Chevy Chase Village still seeking volunteers for Board of Managers -- Gazette.Net


Chevy Chase Village is having a difficult time filling two vacant positions on the Board of Managers following the October resignation of Vice Chairman Peter T. Kilborn and board member Thomas H. Jackson.

After the village was denied an exemption from a new state ethics law requirement last month, Kilborn and Jackson resigned rather than fill out new financial disclosure forms. The village now has just five members on its seven-member board, and four are required for a quorum.

Village leaders have put out a call for volunteers, but many have said they will not serve due to financial disclosure requirements, wrote Board Chair Patricia Baptiste in an email.

“Our next steps are pending qualified volunteers,” she wrote. “Of course our hope is that the Village be relieved of these onerous disclosure requirements.”

The state General Assembly passed the new standards in 2010, with local governments given until Oct. 1, 2011, to approve their own ethics laws to meet the new, more stringent, ethics requirement. However, Chevy Chase, like many municipalities, was unable to get the new laws passed in time and was given an extension until Oct. 1 of this year.

Kilborn has said it would take hours for an individual to fill out all the required disclosure paperwork about real estate holdings, stock investments and other financial dealings now required in the new ethics law.

In other business, Chevy Chase Village will press the village’s Dodge Durango into service as an emergency vehicle if a plan to install emergency lights and sirens was approved by the village Board of Managers on Tuesday. The work could be done for a maximum of $3,500, according to a memo from Police Chief John Fitzgerald.

The Chevy Chase Village Police Department has been short one emergency vehicle since a cruiser was totaled during a collision in December 2011. The driver, Officer Deng Tan, was not at fault, according to the memo.

To spare taxpayers the expense of a new cruiser, which can cost $38,000, the board of managers chose to wait and see if the remaining fleet was adequate. The department has three marked cars and one surveillance vehicle, Fitzgerald said.

Since the crash, on 12 separate occasions the department has been unable to supply every officer on duty with an emergency vehicle, mostly due to one car being at the shop for maintenance or repairs. Just last Thursday, he said the department was down to one cruiser, because the remaining cars were in the repair shop. Fitzgerald said he wants his officers on the street, but without an emergency vehicle they cannot pull someone over or block a street.

“You need to have an emergency vehicle whether it is marked or unmarked,” he said.

Though the Durango would be shared among village staff, he said the police department would take precedence.

“Sometimes you want to be able to go under the radar a little bit,” he said. “It may actually turn out to be good in more ways than one.”