Thursday, 13 Dec 2018
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Marc Elrich will be sworn in to Montgomery County management

The elected executive of Montgomery County, Marc Elrich (D), will be sworn in on Monday. (Cal Cary / for the Washington Post) The day after Marc Elrich was elected to the seventh Montgomery County office, he had a moment of panic. "When I woke up … My first thought was," Jesus Christ, I have to find a whole government by December 3. "Elrich spent 12 years at the Montgomery County Council, but it's his first executive position, and in his own words he's "never had to deal with anything and make decisions." And unlike most of the Democrats elected in the blue suburb of Washington it faces a vigorous challenge by a former Democrat in the general election, which left him little time to plan his future before polling day. On Monday, 69-year-old Elrich will take office, along with an all-Democratic County Council of Montgomery County, which will have four new members: Andrew Friedson in District 1, which represents the Potomac-Bethesda area , and tall members, Gabe Albornoz. , Evan Glass and Will Jawando. Elrich has hired several key assistants and managers, but much remains to be done. Assembling his team is just one part of a long list of things to do. The former teacher and member of Takoma City Council promised to re-imagine the county government, a new vision of development progress in Maryland's most populous jurisdiction and a dedication to social programs, such as the Early childhood education, to bridge the growing gap between the underprivileged [Leggett’s ‘soft approach’ boosted Montgomery — for the most part] He already affixes his own stamp on the desk occupied for 12 years by the outgoing county executive, Isiah Leggett (D). For example, he plans to throw the energy-intensive official SUV in favor of an electric vehicle, which reflects his environmental concerns. Elrich said the range of changes that he envisions will take time. His first item on the agenda is to meet the deadline of March 15 to present a budget for the fiscal year 2020 that does not levy any tax. "I've been careful not to go out there and say I'm going to go. . . do these 20 things and give people a Christmas tree, "said Elrich." Because I thought, knowing that there was no money, it would be false promises. "
Democrat Marc Elrich, in the middle, is campaigning at John F. Kennedy High School with Democrat Governor Ben Jealous on the left and outgoing Council President Tom Hucker (D-District 5) on the right. Wheaton, Md., Election Day. (Cheryl Diaz Meyer / For the Washington Post) Senator of State Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), Governor Candidate this year,
will be Elrich's budget director, replacing Jennifer Hughes, who was retiring. Robin Riley will lead the recreation department where she will serve as division chief. Elrich says he does not anticipate any change in police, fire or corrections and intends to keep all the directors of regional service centers. Other positions – such as the new directors of housing and health services and personal services – remain to be determined, and Elrich said he planned to conduct national research for "a set of posts ". "I think we will find good candidates," he added. I said. "I think it's a big country – a lot of people would like to work here." Elrich, who was strongly supported by the unions, said he had made appointments without consulting anyone – including Gino Renne, the 1994 UFCW Local MCGEO leader, representing service employees. County. The union, which had supported Elrich in the primary and general elections, had asked the candidates to allow union leaders to give their opinion on potential recruitments. Elrich said that he was open to this return for other appointments. "I think it's good to give people who are affected by the appointees [a chance] to at least give me their thoughts, tell me if I miss something, "said Elrich. "No one is sitting on my shoulder."
The elected executive of Montgomery County, Marc Elrich, in the center, chats with Karen Brooks, left, secretary of the Leisure World Democratic Club, and Elrich's driver, Clay Teunis, right, while He was campaigning on election day. (Cheryl Diaz Meyer / For The Washington Post)[[[[
Marc Elrich has a huge mandate. But there are still some flaws to fix.]As executive director, Elrich chose Andrew Kleine, a resident of Silver Spring who entrusted Baltimore with "budgeting results" – the city's budget director – a method of spending money to achieve goals. rather than gradually increasing the funding of the departments. He described Kleine as "more financially conservative than me," saying that he wanted people around him to challenge his beliefs. "I'm not sure I'm not economically conservative," Elrich said. "But I did not have to work at that level." He has already launched some of Kleine's ideas, bringing together a transition team of over 190 people from across the county, each charged with evaluating a Different "priority outcome" – a growing economy. , easier travel, safer neighborhoods. Marilyn Balcombe, President of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, sits on the Economic Growth Team. Balcombe, who nearly won one of the Democratic nominations for a seat on the General Council in June, said she was not always in agreement with Elrich – but that "there is no reason for it. she was happy to be placed in the transition team, along with some other businessmen. . "Even though we have often been on the opposite side of the problems or do not quite see the same thing, I think there is mutual respect," Balcombe said. "The thing about Mark is he's a smart guy and he does his homework. He does not make decisions without doing the work. "
Marc Elrich, left, shakes hands with Barron Oakcrum, of Silver Spring, after a candidates' forum held at the East County County Recreation Center in Silver Spring in October. (Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post) Elrich, a self – proclaimed activist and community organizer, has organized numerous listening sessions across the country, just like Leggett Town Halls during his own transition to 2006. Her First Saturday Afternoon At Kingsview Middle School in Germantown, a large audience interviewed Elrich on topics as varied as simple questions: When will society stop burning coal for the first time? ;electricity? – small businesses: could he consider re-stripping the Germantown library car park? Citing concerns about climate change, he told the audience that as the county executive, he would not "drive under current conditions" (in official business, Leggett used a Chevrolet Suburban). Instead, he wants to use an electric car, like his personal vehicle, a Nissan Leaf. He also plans to ask a musician friend to give weekly guitar lessons at the county executive's office during his lunch breaks. During a listening session in Eastern County – a region that has long been
felt overwhelmed by opportunities and resources – tenants shared concerns about black mold and the feeling they were ignored by the county. Elrich described the complaints as embarrassing and humiliating. [Montgomery still waiting for list of ‘problem’ apartments] He and a board member, Tom Hucker (D-District 5), co-sponsored legislation in 2016 to increase the number of inspections in problem buildings after a devastating explosion at Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring killed seven people. Two years later, work is still going on. "I want to get there," said Elrich in an interview. He has accepted the resignation of Clarence Snuggs, director of housing, and plans to sit down Tuesday with housing department officials to emphasize his expectation of an "aggressive regime of inspections". Elrich also plans to work on closing Dickerson's incinerator. problem of knowing where to get rid of garbage from Montgomery County. He refuses to send it to landfills: "I do not want to bury him in a poor neighborhood in Virginia," he said.
Marc Elrich, on the right, greets voters with candidate Ben Jealous, then governor, on the left, before a candidates' forum in Rockville in September. (Bill O 'Leary / The Washington Post) He is awaiting the result of a benchmarking exercise that he asked Sidney Katz (D-District 3), a board member, to compare with Montgomery to other jurisdictions, such as Frederick or Northern Virginia, to determine: whether the country's reputation for being unfriendly to business is deserved. "If people can literally go elsewhere and open a business in three months, and it takes a year to do it here, something is wrong," Elrich said. As an executive of a county with a "strong council" government, Elrich knows his power will be somewhat limited. He will have to pressure the nine-member council to pass the law he has sent. On land use – a special passion of his – it's the county council, not the executive, who makes the decisions. But, still organizer of the community, he knows that he still holds his own power. "I can not decide, but I can weigh it, I have to analyze it. I can talk to the community, "said Elrich. "Then I will organize."

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