Perennial candidate Ficker seeks District 2 County Council seat for Republicans
Ficker aims to stop all tax increases
Robin Ficker has returned from Burtonsville to his longtime home in Boyds to run for the District 2 County Council seat.
He moved to Burtonsville in 2009 to run unsuccessfully in a special election to fill the District 4 council seat left open by the death of Don Praisner.
Ficker, a Republican who has run for a number of state and county offices since he last served in the House of Delegates in 1982, has been more successful in recent years at championing ballot initiatives.
In 2008 he promoted an initiative that prevents the Montgomery County Council from raising property taxes above the rate of inflation without the approval of all nine council members.
Ficker's amendment passed with 51 percent of the vote, despite opposition from County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), the County Council and a coalition of school, union and civic representatives.
"I'm going to be the ninth vote that stops the property tax increase planned after the election," Ficker said.
The County Council is not fiscally responsible, he said.
"I am not a tax cutter but I am opposed to large tax increases," Ficker said. "Homeowners have been used as an ATM."
Ficker's first successful ballot initiative came in 1978 when voters agreed the county should not operate a garbage dump in a residential area. That led to the closing of a landfill in Laytonsville. His 1980 initiative stopped the county from burying sewage sludge in residential areas, which it had been doing in Clarksburg and Germantown. A 1982 ballot question was designed to prevent phone companies from charging more for calls to and from the upcounty.
This year, Ficker has gathered enough signatures for a ballot question to put a two-term limit on the county executive and council members.
He spends every weekend at shopping centers, collecting signatures for his petitions, and frequently testifies at public hearings against tax and rate increases.
"I think I've been acting as the unofficial County Council member from District 2 for a few years now," he said.
He started his campaign with $16,000 and plans to raise another $10,000 through mailings, but said he will not take money from special interests.
Ficker is unopposed in the primary. In November he will face the winner of the Democratic primary: Sharon Dooley of Olney, Royce Hanson of Montgomery Village, Charles E. Kirchman of Germantown, Poolesville Commission President Eddie Kuhlman or Del. Craig Rice of Germantown.
District 2 covers almost three-fifths of the county, including Montgomery Village, Poolesville, Germantown, Clarksburg, Boyds, Olney, Damascus, Barnesville and Laytonsville.
Education: Five semesters at U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Bachelor of Science degree, engineering, Case Institute of Technology; attended University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Juris Doctorate, University of Baltimore Law School; Master of Public Administration, American University
Work experience: Criminal and traffic defense attorney in private practice, real estate broker, doing business as Robin Ficker Realty. Former Assistant General Counsel for Information Services for General Electric, former Assistant General Counsel for National Soft Drink Association, former General Counsel for National Caucus of the Black Aged
Family: Three adult children
Top three issues: Term limits for county officials, stopping any new property tax, energy tax or cell phone tax that is larger than the inflation rate, and extending Metro or light rail from Montgomery Village to Germantown before the Purple Line is built
Campaign funds: $16,000
Previous political experience: Represented Dist. 15 in the Maryland House of Delegates, 1979-1983; unsuccessful runs for a number of political posts, including Dist. 4 council seat, Congress, state delegate and county executive
Other affiliations: None
Website: www.robinficker.com (under construction)
Correction: Eddie Kuhlman is the Poolesville Commission president.