Mr Mayor: you said during your address in Annapolis to the Senate Finance Committee March 22 on SB1038: “We know there are concerns and we are trying to address those concerns as they come to us.”

One concern you have not addressed is how you reconcile your promises not to use City tax money on the project with SB1038’s requirement that the City commit in a contractual agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority to take sole responsibility for operating costs and deficits of the conference facility. We know that many if not most such conference and convention facilities run at a deficit on operating revenues. I understand that the proposed public private partnership between the city and Plamondon may protect the City against some start-up losses. However if like most other conference facilities it runs chronic losses Plamondon will be forced to present the City with a difficult choice: “Support the conference center by covering the losses or we’ll have to shutter it.”

A second associated concern is that none of the studies so far conducted has focussed on the likely operating revenues and expenses of the conference facility as such, the portion for which you seek public financial support.

I’m interested in how you address these concerns.

Peter Samuel, Frederick, 2016-03-28

NOTE: There was no acknowledgement or reply to this letter.

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