ROCKVILLE, MD – After the Montgomery County Council’s unanimous vote in favor of Thrive 2050, an update to the county’s general land use plan, opponents of the bill demanded more community listening sessions to grieve over the approval before it is implemented.
“This is all happening way too fast, especially for people with nothing but time on our hands,” said Kim Seelkestein, the sole coalition member of the Moderately Epic Coalition of MoCo, which is adamantly opposed to Thrive. “There are five stages of grief, and we’ll need at least 20 community listening sessions for each stage before the council can legitimately say they heard our input. Our strategy is to be stuck on stage one – denial – for a really long time.”
Thrive opponents, who worked tirelessly for more than three years to stop the bill using delay tactics like never-ending impact studies and unlimited requests for community engagement, hoped that County Executive Marc Elrich would come up with one more clever stall tactic before it was too late. Although Elrich took some creative steps, including using the county’s official text alert system to shit-talk Thrive to millions of residents just looking for updates on the school calendar or upcoming severe weather, he ultimately couldn’t run out the clock anymore.
“I literally spent my entire first term as County Executive working to stop Thrive,” said Elrich. “Now I’ll need to use my second term to complain about not having had enough time to do that in the hopes that voters will give me a third term, when I might be able to stall action on yet another plan to address a different county crisis.”
Though at first annoyed, the County Council agreed to grant requests for Thrive opponents to hold as many community grief sessions as they desire, as long as the sessions take place in the middle of a typical workday when the vast majority of residents are unable to attend.