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Old 05-26-2011, 09:28 PM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Default Councilmember Nancy Navarro: FY12 County Budget

 

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Today, the Council unanimously approved the FY12 total operating budget. This $4.4 billion budget is the culmination of a year's work identifying and implementing the long-term structural changes necessary to ensure the County's future fiscal stability while preserving the core services our residents expect and deserve. An editorial in yesterday's Washington Post praised the Council's work on the FY12 budget, calling it a "watershed moment" and stating that we charted a "responsible course." 

 

 

As Chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee, I led the discussion of many of these proposed changes, which included modifications to employee health care and pension benefits. As a result of GO Committee decisions, the Council made important improvements to the Executive's benefits proposals that minimized the impact on employees and resulted in greater savings. For a detailed description of these changes, click here. Moreover, my colleagues and I have ensured that these adjustments are more equitably distributed among employees of all County agencies, which include Montgomery County Government, MNCPPC, Montgomery College, and MCPS.

 

 

The benefit adjustments we approved will result in recurring savings of almost $300 million over the next five years. Over the next few months, the GO committee will consider additional changes to be implemented in future fiscal years. 

 

 

  

In addition to addressing the structural deficit, my budget priorities included:

 

  • Health Care - As a member of the HHS Committee, I advocated for the restoration of approximately $1 million to the Montgomery Cares program, which provides primary health care to medically uninsured, low-income adult residents in the County through a network of independent, nonprofit clinics.  
  • Libraries - Our libraries have been especially hard-hit in this fiscal crisis, having been cut by about thirty percent over the last few years. This year, I voted to restore $2.3 million to our libraries for badly-needed materials and staffing, including an additional position in the Aspen Hill Library.  
  • Public Safety - I have been working closely with the Montgomery County Police Department and the Public Safety Committee to address crime issues in Briggs Chaney. The FY12 budget now includes funding for 16 additional officers in the Route 29 corridor. In addition, I led the fight to keep the East County and Olney police substations open. I heard from many constituents about the importance of maintaining both substations, particularly because of the significant driving distance between the substations and the main district headquarters.  
  • Education - As a former member and President of the Board of Education, I understand the importance of maintaining our world-class school system. While other agencies and departments have faced brutal cuts over the last three years, the MCPS budget has grown by 2.6 percent. For FY12, the approved MCPS budget will result in a year-to-year increase of 1.2 percent. I also voted to restore critical funding for Montgomery College and community based pre-K programming.  
  • Youth  - I proposed reinstating the Kids Ride Free program, which had been suspended in the FY11 budget.  Beginning July 1, kids can once again use their student I.D. to ride free on Metrobus and RideOn between 2-7 p.m. on weekdays. I also convinced my colleagues to add $15,000 to the Department of Recreation budget to fund the "Teen Escape Club," a  pilot program that grew out of feedback from my Youth Advisory Group regarding the need for positive, engaging youth activities in east county. Since April, the Teen Escape Club has held several well-attended events and I look forward to its future success.  
  • Seniors - Last fall's FY11 savings plan proposed elimination of all neighborhood senior programs, although I fought successfully to maintain meal programs for needy seniors in District 4. I know how important these services can be for residents who rely on them, and I am very pleased that all neighborhood senior programs were restored in the FY12 budget.  
  • Economic Development in East County - In order to keep the Planning Department's work plan on schedule, I supported the restoration of over $1.5 million in planning funds. Currently, the planners are working on two East County master plans: the Burtonsville Crossroads Neighborhood Plan and the East County Science Sector Master Plan. Once completed, these plans will create exciting opportunities for new jobs and amenities in East County. A diverse and engaged group of residents has been participating in the development of the Burtonsville plan, and the draft preliminary staff recommendations reflect this input. If you would like to submit comments, email kristin.oconnor@montgomeryplanning.org.

 
Thank You

 

I want to thank all the District 4 residents who shared their comments and suggestions on the FY12 budget with me. Many of you recognized the challenges we are facing, and your comments were very helpful to me in setting my budget priorities. I would also like to express my gratitude to the thousands of Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and Park & Planning employees for their professionalism, dedication and hard work.

 

As always, my staff and I are here to help in any way we can and hope that you will contact us if you need assistance at (240) 777-7968.

 

 Sincerely,

 

Nancy Navarro

Councilmember, District 4

Montgomery County Council

 

 

E-mail: Councilmember.Navarro@MontgomeryCountyMD.Gov

 Web: www.NancyNavarro.Info 

Phone: 240-777-7968

 

Address: 

Councilmember Nancy Navarro
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
  
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Councilmember Nancy Navarro | 100 Maryland Avenue | Rockville | MD | 20904
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