Jaw dropping – letter in Frederick News-Post and comments that followed

An editorial The Frederick News-Post ran Aug. 11, 2013, led off: “While it’s still early stages for the hotel and conference center planned for downtown, we have to confess our jaws dropped slightly at the estimated price tag the city will have to pay to move the project forward: $10 million to $12 million.”

I wonder where your jaws are now 30 months later with the public sector support having more than doubled to $25.7 million, as of the city’s preliminary revised budget “matrix” of Feb. 4. And that $25.7 million number was calculated, we’ve been warned, before detailed design is complete.

And where are your jaws with Mayor Randy McClement continuing to insist that taxpayers are not on the hook even though the state’s Stadium Authority insists that as a condition for state funds the mayor sign an agreement committing the city to accept sole responsibility for the operating costs and losses on the conference center? That was in black and white in the bills advanced by hotel boosters, Sen. Ron Young, and delegates Carol Krimm and Karen Lewis Young (HB 1474 and SB 1038.)

The mayor spoke in Annapolis to House and Senate committees urging them to enact this city liability for losses into state law. Further, after years of insisting that both the hotel and the conference center would be a purely private business, now the mayor says the conference center part will be “public.” That is the part most liable to bleed red ink. If McClement’s “not on the hook” baloney on the hotel doesn’t get him voted out of office next election, my jaw will drop.

Peter Samuel

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/opinion/letter_to_editor/jaw-dropping/article_8e0bf43e-5d8c-5100-8e83-c59fef07ae79.html

comments
BlueDawn666
BlueDawn666 Apr 19, 2016 10:46am
Revenue Bonds are not paid back with tax dollars. They are paid back with Revenue by the Plamondon owned conference center. That is why they are called revenue bonds. If they were paid back by public tax dollars they would be General Obligation bonds. Not a difficult concept.
But see the conference center will never turn a profit so who pays the revenue bonds back then? The Plamondon’s ? WE the taxpayers will indeed be paying those back…
http://www.municipalbonds.com/education/two-types-of-bonds-general-obligation-vs-revenue-bonds/

Report Add Reply
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 5:34pm
When you start to peel back the layers of this project, read documents posted on government websites, and dig a little into the budget/money trail, the whole affair is smoke and mirrors with some misdirecton thrown in. Taxpayer$ tax dollar$ are being redirected by the Young$ and the Mayor to support a private enterprise behind a smoke screen of double talk and creative buzz words. Bottom line, public money for private enterprise. That’s corporate welfare, plain and simple. The Plamondon$ should build their hotel with their own money and private financing – not the taxpayer$.

Report Add Reply
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 4:50pm
Burgess, the conf center is now going to be 100% publicaly owned. Please read the documents.

Report Add Reply
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 8:55pm
There are no documents to read. They are working on the MOU right now. Have you seen a draft of the MOU or are you just imagining that you have?

Report Add Reply
richardlyons
richardlyons Apr 18, 2016 1:41pm
Corporate welfare plain and simple, the only difference is that in this case the corporations are wholly owned by Frederick locals; so I guess that makes it OK.

Report Add Reply
KellyAlzan
KellyAlzan Apr 18, 2016 12:27pm
FNP MODERATOR(s)

The forum rules state:
Be Truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.

Please suspend Burgess’s account for knowingly stating lies regarding this conference center / hotel

Report Add Reply
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 1:54pm
Very funny. Repeat after me “Revenue bonds are not public tax dollars.”

Report Add Reply
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 2:20pm
Repeat after me:

“The Project anticipates using public dollars from state programs specifically designed to assist with these types of projects, such as the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development – Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund (SDSGIF) Grant Program which has already awarded $850,000 to The Project. These dollars are solely for land acquisition.

The Project anticipates using State of Maryland financing through the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) or the Maryland Economic Development Corporation to assist with the public infrastructure components of The Project. ”
http://www.downtownhotelatcarrollcreek.com/faqs/#anchor3

Report Add Reply
BlueDawn666
BlueDawn666 Apr 18, 2016 2:40pm
Not technically..but where does the money come from for the revenue bonds? It is not just magically appearing money is it, it didn’t just pop out of thin air did it? isn’t revenue generated from taxes? public tax dollars?

Report Add Reply
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 3:21pm
The money comes from the PRIVATE investors that purchase the bonds. The revenue is not generate from taxes. It is revenue from the conference center. This is pretty basic stuff. Jeepers.

