We are witnessing Third Way corporate democrats handing all public function off to corporations with what we call in Baltimore, a shadow government composed of these same executives running every policy and all public revenue. So, whether it is public utility, public services, or even public buildings......it is all being given to corporations and they are using taxpayers to maximize profits. IT IS OBSCENE.
I've spoken at length about corporatizing education and public private partnerships in transportation.....but now they are moving to structures like the Port of Baltimore and physical government buildings. In Texas 'public' is a dirty world and they have erased even the word public from libraries. So, this is serious folks. If we do not start engaging in politics and action, we will not be citizens. The Baltimore Sun and WYPR has already called next year's election for Governor for Anthony Brown who leads O'Malley's public private partnership efforts!
We are not only seeing all that is public privatized as regards services......we are seeing actual buildings that are public being abandoned and moving the government into being a RENTER. How better to maximize corporate profit than to have taxpayers pay rent to developers after all. THERE IS NOTHING THESE THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS WILL NO HAND OVER TO CORPORATIONS....
In Maryland and especially Baltimore this is booming business and everyone from media to watchdogs are shouting loudly against what everyone sees as an abuse of public money yet O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake just keep on doing it!
State OKs move of housing agency from Crownsville to Prince George's Board of Public Works votes 3-0 for relocation plan
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun 6:25 p.m. EDT, May 29, 2013
Maryland officials approved Wednesday a much-debated plan to move the headquarters of the state's housing agency — along with 380 jobs — from Anne Arundel County to Prince George's County.
The three-member Board of Public Works voted unanimously to vacate the Department of Housing and Community Development's state-owned building in Crownsville. The department will move to leased space in a new, transit-oriented development at New Carrollton, a hub for MARC and Amtrak as well as the Washington Metro. The move fulfills a long-standing promise by Gov. Martin O'Malley to relocate a major state agency to Prince George's.
The vote came after the board heard from advocates of the project, including Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, and opponents, including three Republican members of Anne Arundel's General Assembly delegation.
Supporters said the relocation would provide a catalyst for a vibrant, mixed-use development in Prince George's that would yield tax benefits for the state and county. Critics said the move from a state-owned facility to a leased space with a $58 million rental cost over 15 years was a waste of state resources and an additional cost to the 40 percent of the department's workers who live in Anne Arundel.
The move is expected to be completed in June 2015.
Comptroller Peter Franchot grilled administration officials about the move, lamenting that the relocation had pitted Anne Arundel and Prince George's against each other, but in the end he joined O'Malley and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp in approving the New Carrollton lease.
Despite misgivings, Franchot said, he decided it is the governor's prerogative to determine whether an agency move would be advantageous to the state.
All you have to do is look at how a public utility works when it is privatized to know that the spin below is a lie. Maryland's public BGE was sold for a few billion dollars a few decades ago. Citizens went from being the owner/operator where taxes paid for costs to being the source of never-ending rate increases for profit without any benefit of ownership. Even the original sale price of billions was simply left attached to operational costs for the utility. Now, the ratepayer and taxpayer pays a billion dollar a year profit corporation's operational costs, much of the infrastructure costs, and the corporation is even being exempted from paying property tax on its headquarters. It is a great big sucking machine.
Think as well of leasing a vehicle. You pay higher interest for the privilege of no money down......as with leasing a building....you renegotiate contracts with more fees and closing costs......you buy insurance and you often never own the vehicle. It becomes a perpetual expense.....as does these buildings.
THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS ARE MAKING THE TAXPAYER SHOULDER ALMOST EVERY COST OF DOING BUSINESS FOR A CORPORATION.
THE TAXPAYER IS NOW CORPORATE PROFIT!!!
Public-private partnerships: the new model for infrastructure P3s combine the strengths of two sectors while creating jobs and saving taxpayers moneyBy Sandy Apgar 11:22 a.m. EDT, May 8, 2013
There's a P3 in your future.
Maryland is poised to join 34 states and key federal agencies in transforming the way government works. The new mantra, "P3," is shorthand for public-private partnerships.
Maryland's P3 legislation, championed by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, enables state agencies to engage business in planning, financing, building and operating public projects, from roads and rail to schools and other infrastructure. These could offset up to 10 percent of the state's capital budget, or $300 million annually, and create thousands of jobs. The new law also allows developers to propose P3 projects the state has not yet conceived — a far-reaching initiative to enlist private enterprise in solving public problems.
