Council Appoints New Planning Board Chair, Commissioner

The County Council appointed Artie L. Harris Jr. as Planning Board chair and Josh Linden as commissioner, rounding out the five-person board at its Tuesday meeting.

He was chosen over Hans Riemer, a former councilmember, in a 6-5 vote. Harris was the choice of Councilmembers Natali Fani-Gonzalez, Kate Stewart, Andrew Friedson, Sidney Katz, Kristin Mink and Laurie-Anne Sayles. Councilmembers Dawn Luedtke, Gabe Albornoz, Marilyn Balcombe, Evan Glass and Will Jawando voted for Riemer.

Harris was vice president of real estate at Montgomery Housing Partnership, Inc., a nonprofit real estate development organization based in Silver Spring, where he has worked since 2009. Prior to joining MHP, he was the vice president at Bozzuto Development Company.

Linden won a 7-4 vote. He is a planner and analyst for BERK Consulting where he provides comprehensive plans, housing needs assessments, climate vulnerability assessments, equity analyses, pricing and more for housing, transportation and planning projects. He also is a board member for The Street Trust based in Portland, Oregon and worked as a transportation planner at Jacobs Engineering.

“Artie Harris and Josh Linden have the combined experience, leadership and listening skills that are necessary to engage with community members and the Council about land use and planning issues,” Council President Evan Glass said in a press release. “These individuals will play an integral role in establishing a vision for the future of our county.”

“The County Council has selected two highly qualified people, Artie Harris and Josh Linden, to serve as M-NCPPC Commissioners and Montgomery County Planning Board members,” said outgoing acting Planning Board Chair Jeff Zyontz in a release. “They have been given a remarkable opportunity for public service with a wide range of responsibilities. I have every expectation that the Planning Board will continue to work collaboratively for the benefit of all Montgomery County residents.”

The two men will serve full, four-year terms, while the commissioners chosen earlier this year will fill out unexpired terms. The tow appointments are subject to the approval of County Executive Marc Elrich, who has 30 days to act. If the council receives no communication from the executive by that time, the appointments go into effect.

M-NCPPC photo

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