Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Becky Wagner Nails Incumbents on Failure to Cooperate

In a blog post published last week, County Council At-Large challenger Becky Wagner nailed the four incumbents on failing to cooperate until they confronted a billion-dollar deficit that threatened the county's AAA bond rating. Her criticism echoes many of our informants who are incredulous on their recent non-aggression pact. Following are Wagner's remarks.

Why collaboration, not “I told you so,” matters…
Posted by Becky Wagner on August 5th, 2010

I don’t think it should take a $1 Billion deficit in an election year to get the attention of five or seven County Council members. Over the last several weeks at various venues, some incumbent Council members have identified ideas they had which would have pulled us back from our fiscal crisis much earlier than May 2010. The phrases, “if only they would have listened to me in 2008,” or, “I knew in 2007,” have been offered more than once. Who are they? Their fellow Council members!

The best idea in the world will not move forward if one does not possess the leadership skills to build collaborative partnerships and frankly, gain two votes in committee of three members or five votes on the nine-member County Council. In all of my professional, community and political work, I have a proven record of building consensus and moving a progressive vision forward in Montgomery County – whether it is was chairing the Vote No on ABC (Ficker Amendments) in 2002, our Stop Slots efforts or building the Safety Net Coalition. For the past 11 years I have worked with 165 congregations of many faiths, each finding where we have common interest in the greater good of the community and as a result 35,000 men, women and children are strengthened. I worked with former County Executive Doug Duncan, our nonprofit community and other elected officials to bring the nation’s first local match for the Earned Income Tax Credit to Montgomery County. I know how to bring stakeholders to the table to develop legislation and how to achieve consensus on challenging issues.

Are you comfortable with the status quo? Are you willing to put the County’s future in the hands of Council members who, only when pushed to the brink of losing our AAA bond rating, decide to cooperate with each other? I think we can do better.