Candidates for the Montgomery County Council were asked:
1. Would you favor a mandatory limit on annual percentage increases in the county budget? If so, what kind of limit would you set?
2. Do you feel that there is enough housing available in the county for families with annual income of $20,000 or less? If not, what would you do to promote the development of low-and moderate-income housing?
3. Do you think the county government is doing enough to attract new commercial and industrial development to the county? What specific steps, if any, would you take to attract such development? At-Large
(Vote for 2) Bert Cumby, 66, of 8201 16th St., Silver Spring, is a commissioner on the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. He was a professional Army officer for 20 years.
1. Limited expenditures, consistent with essential services. Would consider the concept of "living within your means."
2. No. Modification of codes, development of incentives and encourage builders to include moderate cost housing in long-range planning and development.
3. No.Removal of certain codes, identify sites for commercial use, streamline development procedures, consider recommendations of the Economic Development Advisory Board. Mirek Jan Dabrowski, 56, of 4500 Leland St., Chevy Chase, is a management and public relations counselor.
1. Yes. Tied to the cost of living.
2. No. Several actions are necessary to promote development of low- and moderate-income housing: 1) Sewer lines have to be built (no moratoria) 2) Developers need tax incentives to develop 3) Cooperative efforts should be encouraged.
3. It is a commonplace for aspiring political candidates to say if they were elected they would do thus and so. I feel on a rating scale 1-5 we are doing about 3. But to help the county generally we must institute the top of the rating scale which would require: 1) A climate in the council office and executive office favoring such development 2) Action in terms of setting up specific tax advantages, especially in the red tape morass of permits, licensing, etc. 3) Working closely, and I mean literally, with business associations in the county to motivate settlement in the county of business and other groups. Taft Holland, 36, of 5600 Oakmont Ave., Bethesda, is a human development consultant. He has served in the Presidential Office of Economic Opportunity.
1. Yes, I favor a mandatory limit as long as we can continue to provide essential county services. I would support a limit which would guarantee continued delivery of water and sewage services, health planning, police and fire services and education.
2. No, there is not enough housing available for families with incomes below $20,000. I would like to see the county move toward the "new town" concept, if necessary. While such proposed new towns must include affordable housing for all the county's income groups - those on fixed income, young marrieds, recent graduates, etc - they must be developed in such a way that traffic patterns, well-planned new growth, etc., will have minimum impact upon the environment and the county's ecological balance. I am deeply concerned that people presently are being taxed out of their homes. Strong measures must be taken to protect those individuals.
3. No. I believe that the anti-business attitudes which now permeate the County Council must be eliminated. We must strengthen our existing businesses and woo new businesses and commercial ventures into the county. This can be accomplished, partially, by simplifying cumbersome red tape which discourages new businesses from locating in the county, by the development of industrial parks and office complexes, where appropriate, and, should it be necessary, by offering tax incentives. Malcolm Lawrence, 52, of 3807 Taylor St., Chevy Chase, is a free-lance writer and economic consultant.He is a retired career U.S. Foreign Service Officer.
1. Yes, but first some cutting must be done. The FY 1979 budget of $568 million, as approved by the current County Council, contains some $50-$60 million "fat" in the forms of waste, unneeded services, duplication of efforts, over-regulation, and poor management and organization. I favor an immediate freeze on government operating expenditure levels and hiring, followed by a systematic analysis geared to instituting budget cuts, not across-the-board, but based on functional priorities.
Pressure should also be brought to bear on the receipt side of the budget. I have signed and publicly endorsed the petition for a charter amendment sponsored by the Committee for Tax Relief in Montgomery (TRIM) to place a ceiling on property tax levels for FY 1980. The TRIM petition, if put to a vote and approved on Nov. 7, would reduce the property tax yield by some $30-$35 million, or about 5 percent of the projected level of expenditures for FY 1980 ($620 million). It is clearly time for the voters of Montgomery County to determine which way we are going on taxes.
