Town of Chevy Chase Mayor Not Seeking Re-election to Council
Five candidates, including one incumbent, are seeking to win one of three seats on the Town Council in 2018
Town of Chevy Chase Mayor Mary Flynn is not seeking re-election to the Town Council this year
Bethesda Beat file photo - Aaron Kraut
Town of Chevy Chase Mayor Mary Flynn is not running for re-election to the Town Council in the May election.
Flynn said this week she’s stepping down from her town position so she can return to a full-time job. She was first elected as a Town Council member in 2016 and then in 2017 the five-member council voted to install her as mayor.
She said in an interview she plans to continue to be involved in town issues through her position as president of the community group CBAR (the Coalition of Bethesda Area Residents).
“I’m hoping to maintain an open and respectful and collaborative discussion with everybody regarding the implementation of the Bethesda Downtown Plan,” Flynn said, speaking of the plan that will guide development in the neighboring community. She added that she’s not endorsing any candidates in the upcoming election.
Incumbent Town Council member Scott Fosler also is not seeking re-election next month. He did not respond to an email sent earlier this week requesting comment.
Flynn and Fosler’s decisions to step down from the council leave only one council incumbent—Barney Rush—seeking re-election in the May 1 Town Council election.
Along with Rush, town residents Fred Cecere, Wicca Davidson, Kirk Renaud and Deborah Vollmer are running for three council seats.
Cecere was previously elected to the council in 2015 after a controversial secret write-in campaign vaulted him to victory over incumbent Pat Burda. Cecere didn’t seek re-election in 2017, when Cecily Baskir and Joel Rubin were elected to the council.
In a letter to voters, Cecere wrote that while on the council he championed relaxing land-use ordinances and worked to adjust the budget after the town received surplus funds from state tax distributions it wasn’t entitled to that it had to pay back. If elected, Cecere wrote he would work with county and state officials to address traffic issues as well as the potential impacts on the town from ongoing construction of the light-rail Purple Line and the implementation of the Downtown Bethesda Sector Plan.
Rush wrote in his letter that if he’s re-elected he would work to mitigate the effects of construction of the light-rail line and downtown Bethesda development on the town. He noted that the council’s previous work on the Bethesda sector plan helped reduce building height limits for properties near the town.
Davidson is a real estate agent and former nurse who moderates a town listserv and neighborhood Facebook page, according to her letter to voters. She has also served as chair of the community relations committee for the town and hopes to create a more engaged community if elected.
Renaud is a 25-year town resident and the CEO of the consumer health product company Biobrite. In his letter, he wrote he would work to address the impacts of Purple Line construction and Bethesda development, be fiscally responsible with the town’s budget and foster a respectful culture in the town if he were elected.
Vollmer is a community activist who has been involved in headline-generating disputes in the past over a neighbor’s driveway and Pepco’s smart meters. She has lived in her childhood home in the town since returning to Chevy Chase from California in 1997, she wrote in her letter to voters. She’s opposed to the Purple Line, favors slowing development in downtown Bethesda and wants to preserve some of the surface parking lot behind the Farm Women’s Market on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda.
The town is hosting a candidate’s forum at 7 p.m. April 25 in Town Hall, 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase.