MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT Code No. 0098
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND Grade 34
Office of the Peoples Counsel
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is advanced legal counsel work requiring handling of complex legal matters which involves both technical and specialized areas of law, specifically land use. Contacts are with high-ranking legislative, quasi-judicial, and executive officials within County Government, citizen groups and individual County residents. The purpose of the contacts is to appear in proceedings to promote full and fair presentation of issues and to assure sound land use decisions are made, coordinate services, and provide technical assistance and education to citizens in land use process.
An employee in this class participates in proceedings before the County Council, Board of Appeals, Montgomery County Planning Board, or Hearing Examiner regarding certain land use issues in addition to providing technical assistance in order to protect the public interest and achieve a full and fair presentation of relevant issues. Parameters of the job are broadly stated and set forth in the Montgomery County Code. The incumbent will have full latitude to develop guidelines used to perform the functions mandated by County law. Work can be self-initiated, can be in response to requests from citizens or citizen organizations, or can be in response to issues raised by the County Council, Board of Appeals, Montgomery County Planning Board, or the Hearing Examiner. The work of the Office of the Peoples Counsel is publicly reviewed by the County Council upon submission of the legally-mandated annual report and community feedback to the Peoples Counsel and the County Council. Effectiveness of the Office will be under continuous scrutiny by the public it serves. The work is primarily sedentary, performed in a typical office setting, and subject to common everyday risks.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Participates in proceedings before the County Council, Board of Appeals,
Planning Board, and Hearing Examiner and court appeals.
Serves as community resource on land use issues.
Explores complex factual and legal issues to assure informed public actions on land use matters.
Coordinates services of the Office with services offered by land use information staff in the Council, Board of Appeals and Planning Board, to avoid inconsistency and duplication and to maximize the assistance offered to citizens.
Files complaints alleging failure to comply with a special exception grant; seeks modification or revocation of special exceptions when such action is necessary.
Prepares annual report to County Council on activities of the Office of the Peoples Counsel.
Performs other related duties as required.
Considerable (5 years) experience in the practice or teaching of law, with concentration in land use legal issues and procedures.
Graduation from an accredited law school and membership in the bar of the State of Maryland.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Considerable knowledge of land use law, theory, and practice.
Considerable experience participating in administrative proceedings involving special exceptions, zoning reclassifications, subdivision, master plans, and other land use matters.
Skill in legal research and analysis.
Skill and ability in oral and written communication sufficient to explain complex land use or other legal issues to lay audiences, orally and in writing.
Skill in dealing tactfully, courteously, and effectively with people.
Ability to assimilate and analyze various complex facts, issues and problems, and to render a fair and impartial decision.
Ability to attend meetings or perform work at locations outside the office, if necessary.
Membership in the Maryland State Bar.
Individuals appointed to a position in this class will be required to serve a probationary period of twelve months and, if promoted to a position in this class, will be required to serve a probationary period of six months. Performance will be carefully evaluated during the probationary period. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
Medical History Review
Class Established: September, 1999
*NOTE: This is a term position - The law establishing the Office terminates in 2003, and will be reviewed at that time to determine whether the law will be extended.