Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Another view on Belmont

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I supposed we will call this writer an anonymous columnist. The writer has an opinion worth repeating.

Regarding Belmont… I'm glad that folks are finally grasping the stickiness of the situation there… But.. I gotta tell you… you really let Mr. Lundy off the hook. Mr. Lundy was a member of the Board when that deal was made. As was Anne Johnson- manager of Belmont. This is no excuse for Dr. Duncan to buy their "sweet" deal without doing due diligence to fully understand the commitment she was entering… But there is an ethical squishiness to Board members selling the college on a deal that benefits them personally. This doesn't even get into the financing- where it came from- and whether or not that institution was peddling favors to its board members. That said- I may be pollyannaish… but I think there was no intent to circumvent law or ethics in assembling this deal… it was just an attempt to build something that was mutually beneficial.. .and no one looked hard enough to make sure there was separation of interests. It looks bad, smells bad… but I don't think Dr. Duncan or Mr. Lundy knowingly, deliberately violated ethics. (Dr. D. explained many times publicly- Mr. Lundy's involvement… the possibility of development… that it was a loan not a gift. I think the only place she implied it was a "gift" was in front of the Delegation.)(You likely know that many investors looked at Belmont while it was quietly on the market. All recognized that it had some limited development potential- but all rejected it because the development potential was not economically significant enough to cover the cost of running a second road. The only way that any developer could have made money on this deal was by structuring it so that a public entity built the road).

In any case… I think it's hard to say that Lundy was fine but Duncan was bad… They are either both fine… or both bad.

It's GREAT to read an opinion on the news- whether or not I agree with it. Thank you for taking the time to keep up your blog…


One Response to “Another view on Belmont”

  1. Anonymous said

    Is the anonymous poster an ethics officer? While this explanation sounds “OK”, The College President should know better. Hopefully the county Ethics office will review this? In the end everybody pays to cover up this mess.

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