What background uniquely qualifies you for this position?
I have served as County Executive before from 1994-2006, and we did a lot, including revitalize downtown Silver Spring, build Strathmore Hall, all our high schools were ranked in the top 3% nationwide and we led Maryland in job creation. We need stronger, hands-on, responsible leadership to get things done to close the achievement gap, solve the school construction crisis, lead the state again in job creation instead of job loss as we currently do, and provide a government that works for you, including safely fixing and opening the Silver Spring Transit Center.
What is the next step for dealing with the Silver Spring Transit Center? Who is to blame for the many problems?
The Silver Spring Transit Center is an absolute fiasco. As the saying goes, “success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.” Montgomery County is the owner of this project responsible for its construction, yet our County leaders are not accepting responsibility and are holding no one accountable for the gross County mismanagement. As the next County Executive, my solution to the Silver Spring transit center is to:
- Make getting the transit center open safely my top priority
- Appoint new county leadership to oversee the project to ensure proper construction oversight
- Layout to the public detailed plan from experts on what needs to be done to safely fix it
- Address any and all safety concerns from residents and commuters
- Increase transparency and honesty by providing weekly updates on the Center’s progress
- Hold all those responsible for this mess accountable.
What is your strategy for reducing traffic in Montgomery County?
We need an “all of the above” approach to solve our traffic woes in Montgomery County, and we need a leader who can get things done. I want to
1) Hold WMATA Accountable and improve Red Line service
2) Improve Ride-On services throughout the entire county
3) Begin construction of the Purple Line with an effective and conscientious plan
4) Initiate Cycle Montgomery Plan of setting yearly goals of miles of new, dedicated bike lanes
5) Implement the CCT and continue work on BRT
6) Build express lanes up I-270
How will you promote green technology over the next term?
As I have laid out in My Leadership in Action Agenda, which is my vision for the future and you can find on www.dougduncan.com/issues, Green economy and technology plays a large part in what I want to do as the next County Executive. I want to actually stick to a plan of lowering our carbon footprint through measurable, scalable and economically sound approaches. I also want to create an Agricultural Reserve Ombudsman, which will help improve the green and agricultural economy. In addition, I want to focus on growing the innovation economy and make Montgomery County the startup center for the region. This means expanding our business incubators, instead of shutting them down, where technology companies can start and grow, especially green technology companies like at the Bethesda Green incubator. You can read much more about my green and environmental platform at www.dougduncan.com/issues.
What is your plan for keeping/making Montgomery County affordable?
By creating quality jobs and safely completing public transit options, Montgomery County can continue its tradition of helping those who need it most —whether it’s being a national leader on affordable housing or, when I was previously County Executive, creating the first local earned income tax credit (EITC) in the United States. More jobs mean more county tax revenue to continue to fund our affordable housing initiatives & anti-poverty tools like the EITC. Unfortunately, under current county leadership, Montgomery County leads the state of Maryland in job loss and has failed to open the Silver Spring Transit Center. We need new leadership focused on economic development and who will break through the paralysis by analysis and safely open the Silver Spring Transit Center.
Does the county need to cut its budget?
Tax revolts often spark from taxpayers feeling they are not getting in return what they are paying for—such as the already $120m sunk into the unsafe, unopened Silver Spring Transit Center. Montgomery County must strive to provide as an efficient and effective government as possible so that residents and taxpayers feel they are getting the most out of the county spending their tax dollars. Unfortunately that is not the case and current County leadership is squandering millions of your tax dollars – whether because of gross county mismanagement of the Silver Spring Transit Center or illegally pushing partisan political agendas on county time and dollars. As I have before, I will bring hands-on, effective and responsible leadership to our County Government with the attitude of “if it ain’t broke you haven’t looked.” You can always improve on what you do.
What services are inadequate?
As I have stated above, by bringing the “if it ain’t broke you haven’t looked” attitude to County Government, my administration will always strive to improve upon itself so that residents get the best possible government that works for them. Specifically though, to name just a few, the Department of General Services, the department responsible for the Silver Spring Transit Center, is grossly inadequate; the Department of Permitting services makes it impossible for an entrepreneur and small business owner to start a company or grow; and the Office of Public Information, as reported by The Gazette, often ignores requests via the Freedom of Information Act. That is the government of the status quo, and residents deserve better. That is why I am running, to bring hands-on, effective and responsible leadership to County Government.
If you could enact a single change for Montgomery County, what would it be?
I want to bring a lot of fresh ideas & energy to Montgomery County, all of which I have laid out in my Leadership in Action Agenda, which you can find on my website – www.dougduncan.com/issues. Some of them include
- Making Wheaton the next major revitalization effort in the county,
- Bringing gigabit internet speeds to Montgomery County,
- Safely open the Silver Spring Transit Center,
- Closing the widening achievement gap,
- Establishing a special needs task force so that Montgomery County becomes a national model in helping those populations,
- Creating an applied sciences graduate research center like what Mayor Bloomberg did in NYC,
- Becoming the leader in job creation in Maryland instead of job loss as we are currently doing
- Attracting new jobs by making Montgomery County the startup center for the region and state.
- Brickyard Coalition
- Congressman John K Delaney
- Montgomery County Firefighters, Local IAFF 1664
- Montgomery County Police, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35
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