Daily Journal, 01-04-12 (MCPS School Construction)

Back from some holiday down time! After breakfast with new Rockville City Councilmember Tom Moore and former Council Member John Britton, I headed down to Garrett Park Elementary School for the opening of a newly modernized school there. The students were actually on their first day in the new building, and we joined a few classrooms to watch the students working with their teachers in the new environment. It was gratifying to see so many happy kids… the county’s funds well spent… and our community values artfully articulated there in brick and mortar, advanced classroom technology, and even geothermal energy.

School construction is certainly on my mind as we prepare for the “CIP” budget, which is our six-year capital improvements budget. Last fall the County Executive proposed to cut about $150 million over six years from that budget, and is preparing a plan based on the lower spending amount now. The Council approved that amount although I voted against the cut. MCPS, meanwhile, has requested a near 10% increase in construction spending for the new capital budget. The council will have a tough time balancing it all together and I look forward to hearing from the community about the most pressing priorities as we receive the Exec’s new budget on January 17.

Photo by Patch