County Executive Marc Elrich’s memorandum to County Council Oresident Evan Glass, disapproving the appointment of James Hedrick to the Montgomery County Planning Board, and Glass’ statement in response, can be seen below:
“Section 15-103 of the Land Use Article of the Maryland Code provides for the County Executive to approve or disapprove appointments of commissioners to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. On March 1, 2023, the Council submitted the appointment of James Hedrick to me for consideration.
I met with Mr. Hedrick for almost two hours on Friday, March 10, and have reviewed his participation in land use issues in Montgomery County, his comments on social media, and other work. After this review, I have decided to disapprove his appointment to the Planning Board. The Council has taken extraordinary action to address Planning Board improprieties that fueled the public perception that the Planning Board was tendentious with little interest in community input. Our shared goal is to restore confidence in the Board by appointing members who are open-minded, dedicated to the public interest, and committed to transparency. In addition, new board members should welcome robust community participation galvanized by comprehensive public outreach, particularly to racial, ethnic, and low-income communities.
In the nuanced work of planning, there is a need to recognize the opinions and lived experiences of others and to come to the table ready to work together. During my interview with Mr. Hedrick, he made it clear that he has no interest in doing this difficult work. Instead, his comments to me, as well as on social media, demonstrate an ideological close-mindedness as well as a disdain for those whose views do not comport with his. This seems particularly true regarding the widely recognized need for more housing in the county.”
From the Office of Council President Evan Glass: “I am disappointed that County Executive Elrich disapproved James Hedrick’s appointment to the Montgomery County Planning Board. Mr. Hedrick received affirmative votes from a supermajority of councilmembers to become a Planning Board member on Feb. 28.
The Council will discuss County Executive Elrich’s decision on Tuesday, March 28 during our regularly scheduled meeting. “The Council takes the role of appointing individuals to the Planning Board extremely seriously. We will act swiftly and deliberatively, as we remain focused on maintaining the essential work of the Planning Board.”