Had you been on the county council
in 2016, would you have been part of
the unanimous majority that voted to
raise property taxes by an average of
almost 9 percent?
No. In the position the [council] found
themselves in, I think what would have
been appropriate would have been to
follow [County Executive Ike] Leggett’s
recommendation, which I think was
roughly a 6. 2 percent increase. The
council put themselves in a very difficult position, because for 15 years we
haven’t created jobs: We created 3,900
private sector jobs while the population
has grown by 150,000. It’s roughly one
job for every 38 residents. What that has
done is to put a tremendous strain on
everything—our roadways, the schools,
the tax base.
After vetoing an earlier version,
County Executive Leggett last year
signed a bill to make the county the
only one in Maryland with a $15-per-
hour minimum wage. Would you have
signed that legislation?
My strong preference would have been to
see this measure at a more regional level.
You can drive 20 minutes in any direction and be outside our county, and the
concern about losing jobs is a real one.
And [raising the minimum wage is] at
Are you supportive of Gov. Larry
best a partial solution several years down
the road. By any study that you see…the
cost of living here is significantly higher
than $15. In fact, someone would have
to work 100 hours a week at $15 an hour
to make ends meet. Right now, there
are something like 40,000 jobs available
in Montgomery County. I would like to
invest in programs that train those indi-
viduals to fill those jobs. ;e plan that I
am proposing is not how do we get folks
to $15 an hour, but how do we get them
to $30, $40, $50 an hour—so they can live
and work in Montgomery County.
Hogan’s plan to widen I- 270 and I-495
and include toll lanes? What are your
I divide [transportation] up into short-term solutions and long-term solutions.
What can we do right now for our residents? First, fix Metro. Second, we’ve
done a nice job with the east-to-west
tra;c—the Intercounty Connector and
the Purple Line—and we’ve got to start
thinking about the north-south. With
regard to the governor’s specific plan,
it’s easy to be critical, but at least he’s
put forth a plan for us to consider. I
think we have to have reversible lanes
on I- 270.
I would make the Ride On buses free.
Right now, we’re subsidizing [fares]
at about 80 percent. If you look at the
utilization of our Ride Ons, you see six