Report
BlueDawn666
BlueDawn666 Apr 18, 2016 4:01pm
Huh????
The money comes from the PRIVATE investors that purchase the bonds. The revenue is not generate from taxes. It is revenue from the conference center. This is pretty basic stuff. Jeepers.

The conference center has not generated any revenue, so what private investors have purchased these bonds? So these revenue bonds were finance by private investors? Really, that makes no sense, then these are not revenue bonds they are something different are you sure you know what you are even talking about ?

Report
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 4:04pm
As with the Watergate investigations, follow the money. The MSA is part of the state government, so you need to look at how much the state government funds the MSA. Then follow the money for the revenue bonds. The MSA sells the bonds to investors. That money is used for the MSA projects and then must be paid back with interest when the bonds are due.

Report
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 4:42pm
The private investors are paid back with public dollars. Specifically the new sales, income taxes, property taxes, etc. generated by the project. Were it privately financed there would be no bonds to payoff and the tax revenue would go to the general fund or wherever else they normally go to instead of being siphoned off to pay for the project. Jeepers kreepers open your peepers.

Report
BlueDawn666
BlueDawn666 Apr 18, 2016 5:03pm
Thanks Matt
The private investors are paid back with public dollars. Specifically the new sales, income taxes, property taxes, etc. generated by the project. Were it privately financed there would be no bonds to payoff and the tax revenue would go to the general fund or wherever else they normally go to instead of being siphoned off to pay for the project. Jeepers kreepers open your peepers.

So see yes indeed tax dollars will indeed be on the line…see I knew you had no clue what you were talking about Burgess

Report
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 9:00pm
Revenue Bonds are not paid back with tax dollars. They are paid back with Revenue by the Plamondon owned conference center. That is why they are called revenue bonds. If they were paid back by public tax dollars they would be General Obligation bonds. Not a difficult concept.

Report
bosco
bosco Apr 19, 2016 6:54am
“The money comes from the PRIVATE investors that purchase the bonds. The revenue is not generate from taxes. It is revenue from the conference center. This is pretty basic stuff. Jeepers.”…Jeepers is right, since Peter Plamondon said himself that: “Additionally, independent studies have confirmed that MSA bonds will be paid back by the new revenues the State of MD will receive “….new revenue the state will receive. That’s taxes that will be directed to pay off the MSA bonds.

http://www.downtownhotelatcarrollcreek.com/news/

Report
bosco
bosco Apr 19, 2016 7:00am
“Revenue Bonds are not paid back with tax dollars. They are paid back with Revenue by the Plamondon owned conference center. That is why they are called revenue bonds. If they were paid back by public tax dollars they would be General Obligation bonds. Not a difficult concept.”……..evidently it is a difficult concept since Peter Plamondon himself says….”Additionally, independent studies have confirmed that MSA bonds will be paid back by the new revenues the State of MD will receive with no additional expense.”

That’s tax revenue that will be used to pay off the MSA bonds.

Report
DickD
DickD Apr 18, 2016 2:53pm
Repeat after me, I lie, I lie, I lie.

Report Add Reply
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 4:51pm
False.

Report Add Reply
nbouqu1
nbouqu1 Apr 18, 2016 2:14pm

Report Add Reply
DickD
DickD Apr 18, 2016 2:52pm
Kelly, he is probably one of the Randalls.

Report Add Reply
KellyAlzan
KellyAlzan Apr 18, 2016 10:49am
This is why I eat at Chic Fil A

Report Add Reply
DickD
DickD Apr 18, 2016 10:37am
Peter, personally, I like the part that states the City will be on the hook and the Mayor signing off on it makes it a sure thing for them. Not living in the City, it doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is all the lies and distortions we have seen on this to give corporate welfare to the Randalls and Plamondons.

Report Add Reply
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 9:26am
Excellent LTE as usual Peter. Thank you!

Report Add Reply
jerseygrl42
jerseygrl42 Apr 18, 2016 8:50am
Well said Peter and the BS from those in favor is the same BS we heard regarding the incinerator from the 2 prior BOCCs as well as NMWDA and mike marschner (who is still collecting $71/hr from our taxes); “taxpayers not on the hook” ,except that pages 5 and 6 of one of the 4 incinerator contracts stated very clearly that the taxpayers were absolutely on the hook , line and sinker….and this hotel is just one more example of the lies perpetrated on the taxpaying citizens who will actually be on the hook for a minimum of $39.5 MILLION ( don’t forget the garage which was put aside temporarily to make the numbers shrink but if this project goes forward it too will be built) …. and why is the mayor insisting the city ( read taxpayers ) own the tainted property which will have to be abated prior to building the hotel if the deal is done as currently written , guess who will pay for the abatement….and two families will be richer while thousands of our school children will continue to be taught in trailer parks and I-270 will become a bigger parking lot….both for lack of funds

Report Add Reply
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 9:36am
Spot on Jersey. The political sorcery involved here is very similar to the incinerator – misinformation put out on the financing and outrageous fees in the $ millions to lawyers and designers. Not to worry though, I strongly suspect the hotel will meet the same fate as the incinerator. FAIL!