With this potential, everyone should ask: What are P3s? Why are they important? And how do they work?
•What: P3s deliver public services through agreements between government agencies and private firms. The public partner owns the assets, typically through a long-term ground lease; the business finances and builds facilities and operates the partnership. P3s are not outsourcing or privatization (OH YEAH!!!!). Instead, they fuse public purposes, business practices and profits to perform functions more efficiently and effectively than government or business could on their own.
The Port of Baltimore's Seagirt P3 is funding new deepwater berths, mammoth cranes and through-highway access. Virginia has completed over $1 billion in P3 projects and has $5 billion more in its pipeline to generate jobs, close budget gaps, and attract business as well as ease traffic congestion.
A P3 to redevelop the FBI headquarters in Washington would invest at least $1 billion. The taxpayer would avoid this cost and risk; the FBI would get state-of-the art workspace; Maryland could add thousands of jobs, if selected for a new FBI campus; and an eyesore on the nation's "Main Street" would be replaced by a sparkling new centerpiece. If the financing were sensibly structured, all parties would receive a share of the projected economic values.
•Why: P3s enable public agencies to undertake projects they otherwise would postpone or ignore. Engineers estimate that it will cost over $3 trillion to renew America's crumbling infrastructure. Every billion dollars in infrastructure investment creates 15,000 jobs. But our current approach is crisis-driven: It is easier for politicians to repair collapsing bridges than to fund preventive maintenance.
The Capital Beltway now needs rebuilding more than resurfacing. Its poor condition costs the average commuter $600 annually in vehicle wear and tear. P3s could take $9 billion in Beltway reconstruction and interchange costs off Maryland's books while attracting private investment to create more efficient high-occupancy vehicle lanes and rapid transit.
Canada shows the scope for an integrated national and state-level P3 policy covering nearly all types of public facilities, from transportation and hospitals to schools and jails. By incorporating design, financing, construction and maintenance, Canada achieves 10 percent savings on large, long-term projects and redeploys the proceeds for other priorities.
•How: Collaboration makes P3s work. Business partnerships succeed on handshakes and prosper with cooperation but fail if they become adversarial. Although P3 terms must be formalized on paper, a P3 that relies on its contract, not its leaders, to solve policy and operational problems is doomed to fail.
The P3 business model has built-in revenues and risk-sharing. Toll roads, tunnels and ports are natural candidates because they generate user fees to finance construction and operating costs. Military housing P3s are fueled by soldiers' allowances that enhance the developers' credit to attract private capital. Still to come: fiscal structures that convert capital assets to rent payments, propelling governments to unload their huge inventories of office, administrative and logistics space.
As P3s proliferate, oversight is essential. P3s tie government and business executives to shared goals, ground policy decisions on thorough analysis, and measure progress against plans. Because private sources provide most of the capital and insist on market discipline, there is no room for political grandstanding.
President Barack Obama has often spoken of public-private partnerships and included $50 billion for thousands of potential projects in his new budget. Despite political differences, Maryland's and Virginia's governors share the vision of expanded P3s, including cyber- and social infrastructure as well as transportation. World Bank president Jim Yong Kim is incorporating P3s in his agency's global mission. In Australia, Britain and a dozen other countries, more than 1,000 P3s are in operation.
If you are in government, P3s unleash funding and talent. If you are in business, P3s open new markets. If you are a taxpayer, P3s multiply your public contribution five to 10 times. Everyone wins.
Sandy Apgar, a Baltimore resident, advises business and government leaders on strategy and management. He was assistant secretary of the Army for installations and environment in the Clinton administration and launched the federal government's largest P3 for military housing. He keynoted the first National P3 Conference in Dallas and the State of Maryland's Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on P3s. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind that the Baltimore Fire Department had a stellar record of performance and community outreach that brought citizen awareness ever higher. They did that with ordinary high school graduates and no administrative staff. Now comes the college degrees and administrative structure.
If you look at how Third Way corporate democrats took higher education corporate they first created a network of administrative agencies within the university tasked only with outreach to corporate partners, Federal agencies, and international marketing/expansion. So, you take a public institution that was working just fine and you add so much additional cost that the citizens of Maryland can't afford to send their children to school there. Meanwhile, the corporation attached to these public universities get access to free research labs and R and D....free student labor.....fewer property costs. WIN WIN WIN FOR CORPORATE PROFIT while taxpayers and students pay more!
