Montgomery County is seeking applicants to fill three positions on the county’s Planning Board. Chosen applicants will replace board members who resigned in October at the County Council’s suggestion.
The County Council appointed five temporary acting board members after accepting the resignations of former Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and board members Gerald Cichy, Tina Patterson, Carol Rubin and Partap Verma on Oct. 12. The council accepted the resignations, saying it had lost confidence in the board after weeks of controversy involving its members.
Anderson and two commissioners were reprimanded after revelations that Anderson kept a full bar in his office against Planning Department rules, allegations against Anderson about the Planning Department workplace, the board’s abrupt firing without cause of longtime Planning Director Gwen Wright, who had led the department since mid-2013 and was set to retire, and a published news report of allegations that Verma violated ethics laws during recent investigations involving Anderson.
Former Council President Gabe Albornoz said in October that the temporary board members would be “caretakers” who would “build a bridge” until the next council, to be elected in the Nov. 8 general election, appointed permanent board members.
According to a county press release, the council intends to appoint successors before Feb. 28, 2023 for three members. The council is expected to appoint the remaining two positions, including the chair, by June 14, 2023 and will advertise to fill those positions at a later date. Albornoz told Bethesda Beat in October that the staggered terms will allow for a smoother transition.
Temporary board members Amy Presley, David Hill and Cherri Branson will vacate their positions at the end of February.
The positions are available to fill the unexpired terms of the prior Planning Board members as follows:
- One Montgomery County resident registered to vote in the county as a Republican(term ends June 14, 2024)
- One Montgomery County resident registered to vote in the county as unaffiliated (term ends June 14, 2025)
- One Montgomery County resident registered to vote in the county as a Democrat (term ends June 14, 2026)
The selected Planning Board members will serve out the unexpired terms of the prior board members and must be of the same political party as the board member who vacated the office. Members generally serve four-year terms and are limited to two full terms. No more than three members of the Planning Board may be from the same political party, and each member must be a resident and registered voter of Montgomery County when appointed.
The Planning Board serves as the council’s principal adviser on land use planning and community planning. Planning Board members also serve as commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Annual compensation for board members is currently $30,000, and the chair currently earns $228,000. The chair is a full-time role with the county.
Letters of application expressing interest, including a resume (no more than four pages) listing professional and civic experience, political party affiliation, home and office telephone numbers, and an email address, should be addressed to: Council President and emailed to email@example.com, or mailed to County Council Office, Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850.
Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2023. Political party affiliation will be verified by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Letters of application and resumes are made public as part of the appointment process and are available for public review with personal contact information redacted. The interviews are conducted in public and will be televised. Finalists will be subject to filing a financial disclosure statement and undergoing a criminal background check.