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Daily journal, 10-14-11

Today I spent some time in Clarksburg with my friend and planning
board member Casey Anderson and separately with District 2 County
Councilmember Craig Rice.

In this picture, note the grassy expanse in the middle of the picture.
That is where the Clarksburg town center retail center is supposed to
be — the grocery stores and so forth that were promised to the
community and have not been delivered.

The sense I get in that part of the county is that the development
moved way too fast, leaving no room for error. The intention was to
build out to a city of more than 40,000 almost overnight. It was all
predicated on infrastructure that was a long way off, such as the
Corridor Cities Transitway, or may never come at all, such as the “mid
county highway”.

Today, as residents will tell you its a land of broken promises. Not
the only one in Montgomery County, but the wounds are fresh.

This year the Council jumpstarted some convenience retail such as a
grocery store in Clarksburg Village with a zoning change, in response
to a citizen suggestion at a town hall that Craig Rice organized.
Hopefully this will help.

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Daily journal, 10-6-11

I started off today meeting with Ana Lopez van Balen, the new mid
county services director, to learn more about her work and see some of
the social services that are provided out of the county building in
Wheaton. Then I stopped in to chat with Mr. Leo, my good friend who
runs Marchones Deli right there in Wheaton. We talked about the coming
redevelopment and how it may affect local small businesses.

Then into a great meeting with advocates from the senior community.
Patrick Lacefield in the county executive’s office is working with me
and a team from Senior Leadership Montgomery as well as nonprofit
service groups to help identify how we can more effectively inform
seniors about transportation options available through 311. We are
making great progress.

Then I met with community leaders from the Lyttonsville area,
including Ms. Charlotte Coffield. They have a challenge with how the
Purple Line will impact their community and I am glad to be able to
help them out. Coincidentally I heard from my dear friend Barbara
Sanders that the Purple Line received a new approval from the US DOT,
which will mean continued progress in design and construction.

Finally, a helpful presentation from Federal Realty about upcoming
development in White Flint.

The council was briefed today on results from the beefed up police
patrols in Silver Spring and Burtonsville. The additional enforcement
has cut crime significantly, which is great news.

Swirling in the background: my impact tax bill, the peace resolution,
the curfew, the fire commission, a big box community benefits
agreement bill with UFCW, politics with MCGEO, and a whole lotta
email.