Author Archives: Sharon Dooley

Upcounty Action moving forward

Recently Upcounty Action lost our long term Treasurer, Bill Earley who had served for many years. Bill battled against cancer for some time, but continued to be an active participant.

We have made a contribution to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to honor his memory.  If you are a member or friend to Upcounty Action, you did know Bill as he and his wife, JoJean hosted our annual picnic for many of the last 10 years.  The donation form to make a contribution is in the link below.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Attn: Membership Department
6 Herndon Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21403

Our March meeting did not seem the same without Bill and JoJean and they will be missed. However, we had vigorous discussions about several issues in the county.  The County Executive just released his budget proposals.  Funding from the state and Federal governments for several of our transportation and transit issues are possibly delayed, so we will be keeping an eye on any decisions in this arena. In the county and state, increases in the minimum wage and expansion of paid sick leave are two major employee benefit concerns being discussed.

Environmentally, we are happy that the legislature has moved to ban fracking – and the Governor has signed on since it passed with a veto proof margin – and some say – so that residents will not petition this to a referendum!  We have long supported this ban. Upcounty Action continues to state our objections to the road called M-83 by some and all suggested alternative road options. This group is supporting TAME in its continued and well founded environmental, economic and societal objections to this unnecessary road, parkway or alternative suggestions, regardless of what it is called.

Our next meeting will be held on Saturday April 15th.  Hope that you can join us.  We will be looking at applications for Planning Board vacancies during this meeting, among other agenda items.

Sharon Dooley

Upcounty Action Meets February 20

Please join us at our next meeting in Olney.
We will meet at the Panera in Olney in Fair Hill Plaza from 2:00 – 4:30 pm. Please come – pick up a beverage or lunch and join us for an informed discussion on the topics below,


1. Board of Education – Superintendent choice – upcoming primary races
2. County Executive holds budget discussions, reductions to come in education budget? Revenues and CIP issues
3. County Council hearings for CIP to start – which projects will be delayed? Montgomery Village Golf Course Master Plan and Westbard reorganization stir emotions Rockville City annexes Car Max property near SG Metro
4. District 14 changes in Annapolis – Craig Zucker, Pam Queen
5. Primary races for Congressional District 8 heat up – 8 Dems and 4 Reps vie for selection
6. Police officer death brings attention to weak DUI laws in MD
7. General Assembly overrides Governor vetoes – Hogan encourages defeat of those who supported rights for felons


Upcounty Action meets today

Upcounty Action
Meeting November 21, 2015
Germantown Panera


1. County Executive delays request for Independent Transit Authority; Task force releases report
2. OLO releases report on county department head salaries
3. State legislators claim budget surplus; Gov. Hogan disagrees – holds school funds
4. Federal DOT releases funds to study pilot for Maglev train from DC to Baltimore
5. Controversy over early voting centers resolved for now
6. Should the county liquor stores regulations be changed by the state – 8 council members say no, claim revenues will suffer.
7. Organic farm field to be used for Solar Farm?
Remember breakfast December 16th

January meeting will be on the 23rd – place to be announced.

Upcounty Action meets October 17th at 2:00pm

Upcounty Action will meet at the Olney Panera. The restaurant is in the Shopping Center along 108 east of Georgia Avenue in Olney.
Please join us, pick up lunch or a snack and bring your ideas.

We will have a lot to discuss. The pesticide bill passed, but more issues remain to have review.

1. Review of pesticide passage – some question whether CE will sign?
2. Change of early voting polling places protested by Democrats
3. Paid sick leave for county employees to be effective next October
4. ITA discussions continue for county transit plans
5. County school populations majority Hispanic in lower grades; few faculty are Hispanic
6. County delegations to hold hearings on November 18th – Road Show October 22nd
Next meeting is on November 21st.

Pesticide bill watered down

Very disappointed in the T & E Committee of the Montgomery County Council. Chair Roger Berliner and member Nancy Floreen banded together to water down the modest bill proposed by Council President Leventhal and passed a meaningless bill. I hope that the amendments proposed by Council member Hucker will address some of the deficiencies. Please let the full council know if you disapprove of the weakened bill. Upcounty Action and much of Montgomery County supports the original proposal. Reports were that approval was 3-1 in favor.

Many of the pesticides are endocrine disruptors and contain carcinogens or their pre-cursors.  The EU has banned many of the chemicals found in Roundup.  There must be other options for us to use. Maryland is already above the national average for incidence of and mortality for Breast Cancer.  Let’s work to improve this picture. Council contact information is below.


