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Letter: Aberdeen/Ripken lawsuit could cost taxpayers a lot of money

I am writing this editorial to make sure that the people of Aberdeen are aware of the pending lawsuit against the Ripkens. The City of Aberdeen initiated $150,000 to retain lawyers for this lawsuit. Now they have just appropriated another $75,000 making the total of $225,000 so far to date. The lawsuit from what I understand will not even be litigated until 2020. There really is no ceiling on the amount the City could spend in lawyer fees moving forward. Another problem that could occur is the possibility that if the Ripkens win this lawsuit they could countersue the City of Aberdeen to have their lawyer’s fees reimbursed which could cost the taxpayers of Aberdeen additional funds.

Now, I had proposed to Mayor McGrady that all additional funding be put forth as a referendum to let the taxpayers have a say on how much money should be spent. Obviously with the additional $75,000 that has not happened.

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My suggestion is that the City and the Ripkens hire a mediator so that this would not be as costly to the taxpayers of Aberdeen. If we do not move forward with a mediator this could become costly to the taxpayers of Aberdeen.

I was already going thru all this in New Jersey before I moved to Maryland where the Township of Readington is fighting the Sohlbergs in New Jersey about the airport use and right now they have spent well over $2 million in lawyer’s fees. If they lose — and I know they will because two judges have already gone against the Township — they will have to pay the lawyer’s fees of the Sohlbergs as well.

Not a pretty picture.

Ralph Miccio

Aberdeen

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