Candidates for Montgomery County Board of Education were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Direction: School board critics say the present board majority has changed the county schools' traditionally liberal philosophy. Should the present direction be changed?
Closings: On the issue of school closings, how much weight should be given to existing guidelines for integration in deciding which schools are affected?
Sex Education: At what grade level should sex education be taught and should the present format be changed?
Richard L. Bogley (R), 61, of 3522 Greenly St., Silver Spring, a supervisor for C&P Telephone Co., is active in many community organizations, including Boy Scouts and Rotary. He has been a trustee and adviser for Montgomery County Junior College and is active in several education support groups.
Funds: Develop a countywide priority system similar to the one outlined by the Department of Social Services. Funds must be provided to maintain public safety and justice, quality education and all human services. No child, woman or man in Montgomery County should never go to bed with fear in their heart, cold in their body or hunger in their stomach.
Housing: There should be more county investment of revenue in down payments and initial years mortgage assistance for individuals earning less than $35,000 when they purchase homes of less than $100,000. A reevaluation of county regulations in the building industry would save many dollars in the cost of a home.
Population: We should recognize their increased numbers in the county. Do not react to needs but anticipate and plan for them by maintaining a two-way communication with all the diverse groups. Involve the groups (minority) and the private sector in developing new resources. For example, the free health clinic set up by Holy Cross Hospital. The county must maintain its opposition to the hate-violence activity. Publicly reiterate the county's position.
Views: I know I will have been elected to represent the views of the majority of citizens, even if their viewpoint is in conflict with my own personal position. When elected, I will vote in accordance with the expressed position of the majority of voters. Much improvement could be made by placing our citizens in the planning before the fact instead of after the fact.
John M. Saveland (R), 37, of 1915 S. Fallsmead Way, Rockville, is a management counsultant for Science Applications Inc. He is a member of the county's Republication Central Committee and is active in church programs and community groups, including PTA and the Horizon Hill Civic Association.
Funds: Even without loss of federal funds, local taxes over the last four years rose at a faster rate than personal incomes. Loss of federal funds adds urgency to the task of easing local tax burdens. There are two ways to do this while preserving the desired level of public service. First, government can derive more value from each tax dollar spent. With an annual budget of three-quarters of a billion dollars, it is time for Montgomery County to adopt the same productivity management techniques used successfully by the state. Second, and more important, resume commercial and residential development in a manner which preserves our living environment. A larger commercial tax base reduces homeowners' tax burdens. But through unnecessary regulation and taxation, the county has brought development almost to a halt. To reduce taxes and to provide housing and jobs for this generation and the next, these counterproductive policies must change.
Housing: That families with incomes of more than $30,000 can qualify for public housing indicates serious housing problems within Montgomery County. Almost every land-use regulation implemented by this County Council has increased the cost of affordable housing. TDRs can add up to $10,000 to a town house or condominium price. They add nothing to luxury home prices. Costs to support MPDUs are added almost solely to new town house and condominium prices; almost never to prices of $200,000 homes. The 4 percent condominium conversion tax adds thousands of dollars to what should be affordable housing. Unnecessary sewer hook up fees and costs for public facilities on which the county has defaulted add thousands more to all new housing units. Is it any wonder that affordable housing is scarce? What is needed is less government "help," not more. Elimination of unneeded and costly regulations is the only way to ease Montgomery County's lack of affordable housing.
Population: The greatest needs of minorities are job opportunities and decent, affordable housing. These needs can be met together. The federal government won't provide new jobs in the foreseeable future; business must pick up the slack. But it's a fact that businesses haven't located here because their employees cannot afford housing. We cannot expand the job supply without expanding the supply of affordable housing. Public safety is important to minorities as they tend to be concentrated within high-crime areas of Montgomery County. Citizen participation in crime prevention, as well as better use of skilled police manpower, can help to reverse the rapid growth in violent crimes over the last several years. Finally, while recent hate incidents are appalling, the fact that they arouse such public concern attests to their relative infrequency and the public's disgust with them. The intolerance of a few shouldn't overshadow the overwhelming majority's good will.
View: In 1980, county voters approved a referendum by a 2-to-1 margin which, in effect, forbade use of the Riggs Farm as a landfill. Rather than acquiesce to that overwhelming public mandate, our county leaders contended that we citizens had no right to make that decision. They then built the landfill on the Riggs site in Laytonsville. Such incredible arrogance and contempt for the public will is perhaps the expected result of a 12-year monopoly of the County Council by one party. To correct this situation, in which decisions already have been made before public input is received, citizens must be included in all phases of planning. Not only will county government be more responsive to citizens' wishes but the considerable technical talents of the population, which are now employed fighting completed plans, can be used in developing plans which better reflect the needs of county residents.