Silver Chips Online

Montgomery County executive candidates hold debate

Leggett, Silverman discuss voters' concerns

By Natasha Prados, Online Managing Editor
January 13, 2006
Montgomery County executive Democratic candidates Ike Leggett and Steve Silverman held a debate, hosted by the Leisure World Democratic Club, on Wednesday, Jan. 12 to discuss education, transportation, affordable housing and other issues pertinent to the upcoming election.

During the debate, Leggett and Silverman fielded questions from Montgomery County residents and clarified their positions on major campaign issues. Both candidates reaffirmed their support for increasing education initiatives to reduce class sizes, ensuring all elementary schools have all-day kindergartens and augmenting funding for school construction.

One retired teacher asked about the recent movement by black parents and the NAACP to "do away with Gifted and Talented programs." Silverman noted that such decisions are in the hands of the school boards, but he believes that "every child should be educated at a level suitable to them." Leggett agreed, adding that, as county executive, he would make education a top priority.

The candidates also discussed transportation problems. Leggett stressed the importance of slowing development, while Silverman advocated for the construction of the above-ground Metro Purple Line and the Inter County Connector.

Leggett's Field Coordinator Tracy Terrell felt the debate was helpful and informative for voters. "You can tell the differences between [the candidates] on key issues," she said.

Blair alumnus Matt Yalowitz, Silverman's Deputy Political Director, agreed. "I think it's good that eight months before the primary there's this exchange of ideas and dialogue happening between the candidates," he said.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/6105