Best Misuse of Taxpayer Funds
Disbanding the Baltimore Economic Recovery Team and not updating its web site
Published: September 21, 2011
As everyone knows, beginning in 2009 the federal government sent at least $938 million (possibly more than $3 billion) to Baltimore as part of the American Recovery Reinvestment Act, aka “stimulus.” Originally, the city planned to track that money publicly, through a neat little web site and an ad hoc commission, so citizens could see for themselves all the great things the money bought. Alas, the last update for the web site was in February 2010, by which time only a few hundred million dollars had been accounted for. Although a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake promised to look into the matter last year, no update has resulted. And this is a good thing—for who knows how many precious federal dollars the city has saved by not bothering to account publicly for as much as nine-tenths of the money? We’ll take it on faith it’s a lot.