voices…to disagree with you. When
you’re chief executive and you have both
administrative authority and sort of
symbolic importance, it’s not appropriate. [Editor’s note: Frick was alluding to
a comment made late last year by Councilmember Marc Elrich, a rival candidate
for county executive, who accused the
Montgomery County Planning Board of
“ethnic cleansing” in its 2013 sector plan
for the Long Branch community adjacent
to the route of the future Purple Line.]
Over the next decade, what do you
feel are the major challenges facing
;e most important [issue] is grow-
ing our tax base. We are 20th out of 24
local jurisdictions [in Maryland] in job
growth. Coming out of the recession,
our per capita income [growth] was
negative 1. 7 percent. D.C.’s was plus 6
percent. [In Virginia], Tysons 10 years
ago was a mall. Tysons today is the eco-
nomic center of a city. Meanwhile, you
can’t point to much in Montgomery
County that has that same kind of excite-
ment and transformation.
;ere’s certainly no question that the
number of people in need in our community has grown. People still think of
Montgomery County as this a;uent
community, and in some ways we are.
You can drive around Potomac and you
see that. People might not believe that
41 percent of the kids in our elementary
schools are on free and reduced meals.
We as a community want to welcome
those kids and guarantee they’ve got a
bright future. But we’re going to have to
have a robust tax base to a;ord that.
Had you been on the county council
in 2016, would you have been part
of the unanimous majority that was
required under the county charter to
raise property taxes by an average of
almost 9 percent?
No, I would have done what County
Executive [Ike] Leggett recommended.
If you remember the history, the [state]
legislature was able to get some relief
on payments related to the Wynne tax
decision [which mandated refunds to
county residents who paid local income
taxes elsewhere]. [Leggett] urged [the
council] not to increase [taxes] as much
as they did. Ike has made it very clear
that the additional revenue never went
to the school system. And that’s what I
hear when I’m talking to folks around
the county: ‘ We don’t mind paying taxes
if it’s for schools and roads and cops. We
get frustrated because it feels like the
taxes have gone up, and then gone into
pet projects for the councilmembers.’
[Editor’s note: At issue is about $18
million the council approved for fiscal
year 2017 above what Leggett had
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