RCHCA President’s Comments re Dr. Starr’s Recent Recommendation to Reopen Site Selection

To our members –

My comments on Dr. Starr’s recommendation to reopen the site selection
process for the proposed BCC Middle School #2 will be brief given what has
been said to date. The first is my appreciation to Cathy Fink, Shannon
Hamm, and Sandra van Bochove for organizing and managing such an effective
lobbying campaign before the County Council and the County Executive. Sam
Statland worked behind the scenes on the lobbying effort in addition to his
successful appeal to the State Open Meetings Board. I am also indebted to
Tom Sisti and Sandra for their extensive work on the legal aspects of our
campaign and to David Brown, Esq. for his support. Jim Pekar’s persistent
testimony and blog were at the core of an extended public relations
campaign. The numerous letters by our residents were the essential support
to this effort.

As I understand it, the Rock Creek Hills Local Park site will remain in the
capital budget as a some $47 million place holder for the construction of a
new BBC cluster middle school. The funds would be shifted to any
alternative site that may be selected next spring. Dr. Staff has stated
that the Planning Board is to be fully engaged. As of this evening there
are no details on the structure of the new site selection process. For
this reason the testimony I am providing as your president on November 10
specifically requests that the Rock Creek Hills community have a seat on any
new site selection advisory committee. We will of course work to assure
that any such process is as transparent as possible and that all possible
alternatives are fairly considered.

In the meantime it might to wise to reduce the frequency of our appearances
before the School Board and accept that at this point they are not prepared
to drop the Rock Creek Hills Park site for good. We will continue to keep
this issue quietly but persistently before the County Council in order to
assure that the site ultimately selected meets the educational needs of our
community and of the other communities that share our concerns. I remain
personally convinced that the Rock Creek Hills Park site is not a good site
strictly on educational grounds. As such its selection would not merit the
recreational, environmental, and fiscal costs that would be involved. Best
wishes for the balance of your year and for the health and well being of
your families.

Sincerely yours,

John M. Robinson

for the

Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association