Montgomery County Executive Candidates' Forum on Library Service
30 March 2006
Opening Statement for Chuck Floyd
GENERAL LIBRARY SERVICES QUESTIONS
Do you or your families regularly use the public library?
Yes, we use the public libraries in MC all the time. It is a great public service that government should fund.How do you rate libraries in importance relative to other County services?
Libraries are part of the neighborhood and education systems and are very important as county public services. This will be one of my top priorities as County Executive.
Yes, in both areas. We have a very diverse and educated population in the county and must keep up with technology and events. We must provide the best technology and resources for our students.Would you support a one-time appropriation of $4 million to bring MCPL funding back to 1999 levels in constant dollars?
Yes, I will fund the libraries. As County Executive, I will make the hard decisions to get back to basics with government services and funding. I will veto any spending on items that should not be government provided and will fully fund the public services that should be government provided.
FACILITIES AND MAINTENANCE BACKGROUND/QUESTIONS
Building maintenance is not part of individual departments in Montgomery County but is set up and contracted for within the Facilities section of the Public Works and Transportation Department.
Yes, the funding for maintenance of public buildings must be adequate to protect the public.
I will allocate the necessary funds to upgrade all of our libraries. Again, I will spend the money on projects that the government is responsible for and will make the adjustments in other non-critical areas.Are you willing to support massive increases to the Facilities and Maintenance budget to support better care of County properties including parks, libraries, schools and other civic buildings?
Yes, I am prepared to do this. We need to provide more money for our libraries, schools, and our parks. The county has the money, but it is being wasted by the current administration. I will make the hard decisions on what functions the government must fund versus the latest special interest project. The current administration even tried to cut funding for trash pickup in our parks.
FREE PARKING AT LIBRARIES QUESTIONS
If there is unlimited parking in the lots at the Rockville, Bethesda and Silver Spring Libraries, how would you keep commuters from parking there?
There should be a 3 hour limit to people who want to park free at our libraries. Currently, there are parking meter enforcement people hired by the county that can enforce a 3 hour free parking limit for our libraries. A countywide plan must be developed for library parking.
I do not think that the County Council or the current Executive has the library system as a priority, just look at the record. I will as County Executive.Where in the County Budget would you place the money to implement this policy?
There are several areas for this in the budget and I promise that I will give the library system a priority over many other special interest projects.If increased staffing is needed at the affected branches to handle validation, stamping, monitoring parking lot activities will you support the funding for it?
Yes, this will be included in the parking enforcement budget.Providing money for core services in the library department has been a problem over the last ten years do you think it just for the County to appropriate $700,000 or more per year to provide free parking?
The entire public library budget must be revisited. It is proven that the current administration does not place a priority on the libraries. I will get back to basics for what the county government should fund. I will propose new funding for the entire library system. Libraries are a valuable resource for our children.
CORRECTIONS FACILITY LIBRARY QUESTION
For the good of all of us in the County, can you commit to providing full 2 person staffing at the Correctional Facility Library in the interest of staff safety and the ability to carry out the library's role in the rehabilitation of people now in jail?
Yes, I support educational services for inmates and will provide more than the $40,000 required. We must provide the necessary tools for inmates to be educated and then hopefully deter a life of crime.
SILVER SPRING LIBRARY QUESTION
The Silver Spring Library on Colesville Rd may relocate.
A business case analysis must be performed, along with neighborhood input. Decisions like this cannot be made without the proper input from the citizens affected. The current administration does not have a good record when it comes to making the right decision on property.
I will have to review the analysis to make a decision on this issue. Being in the military in foreign countries, I know that sometimes the service to the customer is more important than the individual costs.
Chuck Floyd Written Responses doc File
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Paper Mail: Paulette Dickerson, P.O.Box 598, Kensington, MD 20895-0598, USA
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