County Council OKs New Planning Board Member
At its regular meeting held earlier this week, The Montgomery County Council approved the appointment of transportation engineer and planner Gerald R. Cichy as a member of the County Planning Board.
On Tuesday, June 14, 2016, the County Council unanimously approved the appointment of Cichy to the Planning Board which is part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Cichy appointment is effective July 22. He replaces Board member Amy Presley, who is leaving after serving two consecutive terms and is ineligible for reappointment. Her last Board session will be July 21.
Like Presley, Cichy is a registered Republican. By law, the position had to be filled by a Republican, or a voter who declines to affiliate with a party, or by a member of another party officially recognized by the Montgomery County Board of Elections. In addition to Presley (R), current Planning Board members are Chair Casey Anderson (D), Vice Chair Marye Wells-Harley (D), Norman Dreyfuss (R) and Natali Fani-González (D).
Cichy, 77, is a Rockville resident and former director of the County’s Department of Transportation, was selected over four other candidates; Montgomery Village’s Mark Firley, a computer security analyst at IBM; Poolesville’s Dennis Kamber, a retired civil engineer; Germantown’s Tina Patterson, a management and mediation consultant; and Silver Spring’s David Perdue, a member of the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
Cichy and Firley identified themselves as Republicans, while Kamber, Perdue, and Patterson were not affiliated with a political party. Patterson, who has served on the county’s Human Rights Commission and the board of the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, also submitted letters of support for her application from others who have served with her.
“In joining us, Gerald R. Cichy will hit the ground running, especially as we review important transportation policies, from the Purple Line station improvements to the Bicycle Master Plan,” says Board Chair Anderson. “His experience with transportation issues in the County will be incredibly valuable as we make hard decisions about roads and transit.”
Cichy is well prepared to serve on the Board, having worked at the Maryland Transit Administration/ Maryland Department of Transportation on projects such as the Corridor Cities Transitway, Purple Line light rail system and regional transit-oriented developments. From 1979 to 1984, he was director of transportation for Montgomery County and collaborated with federal, state and county agencies as well as developer and citizen groups to solve mutual problems.
During his tenure, Cichy worked with Planning Department staff to coordinate implementation of master plan transportation projects.
Among Cichy’s achievements is a patent for a bus rapid transit vehicle with doors directly opening to transit platforms. He is a recipient of the Federal Transit Administration’s “Innovative Idea Award” for a 200-mile bus rapid transit system supplementing the Metrorail system in the Washington, DC region.
In 2016, he graduated from the Senior Leadership Montgomery program. Cichy holds master degrees in both city and regional planning, and civil engineering from Catholic University.
The five-member Planning Board oversees the Montgomery County Planning Department and Department of Parks and advises the County Council on land use and community planning. The Chair serves a full-time position on the Montgomery County Planning Board and receives a salary of $200,000. The part-time Board Members receive an annual salary of $30,000. They also serve as Commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, a bi-county agency established in 1927 to protect public land.