By Adam Pagnucco.
County Executive Ike Leggett has thrown in the towel on efforts to reform the county’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC). We will have something to say about that soon. But first, let’s address a claim the Executive has made in Bethesda Magazine: namely, that “the department’s critics have failed to put forth a proposal that included replacing the DLC’s profits.”
That is flat-out untrue.
On August 15, 2016, while the Executive’s DLC task force was meeting, your author posted a proposal on Seventh State for replacing DLC’s profits. Our concept was to replace every dime of DLC’s net income with a combination of revenue sharing with the state, opening a few new liquor stores and financing the county’s liquor bonds with cable funds. No new taxes or fees would be required. In the email below, your author asked Bonnie Kirkland, the Executive Branch staffer running the task force, to have the proposal studied by the administration’s consultant. Ms. Kirkland agreed to do that. But the consultant’s report never examined our proposal and does not reference it at all. And now the Executive claims that our proposal never existed.
Let’s give the Executive the benefit of the doubt. No Executive is aware of every interaction his staff has with the public. But it’s absolutely untrue that we had no proposal to replace DLC’s profits. We did and we shared it with his staff. It was simply ignored by his administration.
Below is the email exchange your author had with Ms. Kirkland as proof. Let no one – not the Executive, not his staff, not anyone at the County Council and not anyone else – continue to claim that we presented no ideas for replacing DLC’s profits.
From: Kirkland, Bonnie <Bonnie.Kirkland@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Sent: Thursday, September 1, 2016 3:47 PM
To: Pagnucco, Adam
Subject: Re: Proposal on liquor monopoly revenue
Adam – The proposal, along with the others, is under analysis by the consultant. They will present a preliminary report/analysis at the next meeting, September 15.
Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 1, 2016, at 2:28 PM, A P <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Hi Bonnie – have you had time to consider my request? I believe it responds to the Executive’s view that he is prepared to depart from DLC’s monopoly status so long as the revenue gap is closed. Adam
Subject: RE: Proposal on liquor monopoly revenue
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2016 17:13:08 +0000
Adam – Yes, I did receive your email. I am currently out of the office and will respond as soon as possible.
From: A P [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 1:02 PM
To: Kirkland, Bonnie <Bonnie.Kirkland@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Subject: FW: Proposal on liquor monopoly revenue
Hi Bonnie – did you receive this email? And if so, can you confirm that this proposal will be analyzed along with the others in the course of the DLC task force’s deliberations?
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Subject: Proposal on liquor monopoly revenue
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2016 12:00:24 -0400
I am requesting that this proposal on how to deal with liquor monopoly revenue be considered by the administration as part of its DLC deliberations.