December 11, 2010

Accomplishments of 16th Montgomery County Council (2006-10)

ROCKVILLE, Md., December 7, 2010—On Monday, Dec. 6, the 16th Council of Montgomery County served its final day and the 17th Council was sworn in at ceremonies at Rockville High School. Sworn as part of the 17th Council were returning incumbents Phil Andrews, Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Nancy Navarro. Newly elected Hans Riemer and Craig Rice are beginning their first terms. All were elected in November to four-year terms.

Serving full terms on the 16th Council were Councilmembers Andrews, Berliner, Elrich, Ervin, Floreen, Leventhal, Mike Knapp and Duchy Trachtenberg. Councilmember Navarro took office on June 3, 2009, after winning a special election to represent District 4. Councilmember Marilyn Praisner passed away while in office on Feb. 1, 2008. She was replaced on May 27, 2008, by her husband, Don Praisner, who won a special election. He passed away while in office on Jan. 30, 2009.

One-year terms as president for 16th Council were served by Marilyn Praisner (Dec. 2006-Dec. 2007), Mike Knapp (Dec. 2007-Dec. 2008), Phil Andrews (Dec. 2008-Dec. 2009) and Nancy Floreen (Dec. 2009-Dec. 2010). The following are the major accomplishments of the 16th Montgomery County Council:


- Passed Fiscal Year 2008 Operating Budget that included no new taxes
- Formed ad hoc agricultural policy working group formed
- Received report analyzing Clarksburg development districts
- Formed Girls in Information Technology working group formed
- Formed Mansionization task force to evaluate and propose specific solutions to the problems posed by infill development in lower Montgomery County
- Formed Infrastructure Working Group
- Provided financial aid to farmers impacted by summer drought
- Revised Road Code that will lead to changes to street and road design. Changes will have considerable impact in future subdivisions, including the creation of streets that will be safer for pedestrians and bicyclists and standards that will improve stormwater management
- Approved bill that will prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in housing, employment, public accommodations, cable television service and taxicab service
- Approved an appropriation of $250,000 to help qualifying group homes that provide special services to individuals install automatic fire sprinklers to protect the safety of the homes’ residents
- Implemented Safe Speed program, becoming the first county in Maryland to use speed cameras to enforce speed limits in residential areas and school zones with a speed limit of 35 mph or less and school zones with any speed limit
- Approved Green Building Certification Program to allow a property tax credit for high performance buildings certified by the United States Green Buildings Council (USGB) or equivalent
- Initiated Council president holding weekly briefings with media to help improve communications with the public


- Held increase for FY09 Operating Budget to rate of inflation
- Approved Germantown and Twinbrook sector plans
- Approved package of seven climate change bills, placing Montgomery among the foremost counties in the nation with legislation of this scope
- Required contracts for domestic workers—becoming one of the few jurisdictions in the nation to have such protection
- Approved agreement that would lead to establishment of Live Nation Fillmore music hall in downtown Silver Spring
- Implemented a mid-year budget savings plan for FY08
- Required home sellers to disclose approximate property tax new owners would be responsible for paying
- Approved policy to prohibit investment in Sudan
- Banned on use of trans fats in County restaurants
- Approved bill that requires contractors and subcontractors to pay prevailing wages to workers on construction projects valued at more than $500,000 that are awarded or financed by County government.
- Approved $33 million mid-year savings plan for FY09 (November) Councilmembers Mike Knapp and Nancy Floreen are first Councilmembers to start blogs as part of effort to improve communications with residents
- NOTE: Councilmember Marilyn Praisner, who had been in office 17 years, passed away on Feb. 1. Her husband, Don Praisner, won a special election to represent District 4. He took office on May 27.


