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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

jack friese March 29, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Barry Williams is the Baltimore County director of Parks and Recreation appointed by Kevin Kamenetz. He is the brother of Adrienne Jones, who just happens to be a delegate and assistant director of OHR, Baltimore County Government. Jones was appointed to this position by Kevin Kamenetz and is an obvious shill and General Asylum lobbyist for Kamentez. She has already proved that point. Oh what a tangled mess of deceit, deception and cronyism in Baltimore County. Take a look at Delegates Adrienne Jones' voting record and you'll get the picture. 2014 is the year to throw ALL the bums out! Mr. Staab thanks for your article. It should wake the residents up. We really do need to get organized or the Annapolis crowd will confiscating all our money and give us an allowance.
Susan Compton March 29, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Hello to all that have replied... I would like to voice my opinion two ways. One of me living in the community as well as me being a Small business owner. My first thought of the Government Ctr going up for sale was "Let's Do it"! I live directly behind the Gov Ctr. Currently we have lot of "RAT's" & Other issues that need to be addressed out here! The rats are bigger then my dog, and can not imagine what will happen after they tear the Government Center down if sold. I remember how excited alot of people were when they heard there may be a Target and some other big box type stores coming around. My feelings are a little mixed still at this time on if its a good idea or not. After reading one of the post's above, there is a HUGE amount of vacant space all over the Dundalk/Essex area and WHY haven't those vacancies been occupied?? Bad Economy, loss of income, no lenders willing to loan money or is it "The Slum Lord/Landlord's who own them"? I am a small business owner who is trying to open up a location but keep getting compared to Love Craft which to place me in that catagory is obsurd, and all I am trying to do is open up an office space for my inventory! I am a Certified Sex Coach & Business Owner who is looking to expand and the people of Dundalk won't allow me too so I have no choice but to move into another area. The spaces here are to exspensive. This is just one of the reasons businesses will NOT come to Dundalk. We need to change for the better Somehow, Someway!!
Susan Compton March 29, 2013 at 07:34 PM
If you notice all those stores that could have been a possiblity are now being built in Canton, the new "Canton Crossing" the tax advantages are being matched by Baltimore City and we lost all of that extra revenue that was being brought into Baltimore County, so businesses will continue to leave including my personal doctors because of this. We will continue to downward spiral unless we do something fast! Don't get me wrong, I loved sending my kids to Grange, they used the facilities at the Gov Center. Whats going in the old Dundalk High or are we just going to tear that down as well? Has anyone considered moving the center to that area, since its already next to the new school and college with the fields across the street as well?
Buzz Beeler March 29, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Brett, I have and continue to write about the current state of affairs in our administration. It now appears that our council is a lame as our leadership at the top. I guess someone glued their mouths shut. You can't expect me to believe that not one of them has some opinion on not only this land sale issue by the safety of our elementary school children. We saw how fast information traveled with Councilman Huff's arrest. We all remember that phone call. A chance for a councilperson to step up and respond but I guess PUD's are more important than children.
Buzz Beeler March 29, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Sorry steve I did not see you in the courtroom in either of my cases so why don't you pick a topic like your house in Flordia you claim you own; or your trip to China, or your war experience, or your degree at Purdue, among the three you claim, the six languages you speak, your job as a mining engineer in Mexico and ... You have become so deluded you are no longer credible in anything you say. There is a name associated with people like you and there are called - a wannbe! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wannabe
Steve March 29, 2013 at 07:48 PM
LOL "Dismissed with Prejudice" You complain about government waste and then you go wasting the government's time and money for no good reason. Susan, those stores located in Canton instead of Dundalk because the demographics are better. Those stores have an income threshold that Dundalk doesn't meet.
Buzz Beeler March 29, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Jake you really believe John who supported Kamenetz will take a stand against him. That might get in the way of a potential department head posistion. John supported Fort Howard even though over 6,000 of the 9,000 residents were against it. I would be very surprised to see the Government Center stay.
Susan Compton March 29, 2013 at 08:37 PM
I believe they went to Canton because the area is definitely on the rise and Dundalk slowly emerges into the dirt ;( Dundalk could have that money as well though. Not all people are poor if we live here.
DAVID PATRO SR March 29, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Letter to Dundalk Residents: Wake Up! and Bob is right . we all need to take a stand.
dan ricci March 29, 2013 at 11:48 PM
I have delt directly with Councilman Olszewski in the past. I have met with him in his office at the North Point government center. I can assure everyone that John Olszewski will work very hard to do what ever is in the best interest of John Olszewski.
Bluzz Blowhard March 30, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Staab is a old fool. If we can sell a (former school) police station built in 1953 and use the profits to replace all of the facilities for free and use the money for better use, why not? I want air conditioning and modern schools in Dundalk. That is a good thing, folks. And to do it without taxpayer dollars, and put the property in the tax rolls and create jobs, sounds like a good thing. There is a reason why Staab is a FORMER elected official.
