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Readers Speak!: All I wanted for Christmas was Transparency in Baltimore County (and the truth about the North Point Government Center)

Baltimore County Executive’s Office – Old Court House, Towson, Maryland.

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I read the 12/12/19 announcement “Olszewski Names County’s First Ethics and Accountability Director” with keen interest. [Gunpowder Gazette: Olszewski Appoints Deputy Maryland State Prosecutor Kelly Madigan as Exec. Director of New County Ethics Office].

Everyone, I’m sure, wishes the appointee, Kelly Beckman Madigan, the best of luck in providing oversight of Baltimore County government in the areas of fraud, abuse and illegal acts. Many hope her job will focus some much needed attention on “business as usual.”

Imagine this: After years of struggling to save North Point Government Center Park (NPGCP) in Dundalk, it’s still here to be enjoyed thanks to the wisdom of the Maryland Board of Public Works. They hit the pause button on the sale of parkland. While the building is somewhat “torn and tattered,” it and the surrounding ball fields remain a vital part of our community.

Admittedly, I’m an unabashed supporter of our parks and open public green spaces. “They ain’t making it anymore!” While I remain in the Christmas spirit, recent actions by Johnny O have me concerned about his inclusion on Santa’s “good list.”

I attended the Eastfield-Stanbrook Civic Association (ESCA) meeting in September when he dropped in to encourage us to cooperate in the sale of NPGCP – while indicating he was politically impotent to be of much help, otherwise. He stated, “In terms of transparency, the prior administration actually entered into a long-term extension of the contract I believe several years out. There would have been opportunity under our administration to revisit the contract in its entirety or not honor it beyond the expiration date. But, because the last administration extended it for several years, our hands are legally very much tied.”

This was the first time ANYONE mentioned ANYTHING about an extension.  ESCA members wanted to see the documents. After repeated requests over several months, Baltimore County finally sent an email on December 10th stating that Johnny O misspoke (a word conveniently used by politicians today) about its existence. There is no extension.

Webster defines misspoke as to speak incorrectly. A top definition in the Urban Dictionary gives misspoke a meaning as lied or just made it up on the spot. As our County Executive is certainly too young to be having senior moments and too smart to come to a meeting without having ALL the facts regarding such an important issue, I’ll leave it to others to decide whether they agree with Webster or The Urban Dictionary. As for me – All I wanted for Christmas was a Baltimore County Executive that told the truth!

Ms. Kelly Madigan, it’s now up to you. Residents of Baltimore County are still waiting for transparency, openness, and the truth.

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