MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md (WDVM) — Montgomery County residents will have options this fall concerning the future makeup of the County Council.
Two proposals have recently gained momentum, both with their own methods of changing the structure and number of districts and council members.
The County Council currently has five council members representing their respective districts and four at-large members, representing the entire county. The structure of 9 council members has been in place since 1990.
The first proposal is sponsored by council member Evan Glass, proposing the expansion of two additional districts, creating a total of 7 district council members and 4 at-large.
Glass said the change would put the county in line with surrounding jurisdictions.
“We, by far, have the largest number of residents in any of our districts,” Glass said. “And since we’ve grown in population by leaps and bounds, I think it’s time to update and modernize our county council by increasing our representation.”
The council voted 8 to 1 in favor of the proposal, securing its spot on the november ballot.
The second proposal comes from grassroots movement “9 Districts Moco,” which recently gathered over 16,000 signatures, advocating the removal of the at-large council positions and instead installing 9 districts represented by 9 district council members.
“The difference between 9 districts is it wouldn’t cost any additional money because we already have 9 representatives,” 9 District Chair Kimblyn Persaud said. “The difference would be that every district would have their own representative that would live in that district, live in the area.”
Glass says the removal of the at large position would restrict a resident’s vote from 5 council member votes to just one. Persaud says this will just cause candidates to simply campaign harder within the district.
The 9 District proposal will find its way on the November ballot pending the verification of their signatures by the state board of elections by August 14.