[This message appeared on the towncrier listserve on April 28, 2009.]


In this brief campaign cycle for the election of the Town Council for the Town of Chevy Chase, I would like to take a little time to introduce myself.  You may have already seen the brief campaign statement that I prepared for the special election edition of the Forecast.  If you haven’t yet seen it, you will be receiving it in the mail from the Town.  It is also available to be viewed online, both on the Town’s website, and on my own website at http://www.deborahvollmer.com. That particular page on my website can be seen at http://www.deborahvollmer.com/council%20statement.htm.

For a more detailed description of my positions on a variety of issues of concern to the Town, I invite you to review my position paper on the issues, which I have posted on my website.  The link to that particular page is http://www.deborahvollmer.com/council%20issues.htm.

I have lived in the Town since 1997, but in a sense I have lived in the Town all of my life.  I was born on January 15, 1948, at Suburban Hospital, and brought home by my parents to live in the house that I live in now at 7202 44th Street; and I grew up there, attending Chevy Chase Elementary, Leland Junior High, and B-CC.  My home was not within the city limits of the Town when I was a child, but it was added to the Town at a time when the Town was facing threats to the tranquility of the Town by major commercial development at its edges.  My father, Erwin P. Vollmer, was an early proponent of adding our neighborhood to the Town.  He knew Jane Lawton well, and worked with her, as a fellow community activist.

After college (Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts), I went to law school (University of Maryland School of Law), and after law school, I moved to California where I spent my life as a young lawyer, working for the United Farm Workers, and then for a legal aid office in Bakersfield, and then with my own sole practice, also in Bakersfield.  I moved back to my childhood home in Chevy Chase in 1997 to stay with my father, who passed away in 2004, at the age of ninety-eight.  I continue to enjoy my life in the home that I love, but I now find enjoyment of my modest-sized home with its lovely trees and greenspace to be threatened by what a builder/developer wants to build directly next door to me. 

I find that in my situation, at least, the newly enacted building code is really no protection at all, that trees and greenspace are threatened, that the prePAC (Prepermit application consultation) that we went through was a joke, and that the building ordinance contains nothing to protect me, or any other homeowner in my situation, from building plans that would impede one’s access to one’s own garage via a shared driveway.  I realize that many good people spent many hours crafting the new building code, and in general I view it as a positive step forward.  But it simply does not go far enough.  I have some particular recommendations for amending the building code, which I have set forth in more detail in the position paper on my website. 

I also discuss a variety of other issues in that position paper, and I invite you to take a look.  Issues that I discuss in that paper include these topics:  Historic designation, appointment of a commission to study and make recommendations regarding affordable housing, revising the eligibility requirements for voting in Town elections, my thoughts on the issue of dog parks, saving the Trail (we must!), anticipated problems with the switch to digital television, and a need to regulate the use of LPG and/or propane heaters at construction sites.

I look forward to meeting with as many of you as I can within the next few days, before the election.  I am willing to meet with individual Town residents or with groups, just by myself, or along with the other candidates for Town Council. These meetings could be at individual homes, in nearby parks, at the Town Hall, or at local restaurants.  If you would like to arrange such a meeting, please send me an e-mail at dvollmer@verizon.net or give me a call at (301) 652-5762.


                                                                                                Deborah A. Vollmer

                                                                                                Candidate for Town Council

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