Sticking a Finger in the Eye of Montgomery Village Democracy

MVF Board President Bob Hydorn is again sticking a finger in the eye of democracy in Montgomery Village when he urges people to vote... and then tells them whom to vote for.

Democracy in Montgomery Village ticked upwards with the confirmation of all four candidates for the MVF Board election at its January 9 meeting despite an unpleasant incident that took place involving a prominent MVF Board member. I would like to commend some real heroes who took a stand in winning back democracy in Montgomery Village. Chaired by dutiful MVF Board member Dennis Clark, the Nominating Committee confirmed all four applicants as candidates for the 2013 MVF Board election. 

You might ask, why is this so heroic? It is heroic because MVF Board President Bob Hydorn made an improper appearance at the candidate confirmation meeting, ambushed me immediately upon my arrival urging the committee to deny my candidacy, then withered under my ensuing rebuttal, failed to make the case, left empty handed, and claimed to be acting as an individual not as MVF Board President. Kudos to the Nominating Committee for not being intimidated and confirming the candidacy of all of this year’s applicants. These committee members are the heroes in winning back democracy in the Village. 

Short lived, democracy in Montgomery Village has now taken a tick downwards. In his ”Time to vote in Montgomery Village” blog, MVF Board President Bob Hydorn is again sticking a finger in the eye of democracy in Montgomery Village when he urges people to vote... and then tells them whom to vote for.

Again the question must be asked, "Is Bob Hydorn speaking as an individual resident or is he speaking as the President of the MV FBoard." When speaking as President of the MVF Board, there are expectations, one of them being that he represents the views of MVF Board. 

The question can be answered by reviewing the President's Message in the February 1, 2013 MV News on page 5 from which the bulk of the language for this blog was drawn except that here he did not presume to tell Village residents whom to vote for. In his MV News President's Message, Bob Hydorn was clearly speaking from his position on the MVF Board. Since the language on this blog is largely verbatim, the conclusion is that Bob Hydorn was speaking for the MVF Board.

It is improper for the MVF Board to conduct a free and open election while at the same time its President is working to tilt the results in this manner. Once again, democracy in Montgomery Village is being trampled upon. 

 I call upon Bob Hydorn to publicly declare whether he launched this blog as an individual resident or as the President of the MVF Board. 

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.

