Montgomery has sacrificed already

December 16, 2010

I was disappointed by The Sun's recent editorial ("Maryland's ATM?", Dec. 15) criticizing Montgomery County's interest in being treated equitably by state government. I agree that the wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes, regardless of whether they live in Potomac or Pikesville. But The Sun and others around the state need to recognize the Montgomery County of fact, and not myth.

The reality is that, despite your misconception, the borders of our county extend far beyond the town of Potomac. I challenge you to come to Burtonsville, where I live, and see the effect that the foreclosure epidemic has had on our neighborhoods. Stop by Fairland, where household income has dropped 25 percent since 2000. These folks, my constituents, have already experienced much more than the "modicum of personal sacrifice" that you mention.

Like the rest of the state, Montgomery County is suffering in the recession. We can no more afford to shoulder the burden of state cuts on our own than Baltimore. In such challenging times, we will all need to share in the pain and avoid irresponsible policy like passing the buck on pension costs without addressing the state's underfunding of the system.

You accuse Montgomery County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett of parochialism, but to argue that Montgomery should bear undue sacrifice displays that same parochialism and an ignorance of the economic realities in many of our communities.

Eric Luedtke, Burtonsville

The writer is a delegate-elect from District 14.

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