Please join us at our annual picnic


Saturday August 1, 2015
3:00 pm ‘til 6:00pm

Come share our celebration of Nine Action filled yearsAt the home of Bill and JoJean Earley  17805 Hollingsworth Drive, Derwood, 20855

Please bring some food to share –If your Last names are:A-H: desserts, chips, dips, veggies

I –N: Salad, Beans or fruit  O-Z: Paper cups, plates, utensils, Beverages and ice.

Burgers – (meat and veggie ) & hotdogs/buns -provided & cooked by volunteers!

Please come rain or shine; either way we’ll be fine!!

RSVP – (so we’ll have enough food) by July 25th

Please bring a friend or two – our discussions are always engaging

Email: or leave a message 301-260-2753

Friend us on Face book or visit

Upcounty Action meets March 21st

Reminder: the next meeting of Upcounty Action is tomorrow March 21, 2015! We will meet at the Olney Library at 2:30 pm.
We will serve light refreshments. We have a full agenda – will discuss state and local budget proposals, the pesticide bill, Ten Mile Creek, M-83, proposed changes for state pension funding and other important issues.
Do come and share your knowledge!

Hope to see you!


Upcounty Action meets on Saturday October 18th at 2:00pm

The monthly meeting of Upcounty Action will be held at the Panera in Germantown near Wegmans.
Join us for lively and informed discussions on important issues facing our area today.
We will be discussing the new Planning Board member, legislation about Styrofoam containers and the new zoning code which goes into effect by the end of October and the SB election among other important issues.
Please plan to join us – pick up lunch or a snack at the food counter and join our discussion.
Please share with your groups.

Save the Date – July 26th!

July 26th is the date for the annual potluck picnic for Upcounty Action.  It will be held at the lovely home of Bill and JoJean Earley in Derwood at 3:00pm rain or shine.  Details will be posted closer to the date.  Veggie burgers, beef burgers and hot dogs will be provided – guests are asked to provide side dishes.  Do plan to join this informal event which entertains spirited discussions and many opinions on multiple issues.


The County Council will meet to interview applicants for the Montgomery County Planning Board this week. From a pool of more than 15 applicants, only 5 were chosen for in person interviews. There was little public outreach and minimal public input to this process,  Each of the applicants have served in some type of position in the county previously; two are current planning board members, one is a former board member, another was a member of the County Council and one was a staff member and a former Rockville mayor.  This appointed position which pays over $160,000 and lasts for a four year term is one of the most important in the county as it addresses major issues in land use, parks development and environmental protections.

Upcounty Action urges members to let the council hear from you about this process and the limited choices available.  Montgomery Countryside Alliance has made copies of the resumes available here:

The following letter was sent to the Council by Upcounty Action:

Upcounty Action PO Box 132 Brookeville MD 20833

July 6 2014

 Attn. County Council members:

Upcounty Action has been involved with issues in the county for more than 7 years; we advocate for and testify on matters we care deeply about.  The selection of the Planning Board Chair is one of those concerns, especially since the position is appointed for four years without deep community input .

Everything in this county is touched by decisions made by both the Planning Board and the County Council.  Not only are our growth and development intimately affected in these areas, but these decisions also affect our quality of life, our shared heritage and hopes for environmental protections.  Powerful interest groups, ordinary residents and new arrivals share some goals and clash on others.  New ideas, developed elsewhere, can intrude on old ways now held tightly.

To address all of these vital decisions you have brought a selection of five candidates to the application process.  Not only is this final group limited in scope, they do not reflect new ideas, or show diversity in breadth.  Despite having more than 15 people apply, some of which are better qualified than others, you have given a final cut to only a few.  Planning in this county seems to rely on recycling the same groups with the same ways of functioning.  Where are the strategic thinkers from elsewhere, those outsiders who can bring in new life and new ideas into a department which really needs revitalization?  Upcounty Action thinks you have short-changed our county in your implementation of this process and hopes that you will consider widening the pool in order to find the very best applicants.

Should you not follow this suggestion – Upcounty Action requests that you select Meredith Wellington as the person who can best address the interests of both business members and civic groups.  She was involved in the zoning code re-write and has an in depth understanding of what Master Plans mean to both residents of a neighborhood and store owners in a business district. While some applicants seem unwilling to have a dialog with community groups, Meredith is approachable and willing to entertain open discussions. We are impressed with her knowledge of Smart Growth and look forward to expanding her understanding of the upper county and its need for environmental protections and adequate transit options sooner rather than later. 

Thank you for consideration of our thoughts regarding this important decision.