Thursday, January 14, 2016

Video: Council Retreat - "Don't ask questions" of public at hearings.

Part 2:  Exclusive video of Montgomery County Council Retreat on January 11, 2016.  The retreat was held in Potomac, Maryland.  No members of the press attended the retreat.  The Parents' Coalition was the only outside organization to attend this off-camera, off-site public meeting of the Montgomery County Council.

Floreen: "...warm up for Westbard..."

Floreen on public hearings run by Committees:  Floreen thinks all public hearings should be before the full Council.  Councilmembers are not "up to speed on issues" when they do not attend public hearings.

Riemer:  "immediate impact on schedule" with evening public hearings... "limit number of nights I go out during the week..."

Hucker:  "...we're all grownups and can make good decisions about our time..."

Minute 10 of video
Floreen:  "...we have the Westbard challenge..."

Minute 12 of video
Floreen:  "We've been doing a pretty good job of just letting public testify...Once we start engaging, we really can't stop...If you have questions at the end you can always ask staff at the end..."

Leventhal:  "...long Delegation hearing...amazing for me to hear elected officials argue with their constituents who showed up to testify... it didn't reflect well on our Delegation... reflects better on us just to listen at public hearings... gets us home earlier... Don't ask questions and certainly don't disagree or pick fights..."

Navarro:  "...where you have a theme going on that is factually incorrect..."

Minute 17 of video
Floreen: "...we need supporting staff to help us..." during public hearings. "Keep in mind our job is to help the public."

Minute 19 of video
Floreen on number of people speaking at a public hearing.  "If we keep our mouths shut, the community gets to weigh in... my more the merrier."  "I know what they are going to say on land use..."

Minute 22 of video
Discussion of problem with lights on microphones at public hearings.

Hucker:  "...we look very bush-league..."

Floreen:  "Mr. Katz runs is own personal timer."

Katz:  "What is follow up after public hearing?"

Minute 32 of video is discussion about making individuals disclose at public hearings when they are actually representing a group.


  1. Don't ask don't tell and all will go very well.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to record portions of this retreat. It makes me even more curious about all the behind the scenes interactions. Keep up the good work.

  3. Leventhal is a smuck. We all know that. But what he’s saying has been a tactic used by Montgomery County Councilmembers for years… and that is not to engage. When a Montgomery County Councilmember asks a question of a citizen giving testimony, this creates a dialogue and more focus on a citizen issue, which is exactly what most Montgomery County Councilmembers (e.g. Leventhal) do NOT want. Regardless of the testimony (unless it’s staged pro-MC Council or MC Council position) it is far more expedient that the only thing said by a Councilmember to a testifying citizen is… “Next!”

  4. Katz: "What is follow-up...?" You have got to be kidding me. Mr. Katz,There IS no follow-up. From what we residents see, the "follow-up" is to work with developers secretly so they can build, build, build. We all know the public meetings in this county are a sham and a deliberate disregard of public involvement. Why do you think people are so fed up? Because they know by now their comments don't matter. You can see this in the voting trend. Few people vote actively. passively they are voting with their feet, and the vote is 'NO.'

    1. I would strongly urge everyone who is as fed up with this County Council to REALLY think about their votes come election time. Don't just push the button on the same old tired names, who have a HUGE disregard for their constituency. Why didn't Beth Daly get elected? She was right on point. Instead we get Nancy Floreen, the Developer's "Friend".

    2. Neither Floreen or Leventhal received the Apple Ballot endorsement

    3. That's meaningless. They are lock step falling in line.

      Just because they did not get it, does not mean they do not want it.

    4. Leventhal had the Apple Ballot endorsement, and then they dropped him.


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