Cary Lamari is running for the Montgomery County Council District 5 to work on your behalf to carry out initiatives and improve the effectiveness of government. Support initiatives to deal with climate change, educational opportunities, fight for public safety for our friends, neighbors but especially for our families. To preserve and create affordable housing, improve transportation, and bring good jobs for our residents. Your contribution is critical to supporting our vision and to give you back your voice in government. Thank You

 

 

Democrat for Montgomery County Council District 5

Why I am running for office.

 As a civic activist for over 45 years, I have seen our county change. It is a wonderful community yet faces significant challenges. Our county leadership appears to not look at the big picture but seems to facilitate the squeaky wheel rather than allow for genuine public interest. It is almost impossible to reach county officials and participate in government. This dysfunction is seen in our schools and also in our commitment to mental health.

This is exemplified in the creation of our new general plan, Thrive Montgomery 2050 (Thrive 2050), but the problems are not exclusive to planning. Today our county is seeking to increase density in almost the entire urban and suburban areas of our county, yet Thrive 2050 is deficient and does not take into consideration unintended consequences which would result in this new up-zoning.

The Office of Legislative Oversight has written a negative analysis of Thrive 2050 in its Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) review . Thrive 2050, along with its accompanying zoning change, seeks to allow up-zoning "by right" that does not allow community input and does not consider elements which are necessary for comprehensive growth. Thrive 2050 will increase the cost of housing and increases property taxes (both property assessments and the tax rate). Thrive 2050 will have an adverse impact on naturally occurring affordable housing which will displace residents in need across our county. Thrive 2050 does not adequately address impacts to the environment as -  it promotes increased density, loss of tree canopy, heat island effect and potentially exacerbate flooding, experienced in recent years across our suburban and urban areas. Thrive 2050 does not address the balance between jobs and housing or how and where to develop affordable housing. Thrive 2050 relies on the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) program which is inadequate, rather than seek new and creative ways of addressing affordability.

In a County Council report written by Susan J Farag, Legislative Analyst, in January 2022, the use of guns has increased, homicides have doubled and carjacking have risen over 88 percent in one year.

Our county police department has 1,271 police officers for the entire county. This relates to 1.3 officers per 1,000 residents. This is significantly lower than the average for counties our size. The national average is 2.8 per capita and for suburban areas2.5 per capita. These numbers do not consider the lack of mental health needs in our schools and jails and in the homeless population. We are asking our police to do more with less. Chief Jones says “Montgomery County Police Department will adapt” -  but for public safety, the police need County Council and public support.

In my years of activism, I have worked on many of these issues.  Without political support these problems will only get worse. As former President of the Montgomery County Civic Federation, the Federation sponsored its first forum on mental health. This led to former County Councilmember Blair Ewing to create a “Blue-Ribbon Commission on Mental Health" and its associated report. The findings were never acted upon by the County Council . After the election public interest was lost on these concerns. We should embrace and encourage community participation and lay expertise on such issues.

In 2006 one issue of concern was how to create more affordable housing. I proposed the Community Land Trust (CLT) initiative. No candidate has acted on this proposal, and it is only now CLT is being discussed. I believe my life experience, my volunteerism, my experience of being on numerous transportation committees, master plans committees, boards, and my civic leadership has given me historical knowledge. This knowledge allowed me to study and asses numerous reports from county and state agencies. With this knowledge, I was able to work with residents to improve the quality of life in Montgomery County.

For all these reasons and more I seek the opportunity to represent the residents of District 5 - to improve opportunities for education, vocational training, economic growth, jobs, and housing opportunities. You, our residents deserve better and I will fight to give you better!

 

 

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Paid for by Cary Lamari for County Council, Rocky Lopes, Treasurer
Last updated: 05/11/22.  carylamari@carylamari.net