The Council Connection — school construction CIP, wireless connectivity infrastructure and more
Council President’s Message
I hope that you had an enjoyable holiday weekend. The Council is back in session on Tuesday, and we have a packed agenda. Included will be a discussion about employee workplace harassment policies and procedures, a review that the Council requested to ensure that we are doing everything we can to promote productive and safe work environments for our public sector employees.
We will also continue our work on the FY19-24 capital budget with a special focus on Montgomery Public Schools. The Council has been steadily increasing its investment in MCPS construction and renovation needs, making MCPS a higher priority for our construction program. The County Executive’s proposal before the Council would raise MCPS funding to record levels.
You may have heard that the Census Bureau recently announced that the 2020 Census will include a question on citizenship. In response, the Council will introduce a resolution that opposes this question and urges Maryland to sue the Federal Government to stop its addition to the Census. The resolution underscores that the citizenship question will damage the accuracy of the 2020 Census, affecting our community disproportionately, and hinder the goals of the Voting Rights Act. The Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution on April 17.
On Tuesday night, we have a public hearing about a proposal from the County Executive to amend the zoning code to allow for new telecommunications equipment. Specifically, new antennas that companies like Verizon and AT&T (to name just a few) want to install for the next generation of connectivity are smaller and intended to be placed on utility poles, streetlights, and similar locations, but the zoning code does not allow for them. There are many challenging issues involved.
Committees will take up many substantial issues, from Countywide technology programs to childcare. Read the full committee agenda here.
- The Council tentatively approved capital projects affecting public safety, technology, and transportation
- The Council approved the 10 Year Water and Sewer Plan and economic development legislation
- Watch recent Council proclamations on the Jaguar Scholars Leadership Program at Julius West MS and the 50th Anniversary of AFI
How do I…
…find Council staff “packets.”
The County Council has a dedicated staff of analysts and attorneys that provide rigorous and objective analysis of all business before the Council. Reading the work product (“packets” in the vernacular) of these analysts and attorneys is the most comprehensive way to learn about the particular issue you care about.
Fortunately, you don’t have to come to Rockville and dig through paper archives to browse the Council staff packets. They are all available on the Council website. Here are some tips to help you find the packet you are looking for:
- Use the search archives function on the Council Meeting Portal website by entering in keywords of your choosing
- Use the Council and Committee Agenda listings on the Council Meeting Portal, which have links to the corresponding packets
- For legislative packets, navigate to the Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) webpage. You can search with keywords or utilize the filters to find the right legislative packet
- For budget packets, navigate to the Council operating budget or capital budget web pages where you can browse by committee jurisdiction