Thursday, February 10, 2005

Talking points for Martin O'Malley

The following memorandum is a set of talking points by a Bethesda Democratic party activist for Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley. The mayor is set to run for Maryland governor in an expected intra-Democratic party race against Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan.

The key points are:


o Why tear down a perfectly fine school when the County and State are strapped for school construction money?

o Why won’t the School Board address the questions raised by the community about cost of various options for Seven Locks?

o Why not opt, for example, for simple addition to Seven Locks (10 classrooms and gym) to address immediate problem of overcrowding at Potomac ES -- could be done without any holding school and be ready one year earlier than Kendale replacement

o Why waste money when citizens in this area are outraged by skyrocketing tax assessments?

Due Process

o Why can’t the community get a full public hearing?

o Decision on Seven Locks was sprung on community in Spring 2004 (after three years of planning and budgeting for expansion/modernization of Seven Locks ES)

o Weast decision came out of blue

o Decision was not just to change school but to close our school -- important to us as community center and neighborhood recreation center -- and surplus site for affordable housing -- a fundamental change in the neighborhood

o School Board has consistently misrepresented community position, cost and rationale for change of decision.

o County - Board and Council - seem intent on stealth attack to assure that some developer gets Seven Locks site - with result that two neighborhoods are changed fundamentally (Seven Locks and Kendale) and Potomac neighborhood is still left with antiquated school that will not be modernized until 2015.

o What sense does any of this make?