Giving “Space To Destroy” Creates Costly Headache For Baltimore Mayor

The cost of “doing business” for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake just got a bit more real, as city accountants start tallying up the costly expenses that her invite of letting those; “who wished to destroy, space to do that.” created. Those balance sheets are now reflecting numbers exceeding tens-of-millions of dollars, and suddenly they are looking for someone else to foot the bill. What does that mean for U.S. taxpayers? A federal bailout could be on the horizon for the “City of Ashes” at our expense.

As they say; “loose lips sink ships”, and in this case Rawlings-Blake’s little public “faux pas” is creating a hardship the city cannot handle on their own. In any other case, someone would be out of a job, but it seems as though she’s being left to continue fumbling her way around like “two teenagers in the backseat of a 57 Chevy”. Maybe it’s time to at least admit the mistake and move forward, allowing the citizens of that city to bear the burden, and maybe next time they’ll “think” before election time.

Baltimore’s chief financial director is stating that at this point, the price tag for the city, in covering their part of the expenses is currently at $20 million, which includes the costs of additional police personnel and equipment (although the police officers are in no rush to help at this point), so guess who’s hearing about the bill?

“Henry J. Raymond, Baltimore’s finance director, said the city can temporarily cover the costs from its rainy day fund while seeking reimbursement for up to 75 percent from Federal Emergency Management Agency,” reports The Sun newspaper.

So you say your Mayor misspoke, didn’t mean what she said, was misquoted (although that’s hard to claim, since the video went viral) or whatever, and you expect good ol’ Uncle Sam to cover the costs? Well, as far as I’m concerned, Uncle Sam is broke, honey. Maybe you need to take out a second or third mortgage on that town of yours. Or at the very least, find a new mayor and a new plan, because your first one kind of stinks like “socialism”.

You allow thugs to destroy and vandalize your city, wreak havoc with your police officers, all with permissions from the mayor and expect the rest of us to front you the cash?  That is exactly what they expect as President Obama sits contemplating orders that could declare Baltimore a disaster area, and allocate federal funds to cover the damages caused by the racially charged rioting.

“The $20 million estimate released by city officials does not include the cost to businesses of the unrest. The figure also does not include state or federal costs. It’s unclear when those figures will be tallied.”

Just so everyone is clear here, that “cool” $20 mill doesn’t even begin to cover the expenses of repairing or in some cases completely rebuilding the some 380 businesses that were destroyed by the rioting thugs. According to Bill Cole, president of the Baltimore Development Corp, more funds will be needed for those expense, and they will be looking at the feds to cover that bill as well.

“Businesses may also be eligible for loans from the Small Business Administration, which has estimated business damages of at least $9 million. The city will assist those seeking federal funds, Cole said.”

Now we start digging into the “long-term” expenses that will be needed to cover this little mayoral incited “soiree”, as a recent article in the Baltimore Business Journal outlines the finer details in terms of lost city revenues, due to involuntary business closures. This doesn’t even include the lost city revenue from the lack of tourism and conventions that will be taking their business elsewhere, as the tense citizen/law enforcement battle continues. The report goes on to cite the lingering losses to the “City of Angels” after the “Rodney King” inspired riots nearly a quarter-century ago caused.

“A 2004 study on the 1992 Los Angeles riots showed that over the 10 years following the riots there was a cumulative loss of at least $3.8 billion in taxable sales in the city.

Victor A. Matheson, co-author of the study, said he found that the economic impact of riots is even larger than that of natural disasters, because businesses are more likely to see natural disasters as a one-time occurrence as opposed to an ongoing safety issue.”

I think it’s past time to remind people, if you “play with fire, you’re gonna get burned”.  Rawlings-Blake made a huge mistake in the emergency management of her city. She chose sides between the city’s law enforcement and a very small fraction of her constituents, who managed to destroy her city through an emotional response to a tense situation while ostracizing the only means she had in maintaining any semblance of control. Again I say; “It’s time she finds her way to the unemployment line.”

About the Author

Patrick James
Patrick James
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef. Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak. "Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air." ~ John Quincy Adams