Category Archives: Council District 5

MoCo County Candidate List, July 2017

By Adam Pagnucco.

Significant speculation surrounds the number of candidates who could be running for county office in MoCo next year.  Some believe that fifty or more people are interested in running but the ultimate number will probably be much less.  Below are the candidates who are actually running for County Executive or County Council at this moment.  All of them have either established a campaign committee, have filed to run, have publicly announced their intent to run or are incumbents who are eligible for reelection.  If there are mistakes or omissions on this list, please let us know.  We will be posting regular updates.

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Hucker Files for Reelection in District 5

By Adam Pagnucco.

District 5 County Council Member Tom Hucker filed for reelection to his current seat on June 19.  Hucker’s decision ends speculation that he was considering the at-large race, in which he would have been a formidable contender.  It may also lead 2014 District 5 candidate Evan Glass, who came very close to winning, to run at-large.  What is currently unknown is whether Hucker will have any challengers.  Below is his filing from the state’s candidate list.

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It’s Official: MCEA Drops Barclay

Interestingly, this decision leaves MCEA without an endorsed candidate in Council District 5. Unlike SEIU, they did not make the jump from Barclay to Hucker.

From MCEA’s Website:

Delegates attending today’s monthly meeting of the MCEA Representative Assembly have voted to rescind their recommendation of Christopher Barclay in the race for the District 5 seat on the Montgomery County Council. MCEA President Doug Prouty issued the following statement:

“As teachers and childhood educators, we hold ourselves to the highest of standards. It is what our community expects of all those in public service. We also believe that Chris Barclay has been – and we hope will continue to be – an important voice for our county’s neediest students, schools and neighborhoods.  Nevertheless, we regretfully withdraw MCEA’s recommendation of Mr. Barclay in the June 24th primary election for the vacant County Council District 5 office. We look forward to continuing to work with Chris as a member of the Board of Education. We believe that he – and we – can continue to be strong partners in focusing resources and attention on the challenge of closing student achievement gaps and narrowing the growing income gaps in our community. We believe Chris can have a good future in public service in the county. But in light of the recent news and financial disclosures, we cannot recommend him in this race at this time”.

The Representative Assembly consists of elected MCEA representatives from schools and worksites across the county. Approximately 130 MCEA Representatives participated in today’s discussion and decision. This action, like all candidate recommendations, required approval of a super-majority (58%) of those voting.

Approval of this motion by the MCEA Representative Assembly leaves the Association with no position in the Council 5 race.

 

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SEIU Local 500 Switches Endorsement to Tom Hucker

SEIU Local 500 is dropping it’s endorsement of embattled School Board Member Chris Barclay and instead endorsing State Delegate Tom Hucker in the open seat contest in Council District 5.  Press release is below.

SEIU Local 500 Endorses Tom Hucker for Montgomery County Council District 5
Hucker’s experience and progressive record cited as reasons for the endorsement

 (Gaithersburg, MD) SEIU Local 500 changed their endorsement to Tom Hucker in Montgomery County Council District 5 primary.

“For as long as our members have known and worked with Tom Hucker, he has been a steadfast supporter of our schools, our children and our community,” said Merle Cuttitta, President of SEIU Local 500. “Whether it was marriage equality, the Dream Act or funding education, Tom stood with us – and more importantly, he stood with the people of Montgomery County.  He is an experienced leader on progressive issues and he has a track record of getting things done. We have no reservations about endorsing him for the Montgomery County Council.”

Concerns that recent disclosures have become a distraction prompted Local 500 to withdraw their endorsement from Christopher Barclay and put their full support behind Tom Hucker, who has been an outspoken progressive leader in the Maryland House of Delegates.

“Christopher Barclay has been a strong advocate on behalf of our members and for education in our community,” said David Rodich, Executive Director of SEIU Local 500. “Unfortunately, recent developments have become a distraction and raised serious concerns about his electability. Our members’ number one issue in District 5 is having a progressive County Councilperson who will stand up for social and economic justice. Our members are not prepared to leave that outcome to chance. Tom Hucker has the experience and he is ready to be the progressive Councilperson District 5 needs.”

SEIU Local 500 represents over 20,000 people across Maryland and the District of Columbia, including supporting services employees in Montgomery County Public Schools and part-time faculty at Montgomery College.

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North Response to Luedtke Post

I received the following response from Terrill North to Del. Eric Luedtke’s post about the needs of the northern end of Montgomery County Council District 5. Like Evan Glass, he is a candidate for this open council seat.

David,

I’m glad Del. Luedtke is paying attention, but as the unnamed candidate he mentioned canvassing the area I’d like to add a few details.

I began talking with my neighbors in Burtonsville “officially” in 2010 when I led Impact Silver Spring’s efforts knocking on over 4500 doors and meeting with community leaders examining local needs.

Residents told us they wanted:

·         constructive activities for the youth, and
·         better job opportunities for adults.

