QUESTION: What is the most important issue facing the county, and how would you deal with it?
(4 seats) Bruce T. Adams Michael A. Cafarelli Sr. Rose Crenca Gail Ewing Isiah Leggett Gene Lynch Michael L. Subin Bruce T. Adams 7211 Exeter Rd., Bethesda Age: 42 Incumbent
County Council member; co-chairman, Regional Task Force on Growth and Transportation, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 1990-91; lecturer, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland; former national research director, Common Cause; fellow, Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, 1979; chairman, Montgomery County Charter Review Commission, 1979-82; author, Maryland Environmental Policy Act of 1973; co-recipient, 1989 County Fair Housing Award; initiated award-winning Community Service Day; 1990 leadership awards from county medical society and American Heart Association; graduate, Princeton University and Georgetown University Law School.
A. Our biggest challenge is to preserve Montgomery County's quality of life. Montgomery County was a great place to grow up, and I am fighting hard on the County Council to keep it that way for our children. We need to preserve and enhance the quality of our neighborhoods -- stopping overdevelopment, preserving trees and open space and easing traffic congestion. We need to maintain our world-class system with special emphasis on the early years of learning. In the 1980s, we overbuilt office space, did not provide for enough affordable housing and overburdened our residential property taxpayers with the costs of growth. I am in a position -- as co-chair of a regional task force on growth and transportation -- to make sure we do not relive the mistakes of the 1980s. Our future depends on it. Michael A. Cafarelli Sr. 13102 Turkey Branch Pkwy., Rockville Age: 37
Bus operator, Montgomery County Department of Transportation; BA, psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1977; worked as psychiatric technician, counselor and aide at area hospitals and health care facilities, 1978-83; president, part-owner, Connection Unlimited Inc., Wheaton -- a small business booking talents for colleges and clubs and a dating service, 1981-85; volunteer, United Way Campaign for the National Capital Area since 1986; purchaser, CLC Electronics, Bedford, Mass., 1972-73; worked at the national headquarters for Edward M. Kennedy's presidential campaign, 1979-80; worked for presidential campaign of Michael S. Dukakis and congressional campaign of Peter Franchot, 1988; member, AFL-CIO Local 400, 1986-present; lobbyist for a congressional health bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, 1982-83.
A. There have been explosive development activities in Montgomery County during the past few years. These activities have brought about a considerable increase in public service demands including new schools and roads. The result has been seemingly unbridled escalation of property taxes, which are becoming too costly to the majority of county residents. When elected, I will exert a dedicated effort to make developers pay their fair share through appropriate development taxes to reduce our property tax burden. I will work to control the explosive development and make our government services more efficient to further assure that property taxes remain affordable to county residents. Rose Crenca 9101 Flower Ave., Silver Spring Age: 64 Incumbent
Member, Montgomery County Council; elected, 1978, 1982, 1986; council president, 1986-87; president pro tem, 1988-90; officer and activist: civic, environmental, church, PTA, taxpayers, land use advisory groups, 1960-78; former teacher, Washington, D.C. schools, 11 years; BA, American University; MA, George Washington University; sponsor, Land Use Loophole Closure Law to control and curb development; sponsor, county's ethics, cable TV, towing control, smoking, fire sprinkler legislation; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; chairman, Transportation Planning Board; recent awards: Washingtonian 100 Powerful Women, heart association, Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation; chairman, Montgomery County Council Health and Human Services Committee. member, Montgomery County Council Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee; Montgomery County Council Finance Committee; National Association of Counties Steering Committee; Montgomery County's Community Action Board and Board of Social Services.
