With four candidates vying for three seats on the Montgomery Village Foundation's Board of Directors, March's election will send one candidate home unhappy.
Running for the seats are current board member Scott Dyer, who is seeking re-election; Sharon Crawford, who serves on the Whetstone Board and is running for a seat on the MVF Board for the first time; Elena Peterson, who is currently president of South Village and is running for a seat on the MVF Board for the first time; and Don O'Neill, who is running for a seat on the MVF Board for the third time.
Typically, the MVF president remains quiet about the candidates leading up to the election, but this year Bob Hydorn has chosen to speak out, announcing endorsements of three candidates to Montgomery Village Patch.
"I will be endorsing Scott, Sharon and Elena," Hydorn wrote in an email. "They are 3 strong candidates that want to see the community moving forward."
After announcing his endorsements, Hydorn took the time to answer some questions about his decision to speak out prior to the March 2013 election:
Montgomery Village Patch: What stands out about each candidate that's earned your endorsement?
MVF President Bob Hydorn: Scott, Sharon and Elena have worked on Village issues for a number of years. They are smart, dedicated and have the temperament and sense of collegiality to work cooperatively with other Board members to move the Village forward.
MV Patch: Why do you feel the community would be better served by electing Scott, Sharon and Elena over Don?
Hydorn: Scott, Sharon and Elena are all current members of their homeowners association boards. They know what it's like to handle budgets, address maintenance issues, work with residents and balance competing interests. Scott is a current MVF Board member.
All three have served on MVF committees. Sharon and Elena served on the Long Range Facility Planning Committee and the Vision 2030 Committee. Both committees provided excellent preparation for service on the MVF Board of Directors. In particular, the Vision 2030 Committee brought together a diverse group of Village residents to offer their views on what the community might look like in the future. Sharon, an attorney, serves on the MVF Audit Committee and Elena has been a member of the Recreation Committee for many years. Both have been active in Friends of Whetstone Lake (FOWL).
Scott has brought his business background and the perspective of a young family to his service on the MVF board.
We need a diversity of opinions but at the end of the day, we need to work together to revitalize the Village. Scott, Sharon and Elena understand what governance is all about.
To the best of my knowledge, Don has not served on any homeowners association board or served on any committee, at either the MVF or HOA level. He has not chosen to work with the community although he has had many opportunities to do so.
MV Patch: You mention you typically stay quiet on elections, but this year cannot. Why do you feel it's necessary to step in and voice your opinion?
Hydorn: I am speaking out at this year's election because we have a number of important issues coming up in the near future. We have the sale of the Montgomery Village Golf Course and the need to work with the new owners. Revision of the Gaithersburg East/Montgomery Village Master Plan is coming up in 2014 and we are laying the groundwork for that. There will be issues before the legislature and the County Council that will need to be addressed. Montgomery Village needs to speak in a strong, unified voice. Scott, Sharon and Elena will bring their knowledge and commitment to the Village to their service on the MVF Board.
MV Patch: Are there any issus specific to the Montgomery Village area that you hope yo see the candidates address? You've mentioned the change in the times, how do you see these candidates moving forward?
Hydorn: I think I'll let the candidates speak for themselves. There will be two meet and greets and a candidates forum which will give them plenty of opportunity to share their views with residents.
Scott, Sharon and Elena are candidates who will help the Village continue to move forward because they have demonstrated a long-term commitment to our community, have the background and skills to enable us to continue our progress.
SPEAK OUT: Do you support Hydorn's endorsements or do you feel O'Neill is better suited for the MVF Board? Tell us in the comments!