That is towards what they are working with the police and fire departments. What they want to do is bring International corporations that are being created just to take over municipal functions in fire and police. Private military contractors are taking much of these duties little by little. If you look at Bank of America they already have changed their security people over to an International Security Agency. That is why they are expanding administration and adding the degree requirement.
Now, being the progressive activist I am, I immediately see were having local policing/rescue services handled by say a company out of Turkey will not bode well for democracy and Rule of Law. We already have a suspension of Rule of Law in America and when all services are handled by international global corporations....
you will not be citizens.
Fire Department creates new administrative positions Also: Mayor's press secretary, Ian Brennan, is named to $92,000 fire spokesman's position.
Mark Reutter May 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm Baltimore Brew
As city firefighters face the possibility of 24-hour-long shifts to save money, Fire Chief James Clack today announced the filling of two newly-created administrative positions, each carrying annual salaries of about $100,000.
In addition, Clack named Ian T. Brennan, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s assistant press secretary, as the department’s public information officer, replacing the retiring Kevin Cartwright. Closing all public avenues for information
This is the first time the PIO job has gone to a civilian who was not a member of the department (Cartwright was a paramedic and firefighter) – a fact that spawned comment and criticism in rank-and-file circles today.
Brennan noted, in response, that Rick Binetti, a civilian, served as a spokesman for the fire department several years ago. But he served under Cartwright and was not the PIO.
Asked to comment about the Brennan appointment, Michael Campbell, president of Baltimore Fire Officers Local 964, said, “My preference [for the PIO position] is someone with background and operational knowledge – who knows, for example, what it’s like to run into a burning building or treat a family’s medical emergency.”
He said he understood there were several internal candidates for the position. Said another fire officer, who asked not to be named because it is against departmental policy to talk to the media: “He knows nothing about the daily operation of the department, and that is bad for the department.”
First Female Black Battalion Chief
The newly created positions of battalion chief – for community outreach and for administration – will go to Capt. Charline B. Stokes and Capt. Tavon A. Claggett, respectively.
Charline B. Stokes (Courtesy of Baltimore Fire Department)
A 26-year veteran of the department, Stokes will be the first African-American female to attain the rank of battalion chief in the department’s 154-year history.
“Chief Stokes is a superb addition to our command staff,” Clack said in a press release. “For many years, her commitment to excellence and community engagement has made her a valuable asset in the department and for the city of Baltimore.”
Stokes called her appointment “another important step toward increasing diversity within the entire fire department.”
Her appointment, to community outreach, involves a part of the department that was downgraded by Chief Clack last year and, according to various informed sources, was on the verge of being dissolved.
In addition to community outreach, Stokes will be responsible for the EMS (emergency medical service) billing system, which has come under criticism for its haphazard collection of fees from private ambulance services.
24-Hour Shift Proposal
The new high-level positions come as an arbitrator is set to hear testimony by Fire Officers Local 964 and Firefighters Local 734 about the city’s plan to reduce the number of shifts in fire companies from four to three.
The proposed arrangement would alter current 10- and 14-hour shifts to a 24-hour system – with 24 hours on duty, two days off, then another 24 hours on duty.
Firefighters and officers rejected the plan by a 90%-10% margin in a recent vote.
Chief Clack says the new system has been deployed by many cities, such as Minneapolis where he was the former fire chief, and would prevent the threat of more firehouse closings to balance the city’s budget.
Brennan Says He’s Part of a Team
Brennan became press secretary to Mayor Sheila Dixon in 2006 after working as a web designer in the administrations of three New Jersey governors. Prior to that, he worked for former Maryland Lieut. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
Brennan, who will be paid $92,000 as Fire PIO – up from his current salary “in the high $60,000s” – said he does not believe his lack of experience as a firefighter or paramedic will affect his job performance.
“We have a team here and I’m part of the larger team,” he said in a phone interview today. He said he’s been involved in public safety issues as a member of the mayor’s staff and worked as PIO for the Joint Information Center, the city’s outpost of the National Incident Management System.
Referring to his predecessor, Kevin Cartwright, Brennan said, “Kevin was responsive, trusted and well liked, and I would want to provide that level of communication with the public.”
He said, for example, that he would like to bring more attention to the importance of smoke detectors in homes. “Chief Clack has spoken to me repeatedly over the years about smoke detectors – how they are instrumental in [helping] the department, which has so drastically reduced fire deaths. This is a top priority of the mayor and we hope to reduce the fire toll to zero.”