MCDCC HEARING ON BALLOT QUESTIONS
At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7, the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee will hold a public hearing to obtain additional input on the ballot questions that will be on the general elections ballot. The hearing will be held at the headquarters of the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), 12 Taft Court, Rockville.
The following questions will be on the ballot:
* Question A: an amendment to the County Charter which has been sought by the County Council and, if adopted, would “allow special elections to fill vacancies in the office of County Executive, using the same language as is currently used to provide for elections to fill vacancies in the office of County Council Member.” Here is the link to the Charter Review Commission Report, which recommended this measure:
* Question B: an amendment to the County Charter, based on a petition circulated by Robin Ficker, which would limit terms of the County Executive and County Council members, including incumbents in those positions, to three terms, whether they were elected to three full terms or initially served a partial term before serving two full terms. Here are links to reports on term limits by the Charter Review Commission:
* Question C: an amendment to the County Charter, which has been sought by the County Council and, if adopted, would apply the term limit only to a person who has served 2 years or more of a term. Thus, if Questions B and C pass, Council members Berliner, Elrich, Floreen, and Leventhal could not run for reelection in 2018, but Council member Navarro could, since Question C would preclude term limits coverage for an Executive or Council member whose first term was a partial term of less than two years. This report explains Resolution 18-590, which placed Question C on the ballot:
The language of all three County Questions is contained in this document:
* Question 1: a statewide referendum which, if adopted, will change the way the Governor fills a vacancy of the Attorney General or the Comptroller and requires a special election for vacancies that occur on or before a certain date. The amendment originated in a bill, HB260, which Delegate David Moon (D-20) introduced. Here is the link to the fiscal note for the bill, which the Maryland Department of Legislative Services prepared:
* Retention of Court of Special Appeals Judges Patrick Woodward of Montgomery County and Dan Friedman (At Large)
* Retention of Montgomery Circuit Court Judges John M. Maloney, Karla Smith, and Harry Storm
(Earlier releases incorrectly identified other judges as being on the Montgomery County ballot.)
If you are interested in testifying at the MCDCC hearing, contact the Central Committee by phone at (301) 946-1000, by e-mail at MontgomeryDems@msn.com, or in person (or by mail) at 3720 Farragut Avenue #303, Kensington, MD 20895. Please indicate which question(s) you want to address. (Speakers will be grouped by question.) Requests to testify must be received by the Central Committee no later than noon, Friday, September 2. Each speaker will be allowed to speak for 2 minutes, though speakers for groups may have up to 3 minutes.
Whether or not you wish to speak at the September 7 hearing, if you wish to submit materials for the Advisory Committee to consider, submit an electronic copy of your materials by e-mail by noon, September 6. Speakers should also submit 15 paper copies of their statements at the hearing.
The MCDCC Ballot Questions Advisory Committee has already been studying these questions. Based on the testimony and materials received by the Ballot Questions Advisory Committee (as well as additional research conducted by the members of the Committee) the Advisory Committee will prepare a report which states the best arguments for and against each ballot question). The report should be sent to all precinct chairs, vice chairs, area coordinators, Central Committee members, presidents of Democratic clubs, and current and former elected officials on or about September 8.
On September 22, the Precinct Organization (i.e., the precinct chairs, vice chairs, and area coordinators) will meet to decide its position on each of the questions – whether the party should support the question, oppose the question, or take no position on it. In addition to members of the Precinct Organization, it has been customary to allow Central Committee members, members of the Ballot Questions Advisory Committee, and current and former Democratic elected officials to address the body. Presidents of chartered Democratic clubs and caucuses will also be welcome to address the body. This very important meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. on September 22 at the County Council Building Auditorium, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville.
Once the Precinct Organization meeting adjourns, the Central Committee will meet and take its position on each of the ballot questions. The MCDCC decision will be whether to accept or reject the Precinct Organization recommendation. If MCDCC agrees with the Precinct Organization on a given question, that will be the position of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. If the Central Committee disagrees with the Precinct Organization on a particular ballot question, the Party will be neutral on that ballot question.
If you have any questions, you may contact Alan Banov at firstname.lastname@example.org.