Monday, February 15, 2010

Sharon Dooley Announces her Campaign for the County Council Seat in District 2

By Sharon Dooley.

I am proudly announcing the start of my campaign for the seat on the County Council representing District 2. For far too long we have not been well served in this part of the county.

Not only will I adequately serve the population in areas as diverse as Olney, Poolesville and Damascus and as populous as Montgomery Village and Germantown, I will also actively assist areas such as Boyds and Clarksburg, Barnesville, Hyattstown and Dickerson with their very particular concerns. I will be an involved council representative for my entire District and listen to those who live across this wide upcounty area. I am experienced and effective - I will get the job done for my district.

This race and the make-up of this next council can decide the future of our county with approvals on long term zoning decisions, and with (or without) protections for our efforts to have clean air and water and preserve our agricultural areas, just to mention a few concerns. It will address a multitude of business, economic, womens', cultural and social issues such as jobs for working people, adequate transit, health clinics and housing for county residents. It will also decide about educational spending and which budget issues are the most important and need to be maintained in light of tough fiscal decisions. It will make significant transit and transportation decisions and decide what your community may look like in the future. With your help I will be one of the decision makers here.

* Does the issue of Ride-on as a needed community service, rather than as a self sustaining transportation mode, mean anything to your community? I worked hard for this continuation of community buses. (Just approved by the Council.) I have supported the Purple line down county and the Corridor Cities Transit way upcounty. We need to look at multiple options for transportation solutions, such as the proposed bus rapid transit option - as we have not appropriately addressed real gridlock. We also must find ways to pay for these planned lines.

* I know our county can and must continue to grow but I believe that we need to look at growth through the prism of the many players involved - growth and development does not and cannot occur in a vacuum. We need to grow wisely, not just rapidly, as we had in the past. The Planning Board is proposing to change the zoning and permitting process; this needs to be reviewed carefully as community involvement must not be distilled; nor must developers have a long onerous process before they can build.

* I will work to ensure that our economic development improves and we attract jobs and businesses to serve not just my district, but the entire county, so we can decrease traffic and travel times by allowing some people to work where they live. Doing this will also improve our tax base and economic viability as a county. A brisk economic climate goes hand in hand with good education and strong schools which I will support.

* Does clear breathable air for our children mean something to you and your family? Then join with me in trying to keep the lungs of Montgomery County - the forests in the Ag Reserve - protected. I will work to keep the Agricultural Reserve as an area that will last for future generations to fully and freely enjoy. I have assisted with clean water issues and know we must keep our waterways clean and protect the Chesapeake Bay.

* I long fought the ICC - fruitlessly it seems, but I did manage to get the State Highway to downsize enormous and inappropriate signs planned for our neighborhoods. These will now be the model for all communities along the ICC route. As the just retired President of the Greater Olney Civic Association- GOCA - in my community of Olney (which has about 40,000 residents) we worked cooperatively to address zoning issues that might have negative effects and promote others that were seen as beneficial. We worked with the local Chamber of Commerce and other community groups to promote a vision for the future of our area. We were active in planning a mixed use concept plan for future development in our town.

Many of you know that I practiced as a registered nurse for many years and have also educated many by teaching in Montgomery Colleges' workforce development programs. I have raised my two children in Montgomery County and been both a soccer and PTA Mom and a community leader. I was instrumental in helping start a Farmers Market and "locally grown" efforts in my area and supported the movement throughout the County. As a precinct coordinator, I have long worked for Democratic candidates. After owning my own consulting business for a number of years, I have changed careers a bit and now am employed full time working in heath care compliance/fraud issues.

A resident of this county for more than 30 years, I serve on the boards of major organizations such as Mobile Medical, Olney Farmers and Artists Market, Greater Sandy Spring Green Space and have worked with Women Business Owners and Montgomery Women. I also am active with a group called Upcounty Action which serves a watchdog role in the upper county. As you can see, I believe in volunteerism, but I know it cannot solve all of our problems.

Finally, I am running for county council because I also believe that we deserve a county government that is more responsive to the needs of each of its voters. We need a council that not only hears but also listens to the voices of the people who come to make requests, share information or ask for solutions. This campaign needs people who believe as I do that we must continue to hear input of the electorate after we are elected; in short we need to have two way conversations. If I am to be successful, I need support from progressives and moderates alike. To do this I need your support - I need to have strong grass roots voices behind and in front of me - won't you come along? Won't you volunteer and contribute to the best of your ability to make this campaign a success?

I will have a formal campaign kick-off on March 14th - so save the date - details to be announced.

Other important dates!
* Democratic Primary: 9/14/10
* Early Voting: 9/3/10 to 9/9/10
* Deadline to Register/Change Party Affiliation: 8/24/10

Citizens for Sharon Dooley
PO Box 132, Brookeville MD 20833

Authority Jim Haddow, Treasurer, Irma Cuellar Chair
Questions? Contact me at: or leave a message at: 301-260-8569
Website to follow soon; snow delays.