Chris Wilhelm (at-large)
Northwood High School teacher and Democrat Chris Wilhelm is one of the latest to file to run for County Council at-large.
Wilhelm who teaches at English as a Second Language at Northwood High School in Silver Spring and has previously worked for Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8) and Del. David Moon (D-20).
Wilhelm said he is proposing on making Montgomery College tuition-free for County residents.
“I think this would make a huge difference for lower and middle income families in Montgomery County,” Wilhelm said.
Wilhelm said he is running on a social and environmental justice platform and said he wants to close down the Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility in Dickerson that is used to incinerate the County’s solid waste.
Wilhelm also said he supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and said he won’t promise to not vote to raise property taxes.
“I know some residents are very upset with the property tax increase that happened in 2016 and I certainly understand its burden on middle class families,” Wilhelm said. “…but I don’t think it’s a responsible position to take, to promise to never raise property taxes.”
Andrew Friedson (District-1)
Democrat senior advisor to Maryland Comptroller Andrew Friedson said he’s running for County Council District-1 because he thinks the County is not keeping up with its competitor jurisdictions in the region.
“This is the fact: it’s becoming harder and harder in Montgomery County for families particularly in District-1 to keep up with costs of living and high child care costs,” Friedson said.
Friedson said the County’s economy has not kept up with nearby jurisdictions in Northern Virginia and Maryland and has become too reliant on the growth of the federal government.
In 2018, current District-1 Council member Roger Berliner will vacate his seat due to a term limit charter amendment that passed through a countywide referendum.
Friedson said residents feel a “squeeze” from rising costs and said he would prefer the County attract new businesses that pay high wages to workers to increase the County’s tax base rather than vote to increase property taxes.
Friedson also said the he would like to restructure the County government and change the County’s budgeting process which often uses the previous year’s budget as a base.
“It’s not about resources. It’s about leadership and management and I think we need to rethink the budget process,” Friedson said.