Skip to main content

Press Releases - County Council

Council to introduce and vote on special appropriation to support African American Health Program’s Targeted COVID-19 Response, at virtual meeting on August 4

For Immediate Release: Monday, August 3, 2020

Also on August 4: Council will introduce and vote on proposed charter amendments and an updated Board of Health Regulation

The Council will meet virtually on Tuesday, August 4 at 9:30 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

Board of Health Regulation to adopt Executive Order 087-20, Covid-19 Local Order - Amending and Restating June 19 Order
The Council, sitting as the Board of Health, will introduce, hold a public hearing and vote on a Board of Health Regulation to adopt Executive Order 087-20, Covid-19 Local Order, which would do the following:

  • Food service establishments would be required to stop on-premise alcoholic beverage service at 10 p.m. Food service may continue after 10 p.m. and carryout alcoholic beverage service would not be impacted.
  • The distinction between youth and adult sports would be removed. The play of low-risk and medium-risk youth and adult sports would continue to be permitted.
  • Religious facilities would continue to be permitted to open for indoor and outdoor services provided there is one participant or one household group for every 200 square feet of religious ceremony space and the number of outdoor service participants cannot exceed 150 participants without a waiver.
  • Food courts inside indoor malls would be limited to carryout services only.

The Council staff report will be available here on August 4.

You can view Executive Order 87-20 at:
https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/2020/ExecutiveOrder87-20-AmendingRestatingOrderJune192020.pdf

Proposed Charter Amendment - County Council - Alter to Nine District Members and No At-Large Members
A petition has been circulated to amend Sections 102 and 103 of the Montgomery County Charter to provide that all nine Councilmembers be elected by district. The Board of Elections has not determined if the petition has the required number of signatures and otherwise qualifies for inclusion on the 2020 general election ballot. The proposal would divide the County into nine, rather than the current five, Council districts; require the election of all Councilmembers by district, rather than the current five by district and four at large; and reduce from five to one the number of Councilmembers each voter can vote for. The Council will acknowledge that the petitioned question will appear on the ballot, if the local board of elections determines that the required number of signatures qualify. The resolution before the Council is not an endorsement of the proposed Charter amendment but is required under Maryland Election Law.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Proposed Charter Amendment - Expand to Seven District Members and Four At-Large Members
The Council will introduce and vote on a proposed Charter amendment regarding the composition of the County Council. The resolution would place on the general election ballot a question that, if approved by the voters, would amend the County Charter to expand the County Council to consist of 11 Councilmembers, rather than the current nine Councilmembers; increase the number of Council districts from five to seven; and elect seven Councilmembers by district and four Councilmembers at large. The lead sponsor of the proposal is Councilmember Glass. Council President Katz and Councilmembers Jawando and Rice are cosponsors.

Under the current Montgomery County Council configuration, the ratio of Councilmembers to residents is approximately one to 116,952. If the Council were increased to 11 members, the ratio would be approximately one to 95,688. The current population size of a Council district is approximately 210,513 residents. If the number of districts were increased from five to seven, each district would have approximately 150,367 residents.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Proposed Charter Amendment - County Council - Residency Requirement for At-Large Members
The Council will introduce and vote on a proposed Charter amendment regarding residency requirements for at-large Councilmembers. The Council will vote on whether to adopt a resolution to place on the 2020 general election ballot a question to require that at-large Councilmembers be nominated and elected by the qualified voters of the entire County, but reside in different at-large districts. Councilmember Navarro is the lead sponsor of this proposal. This process would be similar in practice to the election of members for the Board of Education.

The proposal would amend Section 103 of the Charter as follows: Montgomery County shall be divided into four at-large districts for the purpose of nominating and electing four at-large members. Each district shall be compact in form and be composed of adjoining territory. Populations of the at-large districts shall be substantially equal.

The Council staff report will be available here on August 4.

Proposed Charter Amendment - County Council - Election of Council President
The Council will introduce and vote on a proposed Charter amendment regarding the direct election of the Council President. The proposal would place on the general election ballot a question that, if approved by the voters, would amend the County Charter to: provide that the Council President is directly elected by the qualified voters of the entire County; specify that the Council President is an at-large Councilmember; and specify that for the purpose of term limits the office of the Council President and Councilmember are separate offices. Councilmember Riemer is the lead sponsor of the proposal.

The Council staff report will be available here on August 4.

Special appropriation to the FY 21 Operating Budget; Montgomery County Government; Covid-19 Human Services and Community Assistance Non-Departmental Account (NDA); $3,354,084 African American Health Program Executive Committee Targeted COVID Response and Resolution to Amend the FY21 Operating Budget for the Montgomery County Government, Resolution 19-472, Section G, Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Contract Award Status: The National Center for Children and Families, Inc.
The Council will introduce and vote on a $3,354,084 special appropriation for the African American Health Program Executive Committee Targeted COVID-19 Response. The African American and Black population has been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 nationally and locally, with higher death rates than other demographic populations. The special appropriation is sponsored by the full Council and was spearheaded by Councilmembers Rice and Jawando.

The African American and Black population has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 nationally and locally, with higher death rates than other demographic populations. During the COVID-19 public health crisis, the African American Health Program (AAHP) Executive Committee has highlighted the fact that African American and Black residents experience worse health outcomes on average than other groups because of long-term chronic health and social disparities, which include higher rates of underlying health conditions such as hypertension, chronic lung conditions, asthma, and diabetes; and socioeconomic factors such as decreased access to health care, higher rates of poverty and homelessness, and housing instability.

The County’s Department of Health and Human Services, in addition to coordinating contact tracing efforts, will coordinate a targeted testing effort with the AAHP Executive Committee. This effort will be focused on, but not limited to, County zip codes with high numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and where African American and Black residents make up at least 20 percent of the population. A special focus will be put on the zip codes 20903, 20904 and 20906. The testing program will include both a permanent testing site in the East County and pop-up testing in a variety of easily accessible locations. Testing availability will be responsive to transportation barriers, work schedules and family composition. Testing events will be scheduled in collaboration with organizations serving African American and Black communities. Some locations may include church parking lots and recreation centers. The testing program will be linguistically and culturally appropriate.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.


###

Release ID: 20-346
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931