Sebastian Montes
Email sebastian.montes@patch.com Phone 240-319-6616 Hometown Norfolk, Va. Birthday May 3
Bio A native of Colombia, Sebastian spent his school-aged years in Norfolk, Va. before heading off to James Madison University. Several circuitous years of letting his degree in history idle somehow led to Syracuse University's masters program in journalism, where, one early morning during an especially brutal Central New York winter, being tossed about in a dinghy by nearly gale winds as a freshwater ecologist pulled soil samples from Onondaga Lake's notoriously polluted floor, Sebastian discovered his love for reporting. Or at least a rather strong like. After Syracuse came five-and-a-half years on The Gazette's Gaithersburg/Montgomery Village desk, where he cut his teeth as the newspaper's lead reporter on immigration and the county's plan to build a 900-acre "Science City" between Gaithersburg and Rockville. It is entirely possible that Sebastian is addicted to Coke Slurpees. During rare moments when he's not poring over court records or some arcane county document, Sebastian dreams of running off to join a professional flip-cup league and/or the day when maybe, just maybe, he throws a truly perfect spiral. Politics I do not belong to any political parties. Truth be told, I have never voted. The closest I come to a political belief is my conviction that, to paraphrase Churchill, democracy is the worst form of government ... except for all the others. Religion Although my uncles, aunts and cousins back in Colombia are quite intensely Catholic, I adhere to no particular religiousity. Life's every moment is wondrous and magical; that's about as deep as I get. Hot-Button Issues What do you think are the most important issues facing the community? Montgomery Village faces a seminal moment as the 50-year sunset of its unique zoning rules looming in the not-very-distant future. What will the Village be after 2015, and who will be the people casting those decisions? In a similar vein, Montgomery County as a whole is in the throes of wholesale demographic upheaval. As the community's complexion changes, issues such as immigration and increasingly urban levels of construction, traffic and crime will push further and further to the fore. Where do you stand on each of these issues? I am hardly so vain as to think I have the answers, or even an inkling of them. My only interest, as a journalist, is in accurately if not relentlessly portraying what is actually happening, rather than what some people would have themselves and others believe.
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