County Executive Leopold Urges State to Reject Move of Housing Department to Prince George’s County
|Action would impact County residents and waste taxpayer money|
Annapolis, MD (June 22, 2010) - County Executive John R. Leopold today appealed to the Maryland Board of Public Works to block a transfer of the Department of Housing and Community Development from Crownsville to Prince George’s County.
“While this move is ostensibly being done in the name of economic development, I strongly believe that the best way to encourage private business growth is to provide a low tax, high opportunity atmosphere for private enterprise to grow and prosper,” County Executive Leopold wrote in a letter to State Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp. “Moving State employees around like pawns on a chess board at a time of severe economic distress is not the right approach.”
Governor O’Malley announced plans to move the agency and its 330 employees to Prince George’s County last week. He provided no details of where exactly the agency would be relocated or how the State-owned building in Crownsville that currently houses the agency would be utilized. The three-member Board of Public Works, which consists of the governor, comptroller and treasurer, has the authority to approve or deny potential lease agreements entered into by State government. One-third of the employees live in Anne Arundel County.
The governor’s proposal would result in an agency currently housed in a state-owned building being moved into leased spaced or a newly-purchased building.
“This move is ill-timed and a waste of taxpayer money when State resources are already severely limited,” County Executive Leopold wrote.