-The following letter was submitted by former Director of Recreation and Parks and State Delegate Bob Staab-
While Baltimore County’s acquisition of parkland in the Lutherville-Timonium community was welcome news, it also “pulled back the curtain” on County Executive Olszewski’s hypocrisy in dealing with the citizens of Dundalk and their parkland/open space needs.
In the case of Timonium, Mr. Olszewski touts his efforts in acquiring private land to save it from development and is quoted as stating that creating more recreational space is “a critical component” to creating “vibrant ommunities”. Conversely, in the case of Dundalk’s North Point Government Center Park, Mr. Olszewski has been working intensively to consummate an unprecedented sale of existing PUBLIC land which has been used as a school site and parkland for over 60 years so that it may be COMMERCIALLY developed.
Mr. Olszewski’s desire to create “vibrant communities” apparently doesn’t extend to Dundalk.
In the case of Timonium, citizens registered fierce opposition and in relatively short order had their voices heard. In the case of Dundalk, its citizens have been “fighting Goliath” for 10 years, to save EXISTING open space/parkland.
Thousands of dollars and hours have been expended in efforts to have the courts and “powers to be” consider a simple plea, to save EXISTING parkland. In response to their heartfelt efforts, Dundalk citizens have received only the cold shoulder (and a smirks smile) from Mr. Olszewski.
Fortunately, Governor Hogan and Comptroller Franchot showed the political courage to force a ‘time out” to the Baltimore County’s runaway development plans. Otherwise, Dundalk would likely be enduring a few more hamburger stands, convenience store/gas stations and increasingly congested traffic on property that has been enjoyed by the public for over six decades.
In the case of Timonium, Mr. Olszewski was willing to “put his (actually our) money where his mouth is”.
Unfortunately, in the case of Dundalk, Mr. Olszewski continues to “put his mouth (i.e., support) where the money is”.
One can only wonder WHY. Upon noting his political campaign’s “healthy” financial records, we can only hope that he is not becoming the best politician that money can buy!