In Their Own Words: Commissioner Storke Summarizes the Issue

Here’s some audio from last night’s meeting.  Commissioner Storke summarized the entire confusing issue during his remarks.  He says the biggest problem he has with the recreation center proposal is selling off public open space land to help finance the new project.  But why don’t you listen to it, since you’ll hear it in his own words and he makes a lot of important points.

                           Commissioner Storke’s Remarks at Sept. 03, 2008 meeting

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15 responses to “In Their Own Words: Commissioner Storke Summarizes the Issue

  1. Henry Hollingsworth

    Finally. Finally someone speaks truth to government. I like commissioner Storke’s suggestion, let’s give the Alliance money to Elk Landing and see if they don’t put it to better use. Let’s see, 3 thousand people in two years without your money. What could those folks do WITH the money? Fix up a 200 year old house, spruce up the grounds, hire an executive director to create programs and assist our school kids learn about their history, history in their own backyard, draw tourists and those tourist dollars. Sounds good to me and I’ve been dead for 200 years. How’s that for payback… Jo?

  2. Wow, Henry – very good points. Forgot my name there for a second… Now it’s right…

    And, I’ve been dead for 240 years (this year, as a matter of fact.)

  3. Henry Hollingsworth,

    Elk Landing has more money from individual contributions and grants than the Alliance already and have nothing to show for it. They could have been included on new tourism signs that will be going up soon but aren’t because they are not open the 30 hours required to be listed. The Elk Landing Foundation is almost as old as the Elkton Alliance and what have they accomplished. NOTHING! They barely do any events, and the ones they have are not publicized enough for people to even know they exist. I wouldn’t even know they exist if it wasn’t for the Elkton Alliance listing them in their newsletter and on their website.

    What do you think the events that the Elkton Alliance has does for Tourism. Their three car shows alone this year brought over a 1,000 people to each one to eat at Elkton Restaurants and go into Elkton Shops. Their Fall Fest/Firefighter Challenge brings 10,000 people to Town and packs the hotels with firefighters traveling to compete.

    When Elk Landing starts doing something for the citizens of the Town, then you can start whining about funding from the Town. What kind of person would want to deprive citizens from good family friendly events because they hold some sort of grudge, grow up!

  4. Elkton Resident:

    Thanks for posting your opinion on the subject of Elk Landing and the Elkton Alliance. We appreciate all opinions.

    Mike

  5. Henry Hollingsworth

    Touché my dear sir or madame, Touché!

    One thing… I can’t grow up. I’m dead!

  6. Zebulon Hollingsworth

    Well said, son, well said!

  7. Mary Hollingsworth

    With all due respect, father Zeb, you and grandpa Henry are missing the point. After raising and spending all of that money, after all of the accomplishments you list, the foundation board goes and does a bone headed thing like agreeing to a concept that gives up 20 acres of what was once my hard earned land. Giving up 20 acres for a strip mall. Does that make sense? Hardly.

    After the Revolutionary War Zebulon Hollingsworth built two houses showing a committment to the land and the people of Elkton. After the War of 1812, my late husband, William, stuck with the land and the business. After my home was nearly destroyed by fire in 1848, I, a widow, elected to stay and rebuild because the land was so much a part of me. The land is important. It’s, as Mike likes to say, one of the most historic pieces of land between Philadelphia and Washington, DC. How can anyone give it up for a few pieces of silver?

    No, the foundation has done many things, but it, along with the Mayor and the town commissioners, have alot of explaining to do about agreeing to a concept that would infringe on this important land.

    MH

  8. Zebulon Hollingsworth

    My Dear Fellow Elktonian…

    While I haven’t lived at Elk Landing for about 200 years, I have put in several appearances… and even I know that to say the Historic Elk Landing Foundation has done nothing the last 9 years is not supported by the facts. Does it have a perfect record? No. It has lots of problems. But I wonder….

