The county's Planning Board, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Credit: Steve Bohnel

More than two dozen people have applied for three upcoming vacancies on the Planning Board—and the applicants include two former members who resigned in October.

Montgomery County Council members will pick three of the applicants to fill seats currently held by Republican Amy Presley, David Hill (unaffiliated) and Democrat Cherri Branson, who will vacate their seats at the end of February.

For the openings, the County Council will pick the following:

  • 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)

In October, the entire Planning Board resigned after drama engulfed the board, starting with the discovery of a fully stocked bar in Chair Casey Anderson’s office. Those who stepped down include Gerald Cichy, a Republican, and Tina Patterson, an unaffiliated member, who both have applied to rejoin the board. Neither could immediately be reached for comment via phone on Monday. Branson, a current commissioner, has also applied to remain on the board.

The County Council will interview prospective candidates and vote to fill the three seats by the end of February.

Here are all the residents who applied, according to the County Council website:

  • Bertha Ballew, Democrat, a development manager for a real estate investment trust
  • Jacob Barker, Democrat, a public schools teacher
  • Raj Barr-Kumar, Democrat, an architect
  • Shawn Bartley, Republican, an attorney
  • Cherri Branson, Democrat, a former county official and District 5 Council Member
  • Gerald Cichy, Republican, a former state transportation official
  • Mike Cremedas, unaffiliated, a copywriter and broadcast journalist
  • Corey Davenport, Democrat, an attorney
  • Denine Fernandez, Democrat, a health official in Baltimore
  • Rita Ferrall, Republican, a real estate agent
  • Paul Gaiser, unaffiliated, an architect
  • Ron Gupta, Republican, a chief revenue officer
  • James Hedrick, Democrat, a senior financial analyst
  • Issa Khozeimeh, Republican, an engineer
  • Robin Lasky, Democrat, a state environmental service employee
  • Paul Massaro, Democrat, a senior policy adviser
  • Brian O’Looney, Democrat, an architect
  • Tina Patterson, unaffiliated, a management consultant
  • Mitra Pedoeem, unaffiliated, a former county official
  • Alex Ratner, Democrat, an attorney
  • Richard Reinhard, Democrat, a consultant to nonprofits, for-profits, and the government
  • Thalia Sanders, Republican, an evangelist and former transportation official
  • Ryan Schulte, Republican, a real estate/business consultant
  • Donald Silverstein, unaffiliated, a local developer
  • Leanne Tobias, unaffiliated, a consultant on green real estate
  • David Winstead, Republican, an attorney and former Maryland Secretary of Transportation
  • John Zittrauer, Democrat, a bartender and former County Council District 4 candidate