First of all, a confession. I live in Howard County. Full employment. High income. My wife and I have given up long ago trying to find a neighborhood kid to do yard work. My guess is they’re too busy washing the hand-me-down BMWs and Subarus their parents give them. When I grew up, I saved my lawn mowing and snow shoveling money to buy an old two-door Ford Falcon with three gears on the column and a bench seat. Girls you were dating would sit next to you back in those days.
The screenshot on the left is from an article in yesterday’s Baltimore Sun about the billboard in the picture. Whether or not it is related to Mayor Pugh’s scandalous behavior and the FBI’s investigation, it marks an extraordinary moment in the continuing downward spiral of Baltimore’s public image.
As what might be described as a casualty of the mess that has turned out to be the administration of Mayor Catherine Pugh, William Coles is resigning as the head of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC). And not a moment too soon. But then this isn’t about the specifics of why he should be replaced. It’s about a much larger problem, that being the entire mission of the BDC.
Of all the development options the owners of the Horseshoe could have proposed to go on the water, next to their Baltimore casino, is a Topgolf driving range/bar really the best they could do?
If you don’t already know, the owners of the Horseshoe Casino – the only one of Maryland’s 6 casinos that has been experiencing declining revenues in the past few years and with substantial support from Mayor Pugh and her Baltimore Development Corporation – are planning to put a Topgolf on these two adjacent waterfront properties…
Who’s in control of the city?
The city of Baltimore has roughly 612,000 people. It’s a number that continues to decline because, let’s be honest, the city has very serious deficiencies. For most of its residents, particularly those without money, it is not a good place to live and work.
It’s a good bet that Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh will be running for re-election in 2020. Why shouldn’t she? Incumbents are always hard to beat. She’ll have plenty of developer and other business money to fund her campaign. She’ll win the Democratic Primary and that will be that.
The other day, someone asked us how we would bring employers to Baltimore. It’s a good question that we’ve decided to answer in print.
Here, in no particular order, are some simple strategies that we think the state and/or city should be supporting. If you’re interested, you can buy us lunch at a cheap diner and we can talk about it in detail over some home-made cherry pie for dessert. (Can you tell that our principal writer is dieting and can’t stop thinking about food?)
Earlier today, President-Elect Donald Trump, together with Japanese businessman Masayoshi Son, CEO of the Softbank Group, jointly announced that Son will be investing a whopping $50 billion in the United States over the next 3 years, creating 50,000 jobs. What a crock.
Our belated congratulations to Catherine Pugh for having been elected Mayor of Baltimore. Well done.
Mayor-elect Pugh is, hands down, the most capable person to be elected by the city in decades. The only problem is, she may be too capable and may, soon enough, find herself mired in the quicksand that is the city government she’s taking over. It’s an ineffective, albeit usually well-meaning, but often dysfunctional mess.
Baltimore has thousands of unemployed and under-employed, unskilled and low-skilled workers. These people need jobs, the sooner the better. It’s an urgent problem of the highest order.
As it turns out, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 48,000 openings for truck drivers across the country. Quite probably, many hundreds of these jobs are in the greater Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. The pay is good, at a median hourly rate of $20/hour plus benefits, and many employers will pay for training.