Lily Rowe said BCPS’ capital budget should start with the Board of Education deciding what it needs instead of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz telling BCPS what he plans to fund. The current process, she said, leads to projects that communities don’t want. [Her testimony starts at the 44:30 mark in the above video.]
For example, Dulaney High School is slated to get central air conditioning and other repairs, but many in that community say the school is so old and in such disrepair that a brand-new building is needed. And the fear is that if a school gets central air conditioning, the county and state won’t pay for a replacement building because they just sank so much money into the HVAC.
Rowe told the Board, in part:
“You need to change how you do this. You should be coming up with the projects, telling the county executive what you need, and what money you need from the county, and not letting him set the agenda.
You should have a facilities plan that is exhaustive in nature that any community with any facilities need can point to a date and say ‘The Board has a plan to fix this in this year’s budget.’ Then go the county executive and make him give you what you need. Because there’s no politician on this earth who can afford to be the politician that cuts education.
And yet you all trip over trying to make this man happy when you should be getting the money that you need for the projects that are on the agenda that you decide.
And yet you all just sit back and do nothing and let him spoon feed you something that’s rushing central AC through projects and schools that need more. Please, reconsider how you do this. And do your jobs.”