The May 13 endorsement “For Montgomery County executive” claimed a sign of “fiscal and economic trouble” facing the county” is “a burgeoning population of retirees, immigrants and other less affluent residents” that “has strained local resources and budgets.” Yes, the county is aging and is diverse by a multitude of metrics. But this is not unique to Montgomery County. Nor is it trouble.
Montgomery County’s population is 14.5 percent seniors, about the same as the rest of the country. Singling out Montgomery’s senior population as “burgeoning” and a sign of trouble particular to the county is misleading. The growth in our senior population is simply part of a broader demographic trend.
Worse, the editorial branded the county’s ethnically diverse population as part of the trouble facing it, stating that immigrants are poor. Immigrant families, just as with nonimmigrant families, have a range of incomes.
More disturbing was the judgment that these residents are a drain on the county. Far from it. Our community is stronger and more vibrant for being diverse. That diversity is a reason my husband and I chose Montgomery County as our home.
The county government doesn’t get to choose who lives here. Every government’s job — local, state and federal — is to provide the best opportunities it can for the people, regardless of their age, nationality or income.
I am proud that Montgomery County remains so welcoming a community that people from all corners of the globe still honor us by choosing to call us home.
Julie Palakovich Carr, Rockville
The writer, a Democrat, is a member of the Rockville City Council.
I was shocked and disappointed with the endorsement of David Blair to be Montgomery County executive. Of all the candidates, he is probably the least qualified, as he has never been in government and has far less knowledge of the issues facing Montgomery County than the other candidates.
Montgomery County needs a leader who is well versed on the challenging issues before it so that essential decisions can be promptly made. That requires election of an individual who has substantial experience working with key county government personnel and decision-making processes.
Trip Rothschild, Potomac
I found the endorsement for Montgomery County executive of a wealthy businessman with no governing experience, a “political outsider,” bone-chilling and ill-informed.
The editorial characterized David Blair as a “dynamic political newcomer with business acumen, energy and passion for innovation.” It accused candidate Marc Elrich of a “reflexive opposition to innumerable local projects.” Does that ignore saving the county’s last pristine creek? Wanting to retain the character of neighborhoods that would be significantly hurt by further development? Is all development good? Is that why the county years ago stopped requiring developers to pay back some profits for a share of the infrastructure needed as a result of their developments? Does that have anything to do with the “strained local resources” the editorial cited? All Mr. Elrich wants is development that doesn’t strain local resources, that requires developers to pay their own way. Mr. Elrich was not opposed to the “beloved” Fillmore music venue but to the $11 million in public funds given to Ticketmaster.
The editorial mentioned that Mr. Blair wants to improve traffic. Really? Would he take credit for the dozen or more years of work that Mr. Elrich put into the innovative bus rapid transit system? Mr. Blair can promise everything to everybody because he has no record to check.
Pat Newman, Bethesda
The writer volunteers for Marc Elrich’s campaign for Montgomery County executive.
I was surprised and baffled by the endorsement of David Blair for Montgomery County executive. Haven’t we had enough of rich businessmen who have no experience governing? Of all the competent people running for county executive, he is last on my list of whom to vote for.
Carol Anderson, Bethesda