Let’s look at the work from home (WFH) trend. There are basically two sides. Many businesses have mandated “go back to the office” and return to life before the pandemic. Many workers say, “I’m never coming back into an office so just pay me as you did before COVID but now I’m doing it from wherever I want with no windshield time.”

There is a trend here … “C-thru” office buildings are the future. Everyone who can, will leave Montgomery County since they can now work from anywhere. Add to that the many failures of the public school systems including doubling down on the “opt-out” requirements and the county’s obvious poor decision to defund the police, as reported in MYMCM and they’re just icing on a very distasteful cake – and maybe a good reason to buy stock in U-Haul.

But wait, there’s more… Montgomery County is going to introduce BEPS (Building Energy Performance Standards) to require owners of commercial class “B” and “C” buildings to spend ridiculous amounts of money to upgrade their HVAC and electrical systems or be fined. Building owners will be forced to raise the rents to cover the upgrade cost or sell the property at fire-sale prices, even more of a fire sale than today. I predict that we will also see the same trend in the residential rental market. In either case the tenants of the B and C buildings will leave our once-thriving county.

There goes the county’s residential and commercial tax base. Goodbye AAA bond rating.

Next, let’s talk residential rent caps. The Brookings Institute research has shown that in the long run rent control does not work. Gaithersburg and Rockville have rejected it. Local blogger Adam Pagnucco has lamented how rent control will kill local real estate and decrease available housing and hurt our tax base. Rent control leads to deferral of needed maintenance, reduction in the investment for new rental units, a drop in rental renewal rates, short term spikes in rental rates prior to implementation, and ultimately a reduction in housing in the county. Housing we desperately need. But the Montgomery County Council passed it.

We’ve seen that total employment growth in the county is miserable. We are one of the worst in the region based on Bureau of Labor Statistics. Montgomery County ranked seventh of the region’s 10 largest jurisdictions. I lay this at the feet of the County Executive and County Council, who have never run a business, had to make payroll, or done anything other than get fat at the public sector trough while making dystopian, antibusiness regulations, anti-parent laws and passing huge tax increases. If they could have brought jobs to the county, they would have done it, even before the pandemic.


I’m scared about what will become of the county I grew up in and call home….Let’s get it right for a change.

Reardon “Sully” Sullivan is a Rockville business owner, Professional Engineer, LEED accredited professional and the 2022 nominee for Montgomery County Executive

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Reardon D. Sullivan, PE, LEED is a former Montgomery County Executive candidate.