March 5, 2014
Dear Brickyard Coalition Members,
Let me thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me concerning the Brickyard Educational Farm and the current status of the Brickyard Road school property. As a lifelong resident of Montgomery County, I have always been proud of the leadership role the county has taken in the areas of education and community engagement. Unfortunately, this seems to be a circumstance where the County government is turning its back on those guiding principles.
Our county is changing with the times and moving forward, as it should, but one thing we cannot turn our back on is looking for innovative and engaging ways to educate our children. Far too many kids have no idea about the proud agricultural heritage of our county and fewer still are presented with an opportunity for a hands-on experience to learn how their food is grown and where it comes from. The Brickyard Educational Farm is a unique opportunity to engage our children in projects that will teach them about proper nutrition, food sustainability issues and build upon our county’s agricultural legacy.
As someone who has dedicated much of his life to public service in Montgomery County, I am equally distressed by the treatment that your coalition members have received from some within the county government. Whenever you have a significant policy or project debate, there are bound to be differing viewpoints. However, no matter how contentious the issue, the residents of this county must always be treated with respect and dignity. To have a spokesperson from the County Executive’s office single out the Potomac community and personally attack them with outlandish remarks is outrageous. A formal apology should have been issued immediately and still needs to be delivered.
I pledge to you that I will do everything in my power as the next County Executive to make sure that the Brickyard Educational Farm comes to fruition on the Brickyard Road school property, and serves as a teaching farm for future generations of Montgomery County students and residents. I also pledge that I will bring back a tenor to county government that welcomes debate, believes in full transparency and always treats our residents with the respect they deserve.