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Press Releases - County Council

Education and Culture Committee and Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee Hold Virtual Meetings on Oct. 4

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 1, 2021

The committees will meet virtually to discuss public libraries, make a recommendation on categorical transfers for the MCPS FY21 operating budget and FY21 grant funds, continue to review the Thrive 2050 Draft Plan and meet with representatives from the Board of Appeals


The Education and Culture (E&C) Committee will meet on Monday, Oct. 4 at 9:30 a.m. to receive a briefing and discuss key programs and initiatives at Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) and make a recommendation to the full Council on a resolution to approve categorical transfers of $67.7 million for Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) FY21 operating budget and $1.7 million for FY21 grant funds.

The members of the E&C Committee include Chair Craig Rice and Councilmembers Will Jawando (Lead for Libraries) and Nancy Navarro.

The Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to continue its review of the Planning Board’s Thrive Montgomery 2050 Draft Plan and receive updates on the Board of Appeal’s key programs and initiatives and review spending and performance data.

The members of the PHED Committee include Chair Hans Riemer and Councilmembers Andrew Friedson (Lead for Parks) and Will Jawando.

More detail on each agenda item is provided below.

Public Libraries

Briefing and review: The E&C Committee will receive a briefing and discuss key programs and initiatives at the Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL). The Committee will be briefed on services and programs impacted by the pandemic and the department’s plan to recover operations.

In addition, the Committee will discuss the launch of an open-source integrated library system and global platform, the MCPL racial equity and social justice department action plan, branch reopening progress, recruiting and hiring of librarian staff, curriculum development to address loss of learning among youth during the pandemic, workforce development programming and grant funding for an electric-powered bookmobile.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Anita Vassallo, director, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL); James Donaldson, assistant director, MCPL; Steve Kapani, business office manager, MCPL; and Deborah Lambert, senior fiscal and policy analyst, Office of Management and Budget.

FY21 MCPS Operating Budget and Grant Funds Categorical Transfer Requests

Review: The E&C Committee will discuss and make a recommendation to the full Council on a resolution to approve categorical transfers of $67.7 million for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) FY21 operating budget and $1.7 million for FY21 grant funds, as requested by the Board of Education. The FY21 year-end financial report and categorical transfer request was presented to the Board of Education on Aug. 24, 2021 and approved by the Board on June 29, 2021.

The transfer is needed because of increased expenditures in the new continuity of learning approach, extensive summer instruction, additional student instruction and enrichment in non-traditional school hours, and professional development and technology initiatives for remote learning. In addition, MCPS received approximately $422.0 million in relief funding related to the pandemic.

Representatives from MCPS expected to attend and provide information include Ivón Alfonso-Windsor, supervisor, Budget Unit, Office of Finance and Thomas Klausing, executive director, Office of Finance.

Thrive 2050 Design, Arts, and Culture and Transportation and Communication Networks

Review: The PHED Committee will continue its review of the Planning Board’s Thrive Montgomery 2050 Draft Plan which is a framework to guide planning for land use, housing, the economy, equity, transportation, parks and open space, the environment, historic resources, urban design and arts and culture over the next three decades.

The recommendations will provide guidance for future master plans, county and state capital improvement processes and other public and private initiatives that influence land use and planning in Montgomery County.

At previous meetings, the Committee reviewed the introductory section of the plan, received a briefing from the Planning Department on the plan’s vison, reviewed the first two chapters about compact growth and complete communities and reviewed the fiscal impact statement prepared by the Office of Management and Budget.

This meeting will focus on the affordable and attainable housing chapter. The chapter on parks and recreation will be covered on Oct. 13. The PHED Committee is scheduled to hold a final meeting to review the plan’s conclusion and introduction on Oct. 18.

For additional background information on Thrive Montgomery 2050 visit Montgomery Planning.

Board of Appeals

Review: The PHED Committee will receive updates on the Board of Appeal’s key programs and initiatives and review spending and performance data. In addition, the committee will discuss recent activities of the Board, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on department operations.

The Board of Appeals assists the public in understanding, and to hear and decide, in a quasi-judicial setting, inquiries and applications that arise related to variances and administrative appeals of certain decisions of County agencies. The Board of Appeals also conducts oral argument on conditional use decisions or modification of special exceptions.

Representatives from the Board who are expected to attend and provide information include Barbara Jay, executive director, and John H. Pentecost, board chair.

The Committee meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee agendas, 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 and committees are meeting via Zoom this fall because of ongoing construction and technology upgrades in the Council's Hearing Room and the inability to conduct meetings in a socially distant way in other areas of the Council Office Building with television broadcast capacity. Councilmembers will continue to hold meetings in their offices by appointment.

The virtual Council and Committee meetings 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, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.

Release ID: 21-385
Media Contact: Sonya Healy, 240-777-7926 , Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884