Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Post says Seven Locks issue helped finish off Subin

County Councilman Michael Subin, the only incumbent ousted in the September primary election, lost his grip on power when he tried to shut down Seven Locks Elementary School and turn it into a big housing development.

In a story about how Montgomery County voters wiped out Superintendent Jerry Weast's main political backers, the Washington Post comments on Subin's unexpected fall.

According to the Post, "Nowhere was the two men's bond more apparent than when Weast ran into widespread community opposition this year to his plan to build a new elementary school campus to replace Seven Locks Elementary in Bethesda.

"When Thomas Dagley, the county's inspector general, criticized Weast's plan in a report, Subin dismissed Dagley's work as a 'very poor document' and challenged his authority to even conduct such an audit.

"After other County Council members questioned the school system's choice to build a new school, Subin remained firm in his support. In the end, Weast was forced to drop the building project for a compromise plan. It was a rare defeat for the superintendent.

"Subin's sway over the council seemed to fade in the days after the Seven Locks controversy. As part of its 2007 budget plan, the council voted to hire two analysts to focus exclusively on the school system's budget."