This Week in Potomac

This Week in Potomac

No Lame-Duck Sewers?

Last year, a lame-duck County Council approved extending a sewer line to the R.A.M. Investing property on Boswell Lane. The item was not posted on the Council’s agenda and angered many residents.

In a response to the issue, County Councilmember Phil Andrews (D-3), introduced a change to the County’s Water and Sewer policy which will stop this from happening in the future. “I just think that it’s good policy not to have a lame-duck council make permanent decisions of this kind,” Andrews said.

On Oct. 30, the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee, comprised entirely of members who started serving after the R.A.M. incident, approved in principal an amendment to the policy.

If approved by the full council, lame-duck councils will be prohibited from taking any substantive action such as holding public hearings, worksessions or voting on sewer category changes. “The specific language, I think, mimics the zoning ordinance,” said Keith Levchenko of Council Staff.

The council will still be allowed to schedule public hearings for the next council.

There is an exception in the case of a public health emergency or routine administrative case, Andrews said. “I think it will be a step forward,” he said.

Lame-duck is a political slang term. It refers to a governing body during the time after an election when some of its members have changed, and before the new members have officially taken office.

For example, the President of the United States is elected in November, but does not take office until January. During that lag time, the current officeholder, if a different person, is considered a lame-duck.

Chief of Chiefs

On Aug. 25t in Dallas, Texas, Fire Chief Jim Seavey, Sr., 43, of the

Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department was unanimously elected President of the Eastern Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

The Eastern Division is comprised of the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland along with the District of Columbia. It is one of eight Divisions in the International Association of Fire Chiefs, which is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia and represents approximately 12,000 Fire Chiefs.

Seavey, Chief of Cabin John Park VFD, has been a volunteer in Montgomery County since 1976, while a sophmore at Walt Whitman High School. He has served as Chief of Cabin John, which protects West Bethesda, Cabin John and Potomac, for twelve years.

Seavey will serve in the Office of President for a term of one year and then spend the last of a nine year seat on the Board as Past President.

Commercial Burglaries

* Between 10 p.m. on Oct. 25 and 4:33 a.m. on Oct. 26, the Exxon station at 11355 Seven Locks Road was broken into. The garage door was broken out. Nothing was taken.

* Between 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 22 and 9:14 a.m. on Oct. 23, Kohr Brothers in Montgomery Mall was broken into. Suspects entered through the front door and took cash.

Armed Robbery

At 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, a 30-year-old Bethesda man was walking home on Westlake Terrace near Montgomery Mall when he was approached by two suspects. The suspects asked for cigarettes before one displayed a gun and demanded money. The suspects hit the victim on the back of the head with the gun and caused some lacerations. They took his backpack, wallet and cash, say Montgomery County Police. The victim ran home where he called police.

Suspect 1 was described as a black male, 20-30-years old 5-feet-4 inches to 5-feet-8 inches, 140-160 pounds wearing blue jeans and a dark green jogging suit. Suspect 2 was described as a black male, 20-30-years old 5-feet-8 inches to 5-feet-10 inches, 200-220 pounds wearing blue jeans and a hooded jogging jacket.

Restoring the Towpath

Hurricane Isabel dampened the ceremony, but did not prevent the C&O Canal Association from donating $750 to help restore the towpath along Widewater. Originally scheduled to occur during the C&O Canal Association’s annual through-bike of the 184-mile canal, the association had to cancel the bike ride for the first time ever due to the damage inflicted by Isabel. Potomac resident John Kimbrough made a $100,000 challenge grant in 2002 to help launch the restoration of the towpath along Widewater, where stretches of the towpath has been washed out for decades. With its annual ride cancelled, the C&O Canal Association could not make the ceremonial donation as originally planned as the trip passed through Great Falls. Instead, “It took place as quietly as could have been imagined,” said Tom Perry of the association, who mailed the proceeds last month. The C&O Canal Association, a citizens organization, is beginning to schedule its ride for 2004, and will donate the proceeds it raises to help improve the canal.