Saturday, March 18, 2006

Leventhal & Denis outnumbered on Seven Locks task force?

[Blogger's note posted March 21: The entry below may no longer be accurate. MSPS has released a larger list of task force members. The forces of reform might not be as outnumbered as early press reports indicated, though the built-in problems remain. Watch this space for updates.]

Kendale cronies stack the new task force designed to resolve the Seven Locks crisis.

Longtime allies of County Council member Michael Subin outnumber the reform bloc led by Council President George Leventhal and Councilman Howard Denis on the new task force.

The task force was hastily created after MCPS backed down to County Council and community pressure to relent on the unpopular and possibly illegal Kendale "replacement school" scheme.

If press reports are correct, the task force is stacked against the bipartisan reformers. Here's how the task force membership adds up, according to the March 15-21 Almanac:

Staffer from office of Councilman Howard Denis;
Staffer from office of Councilman George Leventhal;
Staffer from office of Councilman Michael Subin;
MCPS COO Larry Bowers;
MCPS construction chief Richard Hawes;
MCPS facilities consultant Joe Lavorgna.

As has reported, Subin has been a slavish supporter of the Kendale project and attacked the Inspector General report on MCPS wrongdoing.

Bowers also attacked the Inspector General, pledged to ignore three of the IG's four findings, and falsely accused Seven Locks parents of caring more about their property values than about their own children.

Hawes repeatedly ignored Seven Locks PTA members' questions about alleged fraud, abuse, and corruption in MCPS construction project, and publicly ridiculed Seven Locks parents for raising the issue.

Lavorgna signed an affidavit in support of the MCPS attack on the Inspector General's report.

That gives the task force a supermajority of 4 to 2 against the Seven Locks community and against accountability.