Montgomery County Executive Candidates' Forum on Library Service
30 March 2006
Opening Statement for Chuck Floyd

I am sorry that I cannot attend tonight's event. I thought I would be back from a business trip to CA, but unfortunately I am held over for another day. I want to thank everyone for attending tonight since debates about the issues affecting Montgomery County are very important in educating the voters.

Just a quick background on myself. I am a retired U.S. Army officer, a former diplomat working for Colin Powell at the U.S. Department of State, a small business owner, and currently a security and government contracts consultant. My wife, Kathryn, and I live in Kensington with our two daughters, Anna (8) and Julia (13).

I graduated from the University of Richmond and have two masters' degrees in business, along with a Command and General Staff College degree from the U.S. Army's master degree level program at Fort Leavenworth.

I have always used public libraries and I am a big supporter of the public library system. We take our daughters to several of the public libraries in the county all the time. Public libraries are part of the government's responsibility of public service to its citizens. I will fully support the libraries in Montgomery County, but will seek to change a few of the current policies.

First, I will ensure that the Homeland Security Department has a “real” mission dealing with homeland security---not policing libraries. The library staff and the county police can handle any public safety issues that may arise.

Second, I will support free parking at the libraries for citizens who want to use these public facilities.

Third, I want to protect free speech, yet my top priority is to protect our children by a policy of “no porn” in our libraries. If an individual wants to view porn, then it can be accomplished in non-public places where children will not be exposed to porn. Is it illegal to yell “fire” in a public place? Is it common sense to protect children? Does our society try to protect children from sexual predators? I do not think that the taxpayers should fund someone's habit of looking at porn. I will be a leader in protecting our children from porn in the government (i.e. schools, libraries).


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.

Do you think the library should spend more money for books or for online services and why?

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.


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.
One of 150 public buildings served, The Music Center at Strathmore Hall, is budgeted for $1 million/ year of the $17 million plus FY06 Facilities budget. Could you support a different apportionment of resources?

Yes, the funding for maintenance of public buildings must be adequate to protect the public

Are you aware that there are libraries with carpets that are over 15 years old so you have kids inhaling the germs of decades at library programs; how would you address this problem?

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.


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

How do you think the County Council's resolution on library parking will affect library funding in the near future?

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.


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.


The Silver Spring Library on Colesville Rd may relocate.
Given the considerable cost of this proposal, how will increased use justify this investment?

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

How does the cost per user before and after the move compare to national averages and best practice standards?

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
Send questions or comments to:
E-Mail: "pdickerson (at)"
Paper Mail: Paulette Dickerson, P.O.Box 598, Kensington, MD 20895-0598, USA
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