Thursday, January 22, 2009

what's up the pike: not the change i expected

- District 4 Councilmember Don Praisner (at left) is in intensive care at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda this week for an unknown period of time following stomach tests. While they're still waiting on the results, aide Joy Nurmi told the Gazette that the councilmember - who won a special election last year to finish the rest of his late wife Marilyn Praisner's term - has "not been eating and has been losing some weight." Meanwhile, daughter Alison Klumpp says she might run to succeed both of her parents on the County Council in 2010.

- Speaking of which: the County Council's Transportation & Energy Committee will be reviewing the Purple Line today (warning! PDF file), discussing potential modes and routes for the controversial transitway between Bethesda and New Carrollton before the whole council votes for it on the 27th. All three committee members - Roger Berliner, Nancy Floreen and George Leventhal - have expressed support for using light-rail on the Purple Line, so we wonder how much of a discussion it may actually be.

- The Gazette does a proper write-up of IMPACT Silver Spring's Silver Spring Action meet-up last week. While I thought some of the discussion was a little patronizing, I can't overstate how inspiring it was to meet so many people who actually want to be/are already involved in the Silver Spring community, which is always a plus. (I also can't overstate how much I enjoyed the Swedish meatballs, though they were cold by the time I arrived.)


Thomas Hardman said...

Best wishes to Mr Praisner for a speedy recovery. The County Council needs a voice for commonsense and moderation, slow (if any) growth and the sort of fiscal prudence that can't quite see the need for a $65,000 bathroom for the County Exec.

While Ms Klumpp seems to be a reasonable choice for someone who -- as a schoolteacher -- can credibly oppose Nancy Navarro on education issues, I'm not sure that it's a good idea to deepen the perception that District 4 is "owned" by the Praisner clan. I have nothing against the Praisners nor against Ms Klumpp. Indeed, though I certainly didn't agree with everything the former councilwoman said or did, nobody can deprecate her on the basis of competence, diligence, or tenacity. A lot of people have said that Marilyn Praisner was the to solid rock around which Council politics ebbed and flowed.

Still, political family dynasty isn't a concept that finds too much favor in America, and certainly it has produced mixed results; witness both the Kennedy, and the Bush, dynasties.

In any case, there's a lot more to District 4 -- East Montgomery -- than Calverton, and I'd like to see someone on the Council who can represent Aspen Hill and Burtonsville and other places West of Columbia Pike because they know the territory and don't just hold their breath as they drive through it on their way to downtown Rockville. It's easy to live someplace like Calverton and entertain the delusion that "it's all good". To fix the persistent problems in places like Layhill or Glenmont or Aspen Hill, we will need someone who knows crapification when they see it and who isn't afraid to forcefully plant their foot in the backside of the complacency that insists that no applecart may be upset, even if every last apple in it is rotten.

Even though they are Democrats, I have to say that our "new" State Delegates and State Senator in District 19 mostly "came out of nowhere" and have done a pretty good job in the face of mounting adversity; realism is forcing Centrism. Can't we get more Democrats to "come out of nowhere", rather than from dynasties, and step up to the plate and not "whiff"?

Who else is ready to run, Democrat or otherwise?

I nominate Dan Reed. ;)

Robin Ficker said...

Don Praisner is a really nice guy and the only one on the council who has any sense of fiscal responsibility. Stay strong Don!