Montgomery Council Committees to Discuss Proposed Mid-Year Savings Plan
Also on Thursday, Jan. 21: Reduction of Call-n-Ride Taxi Service Program and Discussion of Proposed Equal Benefits for Employees of County Contractors
Disability Hiring Worksession Scheduled for Thursday Is Postponed
ROCKVILLE, Md., January 20, 2010—The Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee, Management and Fiscal Policy (MFP) Committee and Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee will each hold worksessions on Thursday, Jan. 21, on various aspects of County Executive Isiah Leggett’s proposal to make $70 million in cuts from the current Fiscal Year 2010 operating budget. The cuts would help the County address an estimated shortfall of about $608 million that has been projected for the FY11 operating budget, which will go into effect on July 1.
A worksession on Bill 46-09, which would create a system of hiring preference under certain circumstances for persons with disabilities, was originally scheduled to go before the MFP Committee on Thursday. However, that worksession has been rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
The PHED Committee, which is chaired by Mike Knapp and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and Nancy Floreen, will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Among the County Executive’s recommendation to reduce spending that PHED Committee will review are the proposals to reduce spending by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission by $1.2 million, by the County’s regional service centers by $121,000 and by the Bethesda Urban District by $101,000.
Also proposed is the elimination of the Seneca Valley Sports Academy program ($54,910).
The MFP Committee, which is chaired by Duchy Trachtenberg and includes Councilmembers Valerie Ervin and Nancy Navarro, will meet at 1:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room. Proposed mid-year cuts the committee will review include reductions for the office of the County Council ($265,600), the office of the County Attorney ($238,440) and the office of the County Executive ($187,680).
The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Council President Floreen and includes Councilmembers Roger Berliner and George Leventhal, will meet at 2 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room. Among the proposed reductions the committee will review concerns the Call-n-Ride Program that provides subsidized taxi service for low-income seniors (age 67 and older) and low-income persons with disabilities (age 16 and older). The Executive is proposing limiting Call-n-Ride Program customers to buying one $60 book of discounted taxi vouchers per month, rather than the two books currently allowed. By implementing this limitation in February, there would be an estimated net savings of $747,910 in FY10. Currently, about 96 percent of customers who buy vouchers buy two books per month.
The T and E Committee also will discuss proposed bill 37-09 that would provide equal benefits to employees working for certain County contractors. Councilmember Nancy Navarro is the chief sponsor of the legislation.