In The Baltimore Post’s first article about the impending tax increases proposed by Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski in his new budget, there was a rather interesting reply accusing this publication of playing an “April Fools” joke on our readers, as evidenced by the following comment:
This is a joke, right? Did we miss April Fools as the dateline or are you really parading this crazy pile of hot garbage as journalism? Johnny O was not the annointed primary winner and had no way of really knowing confluence of issues Balt. Co.
Although the Post may have shed some significant light on the issue, we certainly did not intend for our readers to be anything but informed. Since that particular comment seems to be challenging our journalistic integrity, we thought it might be important to take our readers even deeper into the “Black Hole” of county politics by providing information that may shock some of you.
As we stated in our first column, everything we referenced was based on the original documentation. With that said, there is additional documentation that may allay the fears of those who want to “shoot the messenger.”
In Part I, we went into some earlier history of county politics that dealt with the Ruppersberger years, since they played an integral part in what we consider to be the “fleecing” of middle-class taxpayers. We ended our first article with a photograph that featured Johnny O standing next to one of his biggest supporters, Jim Smith, who we reported he had manned an excavator to demolish the last group of apartments in the Yorkway deal. It should also be noted that published reports stated that the cost of the demolition was paid for by county taxpayers and not the developer.
Remember that there was another significant player in this game: Fred Homan. It was Mr. Homan who signed off on the infamous Yorkway Development deal.
Some other faux pas from Mr. Homan included the following:
- The failed Mainsail investment scheme that cost taxpayers $21 million. (It should be noted that the Baltimore Post had to file suit in Circuit Court to obtain the records involving this investment scheme.)
- Many lawsuits against Baltimore County involving ADA violations that cost taxpayers potentially millions of dollars with many more cases pending.
- For those who still do not believe in the mismanagement of our taxpayer dollars, this little ditty should give one pause for concern.
- Finally, let’s not forget the Towson Row/Caves Valley taxpayer fleecing to the tune of $43 million.
Regarding that last bullet point, this was what Republican Councilman David Marks stated that debacle in a comment to the Baltimore Sun:
“I am very pleased this element of the project is moving forward,” said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, a Republican who represents Towson. “There was some disagreement with the financing, but the County Council overwhelmingly supported the concept behind Towson Row.”
Let’s cut to the chase with some more accurate documentation that shows Johnny O had to know the financial straits the county was facing before his election as Baltimore County Executive.
There is a potential $1 billion “elephant in the room” that came about with the hiring of Dr. Dallas Dance as the BCPS Superintendent. This announcement was reported in one of the nation’s leading publications, The Chicago Tribune.
Those are dollars and cents that our political leaders want to take out of middle-class pockets in order to finance their democratic/progressive/socialist agenda.
Below is part of a letter published in the Baltimore Sun referring to the infamous STAT program that was rather alarming. This potentially ill-fated program, which gives expensive laptop computers to each county student, could potentially cost the county $1 billion throughout its approximately 12 years of implementation. BCPS interim Superintendent Verlrtta White, who was a strong supporter of Dr. Dance, also supports this “free computers for all” program.
Despite the fact that the Maryland State Board of Education had compiled a list of digital learning programs that had been tested, albeit lightly, and proven effective, BCPS chose instead to contract with companies whose products had yet to be tested at all, making our students guinea pigs with nothing more than their futures at stake.
Now maybe Johnny O or Ms. White can explain how this STAT boondoggle will work when there are more than 110 languages spoken in the BCPS system. We already know that there is a shortage of ESOL teachers. How many of these teachers will the county have to hire to teach these 110 different languages to these students?
Go figure! This problem goes back to the biblical days and the Bible story regarding the Tower of Babel.
Often times, we hear the idiom, “Follow the money.” Sometimes that is difficult, especially when the evidence that is to be presented to the taxpayers is withheld from most hard-working middle-class citizens who are toiling away just trying to make ends meet:
“There was a proposal to move county council work sessions from the middle of the day, when most people are working, to the evenings, so that more people could participate,” Olszewski Jr. said. “[If I’m elected county executive] I’ll introduce that legislation and push for it.”
In yet another interesting quote from the Eagle, Johnny O made another rather disingenuous statement since it is well known (and reported by this publication) that Johnny O received significant campaign contributions from Tradepoint Atlantic:
“We have no gobs of special-interest money. We’re not sitting behind a computer screen. We’re going to transform Baltimore Çounty because we believe in the people of Baltimore County.”
And finally, if this column is not sufficient to address this socialist/progressive attempt at the fleecing of the middle-class taxpayers of Baltimore County, then maybe this quote from WJZ-TV regarding a paid economic consultant to Baltimore County will convince some of the naysayers:
Economist Anirban Basu said Baltimore County has had this coming, but higher taxes could push people out.