Montgomery Village residents now will have only three minutes to speak their minds at Montgomery Village Foundation Executive Board meetings after a measure to limit residents’ speaking time passed 6 to 2 Thursday night.
The truncated speaking time — from five to three minutes — now is on a six-month trial period after board member Linc Perley amended the original permanent motion.
“I think we all know the outcome of the six-month trial period. There will be a lot of complaints,” said board member Scott Johnson, who along with board member Mark Firley voted against the measure.
Hydorn felt that residents’ time was being monopolized by the same residents bringing up the same issues.
Hydorn revised his original suggestion by eliminating a required written testimony with any resident speech to reduce discrepancies in the minutes.
Several residents spoke out against the measure before the vote.
“Hydorn’s disdain has gone from some residents to disdain for all,” said Don O’Neill, a Montgomery Village resident.
Hydorn reiterated that the reduction of time was not because of certain residents, but was to streamline meetings since they have continued to extend further into the night.
Other residents like Terry O’Grady were concerned that residents may not have enough time to express their thoughts.
“Some are gifted and can express their point in one or two sentences. Others need paragraphs,” she said to the board.
The Montgomery Village Board of Directors previously had a three-minute time limit, but it was changed to five minutes about eight years ago.
Bob Anderson, a Montgomery Village resident and MVF Transportation, Development and Public Facilities Committee member, said he always felt five minutes was too long and it led to meetings dragging on.
The city of Gaithersburg and the Montgomery County Council use a three-minute time limit.
MVF to consider solar panels
The Montgomery Village Foundation Board of Directors passed a measure to consider solar panels on Foundation-owned buildings Thursday.
The unanimous vote came after the board heard a presentation by the solar panel company Solar City, which has a local office in Beltsville.
Under Solar City’s program, the company would own the panels, maintain them and receive energy credits, while the Foundation would receive a large savings in energy costs.
The Foundation will have a choice between three plans that will sell electricity back to Pepco and pay for the panels.
With the Pay as You Go plan, the Foundation would pay Solar City $349 per month with no initial payment and save $87,247 on electricity over 20 years.
The Custom plan would pay Solar City $345 per month with a $9,000 initial payment and save $116,157 over 20 years.
The Prepay plan would have no monthly payment, an initial payment of $42,510, and would save the Foundation $161,618 over 20 years.
Several of the board members and residents at Thursday’s meeting expressed excitement about the solar panels.
“In full disclosure I’m having them come to my house to look into installing [panels],” said board member Mark Firley.