People concerned about or just plain unhappy with Maryland's growingbudget shortage will have a chance to tell the state's chief financial officer what they think at tonight's Greater Odenton Improvement Association meeting.
Louis L. Goldstein, who has been the state comptroller since 1958, is scheduled to speak on the state'e economy andthen answer questions.
"The state's economy affects the county's economy," said Pat Wellford, president of the association. "We thought it was a timelyissue."
Wellford said Goldstein's appearance will be a break from Planning and Zoning and State Highway Administration officials, who usuallytalk about developments or the Route 32 upgrade.
"We wanted to broaden our scope a little bit," Wellford said.
With news this past Saturday that Maryland's budget deficit could grow from $350 million to $450 million, Wellford said a tax increase is likely and people may want to question the man in charge of the state coffers.
"Every time you pick up a paper, the deficit grows even more," she said. "We've got the best person to answer those questions."
Goldstein saidhe will stress the spirit of volunteerism to the Odenton crowd. "That is the most important thing," he said. "We have got to get people who go out into the community."
He said volunteering is one way to combat the cuts in programs that the budget crunch has forced.
"The economic situation is a little slow right now," he said. "But we have a great nation -- the greatest government in the world. But we're not perfect. The people have to understand that we have to do some things on their own."
The meeting starts 7:30 p.m. at the Odenton Fire Hall.