Council Committees to Discuss Police Station in Bethesda & More
The Montgomery County Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee and its Public Safety Committee will hold a joint worksession at 1 p.m. on Oct. 21 on a proposed new location for the 2nd District Police Station in Bethesda. A previous plan for a land swap with a developer that would have led to a new station did not materialize. The new plan also involves a land exchange with a developer.
The GO Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Navarro and includes Councilmembers Valerie Ervin and Hans Riemer, and the Public Safety Committee, which is chaired by Phil Andrews and includes Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Marc Elrich, will meet 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 through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov .
The 2nd District Police station that is located at 7539 Wisconsin Ave. has been considered outdated for many years. The Executive Branch has negotiated a tentative deal with a developer that would receive that site in exchange for building a new station on a parcel of land it has under contract at 4823 Rugby Road. The joint committee on Monday will discuss if the plans meet the long-term need of the police department.
At 2 p.m. Monday in the Third Floor Conference Room, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers Elrich and George Leventhal, will receive a status report on economic development in the County. Among those expected for the worksession will be Holly Sears Sullivan of the Montgomery Business Development Corporation.
One item the committee will discuss is funding for the needs of the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring.
The PHED Committee also will receive an update on the efforts of the Department of Parks and the Department of Recreation to combine their registration systems into a single system. In addition, the PHED Committee will be briefed on the current status of the County’s incubator program for new and emerging businesses.
At 2 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the GO Committee will be updated by the Executive Branch on County employee workforce availability and leave use. The issue is being looking at after the Office of Legislative Oversight released a report in March. The report particularly looked at work hours in the County’s Fire and Rescue Service. The committee may follow the report’s findings to determine whether there are a reasonable number of required regular work hours that an employee should work before being able to work overtime hours.
A discussion on the evolution of the County’s MC311 centralized call center also will be part of the GO Committee’s agenda. Since it went online in 2010, the call center has averaged 40,000-50,000 calls per month.
The GO Committee also will hold a worksession on proposed Bill 8-13 regarding the Working Families Income Supplement. Councilmember Hans Riemer is the chief sponsor of the bill. Councilmembers Marc Elrich, George Leventhal and Roger Berliner are co-sponsors.
The County Working Families Income Supplement (WFIS) is derived from the federal earned income tax credit, which is a refundable tax credit for lower income working families and individuals. Maryland permits residents to claim a credit of one-half of the federal earned income supplement. In 2000, Montgomery County began matching 100 percent of the Maryland credit to help working residents meet the high costs of living in the County. In May 2010, the Council approved a bill which permitted setting the WFIS at less than 100 percent of the Maryland credit each year. Accordingly, the Council set the WFIS at 72.5 percent for Fiscal Year 2011, 68.9 percent for FY12 and 75.5 percent for FY13.
Bill 8-13 would increase the WFIS to 80 percent of the Maryland credit beginning in FY14, 90 percent in FY15 and 100 percent in FY16 and beyond. The bill would allow the Council to approve a lower amount in the annual operating budget if requested by the County Executive and approved by at least six Councilmembers.