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Speech and Testimony

County Executive Leggett’s Remarks at the WSSC Event

14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel


As prepared


Good morning; and thank you Carla for your kind introduction and for inviting me to speak to you today on the Journey to becoming a World Class Utility.

You are very lucky to have Carla Reid as your General Manager and CEO. Carla was an outstanding leader of our Permitting Services Department; and we were very sorry to lose her, but I knew she would bring her enthusiasm and technical expertise to Prince George’s County and support County Executive Rushern Baker.

It’s also good to see Joe Beach – another outstanding leader we lost; but I am glad it was also for the same great cause. I am especially glad that I am speaking to a room full of Finance professionals. 

Getting Montgomery County’s fiscal house in order was one of my top priorities when I was elected County Executive. 

In fact, I appointed, as the County’s Chief Administrative Officer Tim Firestine, who was then the County’s Finance Director because it was so important for me to retain the County’s Triple-A Bond rating and provide real value and excellent service to the residents of Montgomery County. 

Being responsive and accountable to the taxpayers was also a major priority when I became the County Executive. 

As Carla mentioned, establishing a 3-1-1 Call Center with a state-of-the-art customer relationship management system is one of my proudest accomplishments. 

By providing one number for residents to call to access services and get their questions answered we have brought the government closer to them and helped solve their problems. 

And that is what we are about in public service.

Helping people solve their problems and doing it consistently and enthusiastically is what taxpayers and rate payers expect; and it is key to our success.

For those of us in public service this is a very challenging time.

There is a lot of negativity about public employees and skepticism about the quality of our services. 

That’s why we need to stay focused on the mission, focused on the customer and work creatively within our agencies to provide the best service that we can. 

I know that WSSC has a lot of challenges these days. 

o          You are looking at a new rate structure;

o          There are a lot of demands on your customer service;

o          You have aging infrastructure that you are working hard to repair and replace;

o          The customer doesn’t always understand how a water utility works;

o          They just want the water to come out when they turn the faucet;

o          And the people in this room are responsible for planning for, paying for, and accounting for this very essential service that is usually taken for granted. 

That said, you should take heart in knowing that being taken for granted is usually a good indicator of how well you are doing. As I am sure you’ve realized by now, people tend to comment most when things are going wrong.

I want you to know that throughout my career in public office, in both the Montgomery County Council and as the County Executive, I have made support for WSSC one of my top priorities because I know how important your mission is and how difficult your challenges are.

Thank you for what you do and keep up the great work to both of our Counties!

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Release ID: 17-098
October 3; 10:30 a.m