Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Legislators - Manno is excellent, Elrich not a "people person"

In Montgomery County our district is represented by legislators in their first terms, including a state legislator and an at-large councilman. Roger Manno has a 100% pro-environmental rating by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and Environment Maryland. He received a perfect environmental score for the 2008 Legislative Session. This is Manno's second straight year scoring 100%, making him one of only five sitting Delegates in Maryland with a perfect 100% lifetime environmental rating. I was even more impressed when I called his office during the July 4th Holiday weekend and my call was answered by ... Delegate Manno! We spent 20 minutes talking about how to Save the Chesapeake Bay. His attention and passion were evident throughout the conversation, and his staff contact called me back within a few minutes to follow up. As soon as I got home, I broke out my credit cards and donated to him. Call him and talk to him, and I'm sure you will, too.

On the other hand, I met Marc Elrich at one of his fundraisers when he was running for the seat he won, an at-large Council member in Montgomery County. I paid the entrance fee to the fundraiser, and went to shake his hand and introduce myself. He said he didn't have time to meet me - his sister was visiting. "What?" I said to his retreating back as he hustled away. "Don't you have her vote?" After the election, I saw him at a Women's conference at the U MD campus in Shady Grove. Hundreds of women were there. He leaned on the back wall and then turned his back on the attendees. I snapped a shot, and that's him, circled, the shoulder in the blue shirt, ignoring dozens of constituents in line and having a tete-a-tete with someone he already knows.

It's not just annoying that he avoids voters even when requesting donations. His signature proposal so far has been to work to combine the activities of the County Recreation Department with other programs. The plan might save money, but the biggest cost is the confusion and unrest now created by the proposal for change without a plan for making the change happen.

"OPPONENTS ARE LESS concerned with the territorial dispute between the departments than with the fear that the potential assumption of responsibility for the county’s parks by the Department of Recreation would threaten the integrity and preservation of parkland.

A joint letter signed by representatives of the Audubon Naturalist Society, the West Montgomery County Citizens Association and the Neighbors of Northwest Branch and distributed to media outlets on Friday, March 6 warned that "[r]ecreation [department] contractors are not obliged to include a conservation or stewardship message. The Department itself does not have any track record for environmental stewardship." The letter urged that no action be taken by the Council or the PHED committee before a public hearing on the matter could be scheduled to obtain input from county residents."


Kevin said...


I just read your posting. As Roger Manno's newest hire I like the kind words for Del. Manno. Your words are spot on.

As for your comments about Marc Elrich, I would disagree with on both parts: I have found him to be open and responsive from the first time I met him. Although I was not there you had a disappointing experience. I would contact him again. He and his staff are very good.

(Disclaimer: I volunteered for Marc in 2006 and will support him again in 2010.)

As for his signature proposal being the County Recreation you could not be further from the truth. His signature legislative piece is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Here are some other blog pieces outlining it -- so you will not think that this is my opinion.

This one is Greater Greater Washington which has been in favor of transportation solutions. But the server must be down since I can't get to the site.

Here is an April Gazette piece:

Here is something from the city of Rockville that has some attachments on Elrich's BRT:

I think these links should indicate that BRT is Marc's signature piece of legislation.

As for your experience with Marc, please try again I think you will be pleased. Many of the things that your blog espouses is what Marc is working towards.

Kevin Gillogly

Beltway Progressive said...

Thank you for your comment. I hope I'm wrong about Mr. Elrich. I voted for him, too and I wasn't sure that was the right thing after those two meetings. It's one thing to expect politicians to be all things to all people. Not all of them are social creatures; some are workhorses, which is fine. But so far he is 0-and-2 with me.