I am writing in response to Andrew A. Green's take on my plan to improve the slots law to protect Baltimore and ensure slots benefit our city and not just developers ("Rolley's bad ideas for city slots," June 8). Not only is Mr. Green wrong on the merits, but his musings share the mindset of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake that Baltimore should accept less than what we deserve.
To accept Mr. Green's premise that my ideas for reform are wrong, one would have to believe that the current situation is working. As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not their own facts, and in this case the numbers don't lie:
• There was just one underqualified applicant for the license in the last round of bidding.
• The two casinos already in operation have fallen short of their revenue projections.
• The tax rate for Rocky Gap has to be cut by 14 percent to lure an interested bidder.
• The city of Baltimore is 64 percent African-American, but there are not sufficient guarantees that minority and women-owned companies and vendors will be utilized either during construction or operation.
It is true that I hope the legislature will recognize these facts and act quickly to improve the law to increase the benefit to Baltimore and protections to our neighborhoods. If there needs to be a delay to get this right, so be it. A few months delay is far preferable to being stuck with the wrong project for decades.
While Mr. Green expresses concern about the rest of the state, I am concerned about Baltimore. There's a real difference between me and Mr. Green and the mayor: I believe Baltimore deserves the best.
Otis Rolley, Baltimore
The writer is a candidate for Baltimore mayor.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun