140 Million Reasons Why One-Party Rule Needs To Go!
Failed Project Bleeds Taxpayer Money
By Nicole Waugh, VP of Communications and Dan McHugh VP, Montgomery County Young Republicans
On Saturday May 16th, the Montgomery County Young Republicans (MCYRs) organized a protest in front of the $140 million construction fiasco otherwise known as the Paul S. Sarbanes Silver Spring Transit Center. The transit center project is five years behind schedule and rapidly hemorrhaging the infusions of taxpayer money that Montgomery County’s one-party government continues to send its way.
Nevertheless, in January 2015, County Council President George Leventhal awarded the county’s General Services Director David Dise another $21 million of taxpayer money for this failed effort. At that time Dise claimed that the project, already half a decade behind schedule, would be completed by the end of June. In view of its continued failure to move forward, lack of oversight, and waste of county resources, it is shocking that county leadership decided to endow this transportation failure with more taxpayer funds that could otherwise be used to benefit county residents.
Case in point: While our elected officials continue to throw more money at the stranded transit center, thousands of Montgomery County school children are still being taught in trailers, which all too often have insufficient climate control. Investing in updated education facilities for our children would make a tangible difference in Montgomery County – spending $140 million on a transit center that allegedly cannot hold the weight of a bus does nothing but pad the pockets of those benefiting from the project’s bloated budget and timeline.
Meanwhile, elected officials continue to demonstrate a lack of oversight and accountability. Where is the $140 million actually going, why is the project so far behind, who is responsible for the delay, what is being done to call them to account, and what is the spending limit – if any – for this project? At this point, the Silver Spring Transit Center is nothing more than a pile of construction rubble and unanswered questions.
The fact that no county officials are being held accountable for the abysmal state of this project was what convinced the Montgomery County Young Republicans to go public with their opposition and questions by organizing a demonstration in front of the so-called Transit Center.
The Young Republican leadership put out a press release and made signs for the event. Then, along with the help of Dr. Scott Cheng, former candidate for Maryland House of Delegates in District 39, and Dick Jurgena, former candidate for County Council in District 2, the Young Republican protesters stood in the beaming sun for hours to demonstrate public frustration and disgust with Montgomery County officials. The demonstration was well-received by passersby, with one woman commenting “Ike Leggett should have never been reelected!”
Clearly, the Silver Spring Transit Center is one more expensive consequence of one party rule, and a prominent example of why it needs to end.