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I hope that throughout my tenure on the Town Council I have earned your respect and trust. While this year’s election is uncontested, I take my responsibilities as your representative very seriously and do not take your support for granted.
For those of you who don’t know me well, I hope you were able to read my candidate statement in the Election Issue of the Forecast (it is also available online at http://townofchevychase.org/DocumentCenter/View/1390 [http://townofchevychase.org/DocumentCenter/View/1390] ). I would also like to share with all of you some of the most important issues I see before us.
Development in Downtown Bethesda: We know growth in Bethesda is coming. This next year will be critical, however, in balancing that growth with overall quality of life in our community and impacts to our schools and roads. The Town will need to take important positions on county proposals in the upcoming months, and we will also need our residents to participate in the process. Through public presentations, Town Criers and Forecast articles, we have worked hard to keep you informed. I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting this coming Tuesday, May 5 at 7pm in the Lawton Center Social Hall. We will review once again the current plans as we know them and present to you a proposal for converting the parking lots adjacent to the Town into a park, while providing continued parking underground.
Town Finances: We have seen ups and downs in our State income from tax revenues in the past. This year State income is significantly down. At this point, however, we have no reason to believe that this a long term trend. That is why I have supported a modest dip into our $7M + general fund (reserve) for the upcoming year in our draft budget. That being said, if at mid-year it appears that the State funds are continuing to dip, I vow to work collaboratively with our Council and staff to find ways to continue to provide high quality services to our residents while foregoing further reductions to the reserve. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the draft budget at the public hearing also at Tuesday’s Annual Meeting.
Public Transportation: Governor Larry Hogan is expected to make a decision about the Purple Line later this spring. If the Governor continues to move forward with the Purple Line, I look forward to hearing from you before making a decision on what we should or should not do next. In any event, I, for one, will continue to support a county-wide bus rapid transit solution to our transportation needs.
I humbly ask for your support tomorrow, May 5th in the Town Hall (polls are open from 8 am to 8 pm). Even though an uncontested election, your vote is very important to me. It will make all the difference to know I have the support of the community behind me moving forward.
P.S. Again, I encourage you to attend the Annual Meeting tomorrow night. We want to hear from you on the budget and we want you to hear more about the proposed park plans adjacent to the Town.