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MVF President Endorses Three Candidates For Board of Directors Election

Bob Hydorn will support Scott Dyer, Sharon Cranford and Elena Peterson in the 2013 Montgomery Village Foundation Board of Directors election.

With four candidates vying for three seats on the Montgomery Village Foundation's Board of Directors, March's election will send one candidate home unhappy.

Running for the seats are current board member Scott Dyer, who is seeking re-election; Sharon Crawford, who serves on the Whetstone Board and is running for a seat on the MVF Board for the first time; Elena Peterson, who is currently president of South Village and is running for a seat on the MVF Board for the first time; and Don O'Neill, who is running for a seat on the MVF Board for the third time.

Typically, the MVF president remains quiet about the candidates leading up to the election, but this year Bob Hydorn has chosen to speak out, announcing endorsements of three candidates to Montgomery Village Patch.

"I will be endorsing Scott, Sharon and Elena," Hydorn wrote in an email. "They are 3 strong candidates that want to see the community moving forward."

After announcing his endorsements, Hydorn took the time to answer some questions about his decision to speak out prior to the March 2013 election:

Montgomery Village Patch: What stands out about each candidate that's earned your endorsement?

MVF President Bob Hydorn: Scott, Sharon and Elena have worked on Village issues for a number of years. They are smart, dedicated and have the temperament and sense of collegiality to work cooperatively with other Board members to move the Village forward.

MV Patch: Why do you feel the community would be better served by electing Scott, Sharon and Elena over Don?

Hydorn: Scott, Sharon and Elena are all current members of their homeowners association boards. They know what it's like to handle budgets, address maintenance issues, work with residents and balance competing interests. Scott is a current MVF Board member.

All three have served on MVF committees. Sharon and Elena served on the Long Range Facility Planning Committee and the Vision 2030 Committee. Both committees provided excellent preparation for service on the MVF Board of Directors. In particular, the Vision 2030 Committee brought together a diverse group of Village residents to offer their views on what the community might look like in the future. Sharon, an attorney, serves on the MVF Audit Committee and Elena has been a member of the Recreation Committee for many years. Both have been active in Friends of Whetstone Lake (FOWL).

Scott has brought his business background and the perspective of a young family to his service on the MVF board.

We need a diversity of opinions but at the end of the day, we need to work together to revitalize the Village. Scott, Sharon and Elena understand what governance is all about.

To the best of my knowledge, Don has not served on any homeowners association board or served on any committee, at either the MVF or HOA level. He has not chosen to work with the community although he has had many opportunities to do so.

MV Patch: You mention you typically stay quiet on elections, but this year cannot. Why do you feel it's necessary to step in and voice your opinion? 

Hydorn: I am speaking out at this year's election because we have a number of important issues coming up in the near future. We have the sale of the Montgomery Village Golf Course and the need to work with the new owners. Revision of the Gaithersburg East/Montgomery Village Master Plan is coming up in 2014 and we are laying the groundwork for that. There will be issues before the legislature and the County Council that will need to be addressed. Montgomery Village needs to speak in a strong, unified voice. Scott, Sharon and Elena will bring their knowledge and commitment to the Village to their service on the MVF Board.

MV Patch: Are there any issus specific to the Montgomery Village area that you hope yo see the candidates address? You've mentioned the change in the times, how do you see these candidates moving forward?

Hydorn: I think I'll let the candidates speak for themselves. There will be two meet and greets and a candidates forum which will give them plenty of opportunity to share their views with residents.

Scott, Sharon and Elena are candidates who will help the Village continue to move forward because they have demonstrated a long-term commitment to our community, have the background and skills to enable us to continue our progress.

SPEAK OUT: Do you support Hydorn's endorsements or do you feel O'Neill is better suited for the MVF Board? Tell us in the comments!

