Friday, September 03, 2010

Elrich Cooperated with Suit to Shut Down Fillmore

The Gazette reported in June on a lawsuit filed by 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz to stop construction of the state- and county-financed Fillmore project in Downtown Silver Spring. Since then, revelations of big-time cost overruns, which would ultimately reduce the amount of rent to be paid by Live Nation to the county, have raised doubts about the project. On August 31, Hurwitz filed for a temporary restraining order to halt construction, which was due to break ground on September 2. The judge turned down the order, but the application was interesting for one reason: it contained an affidavit in support from Council Member Marc Elrich.

Following is a copy of Elrich’s affidavit in support of the restraining order to cease construction. Elrich contends that the County Executive was required to seek an additional appropriation from the County Council to cover the cost overruns and did not do so.

We do not offer an opinion on the merits of Hurwitz’s lawsuit or on Elrich’s argument on behalf of the restraining order. But our sources find it remarkable that one County Council Member participated in an effort to stop the Fillmore when the County Executive, the County Council as a body, the county’s statehouse delegation, the state government and the landowner had all reached an agreement to proceed. Marc Elrich is one of the smartest people in county government and usually acts on good reason, but he is going to take a LOT of heat for this.