Another Questionable Land Deal on Today’s County Council Agenda

SALISBURY, MD – Another questionable real estate deal is catching the eyes of Wicomico County taxpayers.  Today the Wicomico County Council is scheduled to vote on the acquisition of 23 acres of land for a new transfer station near Allen.

The purchase price for the property is approximately $150,000.  However, the price was originally $250,000 $220,000.  The price came down only after the county government was offered nearby parcels at a much lower price.  This calls into question the legitimacy of the original appraisal.  In addition, there are questions regarding personal ties between the family of the landowners and County Executive Rick Pollitt.

This comes on the heels of the county’s approval of a lease / purchase agreement for new office space for the State’s Attorney’s office.  Questions were raised when county purchasing director Rick Konrad informed two bidders that their proposals must meet certain requirements or their proposals would be automatically rejected.  The winning bidder did not meet those same requirements.

As in the case of the State’s Attorney office deal, it is expected that the pro-Pollitt majority coalition of council members John Hall, Matt Holloway, Stevie Prettyman, and Sheree Sample-Hughes will approve the purchase.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Are you questioning the cost of the land at $150,000? Who is the owner of the property and what makes you think they have ties to Pollitt. Innuendo, but no real information here. Please elaborate.

    • G. A. Harrison says:

      You are asking the wrong question. Was it worth $220,000? They only came down on their price because of two other offers, one adjacent to the site that the Pollitt administration wants. As for the second question, I won’t print people’s names because they are not public figures. However, the father-in-law of the landowner is a close friend and neighbor of Rick Pollitt. While I can’t confirm it, I have also been informed that Rick is the godfather of one of the man’s children.

      I didn’t say that the deal was crooked. I said it was questionable. Why did the administration tell council that the county had been evicted from the previous site when that was not true? I will admit that the site which was approved today is better than the previous site. That’s not the point. I am merely questioning whether or not the taxpayers’ money is being but to its best use.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is nothing wrong about my question. If the land is worth $150,000, it doesn’t matter who is selling it. Is someone disqualified from offering their land because they might know the county executive? So again, are you questioning buying property for a dump at the price of 23 acres for $150,000? If so, what do you think is a fairer price?

        • G. A. Harrison says:

          Evidently I wasn’t clear before. The county wanted to pay $220,000 for the property. The only reason the price came down was because two other people offered to sell similar parcels for far less money AFTER it became public that the Pollitt administration wanted to buy this parcel. The owners then lowered their price and they were still awarded the the sale. That calls into question the original appraisal along with a few other things (like misrepresenting that the county had been evicted from the parcel that it was already using).

          And no, knowing the County Executive doesn’t automatically disqualify someone. However, doing business with friends and family of friends does deserve extra scrutiny.

          • Anonymous says:

            The present location of the dump is good on all fronts, except for maybe the immediate neighbors. But it was a compost pile before, so why whine about a dump? If the location is good, and the cost is appropriate, it seems that all has worked out. The owners of the previous dump location did indeed evict the county. There was nothing untoward about that. I think your time is better spent on Jake Day and his taxes rather than trying to find a scandal where there is none.

            • G. A. Harrison says:

              The previous owners did not evict the county. After countless years of donating the use of that land to the county they simply requested that a reasonable rent be paid. Instead, the administration decided to buy another piece of property. Again, you try to say that the cost is appropriate. It is only appropriate because other landowners offered to sell adjacent or nearby parcels for far less. If that hadn’t occurred the taxpayers would be paying $70,000 more.

              You can keep saying that the county was evicted until the cows come home. Unfortunately the documentary evidence contradicts you.

              • Anonymous says:

                GA — you are a bully. You think you know what you are talking about, but you really don’t know the whole story about the eviction. Where are you getting your information?

                • G. A. Harrison says:

                  I’m a bully? How so? The owner’s sent a letter to the county. Now, if you are trying to claim that the county was evicted AFTER they refused to pay rent to the landowner then you can try that tact.

              • Anonymous says:

                I’d like to see the documentary evidence. Then I might believe what I know to be true, isn’t. And again, I didn’t “try to say the cost is appropriate.” I said, IF the cost is appropriate, and you have shown nothing to offer documentary evidence that it isn’t. We seem to have communication issues with either your reading, my writing, or a combination of the two.

                • G. A. Harrison says:

                  I don’t think we have a communication problem. You are simply trying to defend this deal without going out on a limb. Do you think that the county should have paid $220,000? That is what the Pollitt administration wanted to do.

  2. Raymond Smullen says:

    ” In addition, there are questions regarding personal ties between the family of the landowners and County Executive Rick Pollitt.”
    If this is true then he should stand aside and have nothing to with this to avoid any issues.

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