Don O'Neill January 12, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Alison Rawlings asked, "What did Bob Hydorn say at that meeting?" Message #3 Bob Hydorn unsuccessfully tried to use this incident before the MVF Nominating Committee to derail the confirmation of my candidacy for the 2013 MVF Board election. Simply put he co-opted the meeting of the Nominating Committee, ambushed me upon arrival, failed to make his case, and left empty handed. Kudos to the Nominating Committee for not being intimidated in confirming the candidacy of all applicants. In light of Bob Hydorn's stunt and the extreme animus it revealed, I requested that Bob Hydorn play no part in the election process going forward especially the counting of votes on Saturday March 2, 2013.
Allison Rawlings January 14, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Are you saying that you actually tried to use your position on the restrooms using extortion? Extortion/bribery what is the difference, it is still corrupt. I must commend Bob Hydorn for bringing such a brash act to the public forum.
Don O'Neill January 14, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Response to Rawlings, Not good with words, Bob Hydorn accused me of bribery... quite a stretch. As a private citizen, I was not operating from a position of authority and money was not involved. In the management of my priorities, the offer was both principled and pragmatic in that undoing the harm to these people was more valuable than opposing a toilet in a park. If the exchange I proposed had been accepted, the outcome would have served a higher purpose. In dealing with complex issues, compromising and trading off are learned skills... in some cases not yet learned.
Sharon January 14, 2013 at 09:37 PM
I'm not going to give my opinion on any of candidates running for the Board. My response is entirely different take on this entire interview & endorsement. The Village & its HOA's state they encourage residents to run for office. Yet, when they do, thread such as this is created to simply go after the 'one man out'. Had there been 5-6 candidates w/2-3 men (women) out it would have been less obvious as to what is really going on here. Personal feelings or vendettas don't belong here.. The most disturbing sense I get fr/ this article is fact that apparently residents of Village aren't given credit in possessing enough sense or intellect to make up their own minds, not given benefit of doubt that we too are capable of making educated decisions when selecting/voting on those we wish to represent us w/o endorsements. I wish to rid all of us of another myth...that in order to be qualified to run for office one has to 'join' a committee with new ones cropping up every time homeowners turn around. Tell i.e. those 'busy bees', involved folks behind the scenes of every great movie, etc that they are not worth validating nor worthy of credit for contributing to the 'overall' good just because they didn't 'join the club' or crave the 'limelight'. Those 'behind the scenes' & concerned & involved i.e. homeowners who suggestions/ideas were taken and run with by the 'fame seekers' without a mere acknowledgement should cry foul to all reps.. Not all of us are 'scene stealers'.
Sharon January 14, 2013 at 09:45 PM
P.S. And to think as 'adults' we are trying to teach our children that bullying another human being is not acceptable whether face-to-face or online! Sigh!
Don O'Neill January 14, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Sharon, Well said! More on bullying... With a misguided vision of leadership and posing as an example in his President’s Message in the November 30, 2012 MV News, Bob Hydorn instructed aspiring leaders of the importance of ego and guts as the prerequisite for MVF Board membership. What has been evident over the past several years has been plenty of ego and more adult bullying than guts.
jim January 14, 2013 at 10:56 PM
I would vote for Don just to get a fresh voice and perspective on the board. The Village has so deteriorated over the past 20 years that new ideas and voices should be heard. Al we have to do is look at the poor test scores and high crime that the village now is engulfed by. MTV used to be a place to be proud of...now it's a place to avoid when purchasing a home.
Sharon January 16, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Jim you say "place to avoid when purchasing"! We even have renters walk into a community I know of where even they turn their noises up and not walk away but RUN! Not that is BEYOND SAD & inexcusable that communities within Village have not been protected (oversight and enforcement) as promised and supposedly guaranteed each and every time we are mandated to write a personal check to the Powers That Be! To hopefully change mood here, a bit of humor needed since we are living in the 'Land of Comedy (of errors)! You typed MTV instead of MVF in your comment! Were you watching something good on MTV at the time? LOL!
Allison Rawlings January 16, 2013 at 07:30 PM
The neighborhood that I reside in is very nice, nicely kept and seems very secure. Our Eastgate board work long and hard to keep it looking nice and all of us feeling safe.
Sharon January 16, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Allison, you are quite fortunate with tha, seriouslyt. Count your blessings.
