President’s Letter – by Ginny Barners
As a civic organization, most of WMCCA’s work takes place at the local level. We are well acquainted with the County Council, Planning Board, County Executive agencies, the Board of Appeals, and Hearing Examiner. Though we interact less frequently with our State Legislators, we know our Delegation is busy in Annapolis working to improve our lives. Lawmakers concluded the 2018 session by passing legislation to ban bump stocks and one called a “red flag” law that allows judges to temporarily remove firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others. Another bill would put Maryland at the forefront of requiring social media platforms to track all political ads, keep copies of them, and record which users are being targeted. State elections officials could use the data to detect bad actors or foreign interference.
The Federal tax cut had the effect of increasing taxes for most Marylanders. A bipartisan coalition in the Assembly agreed to changes to modestly alleviate the hike for 58% of residents while targeting relief for the working poor and some retirees. Attorney General Brian Frosh has said the 2018 session made ” great strides” increasing consumer protections. We look forward to learning how it did so. District 15 legislators always impart enthusiasm for their work, giving us both an overview as well as glimpses into the daily dramas attendant to lawmaking. Please plan to attend.
Update on the Ten Year Water & Sewer Plan by Ken Bawer:
A vote on the draft Ten Year Water and Sewer Plan was supposed to happen at the County Council meeting on April 17th. Strong objections were raised by some Councilmembers to the Elrich Amendment, which was supposed to limit sewer sprawl (and the inevitable increases in house sizes, higher building density, more impervious surfaces, and the resulting increased stormwater runoff that degrades streams with sediment and contaminants). The objections were made by Councilmembers who, we believe, were looking out for the legitimate interests of homeowners on septic systems. In fact, our original proposal was for a much less restrictive requirement to trigger a septic survey, but our suggested wording was changed somewhere along the way. We are currently working on revisions to the Plan (to reinsert our original language) in response to those legitimate concerns about the need for pro-active measures before septic systems actually fail. We are suggesting the use of our original proposed language which added “imminent failures” (as appropriately defined) along with “actual failures” as reasons for trigging a septic survey. Thus, owners would NOT have to wait for an actual septic system failure to request a survey. This is in contrast to the language used to trigger the Glen Hills area surveys in which properties with “anticipated” problems that might theoretically happen decades in the future could be granted septic to sewer conversions. We are perplexed as to why none of the Councilmembers suggested making this simple change and then holding the vote during the April 17th meeting. The Plan may now be sent back to the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment (T&E) Committee to work on revised language.
What is the Montgomery County Quiet Skies Coalition? Submitted by Barbara Hoover
The Montgomery County Quiet Skies Coalition (MCQSC) is a group of concerned citizens and community associations in Montgomery County whose daily lives are severely impacted by new flight paths and procedures into and out of Reagan National Airport (DCA). These newly formed flight paths send hundreds of disruptively loud, low-altitude flights over our homes, schools, parks, and businesses each day. MCQSC represents neighborhoods with approximately 7,500 homes, 20,000 residents, and numerous K-12 schools.
The Coalition is committed to working with residents, elected officials, the FAA and others to resolve the excessive levels of noise, air pollution, and health and safety risks imposed on our communities by the FAA’s flight paths and procedures at Reagan National Airport (DCA). More information can be found on their website:
The local neighborhoods currently impacted are: Avenel, Bannockburn, Brookmont, Burning Tree Village, Cabin John, Carderock Springs, Fort Sumner, Glen Echo Heights, Glen Echo Town, Glen Hills, Green Acres, Goldsboro, Kenwood Park, Mohican Hills, Persimmon Tree, Potomac, Potomac Highlands, River Falls, Rock Creek Forest, Springfield, Sumner, Tulip Hill, Westmoreland Hills and Overlook, Wood Acres, Woodrock, and Wyngate.
The next MCQSC meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm at Brookmont Church, 4000 Virginia Place, Bethesda, Maryland, 20816. For new members, there is an optional New Member Orientation at 7:00 pm. The Regular Meeting starts at 7:30 pm. MCQSC meets every-other-month on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm.
ELECTION OF WMCCA OFFICERS AND BOARD:
The Nominating Committee proposes the following slate of Officers and Directors to the membership for a vote at our May 9th meeting. Nominations may also be made from the floor.
President: GINNY BARNES
Treasurer: BARBARA HOOVER
Immediate past President: GINNY BARNES
Secretary: BARBARA BROWN
President Elect: SUSANNE LEE
Newsletter: NANCY MADDEN
Vice President: KEN BAWER
Directors serving second year of a two-year term:
GEORGE BARNES, KATHY PETITT
Nominees for a two-year term:
JILL PHILLIPS, CAROL VAN DAM FALK
Need Advice on How to Maintain a Healthy Lawn w/o Pesticides Harmful to Kids, Pets, & Bees?
Montgomery County Dept. of the Environment (DEP) has a new website just in time for Spring gardening!
WMCCA is actively looking for volunteers for:
Website Assistance Needed by Peter Poggi:
WMCCA is looking for someone to help modernize our website.
While the current http://www.wmcca.org website has served us well since 2003, it is built upon an outdated Microsoft Frontpage 2003 platform, written entirely in HTML using frames, and reliant upon one individual. Our objectives are twofold. First and foremost, we need to have a trained backup who will share responsibility for maintaining the current site alongside our current website administrator. Once familiarized with the site, this responsibility will require a minimal time commitment of less than 30 minutes monthly. Our second goal is to identify and begin transforming the site to a more maintainable, perhaps template driven platform. This will require gaining an understanding of the existing website structure and working closely with the WMCCA Board and website administrator to come up with a suitable design.
Interested candidates should have a current background in current document management type website design and development methodologies, and a familiarity with available hosting options. Please contact Peter Poggi, email@example.com.
If you have any issues or concerns in your neighborhood, please contact WMCCA. We appreciate the input from our neighbors and are glad to review and address issues as they affect the Potomac Subregion Master Plan, zoning, and environmental threats to the “Green Wedge”, our creeks and water supplies, and the Agricultural Reserve.
Help support our efforts in defending the Master Plan. Renew or become a new member of WMCCA. Look for your renewal notice in the mail or go to our website to download a membership form or join using PayPal: http://www.wmcca.org
West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter
P. O. Box 59335
Potomac, MD 20854-9335
President – Ginny Barnes 301 762-6423
Newsletter – Lois Williams
The Newsletter is published monthly, and the Board of Directors meets each month. We welcome any suggestions for upcoming meeting topics and ways to further utilize our web site (www.wmcca.org).
Check the web site for information on issues we are working on.