“Three-Ring” Public Hearing
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 21st January 2017
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July 31, 2015 7:49 am ET

Certainly not the greatest show on earth regarding the outlet mall issue

Source: “Three-Ring” Public Hearing

Usual suspects, Chairwoman Bevins featured in center and Councilman Quirk at lower left

As they used to say in the 80s, I wanted someone to “gag me with a spoon” after what I observed at the County Council public hearing regarding a new outlet mall proposed for the area.

The hearing centered on the controversial legislation proposed by Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins and co-sponsored by Councilman Tom Quirk—a west-side Democrat. At the heart of the matter was the effort of developer Paragon to build a 100-store outlet mall in White Marsh.

To the not-so-casual observer (yours truly), the council thought those in the general public would swallow the constant cheerleading regarding this boondoggle. After all, the Council provided more “rah rahs” than the Ravens cheerleaders could muster.

The only thing missing were some pom poms, but that’s not to say that there weren’t any props used during the show.

In a fairly sad gesture, Mrs. Bevins and Councilwoman Vickie Almond placed what appeared to be a glass with a flower in it on top of the ledge featuring the council member’s name to show solidarity in their “love fest” for this bill.

To me, that gesture showed that this entire public hearing was a cooked deal, or—at the very least—a lame attempt to get a ground swell of support for the Council’s antics.

Yes, flowers do grow from the ground, but so do weeds. As always no one bothers to do their research as this report from CBS indicates. You will also find an interesting side bar to this article. You read, you decide. The key words are Maryland and Baltimore County are considered sanctuary locations. They will come but whose money are they spending? According to the numbers it will be our tax dollars.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-dying-breed-the-american-shopping-mall/

My sincere apologies to the left (Mrs. Bevins and Mr. Quirk) but the facts are the facts and both pols support this status. There is a reason for the county’s 500% increase in food stamp usage over the last several years.

The Council chamber was packed and had to be moved to the main chamber to accommodate the large crowd at 2:00 in the afternoon.

I wonder if the Council anticipated that working folk couldn’t attend.

Another telling issue was the timing of the outlet developer Paragon’s issue that was open for public comment. It was placed last on the docket. That meant that many who wanted to speak their minds had to leave before the issue was raised.

Well, except for one gentleman who left, got permission from his employer to return, and then slammed Mrs. Bevins and friends with some cold hard facts that some cheerleaders of the bill blew off as a “minor inconvenience.”

The citizen stated that, at a prior hearing on this PUD/Deal/Legislation, Paragon said that as many as 10 million people would visit this outlet mall every year. With those types of numbers, imagine what traffic would be like in an area already experiencing gridlock.

The amount of testimony on that issue from county officials? Nada!

One exchange with a community member who opposed the development led to a telling look into the eyes of the unabated cronyism between developers and the county. After that person spoke passionately about the issue, Mrs. Bevins retorted by saying, “Well, I only have 12 e-mails in my file opposing this.”

Someone must be missing some emails … or listed an incorrect address for feedback.

I have never heard such adulation and praise coming from the sponsor of a bill. According to Mrs. Bevins, this outlet mall is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and she made no bones about saying so.

Of course, ready to jump in with his “long in the tooth” support was co-sponsor Tom Quirk.

For those keeping score at home, here is the landscape the Baltimore Sun painted, and you can clearly see the gathering storm clouds:

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-12-15/news/bal-md.co.council15dec15_1_david-gildea-council-races-candidates

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-09-07/news/bs-ed-county-council-fundraising-20100907_1_cathy-bevins-david-gildea-michael-paul-smith

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-outlets-bill-20150713-story.html#page=1

So, can anyone now see why Councilman Quirk would co-sponsor this bill?

Any questions? I thought not. Just to make sure, read these articles on Mr. Quirk’s association with a particular developer.

http://patch.com/maryland/catonsville/bp–political-rival-at-center-of-developer-scandal

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-10-05/explore/ph-ca-letters-dongarra-20111005_1_councilman-tom-quirk-catonsville-times-david-gildea

Actually, I have a question for Mrs. Bevins, who was awful chatty about her praise for this monstrosity (look at the Sun photo) but, on matters of ethical conduct regarding the MACO scandal, she was deathly silent. My question is, “Does the cat have your tongue, or is your political agenda more important than your oath?”

I am not expecting an answer, by the way…

Kicking sand into the faces of those citizens who came out to see their government at work, Thomas J. Peddicord, Jr., Esq., Secretary & Legislative Counsel—at the request of Mrs. Bevins—gave a rousing rendition of propaganda of the worst kind concerning the infamous PUD process. Another tidbit from the Sun:

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-01-31/news/bs-ed-pud-20110131_1_puds-developer-jeffrey-c-kirby-bowleys-quarters

Folks, what I witnessed at the council session was not for the good of the voters.

The Council votes on this mess on August 3. I’ll be sure to take a clothes pin for my nose on that date.

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