ean Cryor is back. The former Maryland State Delegate who lost a close race to Del. Craig Rice (D-15) last year was named on Tuesday, June 26 to one of two vacancies on the Montgomery County Planning Board.
“There isn’t anyone who’s ever dealt with her who doesn’t think she’s a wonderful human being, completely dedicated to the community and a wonderful public servant,” said County Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-1). The chance to add someone of Cryor’s experience to the Planning Board, a body that Berliner said has struggled in recent years and is entering a critical phase of county planning, was too good to pass up.
“This is a critical time. We’re making critical decisions about the county’s future,” Berliner said. “I felt the chance to add someone with her experience [was] a great thing. Her background, her experience and the quality of her person” will be a great addition to the five-person panel, Berliner said.
Cryor was named along with former Montgomery County Chief Administrative Officer Eugene “Gene” Lynch to serve four-year terms. They replace Meredith K. Wellington and Wendy Collins Perdue, whose terms have expired.
“She has a reputation of working with everyone in the community,” said Councilmember Mike Knapp (D-2), in nominating Cryor. “I think her ability to work with the community and achieve consensus is unparalleled.”
Cryor, a Potomac resident, served as a Delegate in the Maryland General Assembly from 1994 to 2006. A Republican, Cryor’s loss to Rice was widely viewed as a reaction to national partisan politics more than a comment on her performance in office.
They will join Commissioners Allison Bryant and John Robinson and Chairman Royce Hanson. The five-person panel can not have more than three members of the same political party. Cryor and Bryant are Republicans, the other three are Democrats.
Lynch, who lives in Silver Spring, is currently the president and chief executive officer of Smart Growth Investments (SGI), which he established in 2003, according to a press release from the County Council. He also has served as chief of staff to former Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening and as the chief administrative officer of Montgomery County under then-County Executive Neal Potter.
“Mr. Lynch has helped us transcend how we manage growth in this county,” said Berliner in making the nomination. “He has shown he knows how to work with community members. He understands real world economics.”
According to a press release from the County Council, a total of 26 people applied for the two positions, which will pay $30,000 annually. Nine were formally interviewed by members of the County Council. They also were given financial interviews by the Office of the County Attorney.
The Planning Board serves as the Council’s principal adviser on land use planning and community planning. Planning Board members also serve as Commissioners on the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
Within three days of their appointments by the Council, the names of the nominees will go to County Executive Isiah Leggett. He will have 30 days to approve or disapprove the appointments. The Council can make an appointment over the County Executive’s disapproval with affirmative votes of seven of the nine members. Once the appointment process is completed, the appointee is sworn in by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
— Aaron Stern