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On the radio, mayor defends Grand Prix, EWOs, developer tax breaks

“I sat in my car for an extra hour because I did not want to miss any of her horrendous sarcasm.  The Mayor seemed to blame everyone else but her own policies and mass exodus of City Hall positions.  Blame the radio for poor turnout to the ridiculous race car extravaganza.  Blame community partners for not seeking HER out to help with important decisions.  Last I checked, she was elected to run this city.  With airtime like last night, her sights set on higher positions of power look extremely dim.”
- From Butcher’s Hill

“I do not agree with SRB on most things, but she is correct when she says the media traffic hype kept people away from downtown during the race last year. It was very easy to get around downtown the days of the race. If you use 83 to get into the city the race was not going to impact you in any substantial way. The race promoters (and maybe the city) should have countered the rumors and told people to come down 83 and enjoy the beautiful weekend in the city.
- Dietrich Von Bacon

“I am simply ashamed that we elected this woman. No courage, and she is clearly never responsible for anything.
- Calvin Garner

“…During (Baltimore Development Corporation President M.J. ‘Jay’) Brodie’s failed 15 year tenure at the BDC there’s never been a preservation community professional permitted on the BDC board to represent an enlightened redevelopment philosophy that enhances and preserves our city’s irreplaceable historic structures. They’re our unique assets that we still possess in one of America’s most historic cities. Brodie’s BDC back-room *club* simply do not ‘get’ what the rest of the nation realized years ago, that enlightened and progressive adaptive reuse, historic preservation is real economic development of the best kind…
- Tom Kiefaber

“I am at a loss regarding the Mayor’s response (to questions about extra work orders, or EWOs, that raise the scope and cost of city contracts). If you’re auditing and you’re checking, why allow the 22nd work order? The 43rd? The 80-something-ish? If you’re watching and really paying attention the bid price and the first few EWO, which presumably could be explained away, what justification is there for agreeing to dozens?
-Melissa

“I am so over SRB.”
- J Kelly Lane, from Facebook
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State wants to see the money before investing big in school buildings

“How do developer tax breaks and the Grand Prix qualify as ‘investments’ but educating our future work force falls somewhere between a social burden and a charity case?
- John Stechschulte

“Perhaps it (a new bottle tax) will encourage lower sales of sugar laden drinks which we know are bad and encourage some healthy choices. And what they have to gain is more funding for schools…
- All or None

“…My testimony at Wednesday’s council hearing highlighted the fact that our Mayor is pushing her Bottle Tax on the backs of our children’s future instead of using already existing mis-spent revenue to fund the desperately needed school renovation initiative … Note that the Benton Bldg (417) is being renovated, school HQ and prosecutor Berstein is getting a new office! What do our children get … a new Bottle Tax.”
- Kim Trueheart

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BDC Proposes PILOT tax break for Liberty Street Residential Tower

“This is more evidence that the BDC operates under the principle that real estate supply creates demand. The entire city of Baltimore proves them wrong. There is a 97+% occupancy rate for apartments downtown. Rents should be going up, making it profitable for investors to add capacity without subsidies. …(T)he subsidies are a bad idea – again. They will almost certainly result in a net tax loss to the city. Stop the construction subsidies. Let the free market work already.
- Guest

“…(1) The BDC holds closed meetings so they can review and comment on developers’ proprietary information _on behalf of_ the city and its taxpayers. (2) Fixing the tax system would be wonderful, but it can’t be done without addressing the expense side of the budget, which is primarily driven by the number of employees and their health and pension costs…The West Side projects do provide the city with revenue through taxes other than property taxes. If they’re not built, they provide nothing. (3) Local people such as Betty Hyatt (Washington Hill) and Ed Rutkowski (Patterson Park) have led the revitalization of neighborhoods that were teetering on the edge of blight, but no locals have taken on a seriously blighted neighborhood without a lot of help from the city…
- James Hunt

“Most visitors to NOLA go to see The French Quarter….not the over-sized downtown buildings.
- Mair

City to pay $400,000 to replace floating walkway in Canton.

“The rec centers are MORE important. They keep hundreds of kids out of trouble and on the right path.
- Jules White, from Facebook

“I don’t know anything about the ecological impact of a change like this (for better or worse) but as a general comment from someone living in Canton, I really like the uniqueness of the floating walkway that is currently there. Why fight so hard instead of saving this money for other efforts?
- Jason Lancaster

“The Promenade in general is one of city’s greatest assets and has spurred development and has helped to attract middle-class tax payers to the city. It is a terrific asset and like all great public spaces it is doing a fantastic job at encouraging growth, recreation and community.”
- Baltimore Places

“…The bottom line of this issue is that developers who make agreements should be forced to keep them. Sadly, due to the length of this issue a few of these facts have been lost in the weeds.
- Former City Resident

“If done right, the new promenade can help with Healthy Harbor’s efforts to improve water quality. Could be used as an anchor for wetlands, oxygenate water, or can simply just control storm water runoff.
- Scott Meek

“…As a lifelone Democrat, I really, really wish Baltimore had a viable two-party system. I don’t care what that other party is — Republican, Green, Pirate, Libertarian, ANYTHING that would force incumbents to be accountable and to face meaningful electoral challenges from time to time. But I don’t think apathy is caused by the one-party rule the City suffers from; I think apathy causes the one-party rule.”
- Barnardine the Pirate

“It is interesting to see the City fight so hard for this walkway in a lovely neighborhood and agree to contribute $400k to the creation of a new promenade. It clearly appears they will continue to spend money in the pretty places and the areas with vacant homes that line East Baltimore can continue to get ignored.
- City Hall Sucks

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  • Dsthomas4007

    Ok Fern, the party is over. Finish your hurricane take off your beads and get back to work. This thing suffered without you. I suppose I’ll have to go along next year simply for reporting purposes.

More of the Daily Drip »

Below the Fold

  • 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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