Excerpts from the inaugural speech of Montgomery County Executive Neal Potter:
I come to this job with great hopes, because the voters of Montgomery County have given me a great vote, based on issues about which I -- and they, I believe -- care deeply: preventing excessive and unbalanced development; a fairer tax system; an open and responsive government . . . .
I come to this job of county executive with a tremendous sense of humility, a sense of my limitations and of those of the office itself.
The people of this great county look to me for solutions to their most vexing problems, whether they are excessive growth of business and jobs, or looming unemployment; whether high taxes or inadequate funding of public services; air pollution, or more roads and parking for more automobiles and trucks.
And the situation is piled high with difficulties. Revenues are inadequate to cover budgeted services, and county debt has been pushed to the limit. Increasing school enrollments, union contracts for substantial annual salary increases, and increased public transportation projects will increase revenue needs while revenue forecasts are for a decline.
I will make strong recommendations on how to deal with these problems without, I hope, setting off another taxpayers' revolt or discontent among county employees. But I am acutely aware of the limitations of the county executive's authority to solve the problems that face us . . . .
I look forward to a real community government -- a government of the community, operated with and for the community. The community government must be equally open to all -- the barber and the banker, the poor as well as the affluent, the carpenter as well as the corporate executive . . . .