A Game Changing Transformation is needed at the Montgomery Village Foundation

The Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) community is in need of a culture change.

The Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) community is in need of a culture change. The MVF community includes the MVF BOD and its committees, the MVF staff operations and its departments, and HOA’s and Village residents.

Today’s top down, authoritative culture serves as an enabler for overreach and underperformance. Beginning with the role confusion between the MVF President and MVF EVP, the MVF BOD is dominated by a President with tendencies toward over control and micromanagement and has acquiesced by adopting a passive posture. This has resulted in a delinquent performance of its oversight role.

While the committee structure is complete with respect to focus areas and needs, committee operations are fragmented and stove piped with insufficient interaction or coordination among committees. The result is incomplete committee staff work whenever crosscutting issues arise. For example, the environment and transportation issues crosscut those of recreation and public safety. The completed staff work necessary for high quality MVF BOD recommendations demands that committees be informed by necessary input from subject matter experts in other committees in a systematic and dependable way. MVF committee operations need to be coordinated and integrated with respect to information flow.

Finally the governance of MVF needs to transition from the current dysfunctional top down culture to a civil and democratic bottom up paradigm featuring purposeful and transparent networking among MVF BOD, MVF staff departments, committees, HOA’s, MV business community, and Village residents. In this arrangement, the Village resident is accorded respect, is listened to carefully, and is dealt with in a civil manner. Village residents who comment at MVF BOD Residents Time should be rewarded with a letter from the MVF EVP acknowledging the testimony, informing the resident of any actions taken, and promising appropriate actions as necessary. The Residents Time allocation of five-minutes should be restored.

