In recent times, Aberdeen has developed a penchant for trying to fix things that aren’t broke.
City officials tussled with the Ripken Family over the agreement between the two to operate Ripken Stadium, home of the Aberdeen IronBirds, a short season Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
In an effort to make their case, city officials tried to portray the Ripkens as not only wrong by not rewriting the agreement both signed, but also as taking advantage of Aberdeen.
The Ripkens stayed on the high ground and offered to pay the city $90,000 — with the potential for more — to control management of non-baseball activities at the stadium. City officials said “no thanks” and agreed to give those rights to another vendor, an agreement which has yet to pay much and doesn’t appear on track to reap Aberdeen anywhere near the $90,000 the Ripkens offered.
We bring up the Ripken Stadium fiasco because when Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady and the City Council entertained an earlier presentation from Coppermine Fieldhouse, a private entity from Baltimore, to take over management of Ripken Stadium, the city put the group onto possibly taking over the city-owned swimming pool. Aberdeen bought the swimming pool 33 years ago with $285,000 of state money from Program Open Space.
For reasons unbeknownst to many, Aberdeen officials have been portraying Ripken Stadium and the swimming pool as onerous city-owned properties that have been dragging the city down for years.
Instead of being thankful Aberdeen has two landmarks to be proud of that no one else has – the Ripken Baseball complex and the swimming pool – this most recent bunch of city officials, elected and not, present both as costly, useless items to be unloaded as quickly as possible rather than as valuable assets.