Why is Amazon robbing taxpayers?
The Talbot County Comprehensive Plan’s stated goal is “to promote a high quality of life, to preserve the rural character of County and to protect the health, safety and well-being of its citizens in a resilient community.”
The Next Step 190 website notes that the Talbot County Council decided to update Chapter 190 of the County Code (the official document that regulates growth, development and preservation within Talbot County) “specifically to ensure that the Comprehensive Plan is implemented in an efficient manner.”
So how did we end up with a code revision that permits more development, more and louder amplified outdoor music and unlimited short-term rentals — even after an extraordinary level of public comment that overwhelming rejected those changes?
Why were amendments to limit new event venues with amplified outdoor music, maintain our current 55db noise level, limit or otherwise control short-term rentals, and curtail development rejected without serious consideration?
I can only speculate as to the reasons why a consistent majority of the current council chose to vote as they did. But the end result is legislation that is inconsistent with the stated goals of the Comprehensive Plan, the objective of the Chapter 190 code revision and the overwhelming majority of those who attempted to have a voice in the future of our county.
While I don’t always agree with Ms. Price and Mr. Bartlett, as it pertains to 190, I want to commend them for their efforts to serve their constituents and the stated goals of this process in the face of unrelenting opposition.
The opportunity to influence the outcome of these deliberations is over, but there is one more option for public comment, and that is on Election Day. If this is not the future you seek for Talbot County, make your wishes known at the ballot box on Nov. 6.
Easton Naomi Hyman is a candidate for Talbot County Council.
How much are you paying Amazon?
I don’t mean how much you’re shelling out for stuff you bought. I mean how much you and your neighbors are simply giving to this huge and uber-rich online retailer.
If you live in Indianapolis, Austin, Chicago, Atlanta, or 16 other lucky cities, congratulations! You’re a finalist in the “Throw-Your-MoneyAt-Amazon” Sweepstakes!
It’s like Bonnie and Clyde, but instead of robbing banks, Amazon has enticed city and state officials to rob their own citizens — then hand over the loot in the form of tax breaks, land, and other bribes to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. The locality that offers the most booty “wins” the grand prize of having this thieving corporate behemoth become its new neighbor.
At least until Bezos gets a better offer. So, again I ask: How much are your officials offering?
Shhhh, that’s a secret. Nearly all of the 20 contestant cities won’t tell city council members (much less taxpayers) how many billions they’re throwing at Bezos. Many cities even turned their negotiations over to business groups like the Chamber of Commerce, letting this handful of unelected, selfinterested, private elites secretly make binding promises that would affect all residents without consulting them.
In the few places that did release information, it’s amounted to an unfunny joke. Montgomery County, for example, made public a 10-page document listing “incentives” it was offering, but every word on every page was blacked out!
This whole flim-flam is abominable and ought to be criminal. Amazon will rake in a quarter-trillion dollars in sales this year, and Bezos is sitting on $166 billion in personal wealth. Shame on him for demanding public handouts, and shame on local officials for robbing the public till to further bloat his ego and fortune.