Council made major transportation recommendations on proposed projects:
- To build the Corridor Cities Transitway
- To build the Purple Line that will connect the Bethesda and New Carrollton Metro stations
- To widen I-270 by adding High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes
- The approved total operating budget, without MCPS-related debt service, was increased by only 1.2 percent
- Adopted Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) that would assist homeowners in making their houses more energy efficient
- Opened the first Montgomery County Family Justice Center providing protection for victims of domestic violence
- Approved hiring priority for people with disabilities
- Approved resolution to require pregnancy centers to disclose scope of service
- Opened new Germantown/Kingsview Fire Station 22 in March—the first new full operation fire station opened in County in 25 years
- Passed reforms for County’s Disability Retirement law for employees
- Prohibited large trucks and recreational vehicles from parking on certain residential streets
- Approved purchase of both the east and west sides of a 127-acre parcel of land along Snouffer School Road in Gaithersburg commonly known as the Webb Tract. Purchase moved ahead a portion of the relocations needed to implement the Shady Grove Sector Plan and the proposal to consolidate and relocate a number of County facilities
- Created Workforce Investment Scholarship program to provide tuition funding assistance for undergraduate students at Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove who are pursuing degrees in fields of significant occupational need in Montgomery County.
- Approved nutrition labeling bill that requires an establishment with at least 20 national locations that offer the same type of menu at each location to post information on calories on the menu or menu board for any standardized menu item.
- NOTE: Councilmember Don Praisner passed away on Jan. 30. Nancy Navarro won a special election to represent District 4 and took office in June.


- Adopted the first decreased overall budget since the County Charter was approved in 1968
- Approved two mid-year savings plans totaling $100 million
- Commissioned an Office of Legislative Oversight report on the County’s structural deficit Created the Business Development Corporation
- Created the Montgomery Organizational Reform Commission
- Urged Maryland Public Service Commission to open investigation on Pepco reliability and communications
- Approved Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan
- Approved White Flint Sector Plan and plan to finance public infrastructure
- Backed continued operation of Sligo Creek Golf Course
- Maintained AAA bond rating after being placed on “negative watch list” by Moody’s bond-rating agency
- Approved first six-year balanced fiscal plan
- Established new policies for County’s budget reserves
- Approved Carbon Emitters Tax impacting major emitters of carbon
- Approved Purple Line Functional Plan revisions addressing station locations, alignment of some portions of the route and adding access points the adjacent Capital Crescent Trail.
- Appointed Francoise Carrier as Planning Board chair
- Abolished Clarksburg Town Center Development District
- Established new Clarksburg Infrastructure Working Group that will review and prioritize the necessary infrastructure items for the Clarksburg area and propose suitable mechanisms to finance the recommended infrastructure for the upcounty community Implemented accessory apartment disclaimer
- Dedicated Germantown/Milestone Fire Station in September
- Approved funding for new Glenmont Fire Station
- Approved biotech investment incentive tax credit supplement
- Established hiring preferences for people with disabilities
- Implemented spending disclosure Web site as part of open government
- Required availability of equal benefits to same sex domestic partners of employees of County contractors
- Approved regulation requiring pregnancy centers in County to disclose actual scope of their services
- Commissioned Office of Legislative Oversight report comparing Montgomery and Fairfax counties
- Approved Zoning Text Amendment whose provisions include limiting parking in the front yards of properties in many neighborhoods. Among the aims of the was to better enforce home business provisions
- Met jointly for first time ever with Mayor and Council of Gaithersburg and the Rockville Mayor and Council. Subject of discussions was proposed Great Seneca Science Corridor plan
- Hosted first Council Town Hall Meeting for students that was attended by more than 400
- Established phone information line for residents to offer input on budget and area on home page of the Council web site that provides complete information on the budget process
- Approved sale of former Peary High School in Aspen Hill to Berman Hebrew Academy, which had rented facility since 1996.

1 comment:

Robin Ficker said...

Why did they leave out passed the largest property tax increase in a generation and then opposed the Ficker Amendment, which passed and which requires all 9 council votes for the council to exceed the inflation rate on property tax increases?

Why did they leave out passewd a 240% increase in the residential energy tax?