A quiet week is predicted. The biggest question for the White Flint Sector Plan remains the Montgomery County Executive’s proposal to raise taxes on all White Flint residents to pay for needed infrastructure (the Planning Board had recommended a far different proposal, with most funds coming from a special tax levied only on new commercial development in the area and no new residential taxes). Vacation schedules are impeding progress, and the upcoming September primary elections make it unlikely that most County officials will spend significant time on this topic. But, thanks to Dave Freishtat, Friends of White Flint Board member representing the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, and also expert in financing policy, here’s a brief update:
County Executive: No financing plan will be possible without the active participation of the County Executive, so his views are critical. Ike Leggett’s chief staffer on this issue is Diane Jones, who described the earlier proposal to tax all existing White Flint residents as only a “very rough and virtually unvetted draft.” The Executive’s office is holding “stakeholder” meetings on the draft. As of the end of last week, no more fleshed-out proposal was forthcoming.
County Council: Despite several promises to have financing legislation introduced by the end of July, the Council can’t proceed without the County Executive’s draft. So the Council is into recess now, with elections upcoming, and little is likely to happen in the next few weeks.
Friends of White Flint will hold a community meeting when (and if) a financing plan is introduced. But in the absence of a concrete response from the Executive’s office, that meeting has not been scheduled.
We’ll let you know when we hear something.