Allison Rawlings January 16, 2013 at 09:56 PM
.Sharon, I think that we are all fortunate to live here, and have a board that looks to our future rather than backwards. I wish the MVF had stood behind Bob Hydorn on the pavilion in Eastgate. We don't have anything like that over here and it sure would have been nice to have.
Sharon January 17, 2013 at 04:18 AM
Allison, don't get me started. Depends where in the Village you live & under which HOA as well. And I would rather concentrate on the present (conditions) than either the past/backwards OR THE future/forward.
Allison Rawlings January 17, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Reading in the Gaithersburg Gazette last evening, I see that Scott Dyer, Sharon Cranford and Elena Peterson have been involved in the Village and their HOA. That makes sense to elect them. I only wish I had the time to volunteer. Working on my degree and working leaves no time.
Bob Hydorn January 18, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Allison, All communities need people like you. I certainly wish you had the time to volunteer, even just a couple of hours a month. Positive upbeat people are how a community moves forward.
Derek Hale January 19, 2013 at 08:09 PM
There are other ways to "volunteer" your time. Perhaps take 10-15 minutes to pick up any trash around your street our court. Offer to help an elderly neighbor to rake his/her leaves or shovel the driveway of snow. I can go on and on but these are many things that we do without thinking about it but we are "volunteering" in a sense
Derek Hale January 19, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Sigh............ Haven't you been down this road before Don? The past times you have not been elected? There is an independent (see here, key word INDEPENDENT) committee assigned to count the votes. ANYONE on the Board or a prospective candidate certainly can WATCH the vote counting. But obviously cannot COUNT the votes. Do you seriously think that things are as flawed as what you may believe? ANY RESIDENT OF MV can sit there and watch the counting of the votes. I'm sure opening envelopes and counting votes are as exciting as my grass growing. It seems here like you are making an insinuation that Bob Hydorn is COUNTING the votes. And THAT, simply is not true. Please, know your facts before you would make such an assertion.
Sharon January 20, 2013 at 08:41 PM
So agree with you, Derek. But 'kind acts' are not validated it seems unless you 'join (the) club' or have some sort of title! Those who perform community service and kind acts don't need a badge or 'accolades; in the news. So, continue doing what you are doing! Kudos to you or any who don't need 'praise and Academy Awards' for things we do for the good of community or for the welfare of others!
Derek Hale January 22, 2013 at 11:23 PM
(kind of late notice, but)............... Good luck to all in the Candidate Forum tonight at: North Creek Community Center, 20125 Arrowhead Road Tuesday, January 22 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Hope there are good questions for everyone that represent out respective communities Brave the cold and get out there and listen and then VOTE. Don't think your vote doesn't count!!!
Don O'Neill January 23, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Derek, As part of the process of counting the votes in 2011, Bob Hydorn handled the ballots. With his extreme animus revealed, I feel uncomfortable with his participation in this process and requested that he not be present when votes are counted.
Allison Rawlings January 23, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Mr. O'Neill, Are you saying in your response to Derek Hale above, what I believe you are saying. That Bob Hydorn can not be trusted,
Derek Hale January 24, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Don, again, back to your comment on Wednesday, January 23, 2013: "As part of the process of counting the votes in 2011, Bob Hydorn handled the ballots." Did he "physically" handle (touch) the ballots “Count" (sit at a table and count) the ballots Or just oversee the process (sit there and watch). There are multiple interpretations to your comment.
Don O'Neill January 25, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Derek, Let me narrow down these interpretations. As part of the process of counting the votes in 2011, Bob Hydorn did handle the ballots. He retrieved stacks of ballots from the back room and brought them to the ballot entry staging area where operators keyed in the results into a database. Specifically to the question as you posed it: 1. Did he "physically" handle (touch) the ballots- Yes, he did.
 2. “Count" (sit at a table and count) the ballots- No, he did not.
 3. Or just oversee the process (sit there and watch).- Yes, he did. Again with his extreme animus revealed, I feel uncomfortable with his participation in any part of this process including physically handling, counting, or overseeing, and I request again that he not be present when votes are counted.
