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Photo by: Sir John Tenniel

Water service but no water – and still 19 years of bills

“‘Rudolph Chow, chief of the water bureau, said that ‘none of these findings are a surprise. . .’ Okey-dokey; thank goodness nobody was surprised that the WHOLE FREAKING water bureau is an incompetent mess.”
- Tom

“Troubling to say the least. Much of what ["Water Bill Woman"] Stewart has pulled is outrageous. It appears to be a scam, money laundering and theft by the city.”
- Baltimoreplaces

“Are you serious? Do you really think the city is making a effort to intentionally screw people on their water bills. It’s a antiquated system that needs updating. Frustrating yes. Criminal no.”
- Roger

“Will the tax sales involving water bills be stopped?”
- Rhonda Wimbush, via Facebook

“I have been fighting with the city over an estimated water bill for a Canton rowhouse of $450 since August 2011. Then received another estimated water bill of $450 and then another for $289 and the next for $80.00. I requested a hearing in early December 2011 but have still not received a date for a hearing. I am out ~$1K in less than a year for a small Canton house for two people. I now make weekly trips to 200 Holiday Street get updates or lack of updates because no one at the water department answers the phone.”
- Please Help

“Then there was the time they claimed they ‘shorted themselves’ on 50 days of service ‘through a billing error’. This was at least a neighborhood issue and we all had received and paid for four full billing periods. Many in my neighborhood are single seniors and pay ‘minimums’. Besides the fact it was an extra bill we were billed for a full period. Some phoned, some went to the office. . . to the best of my knowledge all were told same thing: ‘you can’t halve a minimum’. Know for a fact that’s what they told me. I suggested they divide by two but that went over like a lead balloon. And that’s only two instances. There are a million stories to be told in Water City. City has worn people out to the point where they are so tired they just quit trying. I guess that’s why they get away with so much.”
- Mair

“All the extra money collected, has it been accounted for?  Where was the money hiding? . . .  It is shocking that the leadership at the water bureau is not cringing or hiding somewhere remote, considering the seriousness of these charges–tells me that the bureau is quite in touch with the reality that the repercussions for this kind of lax oversight are negligible.”
- Unellu

“Good thing the Mayor and her staff are focused on priorities, like moving the Grand Prix forward!”
- MC2012
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Grand Prix won’t fully pay its way, Pratt joins Young in opposing race

“Can anyone intelligently explain to the communities that have been overlooked for years how money can be raised for a race that offers no community benefits but benefits to merchants and others that have no interest in the city other than to take money out and not put anything back in?”
- Apostle Zelda Robinson, via Facebook

“Oh please, you act like Baltimore is the only city that hosts a street race, or the only one that lost money its first year. Long Beach, St Petersburg, Detroit, Edmonton, Sao Paulo, Monaco, Melbourne, Montreal, Valencia, Marina Bay. If it was a bad deal for them, why have some of them been hosting the races for decades? Because a premier street race makes money, and everyone involved feels like Baltimore could be a premier race.”
- Bakkster

“One wonders that with all the lawsuits alleging nonpayment for services, and the city and state getting stiffed for taxes and fees, how this was viewed, somehow, as an economic boom for the city. Many businesses suffered, traffic was tied up for weeks, for the enjoyment of a few tourists who are car fans, many of whom never ventured out of the racetrack bubble and did not stay in the city.”
- Jerry Buz Busnuk

“Per the Brew: there is roughly a $25 million economic benefit to the city. So how does this not address the $500,000 shortfall the race does not cover directly?”
- Brian

“Why not exempt all businesses from taxes and regulations if they offer ‘economic benefits’ to the city?”
- Roscoe BMore

“baltimorebrew covers #bgp, showing the city’ll pay $500K for it. Or enough to fund rec centers this year.”
- dennisthecynic, via Tweeter

“Alas, a great example of why my wife and I are leaving the once-great city. Instead of addressing more urgent matters, the administration is fixed on frivolity.”
- number9dream

“Wouldn’t it be nice if Joan Pratt actually did her job and pulled a ‘Hyman Pressman’ on the other 99.9% of spending issues the Board of Estimates votes on? This is clearly political. If she cared about the overwhelming amount of government waste that the Board of Estimates approves she would have many more ‘no’ votes on her record.”
- a2257