Pete Claey February 13, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Steven, Not a bad idea. Any takers as well as myself?
Don O'Neill February 13, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Steven, In the past eight days I have attended the following community meetings dealing with external threats and impacts to Montgomery Village: 1. Greater Goshen Civic Association meeting in opposition to M83 Option 4 Modified with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on February 5. 2. Nike Missile Site meeting at Lake Marion CC on Preliminary Plans and Environmental Assessment on February 11. Other candidates vying for a position on the MVF Board did attend these meetings. One of these candidates made it clear at the Candidates Forum that he preferred to devote his energies to internal issues which the MVF controls. Unfortunately, we are entering a period where the real issues facing the Village are external. Montgomery Village must be able to anticipate, avoid, withstand, and mitigate the adverse affect they impose. 1. 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. 2. Business development issues involve the Nike Site, Golf Course, Professional Center, Shopping Center, and Watkins Mill Development. 3. We need to promote an economic development environment for the community businesses that serve the residents of Montgomery Village. As a candidate for a position on the board, I am well equipped and committed to attacking these challenges on behalf of Village residents.
Derek Hale February 14, 2013 at 07:04 AM
As for Steven's comments above, I have done so in the past and may do in the future as well. Job, family and other issues are all items that fall into those who can volunteer their time.
Sharon February 14, 2013 at 02:29 PM
As for me, I look forward to Steven volunteering & seeing him in all those neighborhoods in the Village that have been ignored. May nominate him for MV President if he can be one of the 1st to recognize SV as existing and in need since he mentioned how much his representatives do for him when it 'comes to getting what he wants' (in his community). SV would be happy not necessarily to have our 'wants' fulfilled but for what we 'need' to bring communiities up to living standards. Curious though to know how long Steven has lived in the Village & what HOA his community falls under. But I really don't expect an answer to that 'cause I am sure he is taking his own advice & spending less of his time as well making comments on PATCH blogs. LOL!
Shirley Bowers February 19, 2013 at 08:50 PM
I have to say that I mailed my ballot today all signed properly for the 3 postive attitude candidates. Good luck Ms. Crandford, Mr. Dyer and Ms. Peterson.
Derek Hale February 21, 2013 at 05:23 AM
Please remind your friends if they have not yet completed and turned in their ballot, there is still time. March 1 at 5:00 p.m. is the closing of balloting. The ballots will be counted on Saturday morning, March 2. Ballots may be mailed back in (they are postage paid) or dropped in the secure mailbox at the MVF parking lot.
Don O'Neill February 21, 2013 at 02:44 PM
On the Candidates Forum video Mike Conroy, MVF Director of Communications, reports, "The video is still available on YouTube, and there is a scrolling alert still advertising it on the MVF website. I’ve also added a menu item for it under 'Village Governance'. The full transcript is still in the Village News, available on the Village News page, as well as in print, by request from the office. Additionally, residents have been reminded numerous times in the Village News and on Facebook and Twitter to vote, submit on time, etc. There will be one final online push next week to collect as many votes as possible."
Derek Hale February 25, 2013 at 10:08 PM
This is a reminder that the MVF Board of Director ballots will be counted on Saturday, March 2 at 9:00 a.m. at the Montgomery Village Foundation office. Any and all individuals are welcome to attend to watch the ballot counting process.
Sharon February 28, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Time to revisit w/another Spring and Summer approaching making such a total of 32 yrs where the parents & children of ostracized area of the Village have no place to take their children within 'safe walking distance. Not one of those running for office mentioned long, overdue interest or concern that reality. Not one candidate stepped up to the plate putting 'children of the Village' who reside near Lake Whetstone as priority. Has been hush hush since meeting regarding playground w/apparently the hope that this parent/grandparent would suddenly forget the 'needs of children'. Sorry but that hasn't happened no matter how silent my representatives remain on this topic. So, it will be another summer where children of Dockside, Mill Race and Nathans Hill find no other play equipment but the improvised use of mailboxes, street signs, & residents' brick walls & fences as 'playground and means of exercise'. Shame on all of you for dusting this 'need' under the carpet during all your political bio boasting(s), repetitive platform promises (that seem to go by the wayside after ballots are counted) & rants and raves particularly on PATCH. Think of the accolades as well (since there are some on Board who have been shown to have exaggerated egos) how much praise and 'glorification' you would receive if such a playground was constructed @ Lake Whetstone & one that incorporated play equipment as well that accommodated those children in OUR VILLAGE who are physically disabled!!!!
Derek Hale March 01, 2013 at 05:55 AM