As a 2013 candidate for MVF Board of Directors, I am committed to leading this Game Changing Transformation in Montgomery Village. You have a friend in me.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sharon January 28, 2013 at 03:52 PM
And MVF is so hyped up on names & name changes & new PR "Flourishing in the Village". Maybe Montgomery Village Foundation itself should have a name change...Montgomery Village Monarch. LOL!
Don O'Neill January 28, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Sharon, You make a good case for the Game Changing Transformation I am committed to and eager to lead.
Sharon January 28, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Still waiting with 'bated breath' for Ed to tell me proximity of where he resides in Village & if he actually has the 'fortune' of an HOA that 'looks after his best interest' and the interest of other homeowners (and home market value). I'm turning blue w/wild anticipation. LOL!
Pete Claey January 28, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Don O’Neill, The ending of most all of your postings end with "You have a friend in me". Have you received the authorization to use that from the author of that phrase, Randy Newman? That phrase is the most popular phrase taken from the movie "Toy Story". If you have not received copyright authorization is that not the same a stealing?
Don O'Neill January 28, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Pete, You're forgetting something... the music.
Sharon January 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Are you being serious, Pete??!! The phrase is being used in QUOTES & is not being used to sell a product i.e. as logo on teeshirt. But, if we are suddenly going to take entire blog above & narrow it down to some sort of 'copyright infringement', here's a quote from web site I located: "Nonetheless, if a phrase has become so well known that it may be considered "the heart" of a copyrightable work -- e.g. "ET phone home" -- then the court will find a way to preclude anyone other than the copyright owner to exploit that phrase. Especially for commercial purposes. So ... as far as copyright goes, you're on safe ground as long as the short phrase is not the "heart of the work" and the phrase is only a minor portion of the work (you need to consider this second condition seriously when using quotes from poems). As for trademark law concerns, many short phrases are used to brand goods or services. Before you slap a phrase on any widget and then offer it for sale, you need to ensure that the phrase you've selected is not already being used as a trademark. You also need to be aware that trademark law proscribes the sale of products that consumers falsely believe are being offered for sale by a particular person or company or are falsely associated with that person or company."
Sharon January 28, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Notice I AM quoting from article: "How much of someone else's work can I use without getting permission? "Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances." Now with all that boring, unnecessary information, I think the bottom line of original question "If you have not received copyright authorization is that not the same a stealing?" was merely to 'catch' candidate in some illegal action of deceit & thievery. These blogs end up to be far more entertaining (in a sad 'Let's Get 'Em sort of way) than educational/open-minded & respect for all points of view unfortunately. Tis said that we should respect diversity but saying and actually practicing are two different things. The irony is MV boasts of possessing 'support FOR & pride IN diversity' but failed to 'advertise' that if you voice diverse opinions, you can expect to be attacked. Hummm! Maybe we should transform Lake Whetstone into a leper colony for all those who don't fit the mold or refuse to jump on bandwagon. LOL!
Don O'Neill January 29, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Sharon, I recognize when someone has superior knowledge. On the issue of copyright you have certainly demonstrated that you do. Thanks for sharing.
jnrentz1 January 29, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Mr. O'Neill, You were helpful in another discussion, responding when I posed a question regarding salaries for the Board of Directors. Who is a wage earning and/or salary earning employee of Montgomery Village, and what are they paid?
Sharon January 29, 2013 at 10:40 PM
To jnrentz1: Don't know if this will answer any of your questions at present but it may answer any future questions you might have regarding both MVF & your HOA. http://www.montgomeryvillage.com/
Sharon January 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Don O'Neill January 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM
jnentz1, This question is best directed to Dave Humpton at dhumpton@mvf.org, the Executive Vice President of the Montgomery Village Foundation and responsible for the paid staff at MVF.
jnrentz1 January 29, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Sharon Adams: Thank you.
Sharon January 30, 2013 at 01:03 AM
But 'Rots of Ruck', JN, getting an answer from the Board!!! LOL! Believe confidentiality would be claimed. The only folks I know of who are out there for the general public (salaries) to scrutinize are Federal employees. Uncle Sam basically tells his 'lackeys' that they aren't worth the same as other citizens when it comes to 'privacy issues'.
Sharon January 30, 2013 at 01:35 AM
I have reread some of the comments again & don't know why you thought comment "It made me wonder why you still live in the Village" deserved an explanation, Don! There was no wonderment; there was no question from person adding comment. It was,pure & simple 'rhetoric and sarcasm'. There are any # of reasons people stay where they are & explaining why is not owed to anyone. But some of us are here because our home market value is so much in the toilet (not from recession but absent MVF & HOA) that we can't sell our homes for their true value no matter how maintained we have kept them. With that said, I have litte patience or tolerance for anyone who says "if you don't like the way things are, JUST MOVE". That snippant remark and attitude never brought about any needed improvements to any community!
Sharon January 30, 2013 at 01:54 AM
