A Conversation With Reemberto Rodriguez
It’s a New Year and the Silver Spring Advisory Board is gearing up to hear from local residents on what they’d like to see happen in the area. I caught up with Silver Spring Regional Center Director Reemberto Rodriguez to discuss the role of the advisory board and the hot button topics that will be on the table this year.
Can you describe what the Silver Spring Advisory Board does for those unfamiliar with it?
We take a lot of pride in Silver Spring in having this advisory board. The board is a very helpful tool in providing advice on issues in the area to the council. It is the smallest regional area both geographically and in population but because of urbanization and the fact that it’s the stage for a lot of hot topic issues, Silver Spring is often the center of a lot of major County discussions.
What are some of the hot button issues that you’ll tackle this year?
Each regional area has a budget forum this month and those are going to be critical to have the community provide input. In addition, the board will deal with everything from development issues and major projects to stuff like food security and issues that are relevant throughout the region. Also prominent of course is the Purple Line as well as decisions on what to do with certain public assets like the soon to be old library or the soon to be old police station and how those facilities are re-purposed.
What are some of the board’s accomplishments from last year?
We have transitioned the board into a constructive and positive community building instrument and I’m very proud of how this board has evolved. The advisory board has a pedestrian bike and safety group and the efforts to get the point across on pedestrian safety has been incredible. Later last year promotional materials for pedestrian safety that appear on buses were first introduced in Spanish in Long Branch and in downtown Silver Spring. That was a great addition. It’s constantly a battle for the committee on how to transition a road system that’s for cars into an urban space that welcomes walking.
The Silver Spring Advisory Board holds its next meeting at the Silver Spring Civic Building on Monday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the board’s website here.