“Some of us know first-hand what’s what and what goes on downtown at these meetings. The general public doesn’t usually have a clue. Keep digging Brew.”
- Iam Gayle
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Hopkins chief stakes his presidency on the success of East Baltimore renewal

“If EBDI fails, a lot more than Mr. Daniel’s presidency fails.”
- Mark

“Exactly. A whole community will have been destroyed. I really hope it succeeds.”
- Gary

“A community that only offered drugs, murder and mayhem. No real loss in my opinion.”
- cleancut77

“Baltimore has already seen what mixed income social engineering can do as an answer to gentrification, in Broadway Overlook, Heritage Crossing, and New Jonestown, and its rather underwhelming.”
- Gerald Neily

“There are far more differences than similarities between EBDI and Broadway Overlook, Heritage Crossing and Albemarle Square. Those HOPE IV projects had no connection to job creation, no effort to dramatically improve education for the residents, and virtually none of the family support services that EBDI provides. Nor did HABC treat those projects anything more than real estate deals. Whether it’s because of EBDI or not, development, assisted by vacants to values, is occurring in Oliver, Milton Montford and McElderry Park. Take a drive up the 1400 and 1500 blocks of Bond Street.”
- Majestic 21201
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Jay Brodie’s retirement, announced by mayor’s office, comes as a surprise

“People are setting themselves up for disappointment if they think a change in leadership at the BDC is going to lead to fundamental shifts in the city’s economic development policies. It won’t. At the end of the day, Jay Brodie is a long-serving bureaucrat – albeit an influential one – who serves at the will of the Mayor and the Mayor’s deputies.”
- Rodney D. Foxworth

“I will take a few minutes to daydream of a different Baltimore. One that seeks community involvement, that is fair, transparent and spends its efforts on the wellbeing of its citizens instead of its contractors, politicians and developers. When the dream stops, I hope fresh candidates will start running for the next general election.”
- Bmorepanic

Celebrating the 11th anniversary of this NYT article about preserving the West Side.”
- Iam Gayle
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Mixed Reviews for Mount Vernon Place restoration agreement

“Any one who knows Andy Frank, know that he has, and for his entire life has always had, the best interest of the City and its resident’s at heart.”

- Barrylg01984

“The committee approach that Andy Frank is touting here is only a shell game, designed to give the appearance of public participation in a process where the real decisions are made behind closed doors.”

- heronwrite

“Anyone else willing to step up and raise millions? This gem of a public space, one of the best in the world, is crumbling and the city, understandably, has other priorities. The monument is closed because it is unsafe, the lawns are mud puddles thanks to the dogs, the sidewalks are cracked and unsafe, the marble is crumbling, the trees are dying, the storm drains are blocked, 2 of the 3 fountains no longer function. There is a small loyal corps of “Friends” who volunteer to try and keep up the flower beds. Do you know the city no longer plants the flower beds?”
- Peter Merles

“New trees, old trees, green trees, yellow trees are not going to fix the crime.”
- Carole Sue Garrett Williams, via Facebook

“I appreciated the niceness and openness of Andy Frank at the meeting, and his willingness to let a variety of people speak. . .  I do not like the trend in Baltimore of handing over public (and therefore citizen-tax-supported) assets such as the Washington Monument and Robert E. Lee Park to very small, essentially private groups who allow little if any input from the public.”
- Linda Franklin
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BDC recommends tax breaks to developer of “Superblock”

“‘Brodie, president of the BDC, refused to divulge the amount of PILOT breaks recommended by the agency, saying it involved privileged financial information.’”  Wouldn’t you like to see this quote instead: ‘The citizens of Baltimore refused to give away tax breaks to developers without, at the very minimum, knowing the amount of the benefit, saying it involved privileged city space and land use.’”
- RoscoeBMore

 

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  • March 24, 2014

    • Last Thursday, I sent an email to the Mayor’s Office of Communications asking for some basic responsiveness: Please return our emailed queries and phone calls about stories. Please send us the same routine emails you send to other members of the media. Lately, more so than usual, they haven’t been. It’s a shame because, even [...]

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