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.
Thanks,

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.

Link

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: http://mocoalliance.org/2014/05/mc-planning-board-chair-5-applicants/

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

Upcounty Action PO Box 132 Brookeville MD 20833 UpcountyAction.org

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.

Reminder of upcoming events

The June meeting for Upcounty Action will be held on Saturday June 21st at 2:00pm. Place to be announced. Volunteer hosts would be welcomed. This meeting is just before the Primary so election discussions and current events will be on the agenda.

Please remember to vote in the Primary on June 24th or choose early voting stating June 12th through the 19th.
Check here for sites:
www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/EarlyVoting2014/EarlyVoting

Also SAVE THE DATE – Our 8th annual Upcounty Action picnic is scheduled for Saturday July 26th at 3:00pm, so mark your calendars. Once again Jo Jean and Bill Earley have volunteered to host at their lovely home in Derwood MD. We will meet at 3:00pm for this special event. As usual we’ll supply hamburgers and hot dogs as well as veggie burgers and ask our members and friends to bring pot luck for salads, drinks, veggies and desserts. Details and directions will be posted in July.

Upcounty Action meets April 19, 2014

Upcounty Action will meet on Saturday at my home in Olney at 2:00pm.  

My address is 18649 Clovercrest Circle; this is a TH community so parking is limited, please park in the pool lot or along Lindenwood.
 
The council is going through the budget hearings, the campaign season is in full swing as we move toward the primaries on June 24th and many candidates are jockeying toward the open Planning Board charimanship.
 
The General Assembly has ended the 2014 season; we will look at some of the pluses and minuses.
 
We can celebrate the achievements made in the Ten Mile Creek resolution but must consider future developments carefully.
Issues regarding M83 will be updated by Margaret Schoap at this meeting also.  Do let us know of any other environmental concerns impacting your neighborhoods.
 
So we have lots to discuss.  Please let me know if you have any items to add to the agenda.  Do invite others to join us; I know some may be away due to the holidays, but I hope we can have a good turnout.
 
The agenda will be sent out later in the week.
Please sign up as a friend on Face Book and add your name to our email list on the website at:Upcountyaction.org
 
Thanks to those who have paid dues – to those who have not yet joined – they are $30.00 per person and may be mailed to Upcounty Action at:  PO Box 132 Brookeville MD 20833.
 
Mark your calendars for the “Green” County Council Candidates Forum:
Wednesday April 23rd.  7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza
This is being sponsored by Conervation Montgomery.

Upcounty Action meets 3-15-14

We will meet at the Ouuta the Way Cafe in Derwood at 2:00pm

Agenda

1. Update on Ten Mile Creek

2. M-83 update/UCAB

3. Comsat property for sale

4. Clarksburg Town Center?

5. Transportation forum

6. Primary Elections set

7. Planning Board Chair vacancy

8. Minimum wage bill in Annapolis advances

9. School construction bill in trouble

10. Council to start budget discussions

Hope you can join us!

Next meeting is on Saturday April 19th – Place TBD

Ten Mile Creek update

Upcounty Action is happy to report information shared by Diane Cameron of the Ten Mile Creek Coalition – 7 of the 9 County Council members have signed on to the compromise plan to protect the integrity of the watershed in the Ten Mile Creek area. Council members Floreen and Rice continue to support harmfully hign levels of impervious allowances.
Kudos for the Montgomery Countryside Alliance for outing the information that the “Give Clarksburg its Due” campaign is being masterminded by associates of the developers who want to build in that sensitve area.
We will continue to share information as it happens regarding this issue.
Reminder – next Upcounty Action meeting is on Saturday March 15th at 2:00pm – details to follow.

Ten Mile Creek

There have been several hearings on developments in the watershed areas of Ten Mile Creek. Various considerations are underway about impervious surface allowances in this region. Should imperviousness be limited to 6 or 8%? Moving further out should it be 8 or 15%? Council members Berliner, Elrich and Riemer have been considering 8-15-15 but as of now do not have enough votes on the council for this. Please review this matter and let your council members hear from you.

The Ten Mile Creek Coalition now has more than 30 group members (Upcounty Action is one of them.)  Check out their website as noted below for more information.

http://www.savetenmilecreek.com/

Testimony before County Council

The CIP is a budgeted 5 year plan for projects in the county. The County Executive sends this to the County Council for approval everyother even numbered year.
I will be testifying before hearings this week on the upcoming plans.
The budget can be reviewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/OMB/FY15/ciprec/index.html

Reminder: Upcounty Action meets next on February 15th – volunteer host is needed.

Meeting notice

Reminder – our next meeting is Saturday January 18, 2014!

Upcounty Action will have its’ January meeting on Saturday January 18, 2014 at 18649 Clovercrest Circle in Olney at 2:00pm. Join us to discuss issues with upper county development, the Planning Board Chair change and issues with Ten Mile Creek. Other topics wil include the county council budget, zoning and transportation. Let me know if you can come.

Agenda: 

1. Zoning Code rewrite nears final vote
 
2. Ten Mile Creek work sessions continue – 
[House Party Concert on Sunday]
 
3. Planning Board Chair to step down – many names being mentioned
 
4. 18 applicants vie for interim Council seat;  about one month left for applicants to file for all elective offices for June Primary.
 
5. State to address minimum wage issue 
 
6. Large rally in Annapolis to support rent stabilization
 
7. School construction funds request downplayed by State leaders