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baltimoresun.com

CA board, not new corporation, should control Symphony Woods [Letter]

4:40 PM EDT, May 8, 2013

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Your paper has given us, side-by-side, three glaring examples of the sheer gall and/or utter shamelessness of the proponents of CA's scrapping of Symphony Woods Park in favor of turning over control of Symphony Woods (and at least 1.6 million of our lien payer dollars) to a new corporation, one which will be unbound by sunshine, transparency and accountability protections to which CA must hold.

On page 16 (May 2) you give us CA Director Tom Coale telling us first that the recent election results show public support for CA's current direction. Then, in a later paragraph, when he refers to three CA Board members who won their seats by opposing CA's current direction, he lets us know that "you can't interpret sentiment of thousands of residents" by the election results. Care to make up your mind, Mr. Coale?

Then, on page 17, Gregg Schwind, CA director and a lawyer who ought to go back to Ethics 101, informs us that there is no conflict of interest between his membership of both the CA Board and the board of the new corporation "right now." Perhaps that's because the new corporation hasn't even been created yet! Once it is, the potential, if not the inevitability, of a conflict of interest is glaringly obvious.

Finally, Mr. Schwind informs us that, even though we were promised that the CA Board would hold a majority of seats on the board of the new corporation, he is just fine with Ed Coleman staying on the new board, even though he is no longer a member of the CA Board.

It is imperative that CA change course and refuse to give control of Symphony Woods (and our money) to a new corporation and agree to proceed with the already approved Symphony Woods Park plan. The Inner Arbor plan can proceed, as well, as funds are raised for its completion.

Alan Klein, spokesperson

The Coalition for Columbia's Downtown