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Press Releases - County Council

Council will introduce a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis and receive an update on Covid-19 public health planning and recovery, at virtual meeting on June 9

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 8, 2020

Council also will receive an update on food security issues and introduce a special appropriation for Covid-19 emergency expenses from the Coronavirus Relief Fund

The Council will meet virtually on Tuesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.
The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council agendas can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

On the guidance of Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, there is currently no public access to the Council Office Building. The virtual Council meeting will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on: Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056 and Fios 30.

Council Agenda Items
Resolution to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis
The Council will introduce a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis. Research demonstrates that racism itself is a social determinant of health. Scientists now see race as a social, cultural and/or political construct wherein de facto racial segregation and race-based discrimination have real consequences on health and health disparities. The full Council is sponsoring this resolution, which is spearheaded by Councilmember Will Jawando.

Disparities in health outcomes have been amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic, as African Americans have the highest number of recorded cases and deaths.  This is true across the United States, in Maryland and in Montgomery County, where African American residents account for 25 percent of the deaths, while representing 19 percent of the population.

The Council has a demonstrated track record of promoting racial equity, social justice, and inclusions in all aspects of County government to narrow disparities in opportunities by race and ethnicity. This commitment is exemplified in the development and execution of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act, the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice, the Law Enforcement Trust and Transparency (LETT) Act, Policing Advisory Commission, and the Community Policing Law and the Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission. These laws and initiatives identify racism as a root cause of disparities and inequities by race and ethnicity that cause poverty and diminished economic activity.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) and County Public Health Planning
At 10:45 a.m. the Council will sit as the Board of Health to receive an update on the County’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its recovery efforts. Those expected to attend the meeting include the following: Dr. Travis Gayles, county health officer and chief of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Public Health Services; Dr. Earl Stoddard, director, Office of Emergency management and Homeland Security; and Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, DHHS, are among those expected to provide information.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Food Security Issues During Covid-19
At 1:45 p.m. the Council will receive an update on food security issues resulting from the Covid-19 public health crisis. Those expected to provide information include the following: Dr. Earl Stoddard, director, Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS); Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); Netta Squires, Food Security Task Force lead, OEMHS; Maggie Davis, Food Security Task Force lead, OEMHS; Mark Hodge, Food Security Task Force lead, DHHS; Heather Bruskin, executive director, Montgomery County Food Council (Food Council) and Food Security Task Force lead; Jackie DeCarlo, executive director, Manna Food Center (Manna); Radha Muthiah, CEO, Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB); and Jeanie Dawson, director, Department of Material Management, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Supplemental Appropriation to Montgomery College’s Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Operating Budget - $1,000,000 for CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding
The Council will introduce a supplemental appropriation of one million dollars to Montgomery County’s FY20 Operating Budget for the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding. Montgomery College seeks this appropriation for unplanned expenditures incurred due to the changes in the scope and delivery of face-to-face instruction and work environments, which are eligible for reimbursement under the CARES Act. A public hearing and vote on this appropriation is scheduled for June 23 at 1:30 pm.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget - $80,000,000 for Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund Nondepartmental Account (NDA)
The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $80 million to the County government’s FY20 Operating Budget. The special appropriation will refund prior General Fund expenditures for Covid-19 related expenses that are eligible for the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) (approximately $49 million) and indicates the potential uses of the remaining $31 million that will be appropriated. The appropriation also requires reporting to the Council every two weeks on expenditures. Additional Council action will be required to appropriate the remaining $103 million.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) Research Papers Related to Montgomery County’s Recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic
The Council asked OLO to develop a series of short papers that address Covid-19 economic recovery efforts in alignment with the Council’s Economic Development Platform. OLO intends to prepare Covid-19 recovery papers over the course of the next few months. For Tuesday’s agenda, OLO requests that the Council approve the release of four papers on the following topics:

  1. Office & Industrial Commercial Real Estate
  2. Telework and Economic Development
  3. Public Transit in a Pandemic Environment
  4. Commercial Real Estate - Hospitality Sector

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Maryland Tech Council, Support for COVID-19 Response – Business Continuity Task Force, $250,000
The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $250,000 to the County government’s FY20 Operating Budget for the Business Continuity Task Force (BCTF). The BCTF assists tech and life science entrepreneurs in Maryland that are navigating the economic downturn due to the health crisis. It includes experienced business leaders who have led businesses through the financial crisis, like the 2008 recession. This team will help small- and mid-sized tech and life science businesses plan for an optimal recovery and execute the recovery plan based on the economic conditions following the health crisis.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Hearing Examiner’s report and recommendation - Local Map Amendment H-135; an Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance Map to rezone 33.64 acres of property located at 10400 Fernwood Road, Bethesda, MD from CR (Commercial/Residential Zone) -1.5, C-0.75, R-0.75, H-150 to the CRF (Commercial/Residential Floating Zone) -1.5, C-0.75, R-1.5, H-150
The Council is scheduled to vote to approve, disapprove or remand the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation to approve Local Map Amendment H-135, which is an amendment to the Zoning Map to rezone 33.64 acres of property located at 10400 Fernwood Road in Bethesda.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Public hearings
The Council will hold the following public hearings at 1:30 p.m.:

Amendments to the Comprehensive Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Plan
The Council will hold a public hearing on amendments to the Comprehensive Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Plan. On April 16, the Council received a package of three water and sewer category change requests from the County Executive. A Transportation and Environment Committee (T&E) meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 15. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Department of Police, Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) - $549,709 for Sex Assault Kit Testing (SAKT) Award
The Council will hold a public hearing on a special appropriation to the Montgomery County Police Department’s FY20 Operating Budget. This supplemental appropriation is needed to authorize expenditures of $549,709 that will fund sex assault kit testing in the Police Department. The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention awarded a grant to the department for this purpose. The funds will assist the Police Department’s Crime Lab with testing kits more quickly. The source of funds is a state grant. The Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on this appropriation on June 16. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

 

Bill 8-20, E-Scooters - Operating Requirements and Registration
The Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 8-20. Council President Sidney Katz is the lead sponsor. Councilmember Gabe Albornoz is a cosponsor. Bill 8-20 would do the following: update the definition of bicycle to conform to state law; permit a person to register a bicycle or electric low-speed scooter (e-scooter) owned by a County resident for personal use; require the registration of an e-scooter provided for rent in the County and pay a registration fee; establish operating requirements for e-scooter use in the County; and generally amend County law governing bicycle and e-scooter use in the County. A Public Safety (PS) and T&E Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 25 at 1:30 pm. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#MoCoEScooter is being used for this bill on social media.

Special Appropriation to the FY20 Operating Budget WorkSource Montgomery Non-Departmental Account, Support for Covid-19 Response - Unemployment Insurance Outreach, $40,000
The Council will hold a public hearing and vote on a special appropriation to WorkSource Montgomery’s FY20 Operating Budget of $40,000 for unemployment insurance outreach as part of the County’s Covid-19 response. The subject resolution supports WorkSource Montgomery’s efforts, in partnership with the state, County and other non-profit partners, to conduct an outreach campaign to ensure all County residents are aware of the unemployment eligibility and benefits available through the Maryland Department of Labor. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the Montgomery County Public Schools’ FY20 Capital Budget, and Amendment to the FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) - $446,075 for Technology Modernization Project
The Council will hold a public hearing and vote on a special appropriation of $446,075 to Montgomery County Public Schools’ FY20 Capital Budget and FY19-24 CIP for the Technology Modernization Project. This will be used to provide equipment, software, and support to implement the Montgomery Can Code initiative during the summer of 2020. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-247
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931