Pesticide ban shows the peril of one-party governance
The ban on the use of pesticides on private lawns by the Montgomery County Council is an unwarranted intrusion on private property rights and an unnecessary duplication of existing federal and state regulations [“Montgomery bans cosmetic pesticides on lawns,” Metro, Oct. 7]. The ban provides no clearly defined public health benefits beyond those already provided by existing regulations, so it is little more than political posturing by its supporters on the nine-member, all-Democratic council.
Council President George L. Leventhal (D-At Large), the lead sponsor of the bill, made it plain at public hearings and work sessions that he had reached his decision on the measure the day he introduced it. Conflicting testimony, including expert testimony disputing the need for the law and its alleged benefits, was generally ignored. The predictable result was bad legislation based on personal philosophy and opinion rather than facts.
Council member Roger Berliner (D-PotomacBethesda), one of only three council members opposing the bill, predicted that the council’s action would result in a backlash. I hope he is correct. And although I am a registered Democrat, I hope the backlash will motivate Montgomery County’s Republicans to field some capable and credible council candidates in 2018. The history of this bill clearly illustrates the perils of one-party governance and demonstrates that it is time to restore some balance on the council.