Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Montco Budget Hearing Overflows With Supporters of Parks & Planning

It was standing room only in Court Room A at the Montgomery County Courthouse, and an overflow room had to be set up across the street to accommodate the overflow crowd.

Commissioner Matthews was a no show. A motion was made to make Commissioner Hoeffel the new Chairman due to Mr. Matthews resignation. At least 50+ members of the public made 2 minute public comments and during the time we were at the hearing, not a single person supported the proposed draconian cuts to the budget.

The Bicycle Coalition expressed the views of the over 1500 persons who have sent in emails to the Commissioners that we are all "shocked" that Montgomery County would even consider shutting down its park and planning departments. Montgomery County is considered the region's leader in trails; it's unfathomable that it would lead the way in abandoning its own trail system or planning efforts. Such action would harm not only the residents of Montgomery County, but the entire region as well, as people come from all over to enjoy the Schuylkill River Trail, Perkiomen Trail and other trails and parks within the county. Montco's trails are part of the regional trail network and have been built over many years with local, county, state and federal investments. Abandoning those investments would be pennywise and pound foolish. In addition, any action to cut these two departments would put hundreds of thousands of dollars of new grants recently awarded to the County from the State, Feds and the William Penn Foundation in jeopardy.

You can still send a personal letter to the Commissioners and Commissioners-elect to restore the Parks Department and Planning Commission to 2011 levels.