Annapolis Pulling Council Strings on MGM

There seems to be pressure from Maryland General Assembly Members to give MGM National Harbor whatever they want.

While everyone’s in a huff and going to separate sides about the Video Lottery Facility Economic Opportunities (CB-7-2014) legislation, I’m most alarmed by a statement from Councilwoman Mary Lehman, quoted in the Washington Post, “I cannot support this amended version of this bill. I do not want or need the leadership in Annapolis to tell me how to do my job here in Upper Marlboro,” Lehman said. “If we are going to cede our authority to the state, then we might as well pack up our bags and go home.”  The legislation from the Prince George’s County Council would require MGM Casino to basically hire and do business with county residents, particularly minority residents.

Councilwoman Lehman
Councilwoman Lehman

I don’t like this statement from Lehman.  I don’t like it at all.  None of the council members would say exactly what Maryland General Assembly Member(s) are pressuring them; Councilman Mel Franklin even denied there was pressure.  I believe Mary.  Trust and believe this, we, as a county, will be watching who’s bread gets the butter with this MGM deal.  Understand your place council members.  You hold the key to a huge company that makes billions making even more money.  Don’t let a fancy dinner or reception full of shrimp and liquor cause you to forget the people in this county who voted you into office under the guise that you would have THEIR best interest at heart and in your legislative pen.
MGM National HarborThe bill, CB-7-2014, has been amended to water down the requirements of MGM as it pertains to what people and businesses will work to build MGM National Harbor.   The hope from the county and the company is that there will be a groundbreaking in June but as Lorenzo Creighton, president and chief operating officer of MGM National Harbor stated, “This [original legislation] potentially could delay the start of that facility.”   Why?  There certainly are enough unemployed residents and underutilized businesses located in Prince George’s County.  Councilman Obie Patterson and Councilwoman Mary Lehman no longer support the bill; Councilwoman Andrea Harrison asked that her name be removed from the bill, which was originally presented by Council Members Franklin, Campos, Davis, Harrison, Toles, and Turner.  Kudos to these three.  
The revised bill, which I haven’t seen yet,  was voted out of the Public Safety and Fiscal Management Committee on a 3 to 1 vote Thursday and will be introduced in the full council Tuesday. Franklin said the measure has the support of five of the nine council members. The original legislation had the support of at least eight members.  The Members of the Public Safety and Fiscal Management Committee are: Karen R. Toles, Chair, Derrick L. Davis, Vice-Chair, Andrea C. Harrison, Ingrid M. Turner, Mary A. Lehman



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