Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Last night the bill to allow a triathlon to take place in September was put on a legislative action agenda. This is against the rules, but presumably the city council voted to suspend the rules since this triathlon would happen in September and they take off the entire month of August.

I am assuming that this passed...someone please let me know if it did not.

Basically, the city dock area will be shut down for the entire second weekend in September to allow this triathlon. At first, the city was going to do this for $1!!! One dollar to shut down the city's central tourist attraction, deprive the downtown businesses of revenue, and pay the overtime for the public works staff to clean up the mess. The bill was amended to charge $5,000, which still seems low.

The city, according to the bill, "believes that the event will generate additional economic revenue" and "finds that the premises are not needed for public use" during the time of the event.

Three points:
1. If you are going to shut down that area for the whole weekend, you better have more than a 'belief' that it will generate more economic revenue. The city presents no evidence as to how the downtown businesses might be affected.

2. How, in the name of God's Green Earth, did the city council determine that the public did not need to use the area. There are only, like, eleventy billion people who come to the city dock on any given weekend. On a good weather weekend--like the second weekend in September--that number jumps to twelve ga-zillion. Since the city council has determined that these people will not be visiting on this particular weekend, I'm sure the city clerk has, on record, sworn affidavits from every possible tourist and resident that they will not be needing the downtown area at that time.

3. It would cost $5000 to rent a bar for a private party on a Saturday Night. Why does it only cost $5000 to rent the entire downtown center of a city for a whole weekend? AP was denied admission to the University of Maryland Phd program in economics, but even he knows that this is a raw deal.

I hope that you like swimming, running, or biking--because on that weekend you will not be able to have any ice cream, crab cakes, or water taxis.