October 6, 2010

Over 100 jobs could be lost in Montgomery cuts

ROCKVILLE, Md. - Could losing ambulance fees mean losing ambulances? Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's spokesman Patrick Lacefield says it's a possibility. Public safety agencies wouldn't be the only operations hit by cuts. Services to teenagers, middle school kids, new mothers and seniors could feel the pinch. The cuts are not inevitable. They are part of a "just-in-case" document, based on the possibility that voters could reject ambulance fees in a referendum next month.

Leggett warned he would release the budget cuts last week. He sent a memo with his proposal to the Montgomery County Council Tuesday afternoon. Leggett argues that the loss of revenues from ambulance fees would require him to cut $14 million from the 2011 fiscal budget. If the ambulance fees are repealed, the following services would be on the chopping block:

118 public safety jobs, including nine police officers in school
11 ambulances would be pulled out of service
$1 million in road resurfacing
4 sports academies that serve "at-risk" teenagers
8 of 15 "RecExtra" programs for "at-risk" middle school kids
Sunday service at area libraries
Cuts to "Care for Kids"
Cuts to Maternity Partnership
The proposal, which Leggett calls a "Savings Plan," is currently only a proposal.

The plan is predicated on the assumption that voters will repeal the county's ambulance fees. If voters repeal the fees, the budget cuts would be subject to a county council vote. SOURCE: WTOP

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