Why I Am Running

I am a lifelong progressive Democrat who has lived in Montgomery County for more than 40 years. I am running for an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Council because I want our County to be its best – now and for years to come.

As someone who has worked as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post and in state and local government, I have learned that it takes experience and insight – and passion – to preserve what is special about our County while continuing to meet its constantly changing needs.

This is a County that has always responded to the needs of all its residents. We must continue to do that in the future. Montgomery County collects the money it needs every year to fulfill that mission, but lately, we have not been very efficient in spending it.

We can be the progressive place that has brought us all here—and we can do it without raising property taxes during the next four years.

I am your candidate who will truly listen to the residents of Montgomery County and will use my leadership to respond to their real concerns. I will not be an elected official who spends most of my time trying to tell people what they need.

Last year, the County Council increased average household property taxes by hundreds, and in some neighborhoods, by thousands of dollars. Are you satisfied with what you have gotten for your money? And now some people running for the Council are already hinting that they want to do it again.

I am going to GUARANTEE that property taxes will not increase above the County Charter Limit (the rate of inflation) for the next four years. A provision in the County Charter—that was approved by County voters in 2008—requires any increase in property taxes above the Charter Limit to be approved by all nine Councilmembers. I will not vote to approve a property tax increase over the next four years.

We need leaders who will ensure Montgomery County is an affordable place to live throughout all phases of life, including as a place that enables you to retire here.

We want our children to go to excellent schools with teachers beyond compare. And we want to have the nation’s best libraries.

We need to feel safe – in our homes and on our streets. That is why we must continue to have the nation’s best police department and fire and rescue service.

This is a County where a local road should never have a pot hole. And when it snows, no Montgomery resident should be stranded in their home because we could not figure out how to get a plow down their street for days.

We need to make sure this remains a place where we want to live. Do we need to pay for a bag when we get a sandwich from a sub shop? We do need to make sure that recycling is easy and convenient in parks and public spaces. Right now, that is not the case.

The speed camera program helps make many of our roads safer and protects our children as they walk to school. But do we want those cameras to be hidden behind bushes or placed on downhill slopes as money makers more than traffic enforcers? Montgomery County should be better than that.

We want our County to grow. But we need to carefully plan for further development, to protect what we treasure, while providing roads and schools to support that growth.

We must have better transportation strategies that can be implemented in the next few years – not decades. We need public transit plans that are realistic.

We keep adding development. Have you seen a major new road built lately in any part of this County? And we want parking spaces for a County that still loves, and needs, its cars.

Those in need must receive basic services—whether provided by the government or by our great non-profit organizations.

There are lots of people seeking at-large seats on the County Council this year. They are offering many ideas. You get to vote for four of them.

If having a Councilmember who will listen to you and having a Councilmember who can guarantee to keep your property taxes from increasing are important to you, I hope you will make one of those votes for me.