First let's look at the packet and the funding the city is approving this week. My next blog will speak to the disputed bid I mention above.
Civic Works at The Clifton Mansion
2701 Saint Lo Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21213
With a strong work ethic and a focus on education and skills training, Civic Works continues to kindle positive change in the lives of Baltimore's young adults and in our communities.
- Martin O'Malley
East Baltimore Development Corporation - Johns Hopkins University
Parks & People Foundation
Our Mission Statement
The Parks & People Foundation is dedicated to supporting a wide range of recreational and educational opportunities; creating and sustaining beautiful and lively parks; and promoting a healthy natural environment for Baltimore
Greater Homewood Development Corporation - Johns Hopkins University
Westside Development Initiative
The WestSide Initiative area is an aggressive public/private partnership for redevelopment to renew the west side of downtown Baltimore
Baltimore Development Corporation - Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins Hospital Medical Center
Infrastructure and community health programs
Classic Coldspring North LLC
Affluent community infrastructure development
Maintenance of property donated to the city ----former residence of Johns Hopkins, property near Johns Hopkins or Westside Development
East Baltimore Development Corporation - East Baltimore Community School Board -- Johns Hopkins University
___________________________________________________________ Johns Hopkins would like to have you think they are altruistic. The people who are stakeholders in the areas Hopkins is developing would beg to differ. With a death-grip on city and state government, they work to defund these communities by blocking resources while the community crumbles. They block any legislation that raises the minimum wage from double poverty $7.25 (I made that in high school 40 years ago....whoops, I showed my age). Hopkins is like a great big vacuum that sucks all of Baltimore's revenue up (remember, they are getting trillions in federal funding for research and billions in state tax money for community services and development).
Mayor Rawlings-Blake and the city council members are devoted to Hopkins. Since the Hopkins campuses are all over the city, there isn't a district that doesn't have Hopkins interests in mind. THIS IS BALTIMORE'S CHALLENGE TO CRONYISM AND CORRUPTION...ELECTING POLITICIANS WHO WILL WORK FOR THE PEOPLE AND NOT CORPORATIONS.
Editorial: Who’s minding the store?
Posted: 6:30 pm Thu, February 3, 2011
By Maryland Daily Record Staff
The New East Baltimore, a projected $1.8 billion effort to transform 88 blighted acres north of Johns Hopkins Hospital, is a mammoth undertaking with more than $200 million worth of public investment after a decade and precious little public oversight.
That lack of accountability is a fundamental flaw that must be rectified now.
As documented by The Daily Record’s series, “Too Big to Fail?”, the project is off course. Plans for five buildings of “world-class” biotech space bristling with companies eager to be in proximity to the renowned John Hopkins medical institutions have been shelved. One building is up. It is scheduled to be 80 percent occupied in May, three years after completion.
As development lags, so does job creation. To get early federal money, project planners said the biotech park would create 1,750 jobs. There are now 422 employees in the one biotech building, and officials don’t know how many of them were pre-existing jobs that transferred in when their companies moved there.
Housing also is behind schedule. Upfront expenses were driven up by unexpectedly high but completely justified relocation costs paid to members of the African-American community known as Middle East who were moved out to make way for The New East Baltimore. By the time the ground was cleared in 2009, the full brunt of the recession had hit. Today, only 37 percent of the housing scheduled to be built or under construction is underway.
To their credit, state government and the Johns Hopkins University have stepped forward with projects not part of the original vision — a $175 million lab for the state health department and a $60 million graduate student housing tower — to help the project regain momentum. But these tax-exempt buildings are also changing the financial profile of the development, which was to include more private development.
Now the project’s developer, Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, is crafting a new vision to attract middle-class residents that includes a hotel, a grocery store, restaurants and a state-of-the-art public school built with private funds and supported by the Johns Hopkins University.
Where the project goes from here is anyone’s guess.
Steering the course of this effort has been East Baltimore Development Inc., a private nonprofit created in 2002 to assure continuity of focus and effort through changing mayoral administrations.
EBDI has provided that continuity, but its status as a private nonprofit allows it to operate with sweeping independence. It is not audited by the city or state governments. It issues public annual reports, which in some cases have included incomplete and inaccurate information. Its federal tax forms are public, but it has declined to provide its internal audits to The Daily Record because it is not legally required to do so.
While EBDI has been allowed to operate with great autonomy, a number of city officials have been unaware of many of the project’s details.
City Councilman Carl Stokes, who represents part of the affected area and is a nonvoting member of the EBDI board, told The Daily Record last fall that he did not understand the complex financial underpinning of the project, specifically, the city’s sale of $78 million in Tax Increment Financing bonds.
Since then Mr. Stokes has created a task force to review Baltimore’s use of TIFs and PILOTs (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) to finance development projects in light of the city’s budget woes.
This is an excellent first step and we commend Mr. Stokes for taking it. Baltimore’s elected officials need to understand that TIFS are not “a kind of free money,” as an expert at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy says.
TIFs can be a very valuable development financing mechanism, but they should be used with the utmost care. Their use impacts future budgets because they are repaid by property taxes from the development they help generate.
Asked last week if he thought the average citizen understood how TIFs work, Mr. Stokes said that he and his colleagues on the City Council don’t understand it.
Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, who grew up in Middle East and formerly represented part of it, was unaware that the city had sold $78 million in TIF bonds when first asked about it by The Daily Record last fall.
Former Mayor Sheila A. Dixon said she did not know the city had sold the TIF bonds while she was mayor.
City Councilman Warren Branch, who represents the bulk of the affected area and is also a nonvoting member of the EBDI board, described himself as a “freshman” who is “still trying to filter” information about The New East Baltimore project. Branch has been in office since 2007.
City housing commissioner Paul T. Graziano, also a nonvoting member of the EBDI board, receives monthly reports from EBDI on the project’s progress but discards them after reading them, his spokeswoman said.
This is no way to run a railroad, much less the nation’s largest urban redevelopment project.
The stakes for the city and state are far too high to keep operating in this manner. If this project is to succeed — and we hope it does — it needs nothing less than the full attention of the public, private and nonprofit sectors to assure the coordination of resources and planning and a fully transparent process to accurately calculate the impact of these decisions in human and financial costs.
As Douglas W. Nelson, chairman of the EBDI board and former CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which has pumped millions of dollars into the project, said, “If in time we can’t make that community resemble the vision we had for families and kids and workers there, the city is in trouble.”
THIS WAS MY QUESTION FOR A HOPKINS CONNECTED NON-PROFIT -
I would like your thoughts on this question: Developing a community's human resources requires that the growth comes from the community itself. A community non-profit is an association of community members tasked to make changes that they want to see in their neighborhoods, that brings stability and opportunity for the stakeholders. This is how many communities build their non-profits. In Baltimore, I see all the non-profit development as corporate style, institutional development with the paid staff being mostly VISTAS often college students from Hopkins, Goucher, or Stephenson hailing from other parts of the country. There objectives are often pre-planned and the skills development often labor oriented. The community members, when trying for grants from the city to develop their own non-profit/community based programs can't get funds because the city channels community outreach fund to these institutional programs. What I see time and again is that the institutional non-profits become perpetual because they are not developing the level of participation and commitment that comes with grassroots programs. The goal of any non-profit should be to make itself irrelevant within the community it chooses to serve. I'm not saying good things aren't happening....I'm saying that the ends may justify the institutions needs more than the community's. Public money should do the opposite. Cindy Walsh Baltimore, Md