The Oct. 19 front-page article “Md. will keep Marriott with subsidies and Bethesda deal” brought to the public’s attention the awful plan that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) have come up with to give a hugely rich corporation (Marriott) $62 million of public money. The subsidy of “up to $17,700 per employee” (3,500 of them) could quell the hunger pangs of 3,500 of our county’s poorest residents for years and years to come.
Public money is to be used for the public’s welfare, not private corporations’ welfare. I will be calling my Montgomery County Council members and urging them to vote against this plan.
David Fallick, Silver Spring
Marriott’s decision to relocate its headquarters to downtown Bethesda underscores the consensus forming in Montgomery County for channeling new jobs and housing to high-density, attractive, mixed-use, mixed-income, walkable, transit-served town centers.
To fulfill the promise of smart growth, much more needs to be done. The County Council will vote soon on updates to the Bethesda downtown plan and the county’s Subdivision Staging Policy; the Planning Board has made strong proposals that deserve approval.
The state has a role, too: Dedicated, adequate funding for Metro is essential to assure long-term regionwide economic success, so the state must prioritize that over highway expansions.
David W. Sears, Bethesda
The writer is chairman of the Sierra Club’s
Montgomery County Group.