Council Appoints Temporary Planning Board 

The Montgomery County Council voted Thursday to appoint a temporary Planning Board.

The five members are Jeffrey Zyontz (chair), Amy Presley (vice chair), Cherri Branson, David Hill and Roberto Pinero.

On Tuesday, the council interviewed 11 finalists after the entire board resigned this month after controversy.

Council President Gabe Albornoz stressed the appointments are temporary. Acting members can apply for the full-term position, but he emphasized they do not have an advantage. The next council body, which will be inaugurated Dec. 5, will be charged with selecting new Planning Board members to serve out the rest of the terms.

The expectation is to fill three positions by March 2023 and the other two positions, including the chair, by June 2023. This approach is to ensure continuity of service rather than appointing five new members at once, Albornoz said.

Zyontz is a former legislative attorney for the county council. Presley served two terms on the Planning Board and is a managing partner for Trusted Estate Partners. 

Branson was an interim county councilmember in 2014 and is the former director of the county’s Office of Procurement. Hill was a planning commissioner for the City of Rockville for 10 years and is now a senior systems analyst with Westat. Pinero is a senior analyst in the U.S. Government Accountability Office and a former Housing Opportunities Commission member. He was on the Montgomery County Board of Appeals but stepped down to be a temporary Planning Board member.

Four members were sworn in following the vote. Pinero was not present due to a family emergency, Albornoz said. He will be sworn in at a later date.

Thursday’s vote was unanimous among present councilmembers. Councilmember Hans Riemer was not present due to a family issue, Albornoz said.

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