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Letter: Forget Coffee; How About Answers from Kevin?

Dundalk resident Ron Schaeffer thinks residents deserve a meeting with Baltimore County Exeecutive Kevin Kamenetz regarding the proposed sale of Dundalk parkland.

Dundalk Patch received the following letter from long-time Dundalk resident Ron Schaeffer:

"Questions for Kevin"

It has recently been noted in the press that County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has been engaging in "coffee meetings" with community leaders (a/k/a "Coffee with Kevin").

In light of County Executive Kamenetz's heavy-handed dealing with the Dundalk community in his effort to sell the North Point Government Center and the 28 acres of quality parkland on which the center is located, I would prefer to take a pass on the coffee and instead have Mr. Kamenetz answer the following “Questions for Kevin:”

1. Whose brainstorm was it to place the North Point Government Center property on the market? Was it bureaucrat; a politician or a developer seeking to line his pockets? Was any consideration given to the countless quality programs and (more importantly) quality people your proposal would impact?

2. If you felt you had a great idea for our community why didn’t you show the political courage to present your plan to our community – as opposed to your blindsiding our citizens with it?

3. As the closing of Eastwood School was a critical piece of your proposal wouldn’t it have made more sense to permit the Board of Education to vote for the closure of Eastwood BEFORE you advertised your proposal?

4. When did you advise our local elected officials of your plan? Did you give any consideration to their views or did you also try to bully them?

5. What gives you the right to place 28 acres of prime public land on the market without communicating with the community PRIOR to moving forward with your proposal? The land in question is not yours. It belongs to all of us, our children and our grandchildren. There’s one indisputable fact about land – "They ain’t making it anymore." There simply is no quality comparable land (in our community) that could replace the North Point Government Center land. Some things are priceless!

It is this writer’s opinion that Mr. Kamenetz's actions to date represent a great disservice to our citizens who deserve much better. Hopefully County Executive Kamenetz (or other elected officials) will have the political courage to right this wrong.