Sharon, Food for thought here. Have you thought about a "wish list" of equipment you would like (keeping in mind a reasonable budget) for that area? Often (in the Village and other communities as well, we are not immune), playground areas tend to sometimes (I say "sometimes" as always is not the case and in some areas, never) turn into "hangout areas" for older teens afterschool and that is intimidating to the younger children to which they are intended. Outside of the parents (older than the teens obviously) being with the children, do you see any thoughts on the children attending the area unattended? I am neither a parent or grandparent so your thoughts are better on this particular subject.
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Derek, this retiree hoofed it one Saturday and passed out flyers to over 200 homes and even got councilman involved. Ordered playground catalogs from 4-5 different companies to cart in wheel carry-on bag because 30 plus catalogs were so heavy. Had copies of those catalogs for each and every member on the Board. Well, most were returned to me after that meeting 'cause only two on board at least at the decency to feign interest & actuallytook catalogs home. According to one of the attendees (who was once active in ecological committee but later ousted...ah, they love to create new committees in a heartbeat)...that cold metal turtle & dolphin @ Lake Whetstone were play equipment. Say what again?!!!! Then there was 'discussion' to bus kids out of communities to other playgrounds 'throughout' the County. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Tis a longer story than that but painful to dwell on the 'bizarre'!!! As far as 'unattended', no child should be left unattended ANYWHERE. But, at least the stay-at-home mothers in this area would have some place safe to walk without taking sometimes as many as 3-4 small children (two at the hip; one in a stroller or carriage) in tow across 'very busy' Village Avenue to trek like a caravan to South Village Park .
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 03:11 PM
And, if the Foundation can post very large sign (you pay by the 'letter") w/ regs re precious, overdone dock & paddle boats that I continue to witness get very little use (& certainly not living up to Foundation's reasoning for spending so much money, that such would bring folks to the Lake & monies for massive renovation would be recouped), they can sure post a sign regarding playground w/age restriction, etc. If not adhered to, then security would have authority to disband hangers-on (teenagers or even delinquent adults). How can that lake attract many when there is nothing there to entice them to spend any considerable family time. Hey, let's take our 2-3 yr old there & watch him or her fall off dock into Lake Whetstone or fall out of a paddle boat. That's sounds like a 'fun day' for all! And time for children to take priority over geese no matter how pretty those birds might be, ya know! We have FOWL. How 'bout FOFSVK?! Friends of Forgotten South Village Kids! By the way, Derek, before that mtg to discuss playground, I even contacted MC School system & was provided statistics (by age & grade) of the numbers of kids in this specific area of the Village. Numbers were 'high' & they only included those who rode the bus; not those transported to and from school by their parents. Homework was seemingly waste of time 'cause MVF had its heels dug in (prior to meeting & since) that no playground would 'desecrate' the socalled 'aesthetic' of Lake Whetstone.
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I can't resist (as usual), Derek, chiming in w/one last comment. LOL! Chatty Cathy! But it is a shame when the Powers That Be find the 'laughter and joyful play' of children aesthetically 'displeasing' @ Lake Whetstone!!!! To many 'old farts' who sadly have forgotten what it is like to be a child are running the Village! I'm not talking about activities in the Village where most cost a 'registration fee'. Most in this area do not have the money! I am referring to the 'free, entitled play activity that requires only the vivid imagination of a young child...where play equipment becomes a fortress or a castle or a mountain to climb. And a place for gathering, neighbors meeting neighbors w/shared primary interest (family) & where young children enjoy the socialization with their peers.
LenGray March 01, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Sharon, Just maybe with some new people on the MVF Board they will support Bob Hydorn who tried to move such a playground forward before. At least there is a chance now, that some going off the board that live next to the park won't have a say. That one guy was always a naysayer because of crime and perverts. I hate taking my grandson there having only an old concrete turtle to play on.
LenGray March 01, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Sharon, I sure hope that Don O’Neill does not win a place on the MVF board. We might never see anything new, fun or exciting in the park. I just read the Village News on line and that guy is complaining about the number of volunteers. Bob Hydorn is wrong again according to him. I volunteer at my church in Montgomery Village as lots of people do, they volunteer at the schools, at the MVSA, all those types of groups. It has to be several thousand volunteers.
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 04:42 PM
