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Council President Berliner Appoints Craig Rice Council Lead for Libraries, Hans Riemer Lead for Digital Government

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ROCKVILLE, Md., February 6, 2012—Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner today announced that he has appointed Councilmember Craig Rice to be the Council’s ‘Lead for Libraries’ and Councilmember Hans Riemer to be the Council’s ‘Lead for Digital Government.’

“Council leads are appointed to focus on important areas that involve dynamic change,” said Council President Berliner. “Two excellent examples are libraries and digital government. Councilmembers Rice and Riemer, respectively, will provide added analysis and strong guidance in these areas.

“Craig Rice will be ‘Lead for Libraries.’ I believe his passion for preserving libraries as a critical thread in the fabric of our communities, at a moment in time when our library system is undergoing tremendous transformation, will serve our Council and our constituents well.

“Hans Riemer will be ‘Lead for Digital Government.’ He has already demonstrated a strong interest in ensuring the openness and transparency of our government – and the digital tools at our County’s disposal are critical components of that effort. I am sure that in this role, Hans will continue to pursue new and innovative ways of engaging our residents.”

Councilmember Rice, who is a member of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee that oversees County libraries, said that a changing world demands that the County carefully assess the role the libraries will play for County residents.

“Libraries for generations have played an important role not only in helping Montgomery build one of the nation’s best educational programs in the nation, but where they stand, these buildings in many ways have become the fabric of these communities,” said Councilmember Rice. “I know that some people think that the rapidly growing advances in technology will make libraries obsolete. I see it much differently. I believe that libraries will continue to be important parts of communities—they will just do it in different ways. As the lead for libraries, I will work with all those who need and cherish libraries so they will evolve with the times and continue to be a valuable aspect of Montgomery County life.”

Councilmember Riemer, who is a member of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee that oversees various aspects of the County’s technology initiatives, has been among the Council’s strongest advocates for making information more easily available, making services more accessible through digital means and seeking increased input from residents.

“Montgomery County should be a leader on digital government tools,” he said. “I am working closely with the Executive Branch on a digital government strategy and we are making great progress together. Our mission is to make our data easily available and use that data ourselves in more sophisticated ways to improve our services and responsiveness. We will make it easier for our residents to get services using the web and to have a voice in our County policy making process.”

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Release ID: 12-019
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939