Report Add Reply
BlueDawn666
BlueDawn666 Apr 18, 2016 10:49am
There are far TO MANY hurdles this project is going to have to overcome, much like the incinerator had, dissatisfied taxpayers can be an insurmountable force to overcome, we are dissatisfied taxpayers as long as we keep shouting how dissatisfied we are this project is going FAIL.

Report Add Reply
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 1:59pm
The blather in the FNP comment section is what city, county, state officials use to make their decisions. Governor Hogan read your comments. And acted accordingly.

Report
BlueDawn666
BlueDawn666 Apr 18, 2016 2:25pm

The blather in the FNP comment section is what city, county, state officials use to make their decisions. Governor Hogan read your comments. And acted accordingly.
The blather in the FNP comment section is what city, county, state officials use to make their decisions. Governor Hogan read your comments. And acted accordingly.

You are correct but do you really think this is the only place we are “blathering” ?
But these comments were the downfall of Blaine Young so yes our blathering does have an effect on people, you know us dissatisfied taxpayers…

Report
DickD
DickD Apr 18, 2016 10:44am
You could add the City allowed itself to be robbed by the golf course managers, where they failed miserably in their oversight. Now just whom will manage the Conference Center? The Plamondons? Prepare yourself for more robbery of the City tax money and some from the State too.

Report Add Reply
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 8:36am
Samuel, as usual, is seriously confused. The conference center was, is, and will be a “public-private partnership.” Nothing has changed, other than Samuel getting more confused. The conference center will be owned and operated by Plamondon, hence it will be a private business. The financing will come from the sale of Maryland Stadium Authority revenue bonds, hence it will be a public project. Plamondon (private) will pay rent to the city, pay taxes to the city, pay a portion of net revenue to the city (public). Samuel, repeat thrice after me, “Public-Private Partnership”. A private business that benefits the public and where municipal bonds are issued to finance its construction. PPP, PPP, PPP.

Report Add Reply
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 9:24am
Oh it changed alright, Burgess. The CC was originally going to be privately owned before it was changed to “publicly” owned about a month ago. They changed it because they realized there was nothing public about it with it being privately owned. But, No updated MOU and the price tag grew as well and now the city is responsible for covering cash flow deficits whereas before it was locked in to measly 10% share of positive cash flow for which there was NEVER a projection given to the public. The city will receive rent you say? Wow, $80 grand a month – how generous! And it has competing restaurants to boot!

This is a P3 alright – Plamondon Private Partnership with the Young’s et al. Very few people will ever get to use the CC that they are indeed paying for. It’s about as public a facility as Camp David. This project is being sold on a fantasy, when the reality is that many similar hotel projects have been bleeding cash for years. These things are always more public than private.

Report Add Reply
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 9:36am
This is nonsense. It will be owned and operated by Plamondon.

Report Add Reply
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 9:53am

“This is nonsense. It will be owned and operated by Plamondon. “… I agree, it is nonsense if the project will be owned and operated by the Plamondon$. Why, then, are the Young$ and Mayor Bagel trying to use taxpayer$ dollar$ for the Plamondon$ private business?

Report
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 10:02am
No public tax dollars involved. The conference center will be funded by $15 million of MSA revenue bonds sold to private investors.

Report
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 1:28pm
Balderdash! The final legislative bill requesting authorization of funds, as amended, cited the CC as fully publicly owned and existing co-terminus (in the same structure) as the hotel which is privately owned. Try to keep up please.

Report
nbouqu1
nbouqu1 Apr 18, 2016 3:51pm
matts853, actually I believe it’s $80K per YEAR

Report Add Reply
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 4:46pm
Yes! Thanks for catching my mistake.

