State Comptroller Tours CSM, Meets with Students

Franchot Reads to Pre-Schoolers, Answers Tough Questions from Economics Students

“This campus is a gem,” said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot following a morning of meeting Southern Maryland students at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus April 23. “The kids are serious, the professors are focused. If you listened to the students, they are in business, computer science and architecture. That’s the future of Southern Maryland with technology-based employers—a solid future.”

Franchot started his visit at the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center at CSM, an on-campus daycare center that also provides learning experiences for early childhood education students. Gathered for storytime, 3- and 4-year-old students were introduced to their celebrity reader by the SCCLC Director Carolyn Parker, “He uses a lot of math in his work,” she said as she introduced him to the youngsters eager for storytime.

Reading “The Water Hole,” a counting book by Graeme Base, with an underlying theme of environmental sustainability, Franchot told how when too many animals drank from the water hole the water level receded and the animals went away. Just when things looked bleakest, a storm came, the rain filled the watering hole and the animals returned.

Franchot drew on this same theme of sustainability when he later spoke to students in CSM Professor Mary Beth Klinger's “Introduction to Business in a Market Economy” class.

Quoting statistics showing the bleak economic forecast in Maryland, Franchot told students, “It is a good time to be in school.” The economy is going to come back, he said. And when it does, he told them, they will be ready.

“I’m sure others have told you what a beautiful campus you have,” said Franchot. “It has almost an Ivy-League feel to it, it is so pretty. You have good administration; good faculty and I would love to invest some money here.”

After a brief introduction on what the comptroller’s office does and on the state’s economic outlook, Franchot told the business, accounting and computer programming students listening, “You guys are going to be part of the recovery.”

When Franchot opened the floor to questions, Jonathan McConnell of La Plata asked if Franchot believed that a lack of personal financial responsibility was the underlying cause of the financial meltdown.

“If you give people a guarantee that they can make a killing, a financial killing, and get away with it, they will,” Franchot said. “It was a small number of people who created this,” he said of today’s economic situation.

Bradley Hardos of La Plata wanted to know what the taxes fund that are taken from his paycheck.

Franchot said that $13-14 billion a year from taxes go to health, education, environmental protection and roads. “This college is a beneficiary,” he said. “Eighty to 90 percent is efficiently and effectively spent,” he added.

“Nobody likes to pay taxes,” Franchot said, “It’s the price you pay for a civil society that works.”

Otmar Donald of Waldorf told Franchot that the class was currently studying short-term and long-term financial planning and wondered what the comptroller’s short- and long-term planning goals were.

The overall plan is to reform state spending and figure out how to get more with less, rather than add more taxes, Franchot said. “In the short-term we need to live within budget and apply results-oriented accounting,” Franchot said. In the long-term he wants the state to review the tax code and reform it so that it is fairer and less likely to create cheaters. Paying taxes is an obligation, Franchot said, yet a percentage of Maryland residents deliberately cheat on their taxes.

In a follow-up question Hardos asked if it is fair to collect more money from wealthy people to make up for those people who cheat.

Tax law should be fairly applied to everyone, Franchot said, adding that he did not agree with taxing the wealthy to make up for non-compliance. But he said, the greater your resources, the greater your obligation should be.

“Students enjoyed the interaction with Comptroller Franchot and the opportunity to ask real-world questions,” said Klinger of the interaction with her students. “The application of his discussion on state goals and objectives from a financial perspective helped students to better understand their role in the overall economy,” she added.

On-hand to greet Franchot and give a tour of the campus were CSM Board of Trustees Vice Chair MacArthur Jones and Trustees Dorothea Holt Smith and Mary Krug, as well as CSM Vice President of Academic Affairs Debra Tervala, Vice President of Advancement Michelle Goodwin and CSM Interim Vice President of the Prince Frederick Campus Irvin Clark.

Franchot was elected Maryland’s comptroller in 2006. He is a member of the Board of Public Works and vice chair of the State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland. Previously he served 20 years in the Maryland General Assembly representing Montgomery County. Prior to his visit to CSM he also toured Mary B. Neal Elementary School in Waldorf.

http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/FranchotVisit.html

Captions

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“He uses a lot of math in his work,” said St. Charles Children’s Learning Center Director Carolyn Parker in her introduction of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot during his visit to the center April 23. Franchot read “The Water Hole,” a counting book by Graeme Base with an underlying theme of environmental sustainability.

 

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Cara Miga of La Plata presents Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot with a big ‘Thank You’ card following his visit to the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center on the La Plata Campus of the College of Southern Maryland April 23.

 

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On-hand to greet Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, left, for a tour of the La Plata Campus of the College of Southern Maryland were, second from left, CSM Interim Vice President of the Prince Frederick Campus Irvin Clark, CSM Board of Trustees Vice Chair MacArthur Jones and CSM Trustees Dorothea Holt Smith and Mary Krug.

 

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, center, and his staff tour the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus, with CSM Trustees and staff including, from right, CSM Vice President of Advancement Michelle Goodwin, Vice President of Academic Affairs Debra Tervala and Director of Community Relations Karen Smith Hupp. Later he told economics students that he met with, ““I’m sure others have told you what a beautiful campus you have. It has almost an Ivy-League feel to it, it is so pretty.”

 

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, left, met with students studying economics at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus April 23, while CSM Vice President of Academic Affairs Debra Tervala, center, and Professor Mary Beth Klinger, whose class participated, observe. “Students enjoyed the interaction with Comptroller Franchot and the opportunity to ask real-world questions,” Klinger said.

 

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot discusses the impact personal financial responsibility played in the financial meltdown while meeting with students in CSM Professor Mary Beth Klinger's ‘Introduction to Business in a Market Economy’ class April 23 at the La Plata Campus. Although individuals did take financial risks, it was a small group of people who created the financial crisis Franchot said.

 

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CSM Board of Trustees Dorothea Holt Smith, left, and Mary Krug with Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus April 23. Earlier, Franchot met with economics students, telling them, “You have good administration; good faculty and I would love to invest some money here.”

 

 

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