October 24, 2012

Unstated in the Oct. 22 news article “Md. hits snag in bid to move agency” is the continued, strong opposition of Anne Arundel County to state officials moving the Department of Housing and Community Development from Anne Arundel County to Prince George’s County.

The relocation of 330 employees would cost taxpayers about $3.2 million in annual rent, compared with the $1.5 million annual cost of the existing building in Crownsville. The difference adds up to about $25.5 million in rent for the 15-year life of the lease, plus an estimated $3 million in moving costs.

The planned move is an egregious example of political favoritism driving public policy at taxpayers’ expense. One hopes that the state’s decision to put this move on hold will lead to the prudent outcome of discarding this ill-advised initiative once and for all.

John R. Leopold, Annapolis

The writer is Anne Arundel County executive.