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There’s a flurry of government activity in Aberdeen that’s misguided and wholly unnecessary.

Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady is fixated on getting rid of Ripken Stadium, calling it an “underperforming asset.”

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McGrady has, not surprisingly, gathered the support of Steve Goodin, the mayor’s proxy whom McGrady got appointed to fill a seat on the City Council, and council members Sandra Landbeck and Melvin Taylor. Only council member Tim Lindecamp sees the folly in what his council colleagues are doing to support the mayor’s mission.

Here’s the deal: McGrady, and at least two mayors before him, whine about what a burden Ripken Stadium is on the city and its taxpayers. The cries ring hollow.

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While it hasn’t always been easy, Aberdeen has survived its ownership of the ballpark quite nicely for more than a decade. As the city faces its last four years of paying off the stadium debt, the mayor says it doesn’t want to be in either the events business or the stadium business.

Yet, he is pushing the city back into the events business, out of some wrongheaded view that something is amiss with the stadium, the city’s ownership of it, the Ripken operation and, most importantly, the city will be better off in charge of the events rather than allowing the Ripken operation to continue.

Aberdeen originally did what McGrady is pushing it back into – running the non-baseball events at Ripken Stadium. The city wasn’t any good at it and asked the Ripken organization to take it over. They did and have continued to do so until they have been unable to reach an agreement with the mayor to extend that operation into 2018.

The Ripkens have been hosting all kinds of non-baseball events at the stadium in recent years, keeping the revenue and paying the city a flat fee for that privilege.

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By the mayor’s count, the city has four more years to pay about $600,000 annually before the stadium debt is paid off. By no small coincidence, the city government is getting slightly more than $600,000 each year in room tax money that is supposed to specifically go to Aberdeen’s stadium expenses.

As this effort spirals out of control, despite business leaders and commercial real estate professionals warning city leaders to proceed cautiously, McGrady and his minions on the City Council vow it’s going to be good for the city.

This stadium fiasco may one day be good for Aberdeen, but to this point it’s made the city look bad and its elected leaders seem petty and look foolish.

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