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Press Releases - County Council

Montgomery County Council elects Sidney Katz as president, Tom Hucker as vice president

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

President Katz says: ‘I hope that by the end of my tenure as Council president, Montgomery County will be known as the county where businesses are established, grow and prosper.’

ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 3, 2019—The Montgomery County Council today unanimously elected Councilmember Sidney Katz as president and Councilmember Tom Hucker as vice president of the Council. They will serve one-year terms as officers of the Council. Katz just completed a one-year term as Council vice president.

Council President Katz’s priorities for the year include: continuing to make Montgomery County more business friendly; generating employment opportunities that bring well-paying jobs to the County; continuing to support Montgomery County Public Schools, so that students receive the best education possible; and supporting efforts to expand multimodal transportation solutions. He also noted that he wants to accomplish these goals while focusing on the need to reduce the County’s debt.

“I will spend the next year continuing to work with businesses located here, and those that should locate here, so we can expand and strengthen our economy,” said Katz. “A growing economy is the foundation upon which we can all prosper. As we work to increase our tax base, we must seize every opportunity to demonstrate that we are a great place to do business, that we are welcoming, that our regulations and requirements are no more onerous than those in surrounding jurisdictions and that we are responsive to the criticism we hear.”

Katz serves as chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee and as a member of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. He represents District 3, which includes Derwood, Gaithersburg, Leisure World, North Potomac, Potomac, Rockville, Washington Grove and parts of Aspen Hill.

Katz has served on the Mental Health Court Planning and Implementation Task Force, which led to the creation of a Mental Health Problem Solving Court in Montgomery County’s District and Circuit Courts. Katz also has served as chair of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, whose mission is to reduce domestic violence and create a safe community for families to live free of abuse.

Katz was elected to the Council in 2014 and started his career in public service on the Gaithersburg Planning Commission. He also served on the Gaithersburg City Council and as the mayor of Gaithersburg for 16 years.

As a lifelong resident of Gaithersburg, Katz is well known as the former owner of Wolfson’s Department Store, which was a retail store started by his grandparents in 1918 in Olde Town. The store was continuously operated by the family until 2013.

Hucker was elected as Council vice president. He serves as chair of the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee and as a member of the Public Safety Committee. Hucker was elected to the Council in 2014 and represents District 5, which includes the southeast and eastern portion of the County generally surrounding U.S. Route 29, including Briggs Chaney, Burnt Mills, Burtonsville, Calverton, Cloverly, Colesville, Fairland, Four Corners, Hillandale, Lyttonsville, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and White Oak.

Hucker’s career has focused on helping people make government more responsive and effective. Before his service on the Council, Hucker was a member of the Maryland General Assembly from 2006 to 2014. He also founded Progressive Maryland and currently serves as a board member of the Progressive States Network and as a consultant for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The complete remarks of Council President Katz on his term as Council president can be read below:

Thank you, Councilmember Craig Rice, for nominating me to serve as your Council president for upcoming year. And thank you to my colleagues for your confidence to elect me and for your support as we, together, continue to work to make Montgomery County the best it can be.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first five years on the Council, and I am especially looking forward to guiding the Council during this next year. It is truly an honor to serve as your president. I want to be a positive leader because with positive leadership, we can and will accomplish our shared goals. I know that these goals can be accomplished collaboratively, with continuous, productive communication and with a willingness to challenge the status quo when and where we know we can do better.

Montgomery County is vibrant and diverse and provides our residents with an outstanding school system as well as a superb quality of life. But there is always room for improvement. I will spend the next year continuing to work with businesses located here, and those that should locate here, so we can expand and strengthen our economy. A growing economy is the foundation upon which we can all prosper. As we work to increase our tax base, we must seize every opportunity to demonstrate that we are a great place to do business, that we are welcoming, that our regulations and requirements are no more onerous than those in surrounding jurisdictions and that we are responsive to the criticism we hear.

I will continue to work with each of our public safety departments and all our first responders to continue to ensure that they have the personnel, training and equipment to safely serve our residents and guests. Our senior population is growing, and these folks add so much to our community while at the same time presenting challenges that we must address.

Montgomery County is home to many, many non-profits. These groups, which are too numerous to name, provide safety net services that are vital to so many in our community. As we re-examine our grants processes, we need to keep this in mind. We alone cannot do all that is needed, and we must support our non-profit providers so that they can continue to support those in need.

We face challenging times ahead. We need to do more with less. Our almost six-billion-dollar annual budget must be spent judiciously. We will examine our departments, programs, personnel and our capital investments so that we are confident that every dollar is being allocated to do the most good.

We also face new and exciting times ahead—I welcome both the challenges and the excitement. I hope to be both a good leader and a good learner, so that together we can set a path forward that is constructive, productive and responsive.

As President John F. Kennedy said, “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”


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Release ID: 19-379
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931