Council Committees Meet on April 23

County Council 450x280The Montgomery County Council’s Public Safety Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. on April 23 to review the Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget request of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. The worksession is part of the Council’s review of County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommended FY15 operating budget.

After Council committees review various aspects of the Executive’s recommended budget, committee recommendations will go to the full Council for consideration. The Council is scheduled to reach a tentative agreement on the budget on May 15 and is scheduled to formally adopt the budget on May 22. The budget will go into effect on July 1.

The meeting of the Public Safety Committee, which is chaired by Phil Andrews and includes Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Marc Elrich, will be held in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed at:

The County Executive’s recommended FY15 operating budget for the Fire and Rescue Service totals $225.2 million, an increase of $6.6 million (3.0 percent) over the approved FY14 1evel. The recommended budget includes two recruit classes, one of 65 recruits and the second with 55.

The Public Safety Committee also will review the budget requests of the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and the Office of Consumer Protection. It also will discuss the collective bargaining agreement with the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.

At 9 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, a joint meeting of the Education Committee, which is chaired by Craig Rice and includes Councilmembers Andrews and Cherri Branson, and the Health and Human Services Committee, which is chaired by George Leventhal and includes Councilmembers Rice and Nancy Navarro, will hold worksessions on a number of school- and child-related issues including Early Childhood Services, the Infants and Toddlers program, Child Care subsidies, School Health Services, Linkages to Learning and the Kennedy Cluster Project.

The Kennedy Cluster Project was initiated in 2007 to identify and address the root causes of the achievement gap in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

Kennedy Cluster schools were identified for the project because they enrolled large percentages of African American and Hispanic students, many of whom were poor or lived in homes where Spanish was the primary language. The project brought together representatives of MCPS, County Government agencies, the Department of Juvenile Services, the State’s Attorney’s Office and other youth serving agencies. They formed a multi-agency team to discuss challenges affecting youth and their families in Kennedy Cluster project schools and provide them with support and services.

The Executive has proposed expanding the project to the Watkins Mill Cluster Schools, including all schools in that cluster. Watkins Mill was identified as the cluster that was most similar to Kennedy.

At 1:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room, the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Navarro and includes Councilmembers Branson and Hans Riemer, will review the budget requests of the Office of the County Executive, the Public Information Office and MC311. It also will continue its discussions regarding the County’s Cable Television and Communications Plan.

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