Councilman Tom Quirk's support of Whalen Properties' PUD is unsettling ("Councilman offers bills related to PUD development," Catonsville Times, Sept. 28).
Justifying his decision, Quirk said he listened to the community, cites the project's similarities to the parcel's current zoning and claims it will enhance walkability.
This project, however, was overwhelmingly rejected by neighbors, dwarfs current code in size and proposed 24 hour ambulance service. Its location makes driving a practical prerequisite.
His legislation perverts an already flawed PUD process, which allows developers to pay off the community without offering meaningful, project driven benefits.
According to the Times, Steve Whalen stated, "I've been in this business 30 years. I've never lost one yet."
His businesses have contributed approximately $141,845 to political campaigns, arguably making him the most powerful man in our district.
Whalen states he hasn't given "one red cent" to Quirk. The campaign finance database confirms this.
Yet, Quirk's signs adorned Whalen properties in the election.
Most politicians that were major supporters and/or participants in slates shared with Quirk benefited from Whalen's generosity.
Whalen conducted polls during the 2010 elections and shared the information with Quirk.
David Gildea, a significant fundraiser for Quirk, was also partner in a law firm hired to lobby for Whalen Properties.
A supporter of mine once said, "If you're not upset, you haven't been watching!"
Many are upset, including me.
Community opposed projects will never be stopped by PromeNOT signs, petitions, or letters to our elected officials, eager to take developer's money and support, only to ignore our pleas.
Developers will continue to grow officials' war chests and nothing we say will matter. It seems it already doesn't.
Only by raising money for a candidate, or PAC, and building our own bipartisan political machine do we stand a chance.
If we fail, we'll have no one to blame for bad land use decisions but ourselves.
Rebecca Dongarra, former Baltimore County Council candidate
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