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Jim Brochin knows exactly how to fund his priorities

I write in response to County Councilman Tom Quirk’s letter questioning where county executive candidate Jim Brochin will find the money to fulfill his vision for Baltimore County (“Brochin promises but won't be able to deliver new schools, parks,” June 16). He indeed has a pretty good idea of where the county money is. Mr. Quirk extols his expertise in financial matters, so why did he and Councilwoman Vicki Almond vote against the interest of County taxpayers in these matters?

  • $43 million in public assistance for the huge Towson Row that is widely held to be unnecessary, inappropriate and bad precedent. Also the bargain sale of the old Towson fire station to the same developer/generous campaign donor of yours, at an estimated $4 million under market, along with $125,000 of county money spent for totally unnecessary site preparation given an “as-is” sale contract.
  • $140 million in laptops for first graders and up, when it has been reported by the New York Times and other sources that tech industry leaders don’t let their own young children have access to tech devices for education. I’ve heard that county teachers took a long time to stop cringing when those new tablet devices regularly go crashing to the floor, being way too big and slippery for little hands.
  • Likely $50 million or more, deeply buried in the capital budget and quietly invested in mega-expansion of the water and sewer infrastructure for Towson, arguably because of one stalled super-development by the same major campaign donors that got the above $43 million.
  • The repeal of the $42 million per year stormwater fee (that cost individual taxpayers practically nothing) to the benefit of the developers and major commercial landowners who were doing the polluting. Mr. Quirk personally assured me only two years ago that nothing would change with repeal because the county executive had such a large slush fund in the budget. Mr. Quirk was dead wrong, as the administration immediately ceased almost all environmental projects in the inner parts of the county where they were sorely needed.

Come Mr. Quirk, you are compromised due to your votes on these and other issues. Besides, there are various ways for governments to fund the work they need to do, and every administration has its own priorities. Jim Brochin has a clear vision of where the priorities for Baltimore County lie. His vision is far less expensive than the one embraced by the other outsider candidate you noticeably do not mention. Your last ditch defense of your and candidate Vicki Almond’s votes for the past several years doesn’t come close to being convincing. That is why this taxpayer is voting for Jim Brochin and I hope this clarification of your points will encourage others to do the same.

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Wendy Jacobs, Towson

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