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Letter to County Council President George Leventhal

IKE LEGGETT for Montgomery County Executive
4401 Dustin Road – Burtonsville, Maryland 20866
February 14, 2006

The Honorable President George Leventhal
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue Rockville, MD 20850

Dear President Leventhal,

It has come to my attention that upon completion of the new Rockville library, the county will impose parking fees for patrons of the facility. I believe this is shortsighted and truly unfair to many of our county residents who will visit the library.

As I recall, the only library where county citizens pay to park is the Bethesda library and even here, parking is free after 2:00 PM. Imposing payment for parking at the Rockville library will establish an unfair precedent for future libraries such as the new Silver Spring library.

Many of our citizens are currently paying a tremendous amount in fees for services and programs heretofore that were free or provided at nominal cost. Libraries are available for general public use for all of our citizens and it is unfair for some users in different communities in the county to pay for parking while others receive free parking.

Paid parking in Rockville will impose an additional financial burden on our citizens many of whom are having difficulties making ends meet. Despite the best of intentions, such fees may preclude many of our poorer citizens from using the libraries in the future. In addition, the County's special needs library will be relocated at the new Rockville Library. Special needs users will be traveling from all over the County to the new library in Rockville. This is all the more reason for free parking.

I believe we should do everything feasible to encourage greater library use and not create potential barriers to access. I sincerely hope that you will carefully analyze this important issue impacting library patrons and eliminate paid parking as an option.

Thanks in advance for your consideration of this matter,

Ike Leggett