Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ December 2013

The Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Brings Government Closer to Residents, and Vice Versa

By Ed Levy

A Monday night crowd filled the room for the monthly meeting of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board.  Many were there due to their interest in senior citizen housing (the main topic that evening), others came to hear County Councilmember Valerie Ervin report on fast-breaking news, and still others were there to raise additional issues or just to stay informed about the Silver Spring/Takoma Park community.

The Board discusses and acts on a wide range of issues that affect the Silver Spring Region defined as the west-east area between Rock Creek Park and the Prince Georges County line, and the north-south boundary of I-495 and the District of Columbia, including all of Four Corners and all of the City of Takoma Park.

The Silver Spring Board is one of five regional advisory boards working out of the County government’s Regional Service Centers.  Board member applications are solicited from interested residents, nominated by the County Executive, and approved by the County Council.

Citizens Advisory Board Members march in last year’s Thanksgiving Parade through downtown Silver Spring.  Author Ed Levy is at far left, wearing a cap.

The Silver Spring Board meets on the second Monday evening of each month at the Silver Spring Civic Center (across from the Regal Majestic movies near Fenton and Ellsworth Streets).  The Board has three committees (Neighborhoods, Commercial Economic Development, and Transportation, Energy, and Environment) which meet at the Center on the fourth Monday of each month.  All Board meetings are open to the public.

The Board is organizing the fourth Taste of Fenton Village event on 4 May 2014, to highlight the unique Silver Spring restaurants south of Wayne Avenue and north of Route 410.  About 30 restaurants will participate with two stages of music and other performers all around the neighborhood.

Evan Glass is the Board’s Chair.  Glass states the Silver Spring Advisory Board was the first group of any kind established to advise the Montgomery County Government.  He is focused on the challenges and opportunities of Silver Spring’s continuing redevelopment, keeping new construction aesthetically pleasing, and maintaining sufficient green space for area residents.

Reemberto Rodriguez is Director of Montgomery County government’s Silver Spring Regional Center, and is very pleased with the productive partnership between the Regional Center and the Advisory Board.  He believes that the Board is a model of successful community infrastructure, similar to efforts in Atlanta, Portland (Ore.), and Syracuse.  The Board is also similar to the District of Columbia’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) but on a larger scale.  (D.C. has 39 ANCs serving a population of about 600,000, while Montgomery County’s five Advisory Boards serve a population of 971,000.)   ■

   © 2013 NFCCA  [Source:]