Restrictions proposed by County Councilman David G. Boschert on how the county spends Program Open Space money will needlessly pit Little League parents against conservationists, the county parks and recreation director said Thursday.
Boschert, a Crownsville Democrat, proposed limiting the county's future POS purchases to open spaces after the outgoing council approved a recreation department request in October to spend $800,000 on an Odenton ice rink.
Parks and Recreation Director Joseph McCann lashed out at Boschert, whom he accused of "grandstanding," and his proposal during a meeting Thursday of the Severn River Commission, a government-appointed advisory panel.
"I'm really ticked off at Dave," said McCann, who was invited before the commission to explain county policies on POS spending. "This will polarize the constituency of the Parks and Recreation Department."
During the Lighthizer administration, POS money -- generated through real estate transfer taxes -- was used to finance 15 percent of the $64 million budget to acquire and develop parks, McCann said. The department will receive about $2 million in POS money this year.
But, as the government prepares to tighten its belt and money for projects becomes increasingly scarce, McCann said it needs more flexibility, not less, in how it finances park projects.
Boschert said Friday that McCann may be speaking out of turn. The parks director has never seen the proposed legislation, Boschert said. The councilman said he will meet with County Executive Robert Neall and McCann Wednesday to discuss it.
Boschert said his bill would not eliminate construction spending, but would require the county to place a greater emphasis on land purchases