I think you are giving too much credit where credit is not due when it comes to individual trying to move playground forward. Had you been at the playground mtg, LenGay, you would have found that socalled 'on board' support for playground by that one individual as a 'contradiction of terms' from what he said @ that particular meeting i.e. "most communities are removing their playgrounds". But I refuse at this time to revisit that 'shock and disappointment' on my part when the impression via communications (both emails & chatting online) was he was all for playground but "SVHC is opposed". Not to mention public comment on PATCH that this individual's neighborhood 'had a playground' and basically dig @ 'what more does this woman want'. Then I receive 'private message' that he wouldn't take a dog to the Tot Lot that was in one specific community. To this day, I am waiting for a public apology since remark that I was somehow asking for too much was publicly displaced on PATCH. Needless to say, I never really expected a humble apology. Appears what is said in private and what is said in public are two different things & I have a very low tolerance for those who speak with forked-tongue or play politics! Trust for one's word goes right out the window for me. If that is too cryptic for you, Len, it is only because it is not worth time & effort to revisit the hypocrisy.
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 04:45 PM
I have voted every year, Len. But I am not sure this go around which Curly, Larry or Mo deserves my vote this year since what is proclaimed during 'political campaigns' & highlighted in (over-exaggerated) bios never seems (at least for this forgotten end of the Village) to come to fruition. Or should I say TRUE-ition?!!!!
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 05:16 PM
And you tell me! Had that playground (and the children) really been of interest/priority, the Powers That Be could have made it happen. And the cost would have been pee compared to what was spent on that dock. Argument for that dock was it needed to be repaired. I would say they went way behind 'mere repair/renovation', wouldn't you! I'm thinking of moving in & making the dock 'my new home'! Hummm! God knows, when it is 'one of their pursuits or passions', they somehow always seem to persuade or 'manipulate' others to agree, come over to his or her side. Hummm! Too bad they aren't as 'passionate' about OUR children! Not the kids whose parents can afford those registration fees, baseball uniforms, shiny new cleats, etc. but the children whom MVF eases their conscience by providing a basket for donations @ the Apple Ridge Office!
Don O'Neill March 01, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Len, The point of my letter to the editor of the MVF News is that the MVF Committees need to be revitalized. The Village faces a shortage of volunteers needed to populate its many committees. However, residents appear reluctant to undergo the MVF Board scrutiny associated with volunteering to serve on a committee. What is needed to stimulate and reinvigorate volunteerism in Montgomery Village is to accentuate a policy for open committee membership coupled with the promise of an independent committee operation.
Don O'Neill March 01, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Len, MVF Committee membership requirements need to be more well understood by the MVF staff administering the staffing of these committees. Dedicated residents need only to volunteer to serve on a committee where being a Village resident, having no architectural violations, and being current on assessments are the only prerequisites. The MVF Committee Application makes no mention of these essentials. Instead, the MVF Committee Application asks an applicant for the following information departing the essential prerequisites: 1. Please outline your educational, profession or volunteer experience that particularly qualifies you for membership on the committee of your choice ( a resume may be attached): 2. Please explain briefly why you wish to serve on the particular committee for which you are applying for membership: Again, what is needed to stimulate and reinvigorate volunteerism in Montgomery Village is to accentuate a policy for open committee membership coupled with the promise of an independent committee operation.
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Just read #1 of Don O'Neill's last entry regarding essential prerequisites" "1. Please outline your educational, profession or volunteer experience that particularly qualifies you for membership on the committee of your choice ( a resume may be attached):"If that is truly required in order for a resident to volunteer, that is laughable! Maybe those wishing to donate their time should have a 'security clearance' as well. That might be more relevant! LOL!
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Gonna require kind/generous volunteers to jump through hoops/provide darn resume when there should be 'stricter standards' for those who are running for office? Criteria past & present (but apparently shoved under the rug long ago), before someone runs for office, should be whether or not those seeking office or in office are 'setting the right example'. Such example i.e. is when it comes to paying their 'own' MVF & HOA assessments rather than they themselves costing the Board legal fees (& penalizing their own neighbors because recouping legal costs can affect whether or not the rest of us are penalized with assessment increases) when their own payment delinquency has warranted MVF & HOA taking them to court. Those running for Boards should not have philosophy of 'do as I say; not as I do'. Discovering this situation in the past via research blew my mind!
