Council members to hold town hall Wednesday in Silver Spring

Council members will meet residents at Sligo Middle School. Photo by Mike Diegel

Local residents will have a chance to quiz county council members during a town hall meeting Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. at Sligo Middle School, 1401 Dennis Ave.

“We’re hoping for a good turnout,” said Neil Greenberger, legislative information officer for the council. “The council members are all there and we have a moderator in the crowd.

“The host goes through the crowd [and] anyone can ask any question they want,” he continued. “Sometimes one, sometimes two or three of the council members will answer the question.”

The meeting will be recorded and broadcast several times later on County Cable Montgomery on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon, according to a press release. Susan Kenedy, a producer for CCM, will moderate the town hall.

“It’s a free for all [with] no major topic,” Greenberger said.

At least one neighborhood is urging its residents to attend the meeting. A South Four Corners Civic Association resident posted to that neighborhood listserv some suggested topics, including:

  • Disposition of the former Silver Spring Library property on Colesville Rd.
  • Bill 41-16, “Community Zoning and Land Use Resource Officer,” which was proposed to permanently abolish the Office of the People’s Counsel from the County Code and replace it with a Resource Officer. 
  • Zoning Text Amendment 16-09 to alter regulations regarding rooftop signs.
  • ZTA 16-05 that would affect the rules concerning placement of small cell towers in front of homes
  • Proposed construction of a Bus Rapid Transit system along Route 29, and
  • ZTA 16-03 on short-term nightly rentals in residential zones.

There will be a reception with council members starting at 7:30. Greenberger said this is a good chance to get one-on-one time with a specific member.

“We like questions at the forum that involve a lot of people,” he said, “but if you have a problem about my neighborhood . . . or our organization is trying to do this, that’s really the best time to get the council members. Coming for the reception is a good thing if someone has a specific question to ask.”

He pointed out that the meeting would be held the day after the vote on term limits for elected officials, which could make for some interesting conversations.

Because it’s being recorded for broadcast, the meeting will end at 9 p.m., but council members often stay afterward to continue discussions with attendees.

Greenberger said he hadn’t yet confirmed which council members would attend, but Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer all live in the Silver Spring-Takoma Park area.

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