Baltimore Grand Prix turmoil spreads to Federal Hill Neighborhood Association The Baltimore Grand Prix's turmoil has spread to the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, with residents demanding the resignation of several board members over their handling of race funds.
At issue is a struggle over $10,000 in community impact funds that financially beleaguered Baltimore Racing Development Inc. gave to the neighborhood association as compensation for inconveniences the race caused the neighborhood.
Several board members, including past president Paul Robinson, have proposed giving the funds back to Grand Prix organizers as they struggle to pay millions back to lenders and vendors, or freezing the funds until the racing company has paid back its $1.5 million-plus bill to the city — a move fiercely opposed by new association President Ryan Hada. Hada wants to use the funds for as-yet-undetermined projects in the neighborhood.
This week, Hada said, about 50 neighborhood association members voted "overwhelmingly" to request the resignation of Robinson and fellow board members Thomas Gregory and John Rehmert.
At the association's meeting Tuesday night, members became angry over the board's "mismanagement" and "irresponsible" behavior, Hada said.
"The membership is not happy," he said.
Gregory, a board member who proposed returning the funds to Grand Prix organizers in hopes of keeping area vendors in business, said the move could set a "symbolic" precedent that would urge "all other community groups and politicians who received contributions from BRD to do likewise."
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