And,by the way, I wasn't totally against installing portable toilets in the Village. Just against such @ South Lake Park with more appropriate installation recommended @ the corner of MidCounty & the Village Avenue on grassy knoll as a 'Welcome to the Village'. This location would be appropriately represent the true existing appearance of most of the Village communities based on neglect and indifference from the Powers That Be. Now was I being sarcastic? No, I am being quite serious at this point from total frustration with phantoms holding office & those who continue to run for office under same platform...their interest in maintanance enforcement & protecting residents' home market value(s). I have yet to witness one Board member live up to those promises. If toilets constucted @ my suggested location, is there enough in the budget to allocate for a couple rolls of toilet paper? Hummm!
Sharon January 30, 2013 at 04:12 PM
To jnrentz1: All full-time positions are salaried, all part time and seasonal employees are hourly. I believe there is a salary scale included with the budget, which is online.
StevenBarnes January 30, 2013 at 09:26 PM
My family being residents of Middle Village, I have wondered why more people don’t run for the various homes corporation and condominium boards. Then after reading blogs such as this, I know why. There are those on Patch talking of civility, dysfunctional boards, and attacking those that are serving. I see why no one wants to run and be attacked by such uncivil, dysfunctional residents. I sure as H - - - would not.
Ed Nigma January 31, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Don, in follow-up to your questions and statements, I came up with a list of some of the reasons I won't be voting for you, as much as I tried to find something positive that could redeem your constant negativity about the Village, MVF, MVF Board, and your fellow candidates. Ten Reasons Not to Elect Don O'Neill: 1.) Don believes Montgomery Village's children don't deserve a clean, safe, and maintained restroom with soap and running water, along with clean and maintained facility for food to be served, for them, their teammates, their families, and visitors overall to sporting events held on the field in South Valley Park, by MVSA. Also Don doesn't support MVSA. 2.) Don believes in personal attacks on volunteers in Montgomery Village, of conduct not becoming of a MVF Board Member. Further, he called the MVF worthless and then wouldn't own up to it once questioned by residents. 3.) In Don's 44 years living in the Village, he hasn't volunteered with his HOC (Whetstone), MVF, Friends of Whetstone Lake (FOWL), nor does he attend MVF Board meetings beyond residents time.
Ed Nigma January 31, 2013 at 01:55 AM
4.) Don chose to not attend and participate in MVF's Vision 2030, Long Range Facilities Planning, or the MVF Branding/Marketing Initiative (which came up with "flourish"), but actively criticizes the work of the volunteers/residents who did after the fact. 5.) Don has a track record of providing misinformation to the community, elected officials, and media to mislead others into his conspiracy theories and baseless accusations. 6.) Don's not sure what the role of the MVF Board is; seems to think he's running for District 2 on the County Council, with farther reaching powers to change Library and Master Plan names, and control decisions outside the scope of the Village. 7.) Don doesn't think Public Safety is a top issue for the Village and lacks solutions on what he would do as an MVF Board Member.
Ed Nigma January 31, 2013 at 01:56 AM
8.) Don thinks overcrowded schools that have our children having to hold classes in portable classrooms outside of the school buildings is acceptable, and opposes new school building options, so that we can increase the busing of our children to schools in other communities. 9.) Don doesn't believe Montgomery Village and its residents deserve a Town Center as a central gathering place for residents to be proud of, with a more conveniently located MVF offices and conference space to hold MVF meetings, event space, mixed-use office and retail, restaurants with outdoor dining space and more upscale options available, a real chain supermarket again, etc. Don believes residents should have to hop on a bus or into a car and head elsewhere for the same offerings that our demographics would actually also allow. 10.) Don believes MVF doesn't have any partnerships with elected officials and the City of Gaithersburg, and keeps mentioning this to the community. Don, no one is buying this, because we regularly see both actively coming to MVF-sponsored events; Gaithersburg event sent their head of planning to meet with the Vision 2030 Committee to help review what Gaithersburg has planned and help identify the Village's demographics and discuss the Village's planning goals. MVF is in regular touch with these individuals, and you'd even notice this even if you just read the MV News past the Letters to the Editor section to just read you biweekly letters criticizing others.
Don O'Neill January 31, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Ed, PART 1 It was a long wait, but I appreciate your response. I especially like your use of the Top Ten format. It can be very effective. You need to keep in mind that while you are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your facts. In fact, I would have preferred to see you actually state your opinions directly instead of attempting to state what I believe. Let me add some facts to the discussion following your Top Ten list: 1. Facts Matter: I have been involved with MVSA since its inception. I coached Little League baseball for the MVSA including an All Star team from the Village in a championship game against Gaithersburg on a hot 4th of July in South Valley Park. I still have some team shirts from those days along with my MVSA badge as well as some fond memories. In addition, my wife and I organized the first annual Montgomery Village Tennis Tournament and Barbecue for 200 participating members. These were the days when a highly competitive Village-wide tennis ladder brought together players from all over the Village in challenge matches and tournaments, some with teams from other communities around the county. Our sons played every sport MVSA offered, made numerous All Star Teams, participated in the Mini-Terps Beltway League representing Montgomery Village (and coached by Bob Bryan, father of Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blow Fish fame!).
