Issues

Why I am running

The needs and opportunities in Montgomery County continue to be enormous. I want to move us forward during these changing times. While I have seen progress in addressing local issues, I bring a unique perspective based on thirty years in community action to county problem solving that benefits Montgomery County. My three terms on the County Council as one of your At Large members has been some of my most rewarding years and I want to continue working for an even stronger Montgomery County.

Montgomery County’s future

Montgomery County has great services, especially MCPS, our strongest resource. To maintain these services, we need adequate financial support.

Thus, I am committed to focusing on job creation as the principal building block of our future. The recent recession required us to look hard at our economic assumptions, and I believe we need to act aggressively in retaining and attracting new jobs. I am hopeful that the public/private partnerships I’ve created with the Montgomery Business Development Corporation will help us move to a more fully evolved business based economy. Funding for our great education system and public services generally is totally dependent on a robust tax base. We are doing all we can to support our small businesses, bio-health, cyber security and larger institutions headquartered here, but at the end of the day, government can only do so much. We need to do all we can to create a positive business climate and environment for successful entrepreneurship and job creation.

Education

I have been a lifelong supporter of funding and adding resources to MCPS and Montgomery College. I voted to add and fund all day kindergarten before it was required by the state and have consistently supported funding for reduced class sizes, additional student resource officers, health aides and new construction, as well as increasing the impact tax fees paid by new development to support education.

Smart growth

My long experience in Montgomery county land use issues has taught me that this community is the product of years of careful community planning focused on encouraging density around transportation hubs in Silver Spring, Bethesda, White Flint, Wheaton and Shady Grove. I am committed to do more to encourage community friendly design of buildings and public spaces throughout the county. My leadership on the road code and the rewritten zoning ordinance will help by encouraging innovative design and community friendly places. Good planning creates a regulatory structure within which good things can happen. With the right incentives we can encourage the private sector to create great public and private spaces, at little to no public expense – from public plazas to green spaces and some of the great spaces we are seeing start to rise in White Flint. From those spaces, our great community can continue to grow in positive ways. With the right public private partnerships in place, we are creating new housing and a social service center in Silver Spring, a real residential center in Shady Grove and a great new downtown in Wheaton. It really is a very exciting time for Montgomery County.

Existing communities

I believe great urban centers support the preservation and improvement of great communities around them. Private investment protects land values – most typically the greatest investment a family makes is in a home – and creates a synergy of engagement and excitement. For example, we’re seeing positive investment in the communities around the redeveloping White Flint, Wheaton, and Silver Spring, as well as enhanced values in Bethesda and Chevy Chase.

Growth and the environment

Part of good land use planning is mitigating the impacts of development. I supported strict impervious limits on new development in the Ten Mile Creek area of Clarksburg and Upper Rock Creek and established the rule for controlling on-site water run off. The great news is that new development is upgrading our existing and outdated storm water runoff controls, which will be beneficial to water quality everywhere. I’m pleased to have supported the massive effort the County is undertaking to clean up its streams, the runoff from its roads and the water controls that existing neighborhood associations cannot afford to manage. Over the past years, I’ve supported new rules for green construction and energy efficient practices that will only encourage a greener and cleaner Montgomery County.

Transportation priorities

Metro should be our number one priority. It is the cornerstone of our development and tax base. The entire region needs to get behind a committed long term maintenance and expansion plan. We must also recognize that 85 percent of Montgomery County residents do not take public transportation, so we must support our roadway network – this is particularly true for communities north of the Beltway, where transit is not practical at this time. I fully support our planned transit lines, (the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway will be state projects) and improving bus service where it can be done without negatively affecting existing communities and where it is financially feasible.

Neediest residents

I am proud to have supported the Earned Income Tax Credit, increased funding for our medical clinics and a long list of affordable housing initiatives. I initiated a local cable program that addressed the issue of local poverty, and am delighted that it won national awards for bringing attention to the reality faced by so many of our residents.