Montgomery County pays for others

April 12, 1996

AFTER READING the April 2 editorial, ''Destructive rivalry in Maryland,'' I feel compelled to respond to the charges of parochialism being levied against Montgomery County representatives in Annapolis.

For many years, Montgomery County has been the primary source of funds going into the state's budget, yet every year, Montgomery gets the short end of the stick when the budget is finalized.

To suggest that Montgomery lawmakers are unwilling to champion projects in other regions is not only untrue, it is completely ridiculous.

The definitive issue for this year's General Assembly was, predictably, the public funding of two football stadiums.

An effort was made to convince the public that no tax dollars would go toward one of these projects, which technically is true because the money comes from state lottery revenue.

However, these dollars are public dollars, and despite all the smoke-screens, this money could easily be re-allocated to projects which have statewide appeal.

Most Montgomery legislators opposed using these funds for the construction of football stadiums, not because the ''benefits'' derived from these projects would primarily go to other jurisdictions but because the cost of these projects raises questions in a time when we are cutting back on essential government services.

Montgomery County legislators did not oppose the stadium projects out of spite toward Baltimore or any other region.

The Montgomery contingent that voted against the stadiums did so out of concern for the state of Maryland as a whole.

If Baltimore legislators view the Montgomery position as some sort of personal attack on Baltimore, I would suggest that Baltimore's elected officials re-examine the motivations that led them to run for a state office in the first place.

&Brian R. Fish Gaithersburg

Pub Date: 4/12/96

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