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County Executive Leopold Urges Board of Public Works to Block Relocation of Housing Department

Move is a waste of taxpayer dollars

Annapolis, MD (September 19, 2011) — County Executive Leopold renewed his objection to a proposal to move the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development from Anne Arundel County to Prince George's County.

"This action is an egregious example of politics driving policy at the taxpayers' expense," County Executive Leopold said. "The State of Maryland should not be undertaking agency relocations that would involve new lease payments. The Governor is moving hundreds of employees from a building constructed and paid for specifically for this agency to another location with a $40 million lease. A large number of employees will now have to commute long distances, which runs counter to the goals of Smart Growth. I urge the Board of Public Works to reject this proposal and restore some fiscal sanity."

The action fulfills a campaign promise to locate a state agency headquarters in Prince George's County, regardless of whether relocating benefits taxpayers, customers or employees. Governor O'Malley first announced the proposal last summer and is expected to announce more details today. The Board of Public Works, which includes the Governor, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, has the final say on approving the lease. The department has 330 employees, about one-third of whom live in Anne Arundel County.

"While this move is ostensibly being done in the name of economic development, it hurts the economy in Anne Arundel County," County Executive Leopold said. "Moving around state employees like pawns on a chessboard at a time of severe economic stress is not the right approach."

Letter to the Board of Public Works

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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000