That year (with seed money from Councilmember Navarro), we expanded Impact’s afterschool program (then serving 60-90 kids in Long Branch) to East County (now serving over 400 youth primarily in East County).  This year, we worked with a coalition of stakeholders to launch the first workforce development program serving East County (so local residents could benefit from job opportunities coming with the FDA Science Center).  We are also currently working to bring Montgomery College continuing education programs to the East County Regional Services Center.

I’m already enacting the plan for East County based on resident concerns.

As a candidate, spending a lot of time in East County is second nature to me because most of my in-laws live there; I’ve been hearing their concerns without asking since long before 2010!  Since my campaign kick-off at Cuba de Ayer on Route 198 in February, I have been actively engaging Burtonsville voters (and non-voters).  I will be in White Oak this weekend meeting with 230 families from another multi-cultural youth program I work with, structuring a summer day camp featuring sports, meals, and academics (modeled on the program I saved from Bush Administration cuts in 2007 as a Hill staffer).  That’s after judging an oratorical contest for East County youth that morning (1st annual competition of MoCo youth in the Baltimore Urban Debate League).

I will disagree with Eric about one thing, I don’t think East County is ignored.  The key, however, is that residents need to vote!  The precinct at Greencastle Elementary had an 8% turnout in the 2010 local primary, compared to 40% at Takoma Park Elementary.   I spoke at a D14 Democratic Club forum last week where the only Burtonsville residents in attendance were candidates for central committee.  The more folks vote, the more quickly issues will be addressed.

I develop institutions that improve the lives of District Five residents wherever they live.  I put as much effort into establishing a workforce development program in East County as securing over $1 million for stormwater mitigation in Takoma Park.  Best of both worlds!

Regards,
Terrill

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Barclay on Expenses Scandal

Statement from Christopher Barclay Regarding
Board of Education Expenses

Rockville, M.D. – (May 22, 2014) Christopher Barclay released the following statement today:

“I would like to express regret using a Board of Education-issued credit card for personal use. Though I made sure to repay the board after any personal expense, I agree that this should not be an accepted practice. There has been an active debate regarding the Board of Education’s expense policy and when expenses for school board business are appropriate. I welcome that debate. I support the existing task force recently put together by my colleague and Board of Education President Phil Kauffman to review how the board manages its expense policy. I believe the Montgomery County Council has avoided the use of county-issued credit cards all together and I would support the school board considering the possibility of a similar approach.  

This has been a teaching moment for me. As a member of the board for the past eight years, I have worked steadily to ensure that all students enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools have access to quality education. In pursuit of this goal, I have approached my duty as a school board member as a full-time job. Expenses reimbursed by the county reflect time spent working as a member of the board including engaging parents and students in the community, sitting down with community leaders and attending conferences to learn best practices. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure a more transparent process in spending practices. I look forward to continuing to be the unwavering, dedicated advocate I am known for regarding real challenges facing our families particularly the achievement gap in our schools, income inequality, and access to equal opportunity to thrive in Montgomery County.”

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Glass Responds to Luedtke Post

I received the following from Evan Class, a candidate for the open District 5 Montgomery County Council seat in response to Eric Luedtke’s post earlier today on the problems facing the northern end of this district. I’d be happy to publish responses from other candidates too.

Dear David,

I just read Delegate Eric Luedtke’s post in which he shares his disappointment in the lack of concrete policy recommendations from the County Council’s 5th District candidates on issues affecting communities in East County.

I share Delegate Luedtke’s concerns, which is why one of my key priorities is the redevelopment and economic investment of White Oak and Burtonsville. My support for bringing economic justice to parts of the county that need jobs and amenities is the reason I published a detailed plan two weeks ago on my vision for expanding economic growth in our community. In addition to supporting economic progress, my plan also calls for creating new programs within the Department of Economic Development, providing the Office of Procurement with the independence it needs to function properly, and reforming our county’s liquor laws.

My plan can be accessed on my campaign website: http://www.evanglass.com/job_creation.

I invite Delegate Luedtke and your readers to review my plan and I welcome their input and partnership. I will continue to actively engage in an open dialogue with the business community, residents, nonprofit leaders and elected officials to address these important economic needs. If elected as the next Councilmember for the 5th District, I will commit my energy and resources to addressing the economic inequalities of the Eastern portion of Montgomery County.

Thank you,
Evan Glass

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Common Cause on Barclay Scandal

The following is a press release from Common Cause MD:

Common Cause Maryland calls for greater oversight of School Board expenditures

(Annapolis) – With two breaking stories in one week regarding expenditures by School Board members across Maryland, Common Cause Maryland calls for greater oversight and clearer policies by school boards regarding the use of taxpayer funds.

In Montgomery County, a Public Information Act discovered that school board member Chris Barclay made personal charges to the county-funded credit card. The documents also revealed meal expenses that did not follow school board procedures for authorization[1]. In Wicomico County, state auditors found school board members purchased gift cards using county credit cards, as well as several purchases made at a produce market owned by a school board member, raising questions of conflict of interest[2].

