Opinion: Commentary: Election Results: Change to the Montgomery County Council

Opinion: Commentary: Election Results: Change to the Montgomery County Council

[Election] week [was] been a big week for strengthening our democracy. The nation has selected a new president and Montgomery County residents have voted to expand their representation on the County Council.

By a nearly two-to-one margin, voters overwhelmingly supported Question C which will expand the Council to 11 members by adding two districts. After a 50 percent increase in our population over the last 30 years, voters agreed that the best way to reflect our growth is to increase the size of the County Council. Smaller districts will be even more reflective and inclusive of our beautifully diverse communities.

As Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney noted in his column on the election’s winners and losers: "Winner: Northern Montgomery County. Voters in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction added two seats to the county council, which will ensure better representation for the growing population in northern Montgomery. Voters also opted to keep four at-large council seats, thus providing a buffer against excessive parochialism."

I spearheaded this initiative because now is the time for more representation and increased diversity on the Council. I look forward to working with residents and my colleagues to ensure that everyone from all corners of the county are heard as we move forward.

Greening Montgomery County: More Composting

In order to stop climate change we must also reduce our waste, which is why I'm proud to introduce legislation that will increase composting and mulching capacity in Montgomery County. This proposal will allow farmers to bring on more food scraps and yard waste onto their farms so they can compost it. Our county generates a tremendous amount of yard and food waste, and composting will prevent that material from going to the incinerator and polluting the air. I appreciate the support of all my colleagues, in particular my co-leads Councilmembers Andrew Friedson, Nancy Navarro and Craig Rice, whose districts encompass the Agricultural Reserve.

This initiative will increase the percentage of off-site material that can be used in accessory composting and mulching uses from 20 percent to 50 percent. By encouraging more composting, we are helping our farmers, helping our residents, helping a greener economy and helping our planet.

I recently visited One Acre Farm in Dickerson to see how they are turning organic waste into a rich soil nutrient.

The public hearing for this legislation (ZTA 20-04) is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020.