A. The county should maintain and enhance the quality of life, including our educational system by: 1) Slowing pace of growth, controlling it and concomitant traffic through comprehensive Master Plan examination. Downzone where necessary. Stricter implementation of Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. Close growth loophole. Expand mass transit, including light rail. 2) Assuring funds to pay for needs and amenities through examination of county's revenue and expenditures. Obtain fair share of state revenue. Adjust existing, seek new, revenue sources. Assess appropriate taxes on business and developments. Preserve and foster economic vitality and a hospitable climate for businesses and their employees. Correct regressive features of taxation system, expecially over-reliance on property tax. Anticipate effects of military cuts, probable reduced state and federal revenues. Pursue judicious reductions. Rethink our priorities. Update user fees. 3) Continuing classroom and school program improvements by readjusting school funding. Examine areas, such as administration, where effected economies could free up needed funds. Gail Ewing 12804 North Commons Way, Potomac Age: 45
Public policy coordinator, Alzheimer's Association of Greater Washington, since 1987; top aide to council member, 1980-85; author, groundbreaking legislation establishing Maryland Respite Care Program for the Functionally Disabled; chairman, Montgomery County Commission on Health and Community Coalition for the Schools; president, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Business and Professional Women; originator, Citizens Symposium on the Budget; legislative chair, American Association of University Women; member, League of Women Voters, 1976 to present; board member, Montgomery County Womens Political Caucus; member, NAACP; BA, University of Maryland; married, two sons graduated from Montgomery County schools.
A. Our highest priority has to be restoring faith in county government. I am committed to a new focus on efficiency, responsiveness and action. Efficiency: Streamline the budget, while not sacrificing education, human service and public safety needs. Eliminate duplication of services, including the county executive's planning office. Cut out travel, conference expenditures for one year and reduce paper work by 30 percent. Bring more money home from the state. Responsiveness: Lead through courage, competence, action and accessibility. Reduce traffic congestion. Improve county commitment to health and education. Launch major drug offensive combining prevention, treatment and enforcement. Meet the needs of the increasingly diverse county population. Establish evening citizen call-to-council member lines. Action: Insist on fair and reasonable taxation for residents and businesses. Plan for balanced, moderate growth -- keep Montgomery County suburban. Work with citizens and businesses to improve economic climate. Reprioritize and coordinate county programs and services. Isiah Leggett 2137 Countryside Dr., Silver Spring Age: 45 Incumbent
Vice president, Montgomery County Council; council member, 1986 to present; member, Education Committee; chairman, Personnel and GSA committees; law professor, Howard University Law School, and assistant dean, 1975-86; BA, political science; MA, government; JD; LLM; chairman, County Human Relations Commission and Employment Discrimination Judicial Panel, 1983-86; White House fellow, 1977-78, USDA and Navy legal adviser; decorated U.S. Army captain; small business/legislative aide to Rep. Parren Mitchell; board of directors, Great Hope Homes; Vietnam Veterans Leadership Forum, Montgomery County NAACP.
A. Clearly the most important issue facing Montgomery County is maintaining a reasonable level of growth and development consistent with the county's ability to provide the needed schools, roads, libraries and recreational facilities. We can better address this problem by carefully following the county's General Plan restricting future growth in the designated Wedges and Corridors. We must eliminate the serious imbalance that exists between jobs and housing construction. The county needs to restrict high-density development to areas near major transportation routes and Metro. Eliminating traffic congestion related to growth also involves creating additional incentives for building affordable housing closer to employers. More government support can provide for greater access to public transportation by increasing the frequency of services for mass transit riders, helping discourage the use of single-occupancy automobiles. Better coordinated land use planning with surrounding jurisdictions can lessen the impact of increased development on roads and services. Gene Lynch 9206 16th St., Silver Spring Age: 33
Owner and chief executive officer, Shelter Works Inc.; president, Allied Civic Group, 1988-90; co-chairman, citizen referendum on overdevelopment, Question F; co-founder, Fairness in Taxation; board member, Montgomery Housing Partnership; founding member, Parent Encouragement Program; summa cum laude graduate, University of Maryland, economics; citizen representative, Productivity Housing Committee; founding member, Committee for Montgomery; political coordinator, committee, White House Conference on the Family; executive director, Youth Political Arm, AFL-CIO, 1978-81; married; two children attend Woodlin Elementary School.