“These discoveries raise questions about both the strength of expenditure policies and the implementation of those policies,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Executive Director of Common Cause Maryland.  “School boards have to make the best use of very limited dollars. Lunches, gift cards, and personal charges on the county card hurt public trust and hurt the students that the board is supposed to serve.”

Common Cause calls on county School Boards to evaluate their spending policies and make sure they provide clear oversight for member expenditures and reimbursements. School boards should consider revoking credit cards and moving to a reimbursement system, as many county governments (including Montgomery County) have done.

Common Cause Maryland also noted the importance of the public information act in bringing these stories to light.

“Public access to government expenditures is a fundamental tool to ensure that officials are held to the highest standards. The Montgomery County story is a clear example of the importance of a well-functioning public information act that gives the public access to the information they need.”

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Contact: Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, 410-303-7954, jbd@commoncause.org

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MoCo County Council District 5 and Its Forgotten Northern End

This is a guest post by Del. Eric Luedtke. Eric represents District 14 (Montgomery) in the House of Delegates.

For years now, literally years, there has been a shopping center in Montgomery County sitting almost entirely empty, only a few stores open, fronting a large expanse of empty blacktop fit only for tumbleweed. The shopping center can only be called suburban blight, something Montgomery County residents aren’t exactly used to. It’s not the sort of thing you expect to happen in a county with as much affluence as ours. Except it has, in Burtonsville, where I live. The shopping center’s slow decline was the result of a combination of difficult economic factors and a large corporation (Giant Foods) who clearly cares more about playing economic hardball than doing right by the community.

Ask anyone in Burtonsville about it and they’ll tell you something revealing about their perception of the politics of our county: if this were elsewhere, it wouldn’t have happened. There would have been a sense of urgency. There would have been a plan from the beginning to do something about the decline of the commercial core of a major Montgomery County community. Or about the incredible imbalance of jobs and housing in the Route 29 corridor. Or the lack of amenities. Or the nightmare that is Route 29 during the morning rush. But there hasn’t been much of a sense of urgency. Instead, we’ve seen what might be described as benign neglect. Lots of people in county government chafe at that assessment, and people in other parts of the county also complain about their needs not being met. But if the measure of success is results, we just haven’t seen the results we need.

I don’t mean to say the county has done nothing. A number of our councilmembers have done their best to help move things forward. But in no way have efforts to address the challenges of the upper 29 corridor been close to what we’ve seen elsewhere. For whatever reason, buried deep in the power dynamics of our county, or because of the challenges of outreach in an unincorporated community, residents of Burtonsville, Fairland, and White Oak just don’t feel like they are being heard.

Witness the White Oak Science Sector Master Plan, which has been under debate between the Council and Planning Commission for months now. As residents demanded more jobs and amenities, county planners with the encouragement of councilmembers responded by developing a new plan for the area around the FDA campus which would include mixed-use development. It would be a new economic anchor for the county, and would give east county residents the kind of walkable core community that other parts of the county have had long since. And yet, its future is in doubt.

The plan is being squeezed from two ends by traffic issues. From the north, hordes of Howard County commuters clog up 29. In the south, some residents of the communities around four corners have been opposing any new development because they are concerned about more traffic. And there are some members of the Council who seem likely to vote to weaken the White Oak plan to appease these folks, applying so strict a traffic test that bringing any substantial new jobs or amenities to the area would be virtually impossible. In other words, our residents could be robbed of the jobs and amenities they’re demanding because of out-of-county commuters and the opposition of a community that already has good access to jobs and amenities. It’s a difficult pill for many of us to swallow.

Enter the District 5 Council candidates. This district, newly redrawn following the census, encompasses the entire 29 corridor from the DC line to the Howard County line. Five candidates are running. None are from our end of the district. All are focusing their efforts in the southern end, where more of the votes lie. As far as I know, only one of them has been actively knocking on doors in Fairland or Burtonsville. Once again, our forgotten corner of the county seems to be an afterthought.

It’s frustrating to the whole community, and to me in particular. I know and respect each of the candidates, and I’ve spoken to each of them extensively about the needs north of Randolph Road. I’ve given driving tours of the community to some of them. I’ve sat down over lunch at Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville to pitch them on more focused economic development strategies. I’ve emphasized the importance of the proposed Route 29 BRT line to relieving congestion and allowing any development to occur. But they aren’t showing up to talk to upper 29 voters. And if you check out the issue platforms on their websites, what you’ll see are generalities rather than the real plans we would like to see for how to resolve our issues.

Our residents deserve a councilmember who understands their issues, who will fight to resolve them, and who is committed to actively listening to them. None of the District 5 council candidates has yet demonstrated that commitment. Perhaps they will during the May 28 candidate’s forum being held at 7:00 PM at the East County Regional Services Center. But until that happens, my endorsement, let alone my vote, remains firmly in the undecided column. And I know many of my neighbors feel exactly the same way.

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