Tuesday, November 08, 2016

MoCo Council to thumb nose at residents again, approve Westbard sectional map amendment today

Doing their dirty work under the cloak of a diverting holiday once again, the Montgomery County Council will attempt to sneak through its approval of the Westbard sectional map amendment today, sometime after 1:40 PM. Wait a minute, you say, won't most people be trying to vote on Election Day today? Yep.

While you are voting, the Council will be voting against the wishes of over 90% of its constituents, who have loudly, clearly and vehemently opposed the Westbard sector plan from its controversial inception in late 2014. The Council is expected to unanimously approve the SMA today, which is required to legally put the sector plan zoning into effect.

The Council will also break the promise to not rezone existing residences outside of the Westbard sector plan area. Existing townhomes at Ridgefield Road and Westbard Avenue, and at Brookside Drive and River Road, and at Westbard Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, all have been illegally brought into the plan area, and will be rezoned to a new zoning category with today's vote. "Existing homes will not be rezoned," and "the residential neighborhoods outside the plan area will be left as-is," earn Four Pinocchio and Pants on Fire ratings from our real-time Fact Checkers.
Contrary to promises
existing residences would
not be rezoned in the plan,
existing townhomes on sites 1, 10
and 14 above are indeed
being brought into the
plan area and rezoned
Fortunately, residents have a means to fight back against the County Council today, by going to the polls and voting YES on Question B, to term limit the corrupt, incompetent and impotent County Council.

Passage of term limits would begin the process of reform by booting five members off the Council in 2018. Voters could then finish the job by voting out the remaining offenders in the November 2018 election, including Councilmember Hans Riemer, who lied to residents in a rambling, incoherent speech, claiming Westbard was "a mile from two Metros." In fact, it is nearly two miles or more from the Friendship Heights (almost two miles) and Bethesda Metro (over two miles away) stations to Westbard, and nowhere near the quarter-mile to half-mile-from Metro range universally considered to be transit-oriented development. Four Pinocchios! Pants on Fire! Throw the bums out!



Anonymous said...

It doesn't take a whole day to vote, Birdbrain. We don't live in Arizona, thank God.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Please vote YES on Question B.
Let's get some fresh ideas and new faces when we next vote for county council.

There's no reason to insult people.

Anonymous said...

7:12 typical alt-right deflection. You people make me sick.

Anonymous said...

@6:33 Definitely to "No on B" party line. Insult the messengers instead of debating the issue itself.

Didn't most of the No on B funding come from developers and current Council members? Surprise surprise!

Anonymous said...

Trump = Yes on B

Anonymous said...

@7:15AM has completely lost his mind. Honey, I'm a feminist. The alt-right scares me.

Anonymous said...

"The alt-right scares me"

So why are you voting with them? Ficker and Dyer DO NOT CARE about you or any other Montgomery County Democrat (look at Dyer's acidic responses to anyone who doesn't agree with his insane political policies), they're just disgruntled because they couldn't secure seats on the council in previous elections and think that this will help them.

Of course, even if Question B succeeds, it's extremely unlikely that either of them could win a seat, but why play into their hands? Trust me, everyone (except the fringe wingnuts) will be worse off than before.

As it is now the electorate gets to decide whether their representatives should get kicked out and be replaced by someone better, or if they should are doing a great job. If they're doing great for 3 straight terms, why should they be forced out and possibly replaced by someone possibly incompetent and out-of-touch? Should we have kicked Mikulski out of the Senate after 2 terms?

Just take a look at the Presidential election. Look at the two "excellent" choices we have to replace Obama (that's not to say that we shouldn't have term limits on the executive level).

Anonymous said...

"Acidic" sounds preferable to the unhinged anonymous comments posted here regularly by the failed blogger.

Anonymous said...

I see you're passionate about your opinion. I am just as passionate about mine.

I am aligning myself with term limits on the local level. I do not care who supports it. Because I may agree with those people on one issue does not mean I agree with anything else and I resent your implication that I do.

I have my own reasons. I've done my own informal surveys. What I have found is for local elections most people I've talked with do not pay attention to who is running and what their platforms include. When they vote local, they generally vote for "a name I've heard before." Whi8ch may well be how we got into this debacle to begin with.

BTW, I have NOT been a fan of Robin Ficker since Ken Beatrice stopped letting him be "next!"

Anonymous said...

@9:04 I don't care about Ficker, but I do care about Term Limits. My guess, if they pass, it that we'll end up with a new set of Democrats in office and not Ficker or Dyer, but that's fine with me.

Current MoCo politics is that the person who wins the Democratic primary, in which only Democrats may vote (unlike in some other states.. note MoCo is about 1/3 non-affiliated voters), in effect determines the election. Off-season (out of presidential election cycle) primaries have extremely low voter turnout.

This won't change that process, but at least we'll make it clear County Council is not a long-term career.

Anonymous said...

I still don't get the outcry that someone won't be able to serve for more than 12 years in a row.

Anonymous said...

As I have posted in other threads, I am a liberal, I typically vote for Democrats, and I have no love for Robin Ficker or term limits. To date. I have voted consistently for incumbent Council Democrats for decades.

Yet, I have voted Yes on Question B. That is because this Council, with the exception of Marc Elrich, has regularly disregarded the views of local residents on planning and zoning matters. Westbard is the most notorious example, but the same pattern has been repeated in other communities. In all cases, residents' views have been given short shrift and, even more inappropriately, the Council has failed to compromise with residents on density and height issues.

It is the Council's repeated and blatant flouting of the public that has led me to support Question B. This does not happen in most other communities.

Vote Yes on B.


Anonymous said...

The Council has passed the Westbard Sectional Map Amendment unanimously, 9-0, without discussion-- save but to confirm a recommendation on the height of Park Bethesda, which will be held to 110 feet tall (still taller than the apartment buildings recently completed in downtown Bethesda at the intersection of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues.

Before doing so, Council President Nancy Floreen praised the thoroughness of the staff memo supporting the SMA. Unmentioned were the written rebuttals to the staff memo filed by at least two community groups, The rebuttals were substantive and deserved review and discussion by the Council.

It is the Council's lack of transparency and failure to consider citizens' views that disappoints and increases dissent. No one likes to be dismissed without a fair hearing.

Robert Dyer said...

11:55: It's very similar to the Council having no questions for panelists who have raised serious issues during a public hearing. The lack of any discussion of the questions raised during resident testimony by the PHED committee speaks for itself. "We know better than the residents and taxpayers what the answers are," and in reality, they know their positions are weak and they cannot defend them in direct, substantive debate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dyer that the Council's failure to engage on substantive questions raised by citizens at hearings is a sign of weakness and dysfunction.

If the U.S. Congress were run like Montgomery County:
-Public testimony at hearings would be limited to 3 minutes per statement.
-Legislators would typically refrain from questioning those testifying or from commenting during hearings, especially on matters of controversy.
-Committee work sessions would typically include the Committee staff and proponents of the Committee's position, Opponents would not be allowed to participate.
-No Committee reports would be issued when legislation was recommended for passage.
-No or very little debate would occur when measures were considered for final adoption.

Such a system would not be consistent with representative democracy.

This dystopian system is the decision-making process used by the Montgomery County Council. I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it myself.

Like most County voters, I naively assumed that the Council's processes accommodated open discussion and debate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Spend some time in Rockville and you'll see for yourself.