Ronald R. Schaeffer
Delvale Place
Dundalk

Den Barnes April 15, 2013 at 05:50 PM
For the people, by the people, of the people... Long gone now it's all about the bucks...
jack friese April 15, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Mr. Schaeffer, yours is a brilliant idea. I'll bet my doughnuts to your dollars you will get no answer from Mr. Kamenetz. I asked several questions to Mr. Kamenentz under the PIA.I asked for the paid work hours for Dr. Branch who is paid $178,000 and shows up at Drumcastle usually after 10:30 and leaves usually before 4. Branch removed the reserved for DHR director sign when I blew the whistle on his late arrivals and departures. Here is the nonsensical response by Mr. Field, the lawyer for Baltimore County Govt. "Department heads in Baltimore County Government are considered to be working 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year and are answerable to the County Administrative Officer. Accordingly Department heads are not required to fill out time sheets or work schedules. While the County could provide you with information showing regular payroll disbursements to Dr. Branch, they would provide no information on whether Dr. Branch was working on a particular day". Really- Mr. Field. Where is this nonsense written into Md. law? Where is the accountability and transparency? There is none. Why? I asked about the mileage and gas usage by council members. There was no answer. I asked if Council Chair Quirk is paid for the use of his POV through mileage reimbursement. There is No answer. Good luck Mr. Schaeffer, I hope Mr. Kamenetz is responsive. There is a long history or obfuscation by the Kamenetz administration. Keep asking them publicly.
Buzz Beeler April 15, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Calm down, are you talking about the transparency involving county government? Are you talking about the multitude of issues of department heads and the facts surrounding government land. Mr. Friese has the right to comment on anything he wants and I will say this, he has more guts and courage than the whole crowd of your type put together. He is, as they say, a real person. By the way, do you live in Dundalk?
DAVID PATRO SR April 16, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Mr. Schaeffer, I was promised by the county executive’s liaison that Kamenetz would come down to the area to meet occasionally with the leaders and members of the different community organizations. Right after he took office -- Coffee with Kevin / Question and Answers, what other ways to say it but Kevin doesn't care! I noted that if Kevin had a better line of communication with the community, about the Government Center plan and the proposed closing of Eastwood Elementary School. We wouldn't be where we are now. He should have taken the time to meet with the community and inform the public and had a community input meeting before the RFP was ever put out there. I brought this to his attention at the NHCA annual meeting and he agreed. I have been a member of Dundalk United since Debbie Staigerwald came to my January 31st meeting of NPVCA and asked for our help. We took a vote on the floor that night and vowed our alliance, that NPVCA would stand together to stop the sale. I have been to two other meetings to get them on board with joining the Dundalk United effort. I am asking all community leaders to join with us. What they are doing at the North Point Government Center and Park. What they have already done to Eastwood Elementary School they can do to your Elementary school or park or community center. Just remember when people move to a community they make a decision to move there because of the schools, the parks, the low crime rate. Please join us!
BARRY April 16, 2013 at 02:30 AM
FY 2014 Budget Message Kamenetz Budget: Investng in Schools and Recreation Recreation programs would receive a $20 million boost for new fields, parks, and walking trails $3.4 million will be dedicated to the creation of a much desired regional park to be located at the Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville $215,000 to create a new playground at Robert E. Lee Park $19 million will be allocated for EXCITING recreational projects in ALL parts of the County
Ashley Virginia April 16, 2013 at 01:02 PM
it is going to cost more than that to rebuild that building and all its programs, the is about a 97,000 square foot building that they want to relocate to only 20,000 sq. ft. It also has 27 acres of land. Now where IN dubdalk withn WALKING distance is any place like that?
Buzz Beeler April 17, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Matthew you may be onto something there. I do think that if the CE makes a wrong choice here it could be trouble.
Debbie Staigerwald April 17, 2013 at 01:09 PM
John Sr. has told us all along he has the power to stop this. The County Council has the final vote. John has said if the people don't want it, then it won't happen. Well John, WE DON"T WANT IT!!!!! STOP the sale of the Nork Point Government Center PARK!!!!!!!!
Buzz Beeler April 17, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Debbie, the sad part is that what John said was true, however he is one vote and knows that he can rant and rail against this sale for PR purposes while the other six council members rubber stamp the sale. Go back and look at the council's record. Everything the county executive has submitted had been rubber stamped. There is not one council person who has set themselves apart as a leader. I said this before, when Kamenetz and Johnson showed up at the government center for a tour a while back, that set the stage for the sale of the property. A sort of preemptive strike, if you will. Sadly I believe the only issue left is who gets the bid. What we can do is file a court injunction to make sure the county follows the rules. This injunction would attempt to make sure that politics does not play a part in the process.
Calm down April 18, 2013 at 02:58 AM
You are a gossip Buzz. No facts, just negative inuendo. Cant you say anything positive.
Buzz Beeler April 18, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Show me what I gossip about? Every blog that I've written has been true. Everything I write is true. Go ahead point out the gossip. Positive about what. The county's 500+% increase in food stamps. That a large portion of our students don't make the grade to get into U.M. My brother just sold his home in Perry Hall and took a $60,000 loss. On the east side we have the highest rate of Section 8 in the county, the highest unemployment rate, the highest rate of business vacancies. The county is refusing to pay back the money they took for overcharging workers for medical benefits defying a court order. The FOP is suing to stop them from raiding the pension fund, not to mention Main Sail. That Dutch sits on his but while 20,0000 vets die while the backlog exceeds 800,000 at the VA. "Congressman Ruppersberger previously served on the powerful Appropriations and Government Reform Committees. He also served on the House Armed Services Committee, where he worked to help keep our country safe and make sure our veterans at home and as well as our war-fighters on the front lines have the resources they need." They are selling the Government Center against the will of the people. There are 14 or more ADA cases lined up against the county because Homan refused to abide by the law. Show me the gossip? Put up or shut up as the saying goes.
Herbie April 20, 2013 at 08:00 PM
I am so aggravated with the decisions being made by our elected officials,I can't stand it any more.It started with the Move to Oppertnity,since then I have seen the value of my home decreace by almost 40%, The crime rate increace by the same amount.Now they want to tax the rain.This was a nice neighborhood,now 3 or 4 times a week I have helicoptors flying over my house with spotlights looking for criminals.Enough is enough, i,m selling my house and moving to a more tax friendly & safer place to live.I loved Dundalk,but it seems like this is a dumping ground for the worst our society has to offer anymore,I don't know who is to blame and I don't care at this point.It is just a shame it has come to this.

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