    Are you from the same Elkton from which I ventured forth? Because if you are, then you would know that the foundation raised about one million dollars the first four years of its existence. You’d know the foundation invested about half of those funds in the restoration of my so called Hollingsworth House exterior and first floor. You’d know my Stone House was also stabilized temporarily. You’d know the foundation commissioned no fewer than 5 archeological studies of the Elk Landing grounds. You’d know a dendrochronology study was done on my Stone House to help determine when I built it. You’d know educational programs such as those that describe the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, early American trades, archeology, lectures, and school tours have taken place at Elk Landing at least once per school year. And finally, you’d know about the Vintage Base Ball team which not only has lots of fun, but educates about the history of the game. Maybe you should read some of the numerous articles that have appeared in the WHIG about Elk Landing. Maybe you should see the Elk Landing web site at http://www.elklanding.org. Maybe it is you who should stop whining and get your facts straight.

    ZH

  9. The Mayor and Commissioners have yet to agree on anything. This was all a proposal, but it is being treated like its a done deal even though it hasn’t even gotten to the stage of where the Mayor and Commissioners can vote on the idea. After the first proposal for a rec center at Elk Landing went nowhere. A new proposal was brought to all of the Mayor and Commissioners attention and then shown to the Board at Elk Landing to get everyone’s opinion. Then Commissioner Storke went of the deep end and acted like a lunatic, cursing at the Town Meeting because he felt like he didn’t know what was going on, even though he was shown the same proposal as everyone else. There was never a formal vote where the Mayor and Commissioners accepted the concept. The concept was just shown to them.

  10. Proposal or not, the key issue still remains unchanged. Selling off POS land for development in exchange for a contaminated industrial site is not good government and rasies serious questions of ethics and legality. I can’t imagine anyone with a semblance of decency stting back and allowing such a rotten deal to procede, even it was only in the conceptual stage.

  11. Elkton Resident:
    Thanks for posting some additional comments. As you’ve seen it created a first for us, a blog swarm, as several posters weighed in with opinions. You seem to be deeply knowledgeable on management of the Elkton Alliance and also to have an unusual level of insight about the technical aspects of tourism. It’s always good to have posters with insight. I’d like to comment on some of your observations by staying focused on the land issue and presenting some facts. We’ll use sort of a fact-checking method as they do with political advertisements these days.
    1. You say the commissioners have yet to agree on anything and haven’t reached the stage where they can vote on it. — At more than one board meetings, they have taken preliminary votes to see if there is enough support to move ahead. In those votes, it typically has split with Commissioner Jablonski, Mayor Fisona, and Commissioner Piner voting to move ahead. Commissioner Storke against it and Commissioner Givens was undecided. They certainly had the votes to move ahead for a majority had get their approval in the informal votes.
    2. The reason they haven’t moved ahead with it after determining that they had the votes is the lack of their understanding of all the elements associated with this undertaking. If they hadn’t tried to handle the issue themselves and allowed the professionals to manage it for them, it would’ve been managed much better. Staff has technical skills in various disciplines and they are critical for evaluating and managing technical proposals. You don’t want the politicians to try to manage something that is regulated and/or technical. However, we sure if the professionals, rather than town politicians, had handled it our obstacles would’ve been much greater.
    3. They were at the very edge of signing the contract, when it was discovered that there were chemical contamination issues related to the site where they wanted to build the recreation center. If the Commissioners are managing the process, as they were doing, they should’ve know that before they got to the meeting where they were going to vote. That’s what stopped the vote, nothing else. The politicians needed more facts after working on the issue for a long time.
    4. Then there was the time when the town administrator wrote a letter to them saying doesn’t do it for a number of reasons. How could they still want to vote for it and go forward after receiving such an important determination that was found through a Freedom of Information Act request.
    4. You say it’s being treated like a done deal. I’ve you seen the confusion. It’s been anything but a done deal either way, since it mostly involves confusion.
    6. It is so confused so wherever the idea originated form and whomever was managing it, that’s the best we can say about it. They start talking about it and none of them are working with the same sets of critical facts, on important aspects of the subject.

    If they want a rec center, go ahead and do it. We’re not arguing against that. We’re just trying to project open land. We always felt the bigger argument would occur when the mandated state hearing had to begin. We didn’t realize it would be so mismanaged at the mayor and commissioners level.

    Singed, Mike (all my postings have my name attached)

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