No Shortage Of Potential Planners In County

By Miranda S. Spivack and Lori Aratani
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, May 22, 2008

After a trickle, the number of applicants for two spots on the Montgomery County Planning Board grew to a deluge just before last week's deadline.

Twenty-nine residents have applied, among them well-known community activists, a well-known developer and former employees of the park and planning agency.

The County Council will interview applicants on June 12, and possibly conduct more interviews the following week. Council members hope to make selections this summer, council spokesman Neil Greenberger said.

The new members will replace Democrat Gene Lynch, who died in January, and Republican Allison Bryant, whose term expires next month.

The Planning Board helps the council set land-use policy and reviews development applications. Members can serve for two four-year terms. The two new appointees must come from different political parties.

Among those applying are Clarksburg community activist Amy Presley, who helped expose construction irregularities at the northern Montgomery development, and Joseph Alfandre, who developed Kentlands in Gaithersburg, Montgomery's first major venture into "new urbanism."

Other applicants include Alan Bowser, a lawyer and Silver Spring community leader; Wendell M. Holloway, a member of the county's zoning Board of Appeals who served as interim president of Bowie State University; Jeff Baron, a Foreign Service officer and former congressional staffer; Paula Bienenfeld, a historic preservationist who has worked in land use; Robin Ficker, an anti-tax-increase activist; William Mooney, a former Montgomery police officer and former top planning agency official who is a partner in Smart Growth Investments, headed by former governor Parris N. Glendening (D); and Ben Ross, a longtime transit activist and president of Disposal Safety, a company specializing in contamination analysis.

The part-time post pays $30,000 annually. Only the chairman, Royce Hanson, has a full-time position. He is paid $153,660.

Other applicants are:

¿ Lourdes Baldoza-Cabanas, chief financial officer of Sloans & Kenyon, a Bethesda auction and appraisal firm;

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