Monday, February 27, 2006

Flashback: Abrams promised to save existing Seven Locks school

Running again for school board in 2004, Steve Abramoff told voters he believed Seven Locks Elementary School should be preserved, and faulted the school system for poorly communicating with the community.

He also praised Superintendent Jerry Weast and strongly endorsed construction of the Kendale project.

The Potomac Almanac interviewed Abramoff in its October 22, 2004 issue. Excerpts follow. For the full text, click here.

Almanac: "What is your top public-service accomplishment?"

Abramoff: "Hiring Jerry Weast as Montgomery County Superintendent."

Almanac: "Should the school system declare as surplus the Brickyard Road school site? Why?"

Abramoff: "Maybe. The criteria should be whether the site is needed for educational purposes in the forseeable future. I believe Seven Locks Elementary School should be retained even after the new Kentsdale facility is opened. It should be used to help reduce both class size and the utilization of portable classrooms in the cluster. After that has been done, an evaluation of the need for the Brickyard Road site should be conducted."

Almanac: "Do you support building a new, larger elementary school on the Kendale Road site? Why?"

Abramoff: "Yes. The Kentsdale [sic] Road site provides a more cost-effective approach that the phased modernization of Seven Locks Elementary School. In addition, once it is opened, an effort can be made to look at ways to better utilize all elementary classroom space in the cluster."

Almanac: "How would you characterize the decision-making process about how to proceed on Seven Locks Elementary School? Is there anything you would like to do differently?"

Abramoff: "I believe the school system could have communicated better with the community. The failure to do so has caused some unnecessary anxiety on both sides."

[Note: On February 7, 2006, Abramoff tried to quash the county Inspector General's report on alleged official wrongdoing concerning the Seven Locks/Kendale issue. Click here for a pdf copy of Abramoff's letter.