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Oakland Mills residents kept in dark about Verona purchase [Letter]

October 17, 2013

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Our Oakland Mills community has been blindsided by Tom Carbo, County Director of Housing and Community Development. Calvin Ball, our own County Council representative, alerted Bill Gray, the chair of our Village Board, in September that county purchase of the Verona Apartments for below-market housing in the center of Oakland Mills was being considered.

At a meeting this month to ostensibly "discuss" an idea regarding the purchase, the board was informed by Mr. Carbo that the purchase was in fact imminent. He then went on to explain the particulars of this $40 million deal that would bring more subsidized housing units to an area that already has more than its fair share.

I'm appalled at the tactics used by Mr. Carbo in keeping this from our community, and I am perplexed that our County Council representative was apparently unaware that the project was in fact far more than an idea. This shameful behavior is reminiscent of the smoke-filled rooms and back-door politics of a bygone era in our history.

Now the question is, how will residents of Oakland Mills respond? How will the county executive and Calvin Ball respond? This purchase must be stopped before any money changes hands."

John DiTomasso

Columbia