Council President's Update: Dec. 23, 2020

Sidney Katz Banner


On behalf of myself and all of us at the Montgomery County Council, I would like to wish all of our community members and hard-working County employees a wonderful holiday season. I hope your new year gets off to a great start, and I look forward to all of the exciting things we will accomplish and make progress on together in 2020.

Here is a short video my staff and I made to say, “Happy Holidays!”

For information about which Montgomery County departments, agencies and facilities are open over the holiday season, click here.

I anticipate 2020 beginning with a flurry of activity here at the Council. Here is a brief look at some of the public hearings that will be held on Jan. 14, 2020:

Bill 36-19, Contracts and Procurement - Office of Grants Management - Established

Bill 36-19 would establish an Office of Grants Management as a principal office of the County’s executive branch. Councilmember Nancy Navarro is the lead sponsor. Councilmember Gabe Albornoz, Council Vice President Tom Hucker, myself, and Councilmembers Craig Rice and Hans Riemer are cosponsors. The goal of this legislation is to increase efficiency in the County’s grants process and in managing the grants received by the County.

Bill 37-19, Economic Development Fund - Use of Fund and Remedies for Noncompliance

Bill 37-19 would require recipients of Economic Development Fund assistance to agree to certain terms and conditions regarding the use and repayment of the assistance. Councilmember Evan Glass is the lead sponsor. Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Will Jawando are cosponsors. The goal of this legislation is to increase accountability in the use of grant funds; and expand eligibility for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Grant Program.

Bill 38-19, Streets and Roads - Permit to Obstruct Public Rights-of-Way - Amendments

Bill 38-19 would require the County Executive to adopt certain regulations regarding permits to close curb lanes, sidewalks or shared use paths in the public rights-of-way. Councilmember Andrew Friedson is the lead sponsor. Councilmembers Evan Glass, Will Jawando, Hans Riemer and Gabe Albornoz, Council Vice President Tom Hucker and I are cosponsors.

Bill 39-19, Contracts and Procurement - Local Small Business Reserve Program - Amendments

Bill 39-19, the Local Small Business Reserve Program and Direct Purchase Investment Act, would help support the backbone of Montgomery County’s economy: our locally owned small businesses. This bill would expand opportunities and access to government contracts and purchases. Councilmember Will Jawando is the lead sponsor. Councilmembers Craig Rice, Nancy Navarro, Hans Riemer, Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass, Council Vice President Tom Hucker and I are cosponsors.

Bill 40-19, Inspector General - Staff - Amendments

Bill 40-19 would authorize the inspector general to hire one or more deputies as a term merit employee and other staff as a merit employee. Councilmember Nancy Navarro, Councilmember Andrew Friedson and I are the lead sponsors. Under current law the inspector general must hire each staff member as a term merit employee with a maximum term that ends at the same time as the four-year term of the inspector general. This makes it more difficult to recruit staff when an inspector general is appointed to either a new term or to complete the term of an inspector general who leaves early. The goal of this legislation is to improve the operation of the Office of the Inspector General. 

Germantown Plan for the Town Sector Zone

In an effort to expand community engagement on land use issues, the Council will be coming to Montgomery College’s Germantown campus on Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. to get input from the public on the Germantown Plan for the Town Sector Zone. The public hearing will take place in the High Technology & Sciences Building in the Globe Hall. You must sign up to testify at the public hearing, which you can do here

The purpose of this master plan is to replace the existing Town Sector zoning with current zoning classifications for the Churchill Village community of Germantown. The master plan recommends appropriate zoning and ways of protecting the community’s open space and recreation areas, while maintaining the predominantly residential character of Churchill Village. The plan recommends new zones related to three goals developed during the community planning process: maintain the residential core, protect open space and recreation areas, and support neighborhood-serving commercial uses. 

See everything on the Council’s and our six Committees’ agendas, find Council staff reports and stream Council and Committee meetings here. Check out our Council Coming Attractions for a preview of what’s in store at the Council. 

Thank you, and see you all in 2020!

Warm regards,

Council President Sidney Katz