Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leggett, Knapp Issue Dueling Plans for Biotech (Updated)

Something is in the air, folks. If you pause for a moment and listen, you might hear it – a little voice that whispers, “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” Council Member Mike Knapp heard it and now the County Executive does too. And that voice is getting louder, ever louder as the elections approach.

On September 30, Knapp released a ten-point “Life Sciences and Technology Economic Development Strategy” that he said was “necessary if the County is to remain at the national forefront of biotech and high-tech research and development.” Leggett followed with an October 9 guest editorial in the Washington Business Journal entitled, “A Master Plan to Boost Bioscience in Montgomery County.” Since the editorial is only available via subscription – a fact that the County Executive’s press staff should have known would limit its readership – we reproduce it below.

Knapp’s plan is holistic and countywide while Leggett’s plan focuses on Gaithersburg West, but that is beside the point. The real story here is two-fold. First, the County Executive and a potential rival are both talking about job creation, suggesting that 2010 will have a different issue mix than 2006. And second, the County Executive is determined to not allow his critics to pre-empt him on an important issue, even if that means tit-for-tat press statements.

Following is Leggett’s guest editorial on bioscience.

Update: The Washington Business Journal asked us to delete Leggett’s essay from this blog entry and we complied. We asked them to make the link above active to non-subscribers. In the future, perhaps the County Executive’s staff will consider making his opinion pieces available on free sites.