The slide show began with a vista of the Capitol and the Washington Monument and moved into scenes of a colonial house in Chevy Chase, a fenced in estate in Potomac, a modern subdivision and people playing polo, lounging in parks, and shopping in Bloomingdale's and at Montgomery Mall.
As a piano and horn played a jazzy tune in the background, a melodious male voice proclained the qualities of Montgomery County: more than 500 public and private tennis courts, 20,000 acres of parkland, "a highly concentrated pool of educated professional, scientific and managerial talent," and "the area's highest concentration of country clubs."
The slide show, which portrays Montgomery as "the reflection of confidence, success and leadership . . . a reflection of the corporate image," will be shown to businessmen all over the world in the next few months and is the tool local businessmen will be using in an all-out effort to attract clean white industry and corporate headquarters to Montgomery County.
The show was viewed yesterday by county officials as part of a forum in which Economic Development Advisory Board members presented their recommendations on how the county can "increase revenues, cut costs and bureaucracy, and "create a better climate" for business.
The advisory board, which is made up of business executives in the county, reported last February that the county's economic growth has been hampered by an inadequate labor force, a lack of "affordable housing," inadequate transportation, and "regulatory red tape."
The slide show attempts to dispel the notion that the county is anti-business, said James Giegerich, of the Office of Community and Economic Development.
The show features commentaries from executives at the March Marietta Corporation in Bethesda and the Digital Communications Corporation in Gaithersburg.
But the county is not looking for just any business - it wants corporate and regional headquarters, high technology and research firms, medical sciences associations and trade associations, according to the advisory board. And the slide show is clearly geared toward the corporate executive, said Giegerich.
Big corporations are not likely to come to Montgomery, Giegerich said, unless they are first assured that "the quality of living" in the county is high enough so that companies would not run the risk of losing their top talent if the corporation relocated there.
Thus the slide show attempts to show that corporate executive would fit in well in a county where half the adults are college graduates, where the average household income in $28,400 and where one-third of the Washington area's engineers, physicians, chemists, doctors and dentists live.
But, says the commentator in the slide show, "if there is one reason for moving to Montgomery County . . . it would have to be the quality of our public schools." He goes on to say that 70 percent of Montgomery's high school students go on to college and that the county boasts a large number of National Merit Scholarship winners.
The frequent mention of "quality" in the script is reminiscent of the multimedia "New Quality" advertising campaign launched by Prince George's County Executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr. a few years ago in an effort to attract high income, high payroll businesses and clean industry to Prince George's.
The advisory board, while halling the high rate of services in Montgomery in the slide show, also recommended that the county cut its expenditures. The board noted that the county budget had increased 24 percent since 1972 while the population had grown only 10.5 percent.
The school budget and teaching staff have also increased, even though school enrollment had decreased in the past few years, the board members said.
One of the main reasons the county is attempting to attract new business is to bring in additional tax-revenues to relieve some of the property tax burden now on homeowners Giegerich said.