PUBLIC TESTIMONY

I have given public testimony on numerous occasions. In most cases the testimony was before the Montgomery County Board of Education or the Montgomery County Council. I was either speaking as an individual or on behalf of a group or organization. In the pdf versions posted below (reverse chronological order), the context and whether I was representing a group are usually made clear in the opening paragraph.

Council FY14 Budget - in April, 2013 I urged that the Council (1) NOT provide any further funding to the Westfield Corporation and (2) reduce the funding of MCPS to a level just sufficient to meet the state MOE regulations. I also urged the Council to give serious attention to an OLO Report on the Department of Economic Development.

BoE regarding Proposed FY08 Budget - in January, 2007 I again offered the Board of Education some very detailed recommendations about how and why budgeted funds should be reallocated and stressed the need to communicate more openly with the community if MCPS was/is to benefit from community involvement.

Council regarding MCPS FY08 Budget - in April, 2007 my testimony before the County Council focussed on elements of the proposed MCPS FY08 budget that could be reduced with minimal damage to the school system. It also reiterated the notions that fiscal restraint was needed not just in terms of fiscal realities but also because we have a shared obligation to teach our children by example.

BoE regarding Proposed FY08 Budget - in January, 2007 I again offered the Board of Education some very detailed recommendations about how and why budgeted funds should be reallocated and stressed the need to communicate more openly with the community if MCPS was/is to benefit from community involvement.

BoE regarding planning of FY08 Budget - in October, 2006 I testified as the Board began its strategic planning of the upcoming budget request cycle. I reiterated the principles behind previous suggestions and urged the BoE to partner more fully with the community.

Final Appeal to Council on SLES - later in May, as the Council considered a last minute 'resolution' to the SLES disaster, I sent a written appeal (no hearing was scheduled) for a reasoned and balanced resolution that would not further damage Community trust in MCPS, the BoE, and the Council.

Council regarding SLES - again in May, 2006 - as the SLES controversy careered towards 'resolution' - I testified before the County Council, reading not my originally-planned testimony, but a briefer one reflecting my experience at the BoE hearing the night before. The pdf link here includes both versions of the testimony.

BoE regarding Seven Locks ES - in May, 2006 I submitted a written testimony urging the Board of Education to comply with community consensus and upgrade Seven Locks Elementary School on its existing site. It had been my intention to read the testimony but, as that hearing unfolded, it became clear to me that the BoE was not listening. My 'off-the-cuff' remarks were not written out, but my testimony the following night before the County Council (see above link) convey some of my passion.

Council regarding MCPS FY07 Budget - in April, 2006 I urged the Council to reduce the MCPS budget in an effort to force the reduction of the staffing in MCPS's Budget Office. I urged that the Council work with the Board of Education in an effort to add budget analysts to the BoE staff. Failing that, I urged the Council use the funds to hire two budget analysts to provide outside oversight of the MCPS budget.

Council regarding Kendale-Seven Locks ES - in March, 2006, as the controversy over using the Kendale site vs. improving Seven Locks ES on site stumbled on, the County Council hosted a series of hearings about MCPS funding requests. This file includes both the oral testimony I actually gave, plus a more detailed written version. I was attempting to urge a 'simple' decision on the issue at hand AND comment on the flawed process that had brought the community to such an impasse.

Council regarding MCPS CIP - in February, 2006 I provided the County Council with written testimony about the MCPS Capital Improvement Plan for FY07-12, arguing that funding should be reduced because MCPS was not responsive to public input and was wasting public funds. I linked this to growing concern about the levels of public and private debt in our county and our country.

BoE regarding Proposed FY07 Budget - in January, 2006 I offered the Board of Education some very detailed recommendations about how and why budgeted funds should be reallocated in such a way that overall expenditures would be unaffected but results from those expenditures would be greatly improved.

BoE regarding the Capital Budget - in November, 2005 I used the opportunity to testify about the Capital Budget and the CIP for FY07-12 to urge the Board to take action on the growing number of portable classrooms, as well as to comment on the ongoing Seven Locks ES controversy.

Council regarding the MCPS Capital Budget - in May, 2005 I asked the County Council to consider MCPS Capital Funds requests with a jaundiced eye, given community dissatisfaction over the Seven Locks ES situation.

M-PAC about MCPS - in April, 2005 I spoke to the Maryland Parent Advisory Council and reported community dissatisfaction with actions of the BoE and the MCPS administration.

ICC Hearing - written testimony I submitted in January, 2005 (as a private citizen) in lieu of appearing at a public hearing on the Inter-County Connector. In it I detailed why neither of the 'build options' was a wise choice.

BoE regarding Proposed FY06 Budget - in January, 2005 I offered the Board of Education specific suggestions on how to allocate projected funding and reduce future budget excesses.

BoE regarding Unneeded Property - in November, 2004, I urged the Board of Education to reject requests that MCPS properties be declared 'unneeded'.

BoE regarding the Bowie Mill Road site - in May, 2004, I urged the Board of Education to reconsider its position on the Bowie Mill Road site and commented on the reasons why it should not turn any MCPS properties over to the County for 'affordable housing'.

County Council regarding Growth Policy - in January, 2004, testifying as a somewhat irate citizen, I demanded that the Council draft a real growth policy instead of playing games.

Charter Commission regarding Petitions - in December, 2003, I asked the Charter Commission not to change the Montgomery County Charter to make it harder for citizens to bring Charter Amendments to Referendum.


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Last modified: Saturday, April 6, 2013