Report
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 9:59am
“The financing will come from the sale of Maryland Stadium Authority revenue bonds,”…..more smoke and mirrors. The MSA is part of the state government and “revenue bonds” – while they sound nicer than taxe$ – are a government loan to the bond purchaser, which must be paid back with interest. That’s still taxpayer$ dollar$ the Young$ want to give to the Randall$ and the Plamondon$ along with the dollar$ the city wants to use to buy the property. Take a look at the MSA’s portion of the state budget and notice how much is directed to debt service. http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/BudgetFiscal/2016fy-budget-docs-operating-D28A03-Maryland-Stadium-Authority.pdf

Report Add Reply
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 10:39am
No taxpayer dollars. The money comes from private investors who purchase the bonds. How is private money considered taxpayer dollars?

Report Add Reply
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 11:07am
What a load of manure. No taxpayer dollars. Q. And what do those investors do with the bonds? A. They expect to get their initial purchase price and some interest back. Q Where does that money come from? A. The state’s MSA. Q. Who funds the state and the MSA? A. The taxpayer$

Report
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 1:30pm
You are terribly confused . Plamondon pays back the principal and interest on the MSA bonds. Public tax dollars are not involved.

Report
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 1:47pm
Because typically these bonds are purchased by savvy institutional investors who invest them in pensions, retirement accounts etc. They want assurance the bonds will be paid back and that assurance typically comes from the full faith and credit – meaning taxes – of the government agency that issued the bonds. Taxpayers are almost always the backstop for these bonds in case of default. That’s how the bond documents read for the incinerator and its probably the same for the MSA bonds.

Report
matts853
matts853 Apr 18, 2016 2:08pm
Plomondon absolutely will not pay back the bonds. They are not borrowing any MSA money for the project, the city and county are borrowing it to finance the CC which will be fully publicly owned. The bonds will be paid back using the cash flows form the CC (if there are any) and the new TAXES that will supposedly (if you trust 6 year old cherry picked studies) be generated by an economic boon the likes of which rarely happen with this kind of project. Plomondon is simply leveraging the taxpayers through enabling politicians who want this built for personal reasons. You are seriously misinformed Burgess.

Report
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 2:18pm
burgess, I guess we must all be confused because this is what it says on the FAQs for the project:

“The Project anticipates using public dollars from state programs specifically designed to assist with these types of projects, such as the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development – Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund (SDSGIF) Grant Program which has already awarded $850,000 to The Project. These dollars are solely for land acquisition.

The Project anticipates using State of Maryland financing through the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) or the Maryland Economic Development Corporation to assist with the public infrastructure components of The Project. ”

Source, the Plamondon$ own website: http://www.downtownhotelatcarrollcreek.com/faqs/#anchor3

Report
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 2:23pm
You are confused. The incinerator was to be owned by Frederick and Carroll Counties, who would be responsible for paying back the bonds. The conference center will be owned by Plamondon, who will be responsible for paying back the bonds. Very simple. No public tax dollars involved. Bonds are purchased by private investors (not public tax dollars) and then paid back by Plamondon (not public tax dollars).

Report
Burgessdr
Burgessdr Apr 18, 2016 2:32pm
Yes it says “State of Maryland financing through the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA)”. And again, MSA revenue bonds are purchased by PRIVATE investors and paid back by Plamondon (a PRIVATE company). No public taxpayer dollars involved with MSA revenue bonds..

Report
gary4books
gary4books Apr 18, 2016 7:43am
I suggest that all projects have important questions to answer and for the hotel I would ask “Will this help business along Carroll Creek and downtown Frederick and will it help visitors to our business district?” If the answer is yes, it will be a good thing to do.

No need to make it personal.

Report Add Reply
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 8:23am
“it will be a good thing to do.”…..just not by feeding at the public trough. Local government should be able to help by expediting the process, but if it is a viable project from a business standpoint, it should stand on its own and without taxpayer$ funding. It is personal when taxpayer$ dollar$ are being directed toward private enterprise. That’s my dollar$.

Report Add Reply
Dwasserba
Dwasserba Apr 18, 2016 10:27am
“No need to make it personal” is what I was thinking, and that goes for Burgess as well, since the tone of that remark seems so superior that repeating “public private partnership” brought an image of spitting to mind. This letter stated facts as its writer sees them and without employing third-grade insult tactics. Our newspaper has taken a “side” in this and it’s annoying. They printed a good letter though.

Report Add Reply
bosco
bosco Apr 18, 2016 7:36am
Excellent analysis and some very inconvenient truths for the Young$, The Plamondon$, the Randall$, and Mayor Bagel. The whole project stinks of corporate welfare for a project that must not be able to stand on its own merits.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply