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Letter to Dundalk Residents: Wake Up!

Former Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks Director and then-7th District Delegate Bob Staab weighs in on the potential sale of the North Point Government Center.

Dundalk Patch received the following letter from Dundalk resident Bob Staab:

It's time for the people of the Southeastern area to wake from their doldrums and begin protecting the interest of themselves, their children and future generations. I grew up and have lived in the Dundalk area my whole life. I've seen many changes occur, many of which have done harm to the integrity of the area.

Some of the worst occurrences have been thrust on us over the past decade with administrations who don't seem to care about our people or our "Quality of Life." A once proud and well recognized Recreation and Parks program in the county has gone from the best in the country to a total abomination. This has happened not because of the Recreation and Parks volunteers who are attempting to do their best to provide opportunities for our citizens, despite their frustration with the administration. It has happened because of a
complete lack of concern and support on the part of the county administration at both the executive branch and departmental administration.

Now the county administration is applying a final touch by attempting to sell one of the only large buildings and large parcels of property in the area. North Point Government Center is a keystone of recreational opportunities in the entire area and Baltimore County's intentions is to place one more nail in the coffin to destroying this area's quality of life.

What made Recreation and Parks so great over the past? The wisdom of the Board of Recreation and Parks set forth a series of departmental policies for the County.

Of these original policies:

1.) "To afford Recreation and Parks direction and opportunities where wanted and where the people indicated a desire and willingness to help themselves." The County volunteers are doing their part, at least trying to do their part, however, they have become frustrated over the complete lack of support from the county administration through lack of full and part time staff, lack of cooperation, and lack of adequate maintenance support.

(At the time of writing this letter, Dundalk United had requested to meet with the Baltimore County Board of Recreation and Parks). The response received was "The Board nor the department has any say in the sale of North Point or any other property. Therefore, this is not something that should be placed on the agenda."

Can you believe that the Board of Recreation and Parks has no say in the sale of park land in Baltimore County?

2.) "Joint Use Agreement of School Recreation Centers." In 1949, then-School Superintendent Stapleton concurred with Recreation and Parks, writing that "All school buildings and grounds could be used by Recreation." Even today, all school recreation centers are built with funds from both departments. The Department of Recreation and Parks currently purchases 50% of all elementary school properties and 30% of secondary school properties and pays the Board of Education the appropriate negotiated costs for new school construction needed to enhance community recreation opportunities.

Where is the support of the Board of Education today? It appears that in some cases they have completely taken over activity rooms built and paid for by Recreation. The Department had outdoor access to toilet facilities constructed at a large variety of facilities, but are denied use to recreation programs. Why is this all occurring? Mainly because of the lack of interest for our quality of life by the County and Departmental Administrations to negotiate with the Board of Education.

I see no plausible reason for the sale of North Point Government Center for commercial or industrial use! The Government Center is in the center of a highly concentrated population area with thousands of individuals utilizing it for recreational purposes, particularly children of the surrounding areas. Why in the world would we want more stores in Dundalk? We have well over a hundred stores currently vacant with Eastpoint nearly closed, and the old Ames Center on Eastern Boulevard still nearly vacant after many years. What happens to the many small businesses along Merritt Boulevard if larger stores are placed at North Point?

What about the traffic along Merritt Boulevard? It is already nearly unbearable. On a Tuesday morning at 10:00 A.M. (an unlikely time), the cars were bumper to bumper. What will it be like with additional stores at North Point?

I think in an effort to satisfy the local citizens it has been stated that the property (green space) would be replaced. Where? There is no open property of 27+ acres within walking distance to the immediate area in question. What about the tennis courts and multipurpose courts? It has also been stated very benevolently that the physical center will be replaced with a 21,000 square foot building somewhere in the area. It wouldn't do much good outside the immediate area without being walk-to. Just what could be fit in a 21,000 square area? Do you really think that could replace a gymnasium, several activity rooms, locker room, offices, auditorium, rehearsal hall and storage. What about the space for the Alliance, and The Sky is the Limit Theater? Would it then be necessary to rent space somewhere else for a County Councilman and member of the House of Delegates?

For all the people in the Southeastern Area, it is time to be heard. The battle this time is in the surrounding communities of North Point Government Center; Eastwood Elementary has already had their grief.

At the rate things are going, the next time it may be at Holabird Middle, General John Stricker Middle, Sparrows Point Middle-High, Dundalk Middle, Patapsco High or any other facility that the County Administration feels they can make a few bucks and come to the aid of the developers.

Sorry, Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, in no way can I see how the sale of the North Point Government Center can be beneficial to the Dundalk Area; in fact I don't know what your motivation is or what direction your head follows, it certainly doesn't sound like the majority of Southeast Area residents.

Bob Staab
1930 Robinwood Road
Dundalk, Maryland

kevin March 31, 2013 at 04:53 AM
Thanks to Move to Opportunity. Susan many well to do and middle class Dundalkians moved to Canton and Dundalk North Harford/Bel air.They are doing very well.Parents told them get out while you got chance. Just look at Heritage festival we wanted to stay but when people like Scarfield and now Vontran can slip money under doorstop or into campaigns.Why is it a coincidence that on the eastern shore there is a large New School and large building air conditioning company with certain patents and same name as developer of NPV .Coincidence? Yeah same coincidence Agnew and Anderson had ..
Buzz Beeler March 31, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Kevin, two issues. The Democrats rule by buying votes. The county's food stamp budget increased over 500%, and we have the most section 8 located on the east side. People won't vote because thy don't have to. Everything is for free. The steve's and that gang live off of us the middle class and when a political hack shows up on this site like "Buzz Blowhard" it goes right over every ones head. They become embolden and more arrogant. They try and silence the truth and when that doesn't work, the resort to name calling. The only mistake I think you made is about Dutch. He started this Section 8 business while he was county executive. You see where we are now. People stood by and watched this area die and did noting. In the last primary we had the lowest turnout in history. That tells you something.
kevin April 02, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Your right Buzz last Primary no choice.Let's have republicans changeover and run Democrat for Primary.Dutch did good at first as BC executive he spent near end of term with foot problems etc .Wonder if that was to get him out of section 8 controversy .But Section * came in because the local club wanted to put in a new Dynasty .Lou talked out against section 8 and they grabbed on his RACISM.Dutch didn't have to do anything the machine took it from there .Dutch as a congressman ? I still can't believe no one has puts dots together leak in Security ,New person put in charge to find leaks ,Dutch resigns so new congressman can have his position? Really nothing to do with Denise Koch interview where he told her EVERYTHING about underwear bomber etc. Check dates ,leaks from white house and congress mighty close to Duch interview on channel 13.But then our great investigative media would have told us about that wouldn't they ?
Buzz Beeler April 02, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Kevin, the thing that sickens me is the games down at Fort Howard which Dutch supported and the deaths of 20,000 vet at the hands of the backlog at the VA. Don't hear a thing from Dutch on that one but he has the time to walk the grounds with our councilman in an attempt to keep the deal alive. http://dundalk.patch.com/blog_posts/fort-howard-development-fails-to-meet-major-milestone-steps
Jayson April 02, 2013 at 10:40 PM
I can't believe this many people are angry at something so stupid. Dundalk is a cesspool of low class hicks and would serve Maryland better as a landfill rather than a living area. I was born and raised in Dundalk and I am ashamed to admit that I am from there. I'm so glad I got out at a young age. Let Dundalk die a slow painful death.

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