Sharon March 01, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Just started to chuckle when I thought of my last comment entry! Irony! One always had to be current on their assessments to have the 'privilege' of receiving their pool pass or 'privilege' to vote. But one (at least, in past) could run for office without same criteria. Now that's funny! I swear I'm gonna write a book & it's gonna be on the 'Best Sellers List' or, at least, in Ripley's Believe It or Not! LOL!
Derek Hale March 03, 2013 at 03:55 AM
LenGay, You got your wish. The Village Foundation election results are: Sharon Cranford: 3,942 Scott Dyer: 3,894 Elena Peterson: 3,074 Don O'Neill: 1,254
Sharon March 03, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Gee, Derek, we were still holding our breaths before the election for them to show up in our neighborhood. I knew I should have provided them 'directions' to this end of the Village. Hummm! Well, now that it has been determined that the 'Monarchy' is still intact, let's hope one of them steps up to the plate & the children are surprised by a playground this summer @ basically-barren, human-deserted Lake Whetstone. Will hold my breath yet again!
just me March 05, 2013 at 03:39 PM
LenGray, Unfortunately Bob Hydorn was against the playground around the lake. He appeared at the meeting with other representatives about playground (same meeting when Sharon brought all the brochures etc), meeting which I attended as well. He was shouting loud and clear that there will never be a playground there, and what's more he suggested to remove other playgrounds. Also another member of the winning "hydorn" team (won't mention the name here) was shouting at a meeting before that, that there is no budget for playground - period. I am sorry to bring it up, but it seems to be (after 7 years of asking for the playground) that your grandson will be a grown up man with own children, and the playground still won't be there. Also as a remark - I moved out to a different community - and we have 3 beautiful playgrounds around - all 3 renovated within last 6 months. In other communities, you don't need to ask for neccesities.
Sharon January 31, 2014 at 10:22 AM
This is as an appropriate Village-related blog (when subject 'democracy) as any to ask question. Received SVHC 2014 election ballot a couple days ago. How is Elena Peterson's name still on as SVHC Board member with term not due to expire till 2016 when she no longers live in the Village? {Thought when she sold her home in South Village that this would be addressed and resolved??!!} I have family members & friends who reside in other parts of the County. Should I advise them that they too can run for an office on SVHC Board or MVF Board as well because there is no criteria banning even those outside of Montgomery Village from holding office? Hummmm!
Don O'Neill January 31, 2014 at 11:45 AM
What is it about Elena Peterson and the Montgomery Village Foundation? Inexplicably, the 2014 MVF Candidates Forum video contains a stray clip of Elena Peterson's 2013 Candidates Forum testimony. I know this because I watched the 2014 Candidates Forum video from start to finish. Not only should this not happen if MVF staff members were at their post, someone should immediately edit this out.
Sharon February 01, 2014 at 10:41 AM
My own so-called secret HOA ballot is sitting here on dining room table. I say so-called because on envelope one has to print name, pen signature & give address. Now you tell me those (who open ballots don't, via human nature, key in on those ballots w/names of residents who have been vocal or who aren't in total agreement w/current Board!). If I didn't know any better & from list of candidates (also questionable husband and wife on 'same' ballot), I would say it is exact ballot that went out in the early 2000 with only the date changed to 2014. One individual, through either 'sin of omission' or 'political dementia moment' who is running for office yet again failed to mention circumstances regarding early departure from previous Board position. Anyway, in order to have my vote count, I have to, of course, prove I'm a resident of the Village & have to be in non-delinquent status with 'assessment payments'. Regarding criteria topic, in order to receive Village pool passes in the summer the criteria is the same...current in MVF/HOA payments & no architectural violations pending. To contribute in Village News I have to fully identify myself as Village member by providing my full name, address (community in which I live) w/no regard from MVF that for safety reasons i.e. some residents might not want all that information in the Village News. Open forum to express themselves in 'their' Village paper (w/MVF as single entity having and verifying contributor is indeed Village 'member') should be enough that such private info is provided to MVF when editorial submitted to them w/o insistence private info become a 'matter of public domain'! Mentioning all these varying issues & requirements only to show the irony of fact that we have a member on the MVF Board who sold her home in South Village (moved entirely out of Village from what I understand); yet sits on the MVF Board with term not expiring until 2016. And that position of a non-resident involves finances (Treasurer)! Say what again??!! With that (lack of) criteria (absurdity) for holding office, I may advise & suggest family & friends who reside in other parts of the County give it a shot & run for a Board position in Montgomery Village! Hummm!
Sharon February 01, 2014 at 11:56 AM
Correction: Non-residing individual continues to sit on HOA Board. No matter 'cause the real issue is fact 'non-resident'. One would think & hope that new counsel would 'advise' as to the legality or lack thereof for non-residence to 'sit on any Board' or have any say in MV or HOA issues.


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