St. Mary's County Legislative Delegation Refuses To Move Foward With YMCA
St. Mary's County Legislative Delegation Refuses To Move Foward With YMCA

LEONARDTOWN, Md. — The following letter comes from Julie Randall, Chair of St. Mary’s County Democratic Central Committee.

“We are writing to express our frustration over the recent decision of the St. Mary’s County legislative delegation to refuse to forward for state approval $15 million in bond authority for the construction of a YMCA in the county. After years of discussion, planning, and public input, the county commissioners entered into a formal agreement last year with the YMCA for the building of a YMCA, with the county agreeing to contribute that $15 million to the project. The project’s total cost is expected to be just over $22.1 million and all costs of operation will be assumed by the YMCA when construction is completed. 

However, at the January 10, 2023 County Commissioners’ Business meeting it was revealed that the legislative delegation, specifically Delegate Matt Morgan and Delegate Todd Morgan, will not follow through with forwarding the county bond authority for the project, citing a desire for the YMCA to pursue state or federal funds instead. This action is in total opposition to the recommendations, and commitments made by the County Commissioners as Commissioner Colvin adamantly made clear at that meeting. 

It is no secret that Del. Todd Morgan, as a County Commissioner, opposed the YMCA, even though the facility is proposed for the district he was supposed to represent, and abstained in the 4-0 vote to move forward in July of 2022. He stated “I still believe it should not be a taxpayer-funded project. I do think it’s quasi-disservice to our Recs and Parks staff to think that they’re not capable of doing projects such as this. But I know I’m going to be outvoted on this one.” Now he and Delegate Matt Morgan have indicated they would like the YMCA to pursue funding (albeit still taxpayer based) from the state or federal level rather than the County, despite an existing formal agreement with the County Commissioners that YMCA fundraising at those levels was contingent on the county making this $15M investment. This move by the legislative delegation, i.e., the Delegates Morgan, indicates either ignorance or lack of respect for the work the County Commissioners and citizens have already put in to negotiate with the YMCA and it adds unneeded risk to the substantial public fundraising still required. 

As representatives, the legislative delegation should be helping to ensure that the County keeps its promises for the YMCA. This is what we all as citizens expect and deserve. Instead, they have chosen to get between the county, its citizens, and the YMCA, ignoring the wishes and interests of the community. The delegation needs to provide a clear and transparent explanation for their decision and take action to address the needs of the entire community, of whatever background, political stripe, age or whatever else for community building, recreational, and fitness activities, in particular and most urgently for our young people. We, the community, must hold the St. Mary’s County Legislative Delegation, especially Delegates Todd and Matt Morgan, to account. “

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9 Comments

  1. Too bad, so sad. The YMCA has plenty of its own money to pay for building the center if it wants to. Just check out their financial statements. Why should the taxpayers of St. Mary’s County pay over $22 Million, plus interest, to build a building that the YMCA can do for itself? The delegation is absolutely correct in not sending this money grab request to Annapolis.

  2. In 50+ years experience with YMCAs in NJ, none had government support except for possible property tax reductions.

  3. It’s rare that I agree with the Morgan’s, but in this case I do. The county funded gym is a slap in the face to the private individuals who open and run our gyms, the folks who built the Willows Road Recreation Center, our county parks who run the Great Mills pool, and dozens of other businesses who run facilities that will be undercut by the YMCA. If the YMCA thinks this is a viable area to build one of their facilities, let them fund it.

    1. “If the YMCA thinks this is a viable area to build one of their facilities, let them fund it.”
      Exactly!

  4. As a 501c organization they are required to file a form 990, let’s you see how much they pay the executives. I don’t know which YMCA cluster we fall under. If Central Maryland the CEO made more than the President of the United States in 2018 and 2019, over $500K. In 2020 there was a cut to $370K, probably due to COVID. They have a raft of VP’s making over $200k. Not for profit doesn’t mean some don’t get rich. Our tax dollars, whether county, state or federal will help fund this excess.

  5. Like always no one considered putting it in centrally located area FOR ALL of us to use. I live 45 minutes or more from Great Mills. And I refuse to risk my life (ie getting shot up or robbed ) to go there. It’s always about Great Mills and Lex Park

  6. thank god – someone slowed down this plan. I have asked for projected operating cost. STILL WAITING a RESPONSE. How much is it going to cost to keep the lights on? WHO (literally) are going to fund daily operations of the YMCA?

  7. Well thank the lord, hopefully it never gets approved. Horrible location and horrible for hard working citizens of this county to foot a bill for criminals.

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