County Council to interview 11 finalists for temporary planning board seats

The list of county council finalists to temporarily fill five planning board seats includes three former council members, a former council member, a longtime council solicitor, local architects and others with experience in planning and development.

On Monday afternoon, the council released the list of 11 finalists it is expected to interview on Tuesday afternoon during its regular session. The board, which has the power to hire and fire planning board members, is then expected to select the temporary board members on Thursday.

The council is seeking temporary board members after accepting the resignations of former planning council chair Casey Anderson and council members Gerald Cichy, Tina Patterson, Carol Rubin and Partap Verma on October 12. The board accepted the resignations, saying it had lost faith in the board after weeks of controversy involving its members.

No more than three board members can belong to the same political party, according to state law. The list does not include the political affiliation of the finalists.

Council chairman Gabe Albornoz said last week that the temporary council members would be ‘gatekeepers’ who would ‘build a bridge’ until the next council, which will be elected in the November 8 general election, named permanent members. advice. But some have criticized the lack of a specific deadline for the appointment of permanent members.

Also last week, several local advocacy groups demanded that the council delay hiring temporary or permanent planning board members until the county can conduct an independent investigation into the council’s and Maryland’s activity. -National Capital Parks and Planning Commission.

The council appoints permanent council members, known as commissioners, who serve a four-year term. Board members are also commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Board members receive an annual salary of $30,000 and the board chair is paid $227,891, according to the board.

More than 128 county residents applied for the vacant seats, and those not selected as finalists were notified late last week.

According to the council, the finalists are:

  • Raj Barr-Kumar is an award-winning architect with decades of experience who served in 1997 as National President of the American Institute of Architects.
  • Cherri L. Branson served as Director of the County Office of Purchasing from June 2015 to December 2018. Previously, she was nominated for an interim term representing the District 5 Council from January to December 2014. In the 2018 Democratic primary, she came forward unsuccessfully for counsel. seat at-large.
  • Former board chair Francoise M. Carrier, who served from 2010 to 2014. Carrier, who also served nearly nine years as a county zoning hearing reviewer, is now an attorney in a Bethesda law firm where she advises clients on land use, zoning and development. Questions.
  • Norman Dreyfuss served on the Planning Council from 2009 to 2019. He was also a member of the Montgomery County Housing Opportunity Commission from 2005 to 2010. Dreyfuss is the Executive Vice President of IDI Group Companies, which developed Leisure World in Silver Spring.
  • Barbara Goldberg Goldman is an entrepreneur and former member and chair of the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission. Goldman has a long history of civic engagement, including founding the Montgomery County Affordable Housing Conference. Earlier this year, she was forced out of her job as deputy treasurer of the Maryland Democratic Party after she questioned the political viability of black gubernatorial candidates.
  • David Hill, senior systems analyst for Westat and longtime civic activist, is a former member of the Rockville City Planning Commission who served from 2006 to 2016.
  • Architect and urban planner William Kirwin is principal at Muse Kirwin Architects in Bethesda. He served on the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission in Maryland from 2009 to 2019, including serving as chairman for five years.
  • Retired Colonel of the United States Air Force Reserve, Vincent J. Napoleon is a lawyer and business executive who has worked with local and federal governments and with industries ranging from aerospace and maritime manufacturing to biotechnology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and technology.
  • Roberto R. Piñero’s career experience includes working as a senior analyst specializing in financial markets and community investments for the U.S. Government Accountability Office from March 1997 to September 2016. He is a member of the County Board of Appeals of Montgomery since February 2022 and is a former member and chairman of the County Housing Opportunity Commission.
  • Amy L. Presley served two terms on the planning board from June 2008 to July 2016 and is the founder and managing partner of Trusted Estate Partners, a Clarksburg-based niche real estate firm.
  • Attorney Jeffrey L. Zyontz worked on zoning matters for the county council from 2006 to 2020. Previously, he worked for M-NCPPC from 1974 to 2006.

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