Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ficker Applies for Planning Board... Again!

Robin Ficker is applying for the non-Democratic opening on the Planning Board. Given what happened the last time he did this, we could be in for a show!

The Planning Board has five seats, with no more than three allowed to be held by members of one political party. In practice, that means the board has three Democrats and two Republicans. Appointments to the board are voted on by the County Council. In 2008, Ficker applied for the seat formerly held by departing Planning Board Member and Republican Alison Bryant. (The seat ultimately went to Clarksburg civic activist Amy Presley.)

The County Council interviews Planning Board candidates in open meetings. Ficker attended both his interview as well as the interviews of other candidates held on the same day. Council Member George Leventhal found Ficker's watching the interviews of his rivals to be in "bad form" and "bad taste" and tried to have him expelled. Ficker was allowed to stay but filed a complaint alleging a violation of the Open Meetings Act. The Open Meetings Compliance Board ruled against him. Now Ficker is headed back to the council to seek former Planning Board Member Jean Cryor's seat.

Additionally, Ficker is running for County Council (although he has not specified which race he will enter) and is trying to get a charter amendment imposing term limits on county offices on the ballot. So Ficker is asking a group of people against whom he has filed a complaint, which includes at least one person against whom he will be running for office, and whom he is seeking to remove from office through term limits to appoint him to a high position. FAT CHANCE! But as with many things connected to Ficker, the entertainment value should be high.

We reprint his application below. We note that he uses a home address in Boyds, which settles the residency issue from the last special election.

16711 Barnesville Rd.
Boyds, Md. 20841
Tel: 301-652-1500 (24 hrs)

Dear President Floreen:

Please consider my application for the Planning Board vacancy left by Jean Cryor.

I believe I am uniquely qualified for the Planning Board at a time when the Board has suffered an experience and brain drain by the departures of Jean Cryor and Royce Hanson. Allow me to list some reasons why you should at least grant me an interview for this job.

l. B.S. Engineering, Case Institute of Technology. Many of the concepts before the Board are based in engineering and mathematics.

2. Practicing attorney in Maryland since 1973 with over 25,000 cases completed. I know there are two sides to every question and would be able to discuss legal issues before the Board. University of Pennsylvania Law School and J.D. University of Baltimore Law School.

3. M.A. Public Administration, American University. Familiarity with concepts of administration before the Board.

4. Lifelong resident of Montgomery County, graduate of its public schools and witness to its growth in every nook and cranny.

5. Licensed Real Estate Broker and familiarity with issues in this vital industry. Scored highest possible score on Real Estate Broker exam.

6.Long-time activity in Montgomery County civic affairs having collected the signatures to place over 20 charter amendments on the county ballot since 1974 including the 2008 successful question to require 9 council votes to exceed the charter property tax limit.

7. Registered with Republican party now, although was registered Independent in 2006, thus meeting the registration requirement for Ms. Cryor's vacancy.

8. Resident of the Agricultural Reserve. No Planning Board or Council members currently live there.

9. Former member of the Maryland Legislature.

10. As one who attended U.S.M.A. at West Point with the Class of 1964 and whose father-in-law was a Lieutenant General, I could easily work with the military on BRAC issues.

If you or any Members of the Council have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at any time; for I always answer the phone. 301-652-1500.

Robin Ficker