Buzz Beeler March 30, 2013 at 04:22 AM
The administration must be getting desperate to use a term like "Buzz Blowhard." You wouldn't by chance have stripes on your sleeve would you. I notice it was your first comment. Sorry but I don't do record checks on everyone who comments and has the courage to use their true name, but since you brought it up you forgot some language concerning the case of which you speak. They had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to come up with you. You forgot to enter this part of your search that I just did for whatever it is you are. GUILTY VERDICT STRICKEN. ENTRY OF JUDGEMENT STAYED AND PBJ2 01/06/2006 FURTHER PROCEEDINGS DEFERRED UNDER CP 6-220 CCAS 01/06/2006 I would read the definition of this and check the records of some of the folks working in Towson. http://www.squidoo.com/maryland-probation-before-judgement Give them my regards and you won't be so righteous when I get the correct paper work from the county.
runymede March 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM
I was dismayed and surprised that the US Census Bureau has rated Dundalk as a High Poverty Area. Perhaps this the reason that Dundalk is not taken seriously by officials in the Baltimore County government.
runymede March 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM
An excellent sports complex will be built on the existing grounds of the old Dundalk High School.
runymede March 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM
Dundalk is designated, by the US Census Bureau, as a High Poverty Area. Why would any store locate in Dundalk based on that designation ?
runymede March 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM
When constituents complains about their elected "leaders", the battle cry is usually "Vote them out at the next election". But by the time the next election comes around, it is too late, decisions affecting the community has been made. "Fight 'Em Now !".....should be the battle cry. Don't wait until the next election to get what you want.
runymede March 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM
When constituents complains about their elected "leaders", the battle cry is usually "Vote them out at the next election". But by the time the next election comes around, it is too late, decisions affecting the community has been made. "Fight 'Em Now !".....should be the battle cry. Don't wait until the next election to get what you want.
Donald A Mccumber March 30, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Comment on traffic. Merritt Blvd " Death parade" The state of Md Hwy dept took over that road. They replaced perfectly good traffic lights with state of art systems which are programmed to stop you at almost every intersection. Instead of scyn. Them to keep the flow going especially during rush hours. All this is my opinon.Reason...state makes money when u buy gas. So sit at the light and burn it so you can buy more. Im old enough to remember the traffic use to flow everywhere even more so during rush hours. Yes I also know everyone is playing with their cell phones which is also creates even more delays, but mostly I believe its in the new traffic light systems,which by the way cost a arm and a leg.
Jake Mohorovic March 30, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Donald, it sure does feel like it takes longer waiting for the green light. Jake
runymede March 30, 2013 at 02:40 PM
It is a shame that you ran on your own and lost. If you would have stayed on the ticket with Armick and Stone, I am sure that you would have fought for us much more than these two old guys. You, along with Batton and several others , would have provided "new" blood into the representation of our community.
Jake Mohorovic March 31, 2013 at 12:37 AM
Runymede, you are right. Have a good Easter. Jake
kevin March 31, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Took guts Bob thank you.you were always a Dundalk Democrat who in a way helped create monster but your standing up against it.people change I told you I thought Dutch did a good job as Co exec,not happy with his recent congressional performance. But here is how we get our county and state back.Simply everyone who is upset Democrat Republican,Independent and libertarian change affiliation to democrat immediately.Then pay the fee to run for local office in next primary we get 20 to 25 in each position throughout state.Next primary season many of these bills and taxes will be hitting fan so if we have 20 choices pick your friend or someone you trust and vote for them we can get behind everyone that isn't incumbant.We'll make sure they spend so much money trying to win primary that they learn votes have consequences.Steve,Fifa and these new shills will learn the hard way.Remember Venitoulis?What happened he took us for granted.KK will have challengers in primary and hopefully one is Bartenfelder. people it is easy unless all these legislators make swift changes all the govenor's money won't help them.It worked in seventies if we blow up primaries we'il take control.You still get to vote for the D beside name.Hopefully those in office see this train coming and stop digging own political graves.In 1814 Dundalk started a small defense that upset a mighty political machine well what say we wake it up 200 years later.
kevin March 31, 2013 at 03:56 AM
It called honesty fool.Bob was a machine man but he sees the course it is taking and cares about children and Grandchildren.I trust a man who admits it is time to change more than someone spitting failed policy.Dept of Rec shouldn't be a for profit agency.You wake up sleeping giant Alumni ,students and families friom Towson U can take Bob's advice on NPV and use it to get teams back.NO BONDS or Questions Pass UNTIL we get most historic American soccer and baseball program Back.Worse thing happensno funding for ANY Md. university or Community college for a year .oh yes we vote Down all education Questions and bond issues Do you think that if polls show we are serious Govenor takes that chance? New Boys are From ROCKVILLE ,comparing Colt fans to Skins fan ArcAngel?
kevin March 31, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Or perhaps when they crucified Depazzo for telling truth.Oh yeah upset the Govenor machine and local Democrats put in new blood that would follow orders why the govenor would never lie about section 8 and Move to opportunity.But we started new dynasty .How'd that work out ?
kevin March 31, 2013 at 04:47 AM
And Family.
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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