Candidate Survey: Robert Dyer for Montgomery County Council At-Large
Office Sought and District
Montgomery County Council (At-Large)
BA – Cum Laude, History.
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Founder, publisher Suburban News Network
Elected member Montgomery County Republican Central Committee (2006-2010); civic activist on transportation, development and disability access issues (2006-present).
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Why are you running for office?
Our corrupt County Council has failed by every measure, and doesn’t listen to the citizens who pay their outrageously-high salaries. Montgomery County was once a major economic player in the region. Now our economy is moribund, our schools are in decline, homicides and gang activity are skyrocketing, and our developer-controlled Council and Planning Board are destroying our great suburban neighborhoods with urbanization. Enough is enough!
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
George Washington. Leadership. Bravery. Character. Humility. Service. Patriot.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
I don’t think that book has been written yet. The old conservative canon doesn’t have much relevance to the existential crises America faces in 2018. Donald Trump’s “Great Again” is the closest to addressing the critical issues of a world where the traditional conservative paradigm no longer applies. He’s speaking to the critical issues that threaten the future of our country – the possible extinction of our middle class, via the shipping of our manufacturing jobs overseas, being foremost.
What will be your top priority in elected to this position?
Completing our unfinished master plan highway system.
What is the biggest issue facing your county?
An incompetent, inept and impotent County Council that hasn’t attracted a single major corporate HQ in two decades, can’t deliver needed infrastructure like roads and schools, and can’t even execute the basic functions of government like 911 service and trash collection.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
We need to reduce both. I would repeal the 2016 property tax and 2010 energy tax hikes incrementally over 4 years to start. I will press to adopt Zero Based Budgeting, so that we no longer simply bring back last year’s budget with even more spending. Instead, each department will justify every dollar.
What is your position on a county tax cap?
I’m in favor. We already have a charter limit, but that can be overridden by unanimous vote.
What is your position on land use issues?
We need a councilman who doesn’t get all weak-in-the-knees when a developer walks in the room. I will only vote for responsible growth that provides the needed infrastructure. I will oppose any of the current Planning Board who seek additional terms in office. Planning staff should be forbidden from going to work for developers immediately after leaving the government. I will vote to restore funding for the Office of the People’s Counsel, who represents the interests of residents in land-use and zoning matters. And I will propose bringing back committees that include residents to review sector plan updates, in place of the current “charrette” process.
What is your position on public safety?
We need to buy a helicopter for the County police department, as part of a new anti-gang unit. Murders are up 33% – the current strategy is clearly not working.