Capital LTE: An open letter to Alderman Kenneth Kirby

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, May 15, 2016

An open letter to Alderman Kenneth Kirby:

In a front-page article regarding school overcrowding at Tyler Heights Elementary School (The Capital, May 11) you were quoted as noting that some Tyler Heights students are traveling to Georgetown East Elementary School due to overcrowding. “These parents are screaming bloody murder and I need Tyler Heights moved up on the schedule.”

Yet you have been an opponent of the ordinance to add schools to the city’s adequate public facilities ordinance, which is designed to avoid such overcrowding and to assure overcrowding is not exacerbated. You voted to postpone this ordinance until July 11, when your vote in support would have brought the issue to a vote.

You have been a supporter of Crystal Spring and other developments that have been the main factors in creating this school overcrowding. Hillsmere Elementary and Annapolis High School are also well over capacity and have four and eight student trailers, respectively. Tyler Heights has 13 trailers.

Your hypocrisy in opposing the adequate public facilities ordinance and ignoring such school overcrowding while supporting more development is appalling. If Crystal Spring, Parkside Preserve, Rocky Gorge or any of the other 15 developments in the pipeline were in the county, they could not be built for six years because of school overcrowding.

Where do you think students will go to school from the 152 homes at Parkside Preserve and the 48 homes at Rocky Gorge approved by the city? How about the 130 non-age-restricted homes planned for Crystal Spring and another 500-plus homes in the pipeline for the Forest Drive corridor?

The problem is not with the county, but with the city allowing such rampant development in spite of overcrowded schools, traffic problems, environmental destruction and the lack of adequate law enforcement due to police officer shortages.

Editor’s note: The writer is a former state senator and a leader of the opposition to Crystal Spring.

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