Deborah Vollmer for Town Council
I respectfully ask for your vote in the election for Town Council.
I am a retired attorney, and I currently live in the house where I grew up. I have served on both the Town Land Use Committee, and the Long Range Planning Committee. Please see my website at http://www.deborahvollmer.com, for more about my background and experience.
My positions on issues (also discussed at length on my website) include the following:
Although I am, in general, in favor of increasing options for public transportation, I am adamantly opposed to the current planned alignment of the Purple Line. The Trail with its canopy of mature trees is a treasure: a haven for birds and other wildlife, and for us human beings, who crave relief from the hustle and bustle of development and construction all around us. There is simply insufficient room along the Trail for both a two-track commuter train and the canopy of trees. The Trail borders Coquelin Run, and development of the Purple Line as it is planned will negatively impact the quality of our water. I propose that we continue to fight the current Purple Line alignment by all legal means necessary, including a three-pronged strategy of lobbying, litigation, and public relations.
In addition, I propose a short Moratorium on building in our Town, with limited exceptions for emergencies, to allow the Town Council, with input from the residents, to revisit the building code, with an aim to strengthen protections for the privacy of neighbors to construction, and to protect green space, the tree canopy, and the environment in general. The rewrite of the building code several years ago was written with good intentions, but the actual substance of the ordinance has fallen short of the promise of the preliminary language of the ordinance (all those “whereas” clauses). While our Town has actively opposed various threats posed by “development” outside of the Town’s borders to our quality of life here in the Town, I believe that the Town has caved in to the economic interests of the builders and developers, when it comes to building within our Town. These builders all too often, with the permission of the Town, and with their slick sales pitches to would-be new owners, tear down well-built older homes with large yards and canopy trees, to build a huge houses, too big for the lots on which they are constructed---all at the expense of trees and green space--- and all in the name of profit.
I am also proposing that the Town, through its Climate and Environment Committee, continue to educate us on the dangers of excessive use of pesticides. I favor an ordinance restricting the use of pesticides, as has been enacted in Takoma Park, so that we may better protect bees, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife, as well as water quality. We all want to do what we want on our own property, but the truth of the matter is that when dangerous pesticides are applied on one piece of land, wind and storm water may sweep them on to the properties of neighbors and Town right of way. Ultimately, these pesticides seep into our water supply to the detriment of all of us. Please see my website, for further information.
I am also proposing electoral reforms to make our Town Manager, who holds a well-paid, full time job with the Town with no term limits, and who is the public face of our Town on a day to day basis, more accountable to our residents. I would give residents the option every other Town Council election to either approve or disapprove the performance of the Town Manager. A majority no vote would prompt a special meeting of the Town Council, wherein the Town Manager would be called upon to justify his performance before the Council and the residents. For more on this, please see my website.
In these last days of the campaign, I will continue my effort to speak one-on-one with as many Town residents as I can. Please feel free to drop me an e-mail message, or give me a call. I would like to discuss my positions on the issues, and also hear your views and respond to your questions.
Deborah A. Vollmer
Candidate for Town Council
7202 44th Street
Telephone: (301) 652-5762
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