Book 3 Chapter 3
Friday night and Saturday morning were family time; there were just so many things that had been put off in the last ten weeks. It was fun to spend unrushed time with JJ, RJ, Sara and Takeo. It seemed they had learned so much in ten weeks.
At 1300 we were we were in the dining room with Clarence, Duke and their wives, sitting at the large table.
They were surprised when they were handed menus by the Secret Service hired waiter. ”The chef will prepare anything you want from the lunch menu. What may I get for you to drink?” he asked.
”My oh my, servants and a personal chef, you have moved up since I was here last,” Duke said.
”Not by choice; there have been a couple new death threats. My meals have to be fixed by the Secret Service chef or prepared under his watchful eye, or even tasted by the official food taster before I can eat it. I can’t even eat things I make myself, without getting the evil eye.”
”Instead of going through all that, it’s easier just to let them fix it for me and the rest of us at the same time,” I said.
”That’s terrible, even things you cook yourself? I could never stand for that,” Elva Dukes said.
”It takes some getting used to,” I said.
We talked a few more minutes and then the lunch items started arriving. We had a good lunch.
”I said this was to be a business lunch. Now that we are well fed and uncomfortable, Marcy and Lorrie have a couple things they are planning and wanted to make you aware, plus they want your thoughts,” I said.
”JBG is making plans to develop the two parcels we have on the Island. The first parcel – the fifty acre one closest to the bridge – we are wanting to build two multistory commercial buildings,” Lorrie said.
”They are to be one hundred and ten stories tall, divided into retail, office and residential complexes, two thousand feet apart. They are to be connected by a glass enclosed tram at the second story level over a multi-arch historic looking bridge. The footprint of each tower is two hundred and fifty feet square,” Lorrie said.
”The upper levels will be restaurants on both buildings. From those restaurants you will be able see the lights of Norfolk, possibly Richmond , Washington , Philadelphia, Wilmington Delaware and New York city on a clear night,” Lorrie said.
”At one thousand four hundred and two feet, they will be the second and third tallest buildings in the United States. They will be majestic centerpieces for Queens Anne County pointing to the future. There will be over twelve million square feet of space in them.”
”There will be a medical center to serve the employees and residents in one of the buildings. There will also be helipads for both buildings,” Lorrie said.
”Each building will have its own ten story parking garage and there will be additional parking to the east side of the complex. The area to the west of the complex to the bay will be walking trails, greenery with tables and covered areas for lunch along with recreation and fountains,” Lorrie said.
”The first fifteen stories we think will be retail in each with the next fifty stories to be office space. Some of it for JBG as we have administrative offices scattered everywhere and are running out of space. We are going to consolidate much of it into one location. We are expanding and these buildings are only a small part of that expansion,” Lorrie said.
”The stories in between will be age restricted residential with one tower having reserved penthouse apartments,” Lorrie said.
Marcy passed out artist concepts of the grounds layout and project. It looked good; I liked it.
”The other project is the two hundred acre plot. We want to turn that into a first class RV resort with a water park that the local children could use in the summer time. There is no water park on the shore except for the few small ones at the ocean beaches.”
”The RV resort would be full hookups, with a camp store, laundry and bath houses. There would be a boat ramp with a fishing and crabbing pier. The lanes would be black topped as would the RV sites with concrete pads. Trees would be planted to separate the RV sites. The amenities would be limited to registered campers,” Lorrie said.
”My turn!” Marcy said. ”The cost of the two projects is four billion dollars. I estimate that the county would collect over one hundred and fifty million annually in property taxes on these two projects. That is equal to the current county wide tax collections. The experts estimate that it could add up to forty thousand long term jobs to the county employment numbers.”
”Let me talk about sweeteners,” Marcy said.
”JBG will grant twenty five million to the county water and sewer department to upgrade the sewer plant as soon as the projects are approved. JBG will drill a new well and pay for a new water tower wherever the experts think it needs to be placed,” Marcy said.
”JBG will work with the state on improvements for the highway that runs south on the island behind the plot.”
”Now what we want. We want the county to waive the impact fees and let me explain why,” Marcy said.
”As you know, the impact fees are to pay for building new schools, fire departments, police and water and sewer. JBG is paying up front for the water and sewer so the work can start immediately once the projects are approved and not have to wait on funding, possibly delaying the project to completion.”
”JBG security will supply all security for the buildings because of the risk of terrorism and as not to tie up county police resources. JBG is far better equipped to handle any terrorist threats than the local police. We have listening posts and undercover personnel in some of the worst places around the world,” Marcy said.
