Monday, December 31, 2012

Conflicting Interests

Officials in Prince Georges county have adopted a sense of entitlement when it comes to the proposed new headquarters for the FBI. The county believes it has been short changed when it comes to sharing in the largess of federal government spending when compared to the other counties that border the nation’s capital. When the FBI issued a solicitation of interest from neighboring jurisdictions, Prince Georges county saw this as their chance to even the score.

Not so fast said Montgomery. According to this story by Miranda S. Spivack and Victor Zapana in The Washington Post, the county’s economic development director “confirmed that he is soliciting local developers and consulting with federal agencies about potential sites.”

Montgomery’s effort surprised Prince George’s officials, who said they thought they would be alone in Maryland vying for the lucrative deal. Last year, Prince George’s lost out to Montgomery for a $450 million lease for a federal Health and Human Services office complex that instead is remaining in Rockville.”

This move also surprised a few local officials including our own economic development director, Laura Nueman. According to the article, at a recent meeting of state and local economic officials she asked if any other counties were planning on responding to the solicitation “and no one spoke up.”


What about HoCo?

There are quite a few HoCo residents who work for the FBI and make the daily commute to DC. Why shouldn't HoCo throw its hat in the mix?

I’m willing to wager that this was never even considered and one of the reasons is likely political. Our county exec is trying to build statewide support for his governors race and supporting PG’s bid would be a smart political move, particularly considering the fact that more than a few major employers like Merkle have abandoned PG for HoCo in recent years.
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