By Adam Pagnucco.
Nine Districts for MoCo, the group that put a charter amendment on the ballot converting the county council to a nine district structure, has released a video blasting the council for its decision to delay completion of a new building for South Lake Elementary School. The school, located in Gaithersburg, was the subject of a WTOP article describing heat and air conditioning problems, crowding and rodents running free inside the building. Community members have asked for a new school for years and MCPS has described the building’s problems as “insurmountable.” MCPS requested funding for a new building, which the council approved, but the council delayed completion by one year to September 2024 due to fiscal problems. The school board has since asked the council to restore the project’s original schedule but that won’t happen unless money can be found.
The video accurately notes that the school’s student body is overwhelmingly black and brown. However, its claim that the at-large council members “voted unanimously to take South Lake Elementary school out of the $14B capital improvement budget” is inaccurate. The council voted to delay the project, not delete it. It remains in the capital budget with a projected cost of $34.9 million. This is not the first time Nine Districts for MoCo has released a misleading video.
This claim is inaccurate.
The video was posted on YouTube by Reardon Sullivan, a member of the county Republican Party’s central committee. Republicans support the nine district group because they believe such a structure might lead to a Republican county council seat.
The video appears below.