A. Citizens of this county are suffering the one-two punch of overdevelopment. First they have to live with the traffic and pollution it creates, then they have to pay for it. We need balanced, moderate growth that pays for itself. I will introduce changes 1) in the growth staging laws to insure roads and schools are in place before we allow new development, 2) to insure that developers pay the cost of development, and 3) to implement comprehensive recycling and make Montgomery County a national model of environmental responsibility. The current council has failed in its budgetary responsibilities. I have gone through the budget line by line, identifying areas of waste. The budget can be balanced, and employee raises met without jeopardizing quality education and other important services. As a well-known civic leader, an economist, employee representative and a small business owner, I would bring unique skills to the County Council. Michael L. Subin 61 Midline Ct., Gaithersburg Age: 41
District 2 Montgomery County Council member; council president, 1987-88; council vice president, 1986-87; current chairman, council Education Committee; former chairman, Montgomery College Board of Trustees and Committee for the Up-County; former community relations vice president, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce; former vice chairman, Private Industry Council; BA, international affairs; master of public administration; MA, legislative affairs, George Washington University.
A. The most important question facing Montgomery County is how to maintain the quality of life considering the changes that are occurring. A primary objective is bringing public services into better balance with demand without unreasonable property taxes or user fees. This involves education, public safety, physical and mental health, housing, transportation, employment, the environment and the overall delivery of human services. We must meet the challenge of change and minimize adverse affects while capitalizing on opportunities, and protecting our neighborhoods, our schools and the environment. We must avoid abrupt changes. We must also provide opportunities for all people including the elderly, disabled, minorities and those generally at risk. Changing lifestyles require different services such as day care for children and the elderly and respite care. New threats, such as increased substance abuse, require innovative and expanded responses, including early identification and intervention programs.
(4 seats) Robin Ficker Richard C. LaSota George Edward Sauer Edward R. Shannon John F. Thomas Robin Ficker 10405 Garden Way, Potomac Age: 47
Lawyer, Robin Ficker and Associates, attorneys at law; collected 200,000-plus signatures to place a dozen matters on Montgomery County ballot since 1974, including two referendums this November; Maryland House of Delegates, 1978-82, first Republican ever elected from District 15; West Point; BS, engineering, Case Tech.; Penn. Law; JD, Baltimore Law; MA, public administration, American University; Montgomery County schools; married; three children; Allied Civic Group Award for Outstanding Service to Civic Development of Montgomery County; successful in federal lawsuit against county attorney for sex discrimination.
A. Property tax relief. Montgomery County pays third-highest property taxes per capita in country. Over the past four years, property taxes have increased three times faster than consumer price index. In 1976, I collected 17,000 signatures placing a referendum on Montgomery ballot requiring voter approval of property tax increases. It was narrowly defeated. Montgomery Sentinel Paper then called me "that lone crusader against property tax ripoffs!" This year, I collected 32,000 names placing two questions on November ballot. One will limit property tax rate to FY88 levels. Other will ensure our fair share of state funds, forbidding use of our local property tax monies to build projects that state law says the state must construct. Over past 12 years direct grants to Montgomery have decreased 50 percent while those to Baltimore have increased 20 percent. Twelve years ago we were getting 39 percent of Baltimore's share in direct grants, now it's only 22 percent. Richard C. Lasota 38 Blackburn Ct., Burtonsville Age: 40
Teacher, Montgomery County schools; MEd in administration, Western Maryland College; BS in education, California State College, Pa.; educator, Montgomery County schools, 1972 to present; board of directors, Oakhurst Homeowners Association; member, Metro Maryland Ostomy Association; board of directors, American Cancer Society -- Montgomery County Unit; teacher representative, Montgomery County Education Association, 1972-82; former grievance committee chairman, MCEA; honorary Freedom Fund Dinner Committee chairman, NAACP, 1989, 1990; former teacher representative, Belmont Elementary PTA executive committee; chairman, Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, 1987-90; married, two children.
