Montgomery County Council President Craig Rice today outlined next steps in the process to appoint a new Councilmember for District 5. On Jan. 3, 2014, Councilmember Valerie Ervin resigned from the Council to become executive director of the Center for Working Families.
As provided in Sections 102 and 106 of the County Charter, the Council will appoint a new Councilmember for District 5 to complete the unexpired term, which ends on Dec. 1, 2014. The new Councilmember must reside in District 5 and be registered to vote in the same political party as former Councilmember Ervin (Democrat).
Applications closed on Jan. 8, 2014. Each application letter, recommendation letter, and resume was made available to the public. “The Council deeply appreciates the interest of all the applicants in serving the community,” said Council President Rice.
The Council will interview 13 applicants. (One applicant, Harold McDougall, withdrew.) Interviews are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Jan. 17, 22, and 24 in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The interviews are open to the public and will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the Council web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council and will later be available on demand.
The interviews will start with a list of questions provided to interviewees in advance. The interview schedule and the list of questions appear below.
The Council is scheduled to vote on the appointment on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Immediately after the vote the new Councilmember will be sworn in by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Arthur Jackson, Jr.
Ronald Galvin, Jr.
Jay Hutchins III
Daniel L. Wilhelm
Interview Questions for the District 5 Council Seat
1. Why would you like to be the interim Councilmember for District 5, and what do you hope to accomplish in this role?
2. What civic, professional, or other experience qualifies you for this appointment?
3. What do you see as the three most important issues facing the Council in 2014? Are there any issues that you would add to this list?
4. Many of the Council’s land use decisions require balancing the community’s desires for further economic development and enhanced environmental protection. What factors would you look at in trying to achieve a reasonable balance in individual cases?
5. As you know, the operating budget for the public school system currently makes up about half of the total County operating budget, and the state maintenance of effort law requires its funding to be increased as enrollment increases. What factors would you look at in trying to balance the school system’s request for funding above the required level with the needs of other high priority County programs and agencies, such as libraries or public safety?
6. This position requires a very large commitment of time and attention to prepare for meetings of the Council and its Committees and to interact extensively with constituents and others from the public sector, the private sector, and the community at large. In particular, during much of April and May the Council will meet five days a week as we consider the budget. Are you prepared to make this commitment of time and attention?
7. The current professional staff who serve District 5 residents collectively have more than 20 years' experience working for the Legislative Branch. Would you have any reservations about retaining the current staff to maintain continuity of service for District 5 residents?
8. Is there any actual or potential conflict of interest, or anything else in your background, of which the Council should be aware?
9. Can you confirm that you do not intend to run for this seat, or the Council generally, in this year’s election?
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