Council Spokesman to Run for Seat on County Council

Neil Greenberger

Montgomery County spokesman Neil Greenberger said Thursday he was running for an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Council.

He said he was assembling a team of advisers skilled in communications and knowing the “pulse of the community,” he said.

Greenberger, a lifelong Democrat who lives in Damascus, said in February that he was mulling his entry into the 2018 election. Since then, some council watchers have wondered whether he could simultaneously run for office and work for the council.

Term limits have prevented four members from seeking another term, but the remaining five — at-large Councilmember Hans Reimer, and district councilmembers Craig Rice, Sidney Katz, Nancy Navarro and Tom Hucker — have announced or filed candidacies.

“There’s no provision in the county charter to transfer an employee for political reasons. I don’t think this should be the first case,” Greenberger said.

He’s held the job for 11 years. Lately, he spends little time serving as a spokesman for councilmembers, and most of his time running a county television station, he said.

Greenberger also said he does not attend any of the council’s closed meetings, so he doesn’t access to any information that any other candidate would not have.

“The only things I know are what the public has access to,” he said.

Greenberger said he’s talked to several councilmembers and they seem supportive, he said. He has not, however, spoken with Riemer, who could be seen as a competitor because both are vying for one of the council’s four at-large seats.

“I don’t see myself running against him. There are four spots, and three are open,” Greenberger said.

All nine council seats will be on the 2018 ballot. The date of the primary election is June 26, 2018. The general election date is Nov. 6, 2018.

Greenberger said his major issue would be the county budget. For the fiscal 2017 budget, which ends June 30, councilmembers passed an 8.7 property tax increase. The fiscal 2018 budget did not exceed the so-called charter limit. Under the county charter, all nine councilmembers must approve a property tax increase that exceeds the rate of inflation.

“This county cannot take another property tax hike,” Greenberger said. “I will guarantee no budget in the four years I’m in office will exceed the charter limit. That’s a guarantee.”

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County Spokesman Mulls Run for Montgomery Council Seat

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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