Hotel tax based rehab fund finds no favor with City officials — clash with HPC, Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland’s proposal for a downtown hotel-tax based fund as “mitigation” for the demolition of the Birely Tannery is proving a divisive issue. Historic Preservation Commissioners at their  January 11 meeting spoke enthusiastically of the scheme and voted unanimously to draft a letter in support (see transcript below) The letter will be discussed at the Jan 25 meeting, this Thursday at 6pm. Continue reading

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Preservation Maryland’s betrayal of its mission — letter

Letter to Meagan Baco at Preservation Maryland: “… I and quite a number of others here think Preservation Maryland’s performance with respect to the Birely Tannery has been a disgraceful sellout. Your outfit has in this matter gotten itself into an unprincipled alliance with people who give only lip service to preservation. Continue reading

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DHCC taxes proposed for funding historic district rehab — a peanuts proposal

The Frederick News-Post (FNP) reports a proposed scheme under which some of the hotel tax collected at the Downtown Hotel & Conference Center (DHCC) would be used for a special fund to rehab other buildings in the historic district. This rehab fund would constitute the ‘mitigation’ to compensate for the loss of the Birely Tannery building which project sponsors want to demolish to make room for the conference center portion of the hotel complex.  Continue reading

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City permitting staff talk about first DH&CC site plan from Plamondon — many problems

City planning staff have raised a bunch of questions about a site Sketch Plan (Plan) for the DHCC submitted November 22 by Bohler Engineering of Towson on behalf of Plamondon. Over thirty problem points were raised by City staff for discussions which began at the City Annex on West Patrick St this week. The issues raised range from large problems difficult to remedy to small matters rather easily fixed.   Continue reading

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Abandoned by the City, what future for the HAC?

City officials are now denying any responsibility for the downtown Hotel Advisory Committee (HAC.) In submissions to the State Attorney General’s Open Meetings Compliance Board they insisted the HAC is a ‘private body’ of the County Chamber of Commerce and any City or public officials who attended its closed door meetings were merely guest attendees, not real members. Continue reading

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State AG’s Compliance Board chides City over Hotel Advisory Committee but punts on declaring clear violation

The State AG’s Open Meetings Compliance Board says the City of Frederick has sent “mixed messages” about the status of its Downtown Hotel Advisory Committee (HAC.) And, it says that there is an apparent “factual disconnect” between the City’s claim that it is a private ad hoc committee under Chamber of Commerce control and the entity by the same name that the City has designated to “perform substantive functions” under the leadership of a chair whom the mayor said he had appointed. Continue reading

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Frederick County delegation to Annapolis — please encourage Governor Hogan and Board of Public Works to withhold state-$s for City’s boondoggle hotel LETTER

Delegate Kathy Afzali and colleagues:

Recent developments confirm the good judgment of the majority of the Frederick County delegation in opposing state funds for the City’s boondoggle hotel. The case against state support is stronger than ever.

1. New proof that City officials knowingly minimized competition

In September this year an October 2013 report by the City’s lead consultants Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) surfaced showing that the City Continue reading

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Mark Gaver’s arrest on fraud charges — what it means for the hotel project OPINION

Downtown hotel proponents are in denial about the importance of the fraud indictment of Mark Gaver, the City’s first Hotel Advisory Committee (HAC)

Mark Gaver

chair. Consider that scores of people might have been asked by Richard Griffin and the incoming Mayor McClement to head up the City takeover of the Chamber of Commerce’s push for the downtown hotel, and who do they choose: not a senior salaried officer, not an accountable elected representative, not a hotels professional, but a smarmy crony ‘businessman’ who was everywhere. A brilliantly wrong choice. Continue reading

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First HAC chair’s arrest and charges — Full text of US Attorney’s news release

Subject: FORMER FREDERICK BUSINESS OWNER CHARGED IN $50 MILLION BANK FRAUD

Sent to Baltimore and Washington media.

December 5, 2017                                                                             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          Contact ELIZABETH MORSE

www.justice.gov/usao/md                                                                 at (410) 209-4885

FORMER FREDERICK BUSINESS OWNER CHARGED IN $50 MILLION BANK FRAUD

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has charged Mark Ian Gaver, age 56, of Bonita Springs, Florida, with eight counts of bank fraud and two counts of money laundering arising from an alleged scheme to obtain $50 million in bank financing for his company using false and fraudulent financial statements, balance sheets, and certifications of outstanding accounts receivables.  The indictment was returned today, although Gaver was previously arrested on a criminal complaint when he entered the United States from Canada on November 15th. Continue reading

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First HAC chairman Mark Gaver arrested and charged with $50m bank fraud – FNP

Gaver in 2010

The Frederick News-Post is reporting that Mark Gaver the first City-appointed chairman of the Hotel Advisory Committee (HAC) has been arrested and charged with $50 million of bank fraud. Gaver is accused of misrepresenting the value of his contracts with federal agencies in Frederick and in Washington DC to defraud banks going back to November 2008.  Continue reading

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