Sunday, May 27, 2012

$4,143,000 boat ramp?

By Wednesday, the fiscal 2013 budget will get its final approval. Despite all the empty talk about trimming millions from this budget, the County Council cut a mere $3.9 million. Last week, it appeared that they would slash a taxpayer funded boat ramp at Ft Smallwood Park. Unfortunately, the $4,143,000 project remained in the budget. Now, they must provide answers about why they rubber-stamped such an egregious purchase. No doubt, we face tough economic times. Moreover, county workers can breathe a sigh of relief that they won't get furloughed next year. Nonetheless, it's clear the County Executive and the County Council cannot differentiate between luxuries and necessities. After all, how does this boat ramp benefit the majority of out populous? Really, it does not in any way. In reality, Leopold has silently advanced this project for years. Ironically, this has emerged as a priority for a segment of the population that consistently decries government spending and tax increases. Of course, they somehow feel entitled to free usage of a boat ramp. Thus, combined with state and federal grants, the county has approved this multi-million dollar project. Meantime back in 2011, Worcester County removed an old two lane boat ramp in West Ocean City and replaced it with a facility complete complete with a bulkhead, fixed piers and floating docks. In all, the project cost a mere $450,000. Therefore, one must ask why a smaller scale project in Anne Arundel County contains a price tag almost ten times more. Seriously, if the county wants to throw a bone to the tea partiers on yachts, then why don't they just lease an existing ramp in North County? Certainly, many of these cash strapped community associations would welcome an influx of $10,000 to $20,000 a year. Then, they would provide the required annual maintenance as they have always done before. In other words, this means the county assumes limited responsibility in the upkeep of the ramp. Keep in mind, the City of Baltimore owns Ft Smallwood Park. In turn, Anne Arundel County signed a 30 year lease of the property for a nominal fee. Under their control the park has transformed from a place that provided a safe haven for drug use to a beautiful, family-oriented property. Still, how much should taxpayers invest in a park that Baltimore City could elect to reclaim once the lease ends? Armed with these factors, county leaders must bring this idea back to the drawing board. Even if it gets approved, there's no obligation to go through with the expenditure. Besides, if they do, they can no longer portray themselves as responsible stewards of our tax dollars.

8 comments:

  1. Jerry, Jerry, Jerry Tea party people are hard working Americans that worry about being overtaxed and over regulated, and if they have a boat they might actually use this ramp since they tend to live within their means and would have a smaller boat. It is all your limo liberal pals with the yachts that they register in different states to avoid taxation (John Kerry) and they would not use the ramp since a yacht stays in the water. So please don't try and blame this on the one Republican with any power around here, this is a one party state and you need to blame your Dem friends. While eating brie and quiche on their yacht. Another round of Pinot anyone?

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    1. I am no fan of liberal elites, but sadly it's the self-proclaimed tea party crowd that would benefit most from this boat ramp. In fact, when I testified against it at Northeast High a few years ago, I heard a couple of them declare how Leopold promised this to them. Perhaps the yacht wasn't the best analogy. Nonetheless, the sentiments remain the same.

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  2. Is not Mr. Leopold a Republican? Is not Derek Fink a Republican? Mr. Leopold put this in the budget and Mr. Fink went right along with it. I am unsure how the previous commenter can blame this one on Democrats.

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  3. This boat ramp will forever be remembered by County employees as the AACo Employee Merit Step Memorial Boat Ramp.

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  4. How is it that we can build a ramp of this magnitude and can't hire police officers or pay teachers what they are worth?

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  5. Follow the money. Look to who benefits from the constuction of this boat ramp. Then look to see which politicians they contribute to. This is what politicians base their decisions on. Follow the money.

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  6. I always love the jabs at the tea-party crowd. Obviously you are completely ignorant!

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  7. Anon 1030,

    Where's the outrage from the Tea Party crowd over this? They seem awfully content with the property tax increase that will fund luxuries such as this.

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