the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation to serve as the community mouthpiece for this fleecing.
After Dutch’s tenure as county executive, he went on to serve in the House of Representatives which led to his Senate 509 which dealt with eminent domain which would grant the government the right to seize private property. The voters defeated the bill by more than a two to one margin.
At the time, the Yorkway Apartments were worth $1.5 million.
What Dutch, Mr. Olszewski, Sr. and John Vontran did not expect was the pushback from the Yorkway Apartment complex owners through various court battles. Some failed legislation required another dastardly approach as the politicians stopped at nothing to acquire more money and power. Hence, they came up with a new plan.
Even then-Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson was used by the politicians, who claimed that the apartment complex was a direct cause of the rising crime rate in Dundalk. That move was made to get public support for the proposed development project.
Then, since the politicians could not steal the apartment complex under eminent domain, they decided the next best way would be to use taxpayer funds to do their bidding.
Following the outcry from the police chief, Olszewski Sr., and the DRC, Dutch created the notion that once these so-called crime-ridden apartment complexes were torn down and replaced by a brand-new townhome community, which would be built by so-called developer John Vontran, the Dundalk community would be saved.
This deal would involve the late Kevin Kamenetz and his critical vote while serving on the county council to approve the “Proposed Unit Development,” now referred to as the notorious PUD process.
After a series of scandals involving a bankruptcy case along with the potential for the property to face the auction block, the deal was consummated when the then County Executive Jim Smith as he manned an excavator for the ceremonial demolition of the last standing building of the apartment complex.
We’ll stop here for now. Grabbing a line from one of the great company teams of all time, the Post will take this process “Inch by inch, step-by-step.”
In the next Post Investigates column, we will show more evidence that this type of government cancer does not kill its host quickly. Rather, in some cases, it can take years before the disease becomes fatal.
Here is a preview photo of a figure that will play an essential role in our next article:
Folks, stay tuned as we delve further into this cesspool of corruption that we believe is bringing Baltimore County to “The Eve of Destruction.”