Council President’s Message
The Council is entering the homestretch for this year’s budget.
This week and next, the Council will be meeting nearly every day to make preliminary budget decisions on every aspect of County government, from police, housing, transportation, and schools to fire and rescue, recreation, and parks. A straw vote on the final budget will take place on Thursday, May 17 with formal approval one week later. You can check out the Council’s budget agendas and follow the Council’s progress by watching live and on demand. Despite the generally positive economic environment, tax revenues have been very volatile and below expectations.
The Council’s budget will reflect difficult trade-offs as we try to resolve competing community priorities. As of now, the Council has recommended more than $20 million for additions. The amount that the Council can actually fund, however, will be substantially less.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the Council will also hold applicant interviews for positions on the Montgomery County Planning Board and the Board of Investment Trustees. The five-member Planning Board advises the Council on land use, transportation, zoning, and development approval issues. The Board of Investment Trustees oversees the County employee retirement plans.
Also on Thursday, the Council will travel to WSSC headquarters in Laurel, MD to meet with the Prince George’s County Council to discuss bi-county budgets. Both Counties work collaboratively to determine the budgets for bi-county agencies, which include WSSC and the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC).
After a busy few weeks reviewing and making recommendations on the budget, committees have a light week as the full Council turns its attention to the budget.
- The Council held a public hearing on a special appropriation to provide legal assistance for low-income County residents without violent criminal convictions who have been detained and face deportation proceedings.
- The Council reviewed a number of key budget items, including schools, emergency management and homeland security, the Office of Human Rights, the Sheriff’s Office, and the State’s Attorney’s Office.
- The Council presented proclamations recognizing the week of April 29-May 5 as National Small Business Week, May 5 as Tree House Tour de Cookie Day, and the month of May as Building Safety Month.
How do I…
…learn more about the County’s Vision Zero initiative?
The County has committed itself to reducing traffic related fatalities and serious injuries to zero by 2030, joining many other jurisdictions across the Country. Vision Zero is a policy framework that places higher priority on human safety than mobility and recognizes that transportation-related deaths are not inevitable, but preventable. As such, the transportation system (the infrastructure itself, enforcement, law, and education efforts) must be wholistically designed to maximize safety on the roadways.
The County recently published its 2 year action plan for Vision Zero, which sets forth the vision and makes numerous recommendations. You can read it here. The County Executive’s recommended budget reflects the importance of this initiative by programming more than $118 million in the upcoming fiscal year. See where those funds are programmed here.