The following letter was sent by Robert A. Corea, CFA, Bel Air:
“It is interesting how three writers from three separate publications within literally hours of each other all chose to ignore the creativity, boldness and innovation of our elected officials and decided to wallow in innuendo and otherwise cheap shots. I refer of course to the recent approval to issue $14 million in bonds via a TIF deal to developer Clark Turner for the development of Beechtree Estates, an exciting new development that has the potential to provide housing for several families moving here due to BRAC. As an investment banker from Ohio with more than 35 years of experience, we don’t scare so easily
All three cited the lack of precedent in Harford County for such a financing. Does this imply that because it is new it is bad? TIF deals have been used throughout this nation by other issuing authorities. While not common, there are examples right here in Maryland of their use. Once again, because up until this time they have not been typically used for residential development, is it wrong to do so when they accomplish so much economic good?
Is it needed? Well, if we believe the Mayor of Eatontown, New Jersey, Mr. Gerald Tarantolo in a recent article in the Atlanticville Newspaper that currently serves Eatontown, Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, Ocean Township and West Long Branch, all towns effected by the BRAC move to APG, more that 1,000 employees have already left Fort Monmouth. To quote the mayor, “They are six months ahead of schedule, which means that the escalation of the move probably will be on a very expedited basis.” To once again quote the mayor, “Fort Monmouth’s move to Aberdeen is actively taking place and we are going to see that major movement take place in the year 2010. We learned at the Jan. 26 Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority meeting that right now 1,400 jobs have moved to Aberdeen Proving Grounds.” How is it the mayor got it so right and these editorialists got it so wrong?
BRAC is coming. BRAC will bring to Harford County and surrounding areas a large contingent of highly educated, well compensated scientific and technical people. They will join an already vibrant and growing community now living here. When should we plan for them? Should we prepare our County in terms of housing, highway infrastructure and other amenities? Does the use of this TIF accelerate the development of high quality residential structures and surrounding infrastructure much needed to attract these people? If they don’t move here, the proceeds from the property will be lost to another taxing authority. What is the risk? Harford County is not responsible for the principle amount.
One of the pundits suggested that any estimation of economic impact was unrealistic and simply not credible. How deep can you bury your head in the sand? It ought to be intuitive that these people living in Harford County will significantly add to the overall well being of the community. They live here. They generate income and income tax. They consume goods and services. It doesn’t take an econometrician to compute multipliers to see the beneficial effect on the community. It is extremely credible.
Lastly, when did it become against the law for two people who like each other to consummate an honest and mutually beneficial business transaction? Should business dealings be done only with those we dislike or better yet, mistrust? Have we as a society become so jaded with our negativism that we cannot fathom a politician and a business man doing the public good? If you know something to be a fact, come forward and state it. If not, bury your head back in the sand while the professionals take Harford County forward.
Robert A. Corea, CFA”
In the Obama Administration, any profitable business transactions are discouraged because you will be heavily taxed. Furthermore, his administration’s invocation of class warfare make the idea of ‘a mutually beneficial business transaction’ distastful. Marx would be proud.
The jobs may have moved to Aberdeen but the people haven’t. It’s been made clear we are not welcome.
Most of the people are moving to places other than Harford County. We in New Jersey call Harford County ‘the place where people have no teeth and it’s ok’ and Baltimore is sort of like Camden. Both places to be avoided.
That’s a good one! People from New Jersey making fun of Harford County! Hahaha! My sides hurt!
New to Aberdeen says
I am a BRAC transfee and have been here permanently since Dec 2009. I agree it’s time for Harford County folks to see the light. Although Clark Turner has done a lot of good he also needs to clean up his area near Belcamp (area near the new Waters Edge complex)from what I have been told the abandoned equipment is his and it needs to get cleaned up as well as many other properties in Aberdeen. Aberdeen has a long way to go to attract anyone from NJ, we are used to a better living environment.
We are looking for much nicer neighborhoods, better restaurants and an environment that doesn’t look like a junkyard.
Yes we are coming in 2010 and some of us are already here, Aberdeen especially needs to clean up it’s act, big time.
two cents says
Those is power in the City of Aberdeen like it just the way it is – that way they stay the upper class of Aberdeen. It is well on its way to be the “Baltimore City” of Harford County. People will just drive through there to work and go elsewhere to live.
You hit the nail on the head.
two cents says
Bingo it gets better….. here’s proof no one wants to deal with The City of Aberdeen now we have a new shopping center on tax exempt federal property. That should help all the businesses in town we won’t even get the BRAC folks lunch money.
St. John Properties plans shopping complex at Aberdeen Proving Ground
By Andrea K. Walker | firstname.lastname@example.org
4:45 p.m. EDT, March 30, 2010
E-mail Print Share Text Size bal-aberdeen0330
St. John Properties said Tuesday that it will break ground in the second quarter on The Village Center at The GATE, a 78,000-square-foot shopping complex at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The center will be part of The Government and Technology Enterprise development at the military base in Harford County.
St. John is also building 135,00 square feet of office space as part of the development, which will be in addition to the 110,000 square feet of office space it has already built.
Copyright © 2010, The Baltimore Sun
vietnam vet says
Sorry to hear you feel that way.New to Aberdeen. I was transplanted to aberdeen 30+ years ago. and it still has a long way to go. Police & Fire services, are great. lot’s of nice people But……
New to Aberdeen says
To Vietnam Vet,
Yes, it has a very long way to go and hopefully I can do something about that. Getting the Harford County Zoning Enforcement Office to do their job has been quite a challenge for me.
Anyway, thank you for your service to our country and allowing me the opportunity to speak freely.
Sand Free says
I read with some humor and a whole lot of disgust your article about Craig and Co’s noble act in bankrolling Clark Turner’s Beechtree project. I am sure the they would love for all of us to keep our heads buried in the sand, that way they could continue to stick it to us in the exposed parts.
I could attribute some validity to what you are saying if I wasn’t sitting here looking at Craigs campaign contribution list. It is astounding that a small time local politician could raise almost 1,000,000 (that’s right one million) dollars for his campaign over the last few years. A vast majority that came from Turner, developers he does business with and people that Craig has put on the county payroll.
Your contention that the Beechtree project is beneficial to Harford county due to BRAC employees moving into the area does not hold water. By the time this project is up and running most if not all the BRAC employees will have settled in area. In addition there are over 1600 homes currently on the market in Harford county and economists calling for more foreclosures in the next six months. I would venture to guess that there will be plenty of homes available without this project.
Last but not least when another developer recently wanted to build residential housing in the same area and was told to submit a plan and get the majority of the county councils approval Craig and Co. would submit it. Upon doing so and following all the procedures the project was never submitted. When one of the top officials of the Craig administration was ask why the developer was told that Craig told him to drop it. Perhaps the developer should have contributed more to Craigs campaign.
The bottom line is that the shady dealings, corrupt practices, and self dealing that have been exposed with the passage of the health care bill in Washington is alive and well and flourishing in Harford county. My advise to Harford county taxpayers is to keep your heads out of the sand and by all means protect your rear ends.
Political Critic says
Corea must be part of Craig and Co and living in the land where favors are granted to the rich. Beechtree Estates is where the rich from BRAC can go for their free housing paid for by us the taxpayer. How can Corea justify the favor of $14 million when Beechtree would have happened without it. Oh then the developer and Craig and Co could not have got their share. Imagine such few houses will be available at Beechtree for BRAC yet this is the dumb founded reason Craig and Co passed the bill. Corea come out of the sand and get some fresh air.