Friday, May 29, 2015

Unanimous BOE Votes For $550,000 Playground for Somerset Elementary

Board of Education member Mike Durso was absent for this vote.

The Board members noted that Bethesda PTA's give fundraising "tips" to Red Zone (low-income) parents.  Apparently, those "tips" justify a $550,000 playground for Bethesda schools while Silver Spring children play on dirt. 


  1. Give me a break. MCPS isn't ponying up a half million for Somerset E.S. The BOE basically opened the door for local communities to raise money for capital projects at their local schools. People can debate whether this is good policy or not, but get your facts straight. In this particular instance, this is a question of need as the kids at Somerset have a dirt field too.

    1. Oh, yes they are! Did you see the Wootton High School "deal" for their artificial turf? Who had to cough up in the end? Taxpayers.

      Who will be responsible for maintenance, repair and most importantly REPLACEMENT of this field? Taxpayers. You think the parents are going to cough up another $500,000 in 7 years?

      Question of need? Oh. My. Gosh. You ever been to Silver Spring? Guess not.

      Get your facts straight.

    2. Want to see dirt?

  2. Your sarcasm doesn't add anything to this conversation, but for what it's worth.

    My facts are straight, but we have a misunderstanding here. Nobody is questioning whether elementary schools in Silver Spring have dirt fields or whether they could use a turf field. The school in question here has a dirt field (something you didn't explicitly point out) and the locals would like a turf field. I believe we'd all agree that MCPS could do better when grade school kids are playing on dirt. Nobody wants that.

    MCPS has opened the door wider for locals to raise their money and make it happen and raises the issue of haves and have nots. To me, this is the real debatable issue at hand.

    My understanding is that the O&M costs of a Somerset ES turf field will be the responsibility of the local community. Do you know that this arrangement is something other than that?

    Please help me understand the Wooton deal. I thought the soccer club raised the relevant amount of funds for the project. Who's responsible for the O&M costs? Forget about replacement costs - that hasn't happened and when it does, it wouldn't surprise me if MCPS went back to the local community to underwrite that.

    Aside from throwing darts here, how would you fix this problem?

    1. Facts are sarcasm? Right.

      Guess we all missed the "public discussion" of this perk for Somerset Elementary. There has been absolutely NO discussion of maintenance, upkeep or replacement for this field. It might make you "feel" better to imagine things, but it doesn't keep taxpayers from being on the hook. By the way, there is absolutely NO WAY TO LEGALLY BIND the community to maintain this field! Rumor and gossip are fun for now, but they don't hold up. The BOE can't "go back" to any community and force them to pay anything. What a fantasy. By the way, where is the public - private partnership over at the Richard Montgomery field? Oh, right - the private part went bankrupt.

      Everything about the Wootton field disaster is on this blog. Look it up and read all about it.

      Oh, what is the solution? Oh, sniff, sniff - the reason for this "deal" is that the field was NOT BEING MAINTAINED. That FACT was made perfectly clear at the BOE table. So, let's see, a solution might be, oh MAINTENANCE? Shocking.

      The BOE hasn't "opened" any doors. What a farce. They are shutting the doors on Red Zone schools and making absolutely, positively, 100% sure that our neighborhood schools will LOOK VERY DIFFERENT. Red Zone = Dirt. Green Zone = Green Plastic The same way Red Zone = Cell Towers on playgrounds Green Zone = No cell towers on playgrounds. Those are permanent changes to impact neighborhoods forever. Why not just put a big stamp on the school that says Red Zone or Green Zone and cut out all the guessing?

    2. Better still put Red and Green armbands on the students so we can differentiate who is who and whom belongs where. Special needs get White armbands as they are forced to surrender their Federal rights and protections as soon as they become students in the County We have read recently and heard on news reports that Rulers at the top of the system here value power and being paid large amounts of money and extras. These armbands will show the whole country how simple it is to solve community problems. Identify the problem children with armbands and isolate them.


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