Collaboration Paying Dividends in Anne Arundel

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Edgewater Elementary (photo courtesy of the Baltimore Sun)
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Tyler Heights Elementary

Throughout the State, county governments are completing their annual budgets for the coming fiscal year. In the midst of this processes, Anne Arundel County Councilman Chris Trumbauer writes that for his county, “this year the fiscal 2017 budget seems to be thriving on collaboration.”

In an opinion piece published in the The Capital-Gazette, Trumbauer describes how the county council, the county executive, and the school system are working together to make sure needed projects are funded.

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Richard Henry Lee Elementary

Trumbauer writes,

Last year, the county and the Board of Education released a strategic school facilities study that prioritized the dozens of needed school construction projects. According to the study, we have a backlog of projects estimated at more than $2 billion. The top three schools on that list were, in order, Edgewater, Tyler Heights and Richard Henry Lee elementary schools.

In the first draft of the county’s budget, these projects would not have received funding until 2020, according to the article. Trumbauer writes,

This is where the collaboration comes in. The school system has expressed a willingness to work with us on the scheduling and timeline of several projects to help accommodate the new elementary schools. And we will need a supplemental budget — additional proposed funding — from the county executive.

Fortunately, it seems to be coming together. Shortly after the auditor’s report, the county executive released a statement that he intends “to embrace the auditor’s recommendations and propose a supplemental budget that accelerates construction” of the three elementary schools. In fact, the administration announced it is working on a similar plan — so everyone seemingly agrees on the urgent need to fund these three desperate schools in this budget.

For more information, see the full story, Chris Trumbauer: Collaboration better than conflict.