Don O'Neill January 25, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Allison, Asked whether I trusted Bob Hydorn, I stated earlier that I was uncomfortable with his involvement in the election process including the handling and counting of votes since he tried to bar my candidacy with the Nominating Committee and is actively trying to tilt the playing field towards more compliant candidates he thinks he can control. Instead of allowing the residents of Montgomery Village to freely decide on their own, Bob Hydorn has chosen to try to influence the outcome and done so improperly. Now as for trustworthiness, there are numerous issues where Bob Hydorn's trustworthiness can be assessed. Here trustworthiness connotes warranting trust and having confidence placed in one. My trustworthiness assessment of Bob Hydorn on the top ten issues of critical importance to the Village is as follows: 1. Watkins Mill Middle School- No 2. Webb Tract- No 3. Goshen Road widening- No 4. M83 Route selection- Yes 5. South Valley Project- No 6. MV Golf Club- Yes 7. Vision 2030- No 8. Gaithersburg East Master Plan- Yes 9 Town Sector Zoning- No 10. MV Business community- Yes
Allison Rawlings January 25, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Are you not saying right here in your response that Bob Hydorn is perfidious?
Sally Joyner January 25, 2013 at 08:03 PM
I have not been on Patch in some time, and now reading this chain of postings it looks like Don O'Neill sure does not like Bob Hydorn. Who in their right mind would not support a new school? Having recently moved from Whetstone to East Village and drive Goshen Road every day, I have followed the Goshen Road widening project each step of the way. Bob Hydorn was right there with the Whetstone and North Village residents every step of the way in discussions with Montgomery County. These postings make me wonder if some people want to stay stagnant or change with the times? I say let’s change with the times.
Don O'Neill January 25, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Allison, Perfidious? A very good word. Perfidious can mean deceitful or untrustworthy. It can also pertain to deliberate breach of faith or calculated violation of trust. It is your word, so you choose the meaning of your own question. In the trustworthiness assessment on the top ten issues of critical importance posted earlier, there could be examples of each of the above since every move made is situational and calculated. The question arises, Calculated to achieve what goal? Here the uncertainty over the unstated goal may lead to discomfort, that is, loss of trust.
Don O'Neill January 25, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Sally, On Watkins Mill Middle School, the people who walk and play in Centerway Park and those who live adjacent to it are grateful to this day for the battle waged to protect it. Dr. Weast, the Superintendent of MCPS, actually commended me for a battle well fought after my second appearance before the Board of Education. Even the Board of Education should be grateful because this project was unaffordable and they now know it. On Goshen Road, I measured the width of Goshen Road on hands and knees with a yard stick to determine how wide the road needed to be to meet the traffic objectives stated by the County. My conclusion, seventy-two feet would accommodate the traffic without invoking eminent domain and usurping the backyard property of any Whetstone resident bordering Goshen Road. The County pressed for a width of over one hundred feet to accommodate a sidewalk on one side, a generous bike bath on the other side, and center strip claiming that this was the standard they had to meet. The Village leaders sold out the residents in agreeing to ninety-two feet. Hopefully funding realities and austerity will force the County to scale back and delay this project.
Don O'Neill January 26, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Allison, Perhaps it would also be useful to conduct a trustworthiness assessment on citizen centric Strategic Planning Goals that assist in focusing on the means MVF will employ and the outcomes residents can expect. There goals span numerous issues where Bob Hydorn's trustworthiness can be assessed. Here again trustworthiness connotes warranting trust and having confidence placed in one. 1. Promote the quality of life for MV residents. - Yes 2. Ensure the safety and security of the residents of MV and their property. - No 3. Promote an economic development environment for the community businesses that serve the residents of MV. - Yes 4. 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. - No 5. Encourage the pride of MV residents in maintaining the aesthetic appearance of the community needed to boost property values. - No 6. Foster the democratic process. - No
Derek Hale January 27, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Don, In response to your comment: "As part of the process of counting the votes in 2011, Bob Hydorn did handle the ballots." Was Mr. Hydorn ALSO a candidate in 2011? Or simply being helpful in bringing materials from one room to another for the purposes of others counting them?
Don O'Neill January 27, 2013 at 09:44 PM
Derek, Bob Hydorn was a candidate in 2012 not 2011. This year, Bob Hydorn has announced by way of this blog that he has horse in the race. This announcement along with his improper and unsuccessful attempt to ambush my candidacy at the start of the Nominating Committee's proceedings on January 9 are enough to make me uncomfortable with his presence in any capacity at the counting of votes on Saturday March 2, 2013.

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