Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Potomac Almanac: 'New allegations of secret deals'

The May 3 County Council meeting on capital improvements broke out into acrimony amid "new allegations of secret deals between county officials and real estate developers" over the stealth decision to demolish Seven Locks Elementary School for a housing project," the Potomac Almanac reports.

In her testimony to the council, Save Seven Locks Coalition leader Sandy Vogelgesang referred to "what some consider a political plot to surplus school property," and in a written statement said that "numerous developers have been approached regarding high-density development of the Seven Locks site."

Another Save Seven Locks community leader, Cyril Draffin, told council members, "We were appalled by the potential inappropriate or unethical behavior of public officials and lack of public dialogue on the tradeoff of building the current Seven Locks site [instead of the] Kendale Road site," according to the Potomac Almanac.

"There are alleged deals between developers who gave campaign money to public officials and the County Council directing the board of education to give up land for development," Draffin said.

At that, County Council Education Committee Chairman Michael Subin exploded, interrupting Draffin, twisting his words and not letting him speak (see story below).