A. Mismanagement: traffic; overdevelopment; escalating taxes; and a declining quality of life are the most important elements. Four years ago, the problems were overcrowded schools, congested roads, undermanned police department, lack of affordable housing, overflowing landfills and inadequate social programs. Today we've added to that list: drug-related crime; construction cost overruns; poorly equipped police and a budget that increased 60 percent in four years. Twenty years of one-party control has not worked. It's time to elect council members who listen, learn and understand the impact of problems, offer caring, efficient and creative solutions, engage in open debate and decision making and offer a system of checks and balances. It's time to elect proactive council members who understand how to manage the need for providing infrastructure to accommodate growth, who understand and will make tough decisions to set priorities and who fight for our fair share of state taxes. George Edward Sauer 8307 Postoak Rd., Rockville Age: 56
Realtor, Frank L. Hewitt Co.; graduate: Montgomery Blair High School, 1952, St. Johns College, 1956, and Officer Candidate School, U.S. Navy Reserves, 1957; president, Montgomery County Civic Federation, 1974, 1984-86; member, Montgomery County Council task forces on: farmland preservation, recycling, performing arts, fiscal affairs and cable TV; member, Keep Montgomery County Beautiful and Keep Montgomery County Moving; president, Montgomery County Youth Orchestra, 1979; charter member, Friends of the Round House Theater FORTE; area vice president and legislative chairman, MCCPTA.
A. The most important issue facing county residents is maintaining our quality of life. We are in the midst of an economic downturn, which decreases revenue while increasing needs. We are faced with the Linowes Commission recommending cuts in programs benefiting county residents while sending our tax money to other jurisdictions. We must get a "fair share" from Annapolis for schools and roads to provide for growth. Restriction of economic development in Montgomery County will hurt the rest of Maryland more than it will the local citizens. Property taxes cannot continue to bear the major burden. Taxes based on the ability to pay and user fees must fund the programs we need. We need to be sure that local government is funding only necessary programs, not trying to compete with state and federal programs. We need to encourage private charity to do what it does best. Edward R. Shannon 2812 Blazer Ct., Silver Spring Age: 60
Lawyer; member: D.C. Bar, Maryland Bar, Bar Association of D.C., American Bar Association.
A. If elected, I would expect to follow in general the "Priority County Expenditure Plan;" namely: 1. Hold the line against any increase in taxes and public debt. 2. Fully fund those government services that directly benefit all the citizens, (i.e., fire and police departments, education, etc.). 3. Fully fund those government services that adequately provide food, clothing, shelter and medical services to the indigent. 4. Partially fund, if necessary (i.e., limited funds after 1, 2, and 3 above), those government services that "directly" benefit some citizens and only "indirectly" benefit all the citizens (i.e., horseback riding, swimming pools, etc.). A. Support a countywide group medical policy to assist residents with the cost of medical care, which would become part of 2. B. Support a county day job program, which would be part of 3. John F. Thomas 5215 Cedar Lane, Bethesda Age: 46
Architect, president, Architectural Development Company; professional architect and planner for 17 years; consultant to various civic associations in Montgomery County; professional degree in architecture, University of Texas; certified, National Council of Architectural Registration Board; honorary discharge, 82nd Airborne, U.S. Army; military intelligence during the Vietnam War, two years.
A. Nearly every issue being faced in Montgomery County is affected directly or indirectly by the massive growth that has taken place during the past five years. Crowded roads, overcrowded schools, inadequate police and fire protection, poorly built housing, and high property taxes are all a direct result of too much growth too fast. The Montgomery County Council has increased county spending by nearly 60 percent in just four years trying to keep up with the services needed to support the growth. In turn, property taxes have skyrocketed to pay for the increased spending. If taxes are to be controlled, then spending is controlled, and the only way to control spending is by controlling the need, and that can only be done by controlling the county's growth. John Thomas is the only candidate qualified to address issues of planning and the development of master plans, zoning and building.