The land belongs currently to the Hyltons. They are “donating” it but the package the BOCS will consider October 5 includes new development rights that will benefit the Hyltons. They, Stewart and their proponents are waving the flag for a museum to honor veterans to garner support but it’s nothing more than a land deal to benefit special interests and campaign contributors. The “donation” of land will not go through unless the BOCS approves the entire package.
The staff report can be found at:
Note that this staff report reads like a promotional brochure for the project, lacking any semblance of due diligence and analysis as to whether the project is in the interests of PWC taxpayers or not.
A few more details:
The supporters state that the project will need $50 million and that they will raise all of that from private sources. Note, however, that after allegedly working on development of the project for nearly a decade they have, as of the last Form 990 filing, less than $1 million in real assets. Form 990 is the annual tax filing required by the IRS for non-profit organizations. You can see them by clicking on this link:
The 2009 Form 990 shows total assets of a little over $4 million, but over $3 million of that is in the form of pledges and grants receivable that their statements have carried for at least two years. It’s not real money.
There’s not a chance in h*** they are going to be able to raise enough money, especially in an economy such as we have now, to build this thing without extensive taxpayer support.
The CEO of the Wartime Museum, Craig Stewart, has been taking about one-quarter of a million dollars ANNUALLY in salary and other compensation despite having no experience with museums. He was some sort of assistant director at a private school prior to talking this job. He is, however, well-connected in the same circles in which Corey Stewart travels. According to employment web sites, the average salary of a museum director in the DC area is less than $100,000.
Corey Stewart claims this museum is not going to cost PWC taxpayers a cent. However, under pressure from citizens, County staff acknowledged in an addendum to the staff report that PWC taxpayers have already provided $721,565. That’s almost enough to pay Craig Stewart’s compensation for the approximately three years he has been employed with the Wartime Museum.
Bottom line – PWC taxpayers will NEVER see a museum of the quality being promised by Corey Stewart, County staff and other museum supporters. If this project is approved on October 5, the Hyltons win big-time because they get rid of some useless land at the expense of PWC taxpayers and obtain some valuable new development rights elsewhere in PWC. Corey Stewart wins with a bundle of campaign contributions. Local big-wigs get a taxpayer-supported park to play out their fantasies of being soldiers, and Craig Stewart makes more than he could dream of in a real job. Losers – PWC taxpayers who will never see anything close to what’s being promised and will inevitably be asked to cough up more money to avoid having a junk tank lot next to I-95 much like the junk car lots along Route 1.
The Wartime Museum is another Corey Stewart scam.