Last week The Washington Post reported that the Montgomery County fire truck fleet is aging and is in need of replacement. Mr. Duncan is recommending that we hire fewer police officers in order to cut expenses. Recreation department officials are reporting a drop in teenagers participating in after school programs as a result in the increase in user fees. Our schools continue to have trailers mushroom around them to address the increasing over capacity problem. We no longer have trash receptacles in our parks as a cost saving measure. And our traffic gridlock problems are spiraling out of control as the county continues to add residents through smart growth and affordable housing development. This is the current condition of the quality of life in our county and the residents of the Parkwood Community are very concerned.
My name is Liz Brennan, and I am here tonight on behalf of the Parkwood Resident’s Association to remind you of a promise you made when you allocated approximately 45 million dollars of the county’s tax payer money to fund a private classical music concert hall: not a penny more. So adamant you were Mr. Subin, Mr. Silverman, Mr. Denis, Mr. Andrews and Ms. Praisner that you specifically stated this promise in the funding bill. The taxpayers need to have faith in their elected leaders to stand-by their promises.
In addition to your promise, I would also like to remind you that the taxpayer is shouldering the entire burden – 100 million dollars through state and county taxes for a project that will benefit a small portion of the community. The Strathmore concert hall is a private facility funded by the public and will be there for those that can pay for the privilege. While many programs – basic, fundamental programs - which rely on only the government for funding – like police and fire safety, like schools and roads, like parks and libraries are compromised.
It is now up to the Strathmore board to finish the job that they started. If the county residents are so desirous of a classical music concert hall then lets open up the floodgates to private funding and leave what meager public funding is left to those projects that will benefit the community at large.