Thursday, October 8, 2009

The NIMBY Tale of Vanishing Valerie and No Show Nancy

Does the Montgomery County Council want to listen to its constituents?

At last night's town hall meeting concerning the Gaithersburg West Master Plan and "Science City," seven of county council members listened to constituent concerns. The audience included the mayor and several council members from the City of Gaithersburg, Saqib Ali, and staffers from Senator Cardin's and Congressman Van Hollen's staffs. Ben Kramer, also of the Annapolis delegation, was in attendance, but he wasn't acknowledged in the introductions or greetings. Was that just an oversight or intentional snub resulting from his unsuccessful run for the open seat from Burtonsville?

Who wasn't there? Valerie Ervin (Silver Spring and chair of the Council's Ed Committee) and Nancy Navarro (Burtonsville). Nancy called in sick. I've heard that at several other meetings lately, and hope her health issues resolve before she needs to file for reelection. Valerie - she was expected to show up, but just decided, I'll let her speak for herself. Valerie missed an opportunity to meet the taxpayers that fund her salary and see firsthand what happens on the "other" side of the county. I wonder whether these two are interested in collaborative efforts and consensus building or only interested in those who cast the votes in local elections when they are running.

But from my observation of the Gaithersburg Master Plan issue, I note the conspicuous absence of any mention of setting aside additional land for schools. Doesn't that happen when a new master plan is adopted? Doesn't it also make sense when deciding the fate of one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land that schools would at least be acknowledged? No one from Montgomery County Public Schools was in attendance, either.

Too bad, I was tempted to ask that question last night, but given the no show from the education committee, I decided that the question should wait - after all, its obviously not on the agenda - yet.


  1. Land has been set aside for an elementary school ("if needed") on the Public Services Training Academy property...that is the current fire and rescue training site that will be moved to the Webb Tract in Montgomery Village.
    Property was set aside for a high school on the Crown Farm property north of the "Science City" but the Crown Farm at this point is not scheduled to be developed.
    For more information on the specifics of the master plan, please see
    Donna Baron
    The Gaitherburg - North Potomac - Rockville Coalition

  2. Does Valerie E ever show up for an event on the west side of I270?

  3. Valerie's aide called me and said Valerie would be coming to the MCCPTA athletic field (artificial vs natural turf) forum but would have to leave early to go to another meeting. She didn't show up.

  4. And then there was the time that I made an appointment with Valerie to meet her at the Broadway Diner in Rockville(during campaign for County Council)and she didn't show up. Turns out the meeting with the Sierra Club was more important.

  5. Valerie Ervin represents District 5. Really, it is up to her constituents to speak up. Apparently they are satisfied with her performance on their behalf. Will she be running unopposed? From the map shown at, councilmanic District 5 includes Wheaton, Kensington, and Forest Glen.


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