Deadline for access to applications for acting members of the planning committee; people are looking for transparency in the process

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Tuesday at 5 p.m. is the deadline to file for the position of acting commissioner of the Montgomery County Planning Board.

After accepting the resignation of all 5 members of the planning board, the council announced that they are accepting applications for interim planning commissioners. As they state in the Council, those who are acting will remain in place until the next council appoints permanent members. Council President Gabe Albornoz says they’ve already received dozens of applications.

“They will have full authority to plan board members, but we are proposing an interim position so we can again provide a bridge to more permanent involvement moving forward,” Albornoz said.

After the Council’s announcement, the Coalition of Parents sent a Note Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission regarding the legality of the Council’s temporary appointments. Janis Zink Sartucci says the process outlined by the council violates Maryland Land Use Codes regarding which political parties make up acting commissioners and the time frame given to allow the public to review candidates.

“There is a law that says how vacancies on the planning board are to be filled, and the county council, for some unknown reason, decided to skip Maryland law and do their own process,” Sartucci said.

Albornoz says the council’s process complies with state law that allows when there is a vacancy, the appointing authority can appoint interim officials.

The finalists will appear before the council on October 25. They say that the public will also have the opportunity to ask questions to the candidates. They hope to have 5 new board members by October 27th. For more information click here.

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