Doran to Leggett et al.

From: Charles Doran
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2011
To: Ike Leggett et al.
Subject: Letter to Leggett regarding Brickyard Road site from President of Brickyard Road Citizens Association


Dear Mr. Leggett:

Last night (June 8, 2011) local residents at a meeting of the Brickyard Road Citizens Association voted unanimously for the organic farm at the Brickyard location and against privately-owned (leased) and controlled soccer fields.  Unanimously.  Not a single person voted for the soccer fields. 

The River Falls Community Association has also polled its members.  Overwhelmingly the members opposed the soccer fields.  Throughout this part of the county sentiment strongly supports the existing organic farm for this location and equally strongly rejects the soccer fields for a variety of reasons.

Why are the citizens so intensely opposed to the soccer fields?  These votes are not against soccer.  They are against the forceful imposition of soccer fields on a community that does not want or need them, and on an ecosystem that cannot sustain them environmentally.  Soccer fields should not be forced down the throats of citizens who loudly protest the monumental assault it will have on their community and on its overburdened ecosystem, already suffering severe air and water pollution and now threatened by some devastating, irreversible consequences.

To me, it is unfathomable that the administration would choose such a fragile corner of the county to locate the soccer complex when the information about that fragility is so long- and well-documented by agencies within the county, state, and federal governments.  Surely the administration cannot dismiss these wider, irreversible impacts in making such decisions.

The issue is not only a uniquely fragile ecosystem.  Consider the community which lives within it, understands it, and respects it.  Please try to imagine what the citizens see in the soccer field proposal.  A twenty-acre set of fields surrounded by a high-wire fence, from which all local non-members are excluded, with parking for over two hundred cars with all of the attendant run-off and pollution immediately adjacent to homes, water wells, and lawns, is a spectacle that citizens have every right to fear.  This proposed complex is not constructed in isolation.  It is precisely located in the midst of a community that sees the proposed fields as nothing short of an attack on its integrity, its water supply, and common sense – an attack that extends far beyond the immediate families who live in the immediate vicinity of the property.

Why do the citizens of the area want the organic farm?  Over a period of some thirty years Nick Marvell has carefully cultivated the production of non-genetically-modified organic food.  His farm has become a model for the nation at a time when obesity and poor diet threaten the lives of children.  The community is proud of this organic farm and of the national attention that Marvell’s work brings to Montgomery County.  Trying to transplant this farm to a location less environmentally propitious will destroy it.  Citizens of Montgomery County know this and reject uprooting this national icon.

Finally, citizens of Montgomery County are angry about transgressions associated with the entire process of handing over control of this site to Montgomery Soccer Incorporated and the innuendo and secrecy so far characterizing the process.  They are alert to the flow of campaign monies.  They are concerned about a “slush fund” systematically denied by MSI but very well documented.  They are angry about the failure to apply the rules of the Master Plan for the County.

They also are concerned about the attempt to manipulate and muzzle opinion at the meeting at the Potomac Elementary School and of the attempt to dominate and control opinion by dividing discussion and attempting to channel it at the June 9th County presentation.  This is America, not East Germany of 1960.  As this information spills over into the community via blogs and the internet as well as the traditional press and talk shows, the anger and frustration is only going to get worse.

Mr. Leggett, these angry and determined people are people who voted for you, who still believe in you, and in what you stand for and what you exemplify.  Do not turn them against you because of a political process that has become twisted and corrupt. 

Montgomery County has only one organic farm; it is not moveable.  Montgomery County already has over 500 soccer fields; four more soccer fields will add very little to that total (less than one percent) – but the siting of the fields on Brickyard will have devastating consequences for a particularly fragile corner of the county’s ecosystem.

Charles Doran
President, Brickyard Road Citizens Association