Fair Access

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April 15, 2022 9:39 AM

Upcoming Elections

The Poolesville Chamber of Commerce and the Fair Access Committee are sponsoring two candidate debates for County leadership positions.

Working in partnership with the Poolesville Chamber of Commerce, the Fair Access Committee is sponsoring two candidate debates for County leadership positions. One is a debate between District 2 candidates for County Council on April 28th at Town Hall from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The second is a debate between the four main County Executive candidates on Whelan Commons on May 22nd from 6 to 7:30 p.m. We are tentatively scheduling a debate as well at Town Hall on June 23rd again from 4 – 7:30 p.m. between At Large candidates for the County Council.

We have made a lot of progress getting county leaders to begin to pay attention to the needs of our area and invest needed resources in programs, services and facilities that other areas of the county already enjoy. The Town Commissioners, the Fair Access Committee, the PTSAs, the Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery Agricultural Producers and hundreds of our local citizens have helped make the case that our area has for too long been treated inequitably. Part of our success is that we have raised our voices and kept them raised. We have participated actively and intensively in the county’s policy and budget process. We have offered solid proposals and well thought out ideas that have sparked interest and support.

A significant part of success in advocating for change in the political process is “showing up”, being part of the process and not letting go. Having these debates on our home turf, in our back yard so to speak, is significant. It shows we have the attention of the candidates and it helps keep them aware of what is happening out here. It forces them to confront our citizens where they live.

These elections carry even more weight than they have in the past. Several years ago, a proposal was passed creating two new council seats. This means the county will have 7 district council members instead of the current 5, and 4 at large members. The boundaries of the new districts have also been redrawn. We worked hard on the new boundary lines. Instead of our old District 1 which went all the way from the Frederick County, Montgomery County line down to Bethesda and split the Ag Reserve basically in two, we now are in District 2 with most of the Ag Reserve intact and including Germantown and part of Clarksburg. While not all of these residents understand the impact of the many issues facing us in the Western County, we had to include a large population center or centers in the new district. Each of the nine districts has to have an equal fraction of the total population of the county and that turns out to be 160,000 people. Germantown and Clarksburg are contiguous to the western county and much closer to our area and our interests than voters in the denser areas south of us such as Bethesda and Silver Spring.

We will unfortunately lose our current Council Member Andrew Friedson who has been a superb leader and did a tremendous amount to help us both get funding for the new PHS and the money to begin designing a new community center. But knowing Andrew, I think we can count on him to remain a friend and remain interested in our issues. With 11 council members to deal with after the election instead of 9, continuing advocacy will be important. We will need more council members to get to a majority on key issues and our voice will need to be louder and more insistent than ever. Please come out to the debates and show our candidates we care, and they need to pay attention to us.

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