McGrady: Mayor, Council Steering Off Path

Aberdeen resident and former mayoral candidate Patrick McGrady chimes in on local political issues with a letter to the editor.

From :

Our politicians in are back at the wheel, trying to steer the residents of Aberdeen down a path in which they have no interest.

The Mayor and City Council had a “retreat” at a few weekends ago, where they started to work on their plans to solve the problems here in Aberdeen.

Some of the ideas have merit, but are approached from the wrong angle. Mayor Bennett proposes securing investments for a pub or bar in “downtown Aberdeen"—we can describe this as the area on West Bel Air Avenue between the train tracks—and he explains that we need to eliminate height restrictions for this to happen.

We do need to eliminate height restrictions because central planning does not work, but we cannot replace the current restrictions with hoops that only the politically connected can jump through. Remember, Mayor Bennett’s campaign was funded by thousands of dollars from large developers and lobbyists. Make no mistake, when politicians advocate for special interest handouts, there is a reason for it.

The City Council, unless they cut deals behind closed doors, cannot know which type of business or person would be most inclined to invest in a downtown (without taxpayer handouts), and I am not willing to spend other people’s tax dollars to find out. This is not a bad thing, because we don’t need to know who will invest here! If we establish a healthy climate for investment, it will come, without subsidies.

If we want real economic growth through private investment in Aberdeen that will benefit everyone, the path to success is three simple items:

  1. Taxes that are predictable, low, and fair for everybody. No handouts to businesses or individuals. These distort the market and cause other problems. — The budget is coming up soon, keep your eyes peeled.
  2. Water and Sewer bills that are predictable, low, and fair. This may as well be a tax, and year after year, the City Council votes to approve higher water and sewer rates.
  3. Planning and Zoning rules that are predictable, concrete, and fair. 

Until we reduce the burden of high taxes, fees, and bureaucracy in Aberdeen, the only businesses we will get to invest will demand taxpayer handouts that our City Council are more than happy to oblige. I will break down each of these three items with concrete solutions in soon-to-be submitted writings.

None of the Council members return my emails anymore, and perhaps that is their right. But I encourage you to demand good government without the shroud of secrecy and central planning.

Patrick McGrady

P.S.— At a Councilwoman Landbeck pre-emptively defended her plans to vote for increased water/sewer bills once more by pointing fingers at me. I do all I can to speak truth, and like I said when I was a candidate for Mayor, I would get arrested before voting to increase the water and sewer rates on the folks in Aberdeen. 

What I meant by that is that we must be willing to fight for the folks in Aberdeen. We must push back against the legislature, the Governor, and whatever other body tries to drive up the costs of living in Aberdeen. Keep in mind when your Councilmembers vote for higher fees, taxes, and higher water and sewer bills, they are working for you.

vietnam vet March 26, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I'am not a bit surprised !!!.
Juke March 27, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Aberdeen's problem is that you always have the same people in office who serve the select few and not the citizens as a whole. The self-interest of these politicians is shameful. The apathey of the residents is worse. Aberdeen has been mis-guided and lost out on several oppertunities. They are still swallowing debt on the stadium, but do we hear about it anymore? They missed the boat on BRAC development and have been completely boxed in leaving very limited annexation. Well done Aberdeen! The only left to do would be to unincorporate and turn everything over to the County.
Joe McCarthy March 29, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Blame everybody but yourselves. Come up with some ideas but that might be productive.Pat keeps talking but nothing constructive. Speaking of costructive where is the church rehab at these days?Talk about water bills,you want annexation to make them higher? Who does this annexation help besides a few builders/developers who seem to not be able to build or develope witout govt. help.They have had the properties for years with little or no development. The stadium issue is a sore spot for everybody. It all started with a former rep. mayor who tossed out a minor league group who was willing to share costs of development and operation and brought in the savior and gave him all control and no responsibility! This council has failed by not showing the leeches the door! Time for rip the rep. to show some community and help or get the heck out.
Patrick McGrady March 29, 2012 at 01:08 PM
I don't understand this comment-- come check out the church, we just replaced the Jesus as Good Shepherd window from the front and we are preparing for siding it. Since we are doing this project without any taxpayer money, it takes time. Further, how is my letter not productive?


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