”High rise buildings of this type require special fire fighter training and equipment. The volunteer system in the county does not have the equipment or the necessary training and honestly, will never have it.”
”The buildings will have their own paid fire department that is specially trained in fighting high rise emergencies by either the NYFD or the Chicago Fire departments, as well as recurrent training as needed to remain proficient.
”That training and equipment is going to run into millions, a fee that JBG should bear – not the county.”
”The residential sections of the building are going to be age limited and expensive. There will be few children who will require public schooling. We believe most of those who have school age children will be attending private schooling and there may be a private 1-12 grade school in one of the towers, if there is enough demand,” Marcy said.
”Once the plans are announced I expect Baltimore, Baltimore county, Washington and Philadelphia as well as other states to try to do everything they can to move the buildings to their areas. As you know from past experience, they will offer all kinds of special tax incentives and plans plus legal maneuvers. We haven’t asked you for special tax plans, just waive the one time impact fee,” Marcy said.
”Now is where we want to hear from you. What do you think about the projects? Do you have questions, would you support the plans?” Marcy asked.
They talked for an hour with me saying little, just listening. There would be no public release until the bore samples were completed and determined that the project was a go.
”Do you want a big presentation at the county meeting or do you want a low key just dump the tons of blue prints at planning and zoning?” I asked.
”Do the big presentation. More bang for the buck,” Duke said.
After they left, we girls went to the gym through the tunnel, worked out lightly for a while and then built up to the hard stuff. It was after dark when we decided to call it over for today.
Mom wanted us to go to church as a family again. It had been a while so we agreed. Sunday morning – in the Beast and several Suburban’s – we went to the little country church that Jake and I went to as kids. Lots of things had changed, while many had not. It had been almost a year since we were here last. Mom and Lisa were happy, so all of us were. The media groups were upset and that was just tough.
The chefs had a Sunday feast prepared when we returned. They must have been doing a trial run for Thanksgiving that was a few days away.
Christmas this year was going to be interesting. Mrs. Thomas had handled all the White House decorating for seven years. My mates were going to come over and help with that this time. For the first time in years there would be small children in the White House on Christmas morning.
Monday morning I was back to the oval desk. There was a light cold rain in Washington; even so it didn’t stop the paid demonstrators. I wondered what their paid beef was this morning.
Vice President Harrison came in at 1000 after all the morning updates which always took longer on Mondays.
We talked about the progress in the Iran negotiations and where we wanted to go with the follow up on them. VP Harrison was making the trip to Russia to carry the payment over to President Orbatch and then stopping in Iran to personally review the progress and give me a firsthand report.
Treasurer Albert Morrison was escorted in by an agent carrying two attaché cases with the fifty billion that was the installment. There was only one more to go before the balloon payment. The missile and submarine destruction was ahead of schedule. I wrote out a check from Pirates Bank to the treasury.
The final grain and food delivery had been completed. The Russian corn and soybean crops had been average – nothing to brag about but it would be enough to get to spring.
After the Secretary of Treasury left, ”Someday I hope you will be able to tell me where you found nearly a trillion dollars that you could spend for that agreement,” Vice President Harrison said.
”It is not exactly one of those things that if I tell you I will have to kill you, but at the moment it is close. Once the deal is finished and closed, I will fill in all the pieces for you,” I said.
”What happens if someone carries out the contract on your life before the deal is finished?” he said.
”In that case, you are standing much too close to me. Marcy knows the scope of the arrangement and would see it through,” I said.
Orbatch was wanting to buy live cattle to rebuild their beef herds faster after so many cattle had been eaten as food in the last few years. I had no problem with it. The Secretary of Agriculture was against it. Besides being against it, he was getting vocal in his opposition of it to the media.
There were other things he had started to do that I was dissatisfied with. He was trying to change agriculture policies without guidance from the White House since the election.
He was one of the few that had not tendered his resignation since the election. I would give him one more week then prod him by having Connie mail him a letter of intent to terminate.
Another one that was in trouble was the Administrator of the EPA. President Thomas and he had had a tenuous relationship at times when he tried over-extending the wings of his department. But now he was trying again and I wondered why he had waited so long after I had assumed the presidency.
He was trying to bring back old programs that had been failures at best. I guess he thought he could fix failures with enough money. Now there was going to be a money problem for a while. I intended for him to go down the road the same way as the Secretary of Agriculture.
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