2. No, there is not. Housing inflation, high interest rates, mounting property taxes, and an anti-growth attitutde have made it most difficult for the younger members of the labor force to acquire a house. New families are looking outside the county for more reasonable dwellings. The target for the next County Council should be to undertake actions to promote the availabilities of housing choices at a range of prices that match the income levels of all segments of the population, a program that will accomodate the work force needed to provide essential county services and staff our businesses and industries. Major emphasis must be placed on fighting inflation, holding the line on government spending and taxes, and broadening the tax base through sensible planning and development and opening up Montgomery County to convenient quality commercial services and worthwhile business enterprises. The principal initiative must come from private sources and be based on sound economic practices; we must not be trapped into accepting government "bail-out" programs and perpetual housing subsidies with their uneconomic and discriminatory conditions which in the long run would hamper solid growth.
3.The county government is not doing enough, and our economy is suffering at present form the cumulative effects of eight years of an anti-business attitude, down-zoning, inadequate services, excessive regulations and fees, and general stagnation. New commercial and industrial development can be attracted to the county by a) reversing the anti-business image of present county officials and developing a campaign to welcome new firms through attractive interest rates and other inducements, b) holding down inflationary forces by curbing government expenditures and encouraging private-initiative development, c) improving such essential public services as sewer, water, and transportation, and d) updating and developing a county master plan with sensible zoning actions designed to ensure the economic viability of new construction for commercial and business enterprises. District 3
(Vote for 1) Richard L. (Curly) Bogley, 57, of 3522 Greenly St., Silver Spring, is a supervisor at C&P Telephone Company.
1. Would favor limit on expenditures rather revenues. Limit should give some consideration to impact of inflation.
2. No.As proposed above, unnecessary regulation should be eliminated as a means of reducing building costs. Surplus land should be considered for future moderate-priced housing development. Federal government must play major role by reducing inflation, amending tax laws and providing incentives.
3. County government has improved its efforts during the past two years. The Economic Development Advisory Board has published a report and work program which should be implemented. A successful economic development program requires the establishment of an atmosphere friendly to new business development. This takes time and commitment. I strongly support the efforts to further improve our economic development program. A. Chester Flather Jr., 51, of 5205 White Flint Dr., Kensington, is an investment banker. He has worked with various civic associations in Montgomery County.
1. Yes. Capital improvements plus cost-of-living increase.
2. No. An expanded program of moderate-and low-income housing, utilizing to the maximum extent possible federal, state and local programs.
3. No. Increased efforts by the county government to encourage tax beneficial, environmentally compatible business and industry to locate in Montgomery County, including reduction of the time required between the discussion to locate the county and the issuance of a building permit. District 4
(Vote for 1)
Vincent A. Butler did not respond.
1. County spending has reached explosive proportions. The budget can be can be controlled by attacking waste and duplication and running the county in a cost-effective manner. If not, I am convinced the voters will mandate limitations on spending.
2. No. There are simply too many county fees and taxes plus long delays in building starts. Is 5-acre zoning rational? R60 zoning needs to be examined as a way to solve the problem. We can increase the quantity while preserving the quality.
3. Neither the council nor the Economic Development Commission has done much, if anything, to attract business. First, we need a new County Council, one based on understanding and cooperation not alienation and confrontation. The present council has alienated the private sector and ignored the volunteers. We need an imaginative and aggressive campaign to attract high-technology, low-pollution industry. District 5
(Vote of 1)
Barbara A. Bailey did not respond. Joseph L. Pavlock Sr., 62, of 9404 Flower Ave., Silver Spring, is a management consultant-investigator. He has served on the Human Relations Commission.
1. Yes at 3 percent or at some level relative to the cost of living index for the Washington Metropolitan Area coupled with an annual reexamination of program functions and magnitudes.
2. No - the continual exodus to Frederick and Howard counties is living proof that there is insufficient low and middle-income housing in Montgomery County - again I emphasize the relaxing of zoning requirements and in particular building lot sizes.
3. No - Of late the county has been making progress under Gleason's administration; however, continued and more rapid progress is essential. County has failed to sell itself as anything other than a bedroom community when in fact we have all the resources necessary to attract a good economic base, D.C., including its Virginia and Maryland suburbs, rose from 9 to number 3 to become the nation's most affluent big-city area. Source: U.S. News & World Report 8/7/78.