SILVER SPRING, MD (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Seth Hurwitz isn't the only person directing criticism at Montgomery County Exec Isiah Leggett over the recent announcement of a lease deal with promoter Live Nation for a new Fillmore Auditorium in Silver Spring Maryland. Several County Councilmembers have volleyed with some scathing remarks.
Much of the criticism centers on the opaque fashion in which the negotiations were conducted, noting that other offers were not sought to provide contrast to LN's offer and expressing disbelief that someone like Hurwitz, who resides in the county and is one of the most successful independent venue operators in the country, was not contacted.
This fact led to a vigorous exchange reported in the Gazette, between Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Firestine and Councilman Roger Berliner. After Berliner wondered why the county didn't contact Hurwitz, Firestine said "I didn’t feel it was necessary. Why didn’t you do that when it was brought to you two times before?"
"I’m not negotiating for the county," Berliner retorted. "If you have somebody in Montgomery County who has a track record, why didn’t you pick up the phone and say talk to us."
Not everyone is critical of the deal and several council members have expressed their support for the plan.
Further complicating matters is the recent revelation of a $400 million dollar budget deficit, leading Leggett to release a lengthy list of cuts to social services. This unfortunate fact has induced many observers to question the rationale behind using millions in public funds to subsidize the development of a for profit venue for a private company. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers