ROCKVILLE, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Are all voters in the northern part Montgomery County getting the same representation as the rest of the county? A group of residents says no, and they pushing a major revamp of how the county council is structured. At issue are a pair competing ballot questions on this issue.
The way it’s currently made up Montgomery County’s Council has five members that represent individual districts, and four “At Large” members that represent the entire county.
Now, a group called “Nine for MoCo” wants to get rid of the four “At Large” at-large county council seats. Instead, they want 9 districts in Montgomery County, each represented by its own Council member. The question “D” ballot question is being fueled by people in growing “up county” areas like Urbana and Clarksburg who say their community has expanded and now needs its own Council member.
“This is something that we don’t have currently. Period!” says organizer Kim Prassard an organizer of 9 for MoCo, telling FOX 5 “what we want to do with 9 districts is restructure the County Council by eliminating those “at large” representative seats and create 9 separate cohesive districts that would give us better representation”
But it turns out – one of the “At Large” Council members who’s seat would be eliminated under “Question D” has come up with his own called “Question C.” Under this competing proposal, if voters approve it would both expand the Council and retain those “At Large” seats.
At Large Council member Evan Glass’s “Question C” would expand the Council to 11 council members adding two brand new districts. The Council member tells Fox 5 he thinks “The best way to increase democracy, increase representation is to increase the size of the council by adding two district so that we have better representation and so that every resident of Montgomery county is still able to vote for five members of the Council.”
So with both of competing ballot Questions C & D on the ballot November 3 at the same time – what happens if they both pass? Well – it’s not concrete but the councilman says lawyers believe they could cancel each other out, leaving the status quo.