Members Sought for Board of Appeals and Other County Panels

The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants for a four-year term on the county Board of Appeals.

And County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking new members for the Board of Social Services, the Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs and the Charter Review Commission.

The term of Board of Appeals Chair Carolyn Shawaker will expire in September 2017, and she is not eligible for reappointment.

Applications for the position must be received no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 19. Under council policy, councilmembers do not consider applications received after the deadline. After the application closing date, councilmembers will review the letters of application and may select applicants for interview.

County law provides that the council may designate a board member as chair. The council will select a new chair in conjunction with this appointment process.

By law, no more than three members of the board can be from the same political party. Shawaker is a Democrat. Her successor can be a Democrat, a Republican, a voter who has declined to affiliate with a party or a voter who is a member of another party officially recognized by the Board of Elections.

In addition to Shawaker, current members of the board include John Pentecost, Democrat; Stan Boyd, Democrat; Edwin Rosado, unaffiliated; and Bruce Goldensohn, Republican. Members of county boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time.

Members of the board receive $15,272 annually; the chair receives $21,584. Salaries are adjusted each December to reflect 50 percent of the change in the Washington-area Consumer Price Index.

Duties of the Board of Appeals include hearing and deciding requests for variances from development standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance; hearing appeals from certain administrative decisions rendered by county government agencies; and hearing oral argument on and deciding appeals from decisions of the hearing examiner on conditional uses. The board also considers and decides requests for modifications of special exceptions.

The board normally holds weekly hearings all day Wednesday and worksessions every other week. If necessary to accommodate an extended caseload or continued hearings, the board schedules hearings on other weekdays.

Members are expected to prepare for the hearings by reading the cases to be heard and to share the workload of drafting and editing opinions or to follow-up on investigations on specific cases. Members work about 15-25 hours a week.

The principal jurisdiction of the Board of Appeals (concerning variances, special exceptions and conditional uses under the Zoning Ordinance) does not include the municipalities of Barnesville, Brookeville, Gaithersburg, Laytonsville, Poolesville, Rockville and Washington Grove. The normal council practice is not to appoint residents of those municipalities to the board; however, exceptions to this practice may occur.

Letters expressing interest, including a resume listing professional and civic experience, political party affiliation, home and office telephone numbers and an email address, should be addressed to: Council President Roger Berliner, County Council Office, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, Maryland 20850 or can be emailed to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Letters of application and resumes are made public as part of the appointment process. Any interviews held are open to the public and will be televised. A financial statement of assets, debts, income and family property interests will be required of all applicants. Only the appointed candidate will be required to make the financial statement available to the public.

Boards, committees and commissions that Leggett fills are described at this webpage. The page includes a link to vacancy announcements.

The deadline to apply to the        Board of Social Services is July 21. The deadline to apply for Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs is July 28. The deadline to apply to the Charter Review Commission is July 26.

The 13-member Board of Social Services advises county and state health and human services officials on matters relating to local social services programs. Members serve three-year terms without compensation. Meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in Rockville.

The four vacancies are now filled by individuals who can be reappointed.

The 11-member Charter Review Commission has a vacancy that must be filled by a resident non-Democrat — a voter who has joined the Green, Libertarian or Republican parties, or who has declined to affiliate — and who is registered to vote.

The commission reviews the County Charter and makes recommendations on proposed charter amendments. Members serve four-year terms without compensation. No more than six can be from the same political party.

The term of the position to be filled ends in December 2018.

The County Council appoints members of the commission every four years, five of whom are appointed from a list of names submitted by the County Executive. The chair is designated by the Council and the vice chair is designated by the County Executive.

Commission reports are submitted no later than May 1 of even-numbered years. These reports contain recommendations concerning any proposed Charter amendments.

Meetings are held the second Wednesday morning of every month from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., at the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville.

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