Don O'Neill January 31, 2013 at 06:37 PM
PART 2 2. Facts Matter: I was asked a genuine question, "How much are the Board of Directors paid?" My genuine response, "MVF Board of Directors members are paid what they are worth... nothing. They work for free!" Serving on the MVF Board is pro bono and is considered an honor. Facts: Matter: There are many ways to serve the community. You listed a few. Here are some of the ways I have chosen: a. Testified in Annapolis at the December 19, 2012 Board of Public Works (BPW) in opposition to South Valley restrooms [2012]. View BPW Testimony Opposing South Valley Park Project at http://youtu.be/1qumvqqkjDU b. Spoke and wrote in opposition to the Midcounty Corridor Study M83 Option 4 at the September 27, 2011 MCDOT public hearing and wrote letter for the public record [2011] c. Testified at the August 10, 2011 Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee Public Hearing for Montgomery County in opposition to gerrymandering and followed up with a letter to Governor Martin O’Malley [2011] d. Spoke and wrote on Goshen Road right sizing [2010] e. Spoke and wrote on the Montgomery County Planning Commission Mandatory Referral calling for a roll back of the plans for the Webb Tract [2010] f. Led the successful fight to obtain a Route Protocol agreement with the County to divert Webb Tract traffic away from Montgomery Village [2008-2009] g. Led the successful fight to defeat Watkins Mill Middle School project on Centerway Park [2007]
Don O'Neill January 31, 2013 at 06:37 PM
PART 3 4. Facts Matter: My participation in Vision 2030 included the briefing sessions for each of the three charettes. For the record, a charette is a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions. Accordingly, I spoke before the Vision 2030 enthusiasts during the feedback session in opposition to the following features presented: a. Extending Centerway Road through to Watkins Mill Road. As a result, this was dropped. b. The four story parking garage at the Professional Center right behind the Courts of Whetstone. Despite objections, this continues to be shown on the Vision 2030 planning diagrams. c. The relocation of MV Offices to the MV Shopping Center. Despite objections, this continues to be shown on the Vision 2030 planning diagrams.
Don O'Neill January 31, 2013 at 06:38 PM
PART 4 5. Facts Matter: Ed, here you have taken a bridge too far. Please scrutinize your own work with this in mind. Facts Matter: I am quite sure what the role of the MVF Board is. The foremost responsibility of a board member is its fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of Village residents above all others. The current board violated its fiduciary responsibility in the memorandum of understanding between MVF and MVSA. In a democracy, both citizens and even MVF Board members do have far reaching powers to change things. Montgomery Village faces a lot of challenges, some internal and some external. For the most part, internal challenges are self-imposed and under the control of the MVF Board. However external challenges involve, the State, the County, and the business community. Government affairs issues with the County and State include Town Sector Zoning, Gaithersburg East Master Plan, M83 Midcounty Selection, Goshen Road widening, Webb Tract development, and Lake Whetstone dredging. Business development issues involve the Nike Site, Golf Course, Professional Center, Shopping Center, and Watkins Mill Development. We need to promote an economic development environment for the community businesses that serve the residents of Montgomery Village.
Don O'Neill January 31, 2013 at 06:39 PM
PART 5 Facts Matter: Promoting the quality of life for MV residents is the top priority. Ensuring the safety and security of the residents of MV and their property is the second priority in the citizen centric-goals I have advocated for several and which appear earlier in this blog. I will include these goals again here as follows:
a. Promote the quality of life for MV residents. 
b. Ensure the safety and security of the residents of MV and their property. 
c. Promote an economic development environment for the community businesses that serve the residents of MV. 
d. Position MV with the County Executive, County Council, and the Maryland delegation to ensure the recognition we deserve and the protection against government overreach and interference we need. 
e. Encourage the pride of MV residents in maintaining the aesthetic appearance of the community needed to boost property values. 
f. Foster the democratic process.
Don O'Neill January 31, 2013 at 06:39 PM
PART 6 Facts Matter: Ed, here you go again. As in item 5, you’ve taken a bridge too far. Facts Matter: The question is not do Montgomery Village resident’s “deserve... more conveniently located MVF offices”. The question is do we need it. The answer to that question is no... on cost alone. 10. Facts Matter: Why then did MVF Board member and candidate throw up his hands when asked whether the library could bear the name of Montgomery Village? This would be a good place to demonstrate concrete results for the partnership you claim has been ongoing.
StevenBarnes February 01, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Don, Do you enjoy hearing and reading your same old comments over and over? What about presenting some nw ideas looking to the future, it is not 1965. The last time i looked at my calendar it said 2013.
Derek Hale February 02, 2013 at 05:45 AM
I just wonder Don if you think that the Village News has to be The Don O’Neill News. It seems you are intent on having a critical Letter to the Editor in each and every issue. Although you may think this puts you further (or better?) in the public eye, I think you are doing a detriment to your candidacy and giving yourself nothing but a black eye.
just me February 08, 2013 at 04:44 PM
it is TIME to face the truth that is unfortunately not easy to digest. The truth is we need to stop thinking about the village as a pink wonderland as some people want us to, but to realize that this place needs a ton of work. We fell down the hill so fast and so deep that someone needs to open out eyes.


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