Ho-Hum on Unpaid Loans
Regarding your report about a $25 million delinquency in city development loans (Aug. 2), it is appropriate for the city to provide incentives for industry and development to create jobs, housing and increases in the tax basis.
It is of equal importance that the city set goals, track performance and insist on contractual compliance, including repayment, from recipients of city loans.
It is irresponsible for the city auditor to state (as quoted in the newspaper report) that the submission of annual financial statements by borrowers "probably wouldn't make much difference" in the city's attempt to collect the loans.
He seems to be saying that he doesn't know if the financial statements would help or not, and isn't willing to insist on compliance to find out. City auditors should have an auditing system in place -- and should be policing the loans.
The withholding of records from the city suggests that the borrowers are hiding information and can't substantiate the basis for non-payment.
The Sun criticizes City Hall for a "ho-hum attitude" toward these loans and yet The Sun adopts this same "ho-hum attitude" in its editorial response.
Advising the city that it should remember that "loans are not gifts" is an inadequate reaction to a situation in which over $25 million of loans are behind and professional accounting controls are not in place.
In your editorial, "See Roger Run" (Aug. 11), you indicate that Chuck Jackson sees his new role as County Executive Roger Hayden's "stage manager."
If so, he has undertaken an almost impossible job -- making his boss look good. Mr. Hayden's disastrous record thus far speaks for itself.
During his election campaign, along with all the usual rhetoric, he described himself as a "businessman" rather than a "politician." It did not take long for county voters to discover he is neither.
Perhaps he is a victim of bad advice. If that is true, he should replace his advisers or begin utilizing his business acumen and begin making some better decisions.
A case in point is the fiasco Mr. Hayden has perpetrated in the economic development office.
I continue to read about the outstanding efforts and successes of the Howard County and Harford County economic development offices, but cannot recall seeing anything but negative items concerning the Baltimore County Economic Development Office since the beginning of the Hayden administration.
The "businessman" apparently does not know how to deal with businesses. His choice of an economic development director TTC with absolutely no credentials (Ken Nohe) attests to that fact.
For years prior to Mr. Hayden's reign, the Baltimore County Economic Development Office was highly respected and was apparently successful in locating new companies and assisting existing businesses. Perhaps this had something to do with the veterans on staff who continued to do their job no matter who was in power.
One of the first things County Executive Hayden should consider in trying to restore his ineffectual economic development office is to reinstate the employees he allowed the controversial Ken Nohe to fire.
The next step in attempting to restore his tarnished image in the business community would be to appoint an economic development director with experience and credibility (if there is anyone available who would be willing to tackle the responsibility of rectifying Mr. Hayden's mistakes concerning that office).
After that is accomplished, his "stage manager" can arrange to have reporters and photographers present when he finally announces the long-awaited development and implementation of an economic development strategy for Baltimore County.
I= Hopefully, this will take place before the 1994 election.
An Aug. 5 editorial, "It's a Dirty Job, but . . .," only told half of the dirt concerning the proposed Rosedale soil incinerator.
The editorial stated that "tainted dirt . . . has given rise to a new soil recycling industry." However, the author failed to mention that this industry is so new that the Maryland Department of Environment does not have qualified staff to regulate it.
Only through enormous pressure exerted by the Southeast Association for the Environment and other members of the community did the department turn to a private contractor to reassess its initial analysis concerning the proposed Rosedale soil incinerator.
The Department of Environment, relying on data submitted by the incinerator applicant, Bryn Awel, initially concluded that the Rosedale soil incinerator would be no more harmful than a gas station.
Unsatisfied with this assessment, our organization hired Marc Donohue, chairman of chemical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University to evaluate the Rosedale incinerator. Dr. Donohue concluded that the incinerator would not be safe and would potentially be 160 times more harmful than claimed by Bryn Awel.