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The Tentacle


September 11, 2002

City Should Reclaim Site A! It Belongs To The People!

David 'Kip' Koontz

Well, this time the boys got it wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Developer Marc Silverman should not have been given the opportunity to sell Site A.

It should have been brought back into the city’s property bank.

The residents of Frederick are the ones who should rightfully profit - if any is to be made, from any sale of the site.

We would have done so, if and when any of the seven offers to fill Site A would have, should have been pursued.

They were never given the light of day.

What on earth were Aldermen Bill Hall, Joe Baldi and David Lenhart thinking last Thursday night?

Were they experiencing temporary insanity?

This project has languished for years and - with Mr. Silverman in charge - seems to have no end in sight.

Since its inception, Mr. Silverman’s proposal has been fraught with turmoil.

The 91,000 square foot "glass box" has been criticized as not being appropriate architecturally for the site.

Lawsuits have been levied against the plan.

Over time, Mr. Silverman has been unable to find tenets to fill such a space.

Last week, person after person and planner after planner said that 91,000 square foot office spaces are no longer the norm and that it is doubtful the project would ever take off-simply because it is too big.

Mr. Silverman’s lawyers want us to believe that since it is not Mr. Silverman’s fault, that Mr. Silverman - even though it is in violation of his signed agreement with the city to have a building already built, that Mr. Silverman should be able to keep the site forever and a day in the hopes big boxy office spaces come back in vogue.

Let us not forget that Mr. Silverman has had been granted extensions to proceed and show proof that things were going to happen - by votes of the Board of Alderman and by inaction by the Mayor and Board of Alderman.

This matter, in fact, is held over due to inaction by the previous administration.

Votes in January made all think that by July, this matter would be put to bed, as it was to be the final drop dead date for Mr. Silverman to put up or give up.

Yet in July’s meeting the gunk of inaccuracies spewed forth by the Silverman machine confused enough of our Alderman to have them table it until this past meeting, as some wanted all the "legal p’s and q’s" clarified.

At the July meeting, Mr. Silverman promised he would get affidavits from his contractors proving he was moving along as agreed especially on the matter of the removal of drainpipes - without which the project could not move forward.

Mr. Silverman said he would allow city inspectors onto the site to prove he had removed them as he claimed - and later as the signed affidavits claimed he had done.

Last Thursday, the day of the hearing, inspectors were finally allowed on the site only to find the two ends of the pipes crushed with the center portions intact.

Hmmmm. We are supposed to believe Mr. Silverman?

Additionally, Mr. Silverman sold a part of the parcel, which is in complete violation of the contract he has with the city, which prohibits his selling off any part of the parcel with City of Frederick approval.

Even Alderman Marcia Hall was able to produce tapes from a previous meeting, which found Mr. Silverman contradicting himself from meeting to meeting.

Yet, "Wafflin’" Joe Baldi, who at one point appeared ready to take back the site assisted, with Aldermen Hall and Lenhart in tandem, in championing Mr. Silverman’s efforts.

Why?

Silverman has proven he has done nothing he has agreed to do.

It is very clear there is no building on Site A and there will be - with Mr. Silverman in charge - none in the foreseeable future.

To boot, Mr. Silverman violated his contract with the city and was caught repeatedly trying to remember what he said to whom, when.

Yet, he threatened to sue. That seemed to be enough to put the three boys in turmoil along with the fact they bought into his bogus ideas that the city would have to cover some of his expenses and some other such nonsense.

They should have read the contract, listened to the city planners, city attorney, those from permits and codes, the mayor and Aldermen Ramsburg and Marcia Hall, who on this one got it very, very right.

This property should have been returned to the City of Frederick.

Instead, a not very forthright, nor honest developer hoodwinked our aldermen and is, in effect, stealing from the taxpayers of Frederick.

Yes, it was a unanimous vote by the alderman to give the property to Mr. Silverman to sell, but Aldermen Marcia Hall and Ramsburg went along as they saw it as the only opportunity to make the nightmare that is Site A end.

The fact that the boys were afraid of Mr. Silverman potentially suing the city is funny actually, as he is not the only one who can file suit against the city.

Already in the works is a group of concerned Fredericktonians who may just sue the city because this property is the peoples and they believe Mr. Silverman - who null and voided his contract by not fulfilling his obligation, should not be given the privilege of absconding with our property to make a profit.

They are saying something about a misuse of city monies - that type of thing.

What a terrible mistake on Alderman Lenhart, Bill Hall and Baldi’s part.

You just have to wonder what they may stand to gain from all this, after all, reclaiming the property was the only right thing to do.



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