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Roger Berliner

Council Vice President

Council Vice President Roger Berliner
 
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'Education First' Budget Vital to County's Future 

The budget preliminary approved on May 19 is a is fundamentally driven by our commitment to our school system.  It is truly an education first budget.  And that commitment required us to take extraordinary measures:  increase property taxes over the charter limit; exceed Maintenance of Effort for our school system by almost $90 million; and significantly increase recordation taxes.  All of this was necessary because of our Council’s unified view that our school system requires a substantial additional investment now if it is to maintain its well-earned reputation for excellence. A reputation that is foundational for our county’s future. (See Councilmember Berliner's full Statement here)
 

    Helping Seniors Stay in their Homes

On April 6, lead sponsors Montgomery County Council Vice-President Roger Berliner, Councilmember Sidney Katz and Councilmember Riemer, along with co-sponsors Council President Floreen and Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Nancy Navarro, Craig Rice, and Tom Hucker introduced legislation which would provide seniors with tax relief and help them meet their property tax obligations in Montgomery County. Expedited Bill 10-16 would enable seniors 65 and older, with individual or combined gross incomes of $80,000 or less, to defer increases on property taxes at 0% interest for as long as they like, including until they sell their home. 

 

 

 



Westbard Sector Plan

The Westbard Sector Plan is one of the oldest plans still in use in Montgomery County having been last updated in 1982. Westbard lies in the southwestern part of Montgomery County, approximately one mile from the D.C. boundary line. It is less than two miles from the commercial areas of Friendship Heights and Bethesda. The Westbard area is served by two major northwest to southeast highways: River Road and Massachusetts Avenue and  is surrounded by well-established single-family neighborhoods. 

Please find Councilmember Berliner's current thoughts on the Plan in his memo to the PHED Committee here.


 


Senior Forum

On November 18th & April 8th, Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Sidney Katz hosted a Senior Forum on preventing senior scams, encouraging volunteerism and civic engagement in our senior community, and stopping elder abuse.

Members of the senior community left with a better understanding of what services are available to them in these areas and more confident in their ability to live without fear and to the fullest as they grow older.
 

 


Metro Forum Update

On July 22, our Committee held a Forum about the current challenges and future possibilities for the Metro system. At the Forum and on e-mail, residents had a host of questions for WMATA. Please find WMATA’s answers to these questions here . Even after the Forum, Councilmember Berliner has continued to work to reform Metro. You can find more about his recent efforts, a letter to Governor Hogan calling for serious reforms and a regional approach to achieving those reforms, here .
 

Infrastructure & Growth Symposium

We received many questions before, during, and after the forum. After reaching out to the Planning Department and Montgomery County Public Schools, we have put together answers to those questions. Take a look and feel free to contact my office, the Planning Department, or MCPS if you have any follow-up questions. Read more..

Bethesda Downtown Plan

After 20 years, the Bethesda Master Plan is getting a fresh new look. With the help of residents, businesses, and community groups, the Montgomery County Planning Department is looking to create a more modern Downtown Bethesda, while enhancing what has made this part of of our community such a success. The work on the Plan will be organized around three themes: social sustainability, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability. Read more..

 

Latest News

Fighting Predatory Towing

On July 31, with the support of all 8 of my colleagues, the Council passed a bill that I introduced (Bill 17-15) to fight back against the use of spotters and predatory practices of certain tow companies. WUSA9 invited me on their program to discuss the issue and how we are trying to fix this issue that plagues many in our County. Watch it here

What’s the Deal with River Road?

Many residents have reached out about the roadwork being conducted on River Rd. Here’s the deal: Pepco has identified the need to construct a new distribution substation within the Friendship Heights community by the June 2017.  The proposed 138 kV substation, named the Northwest Substation, will replace the Harrison Street Substation, which was built in the 1940s. The work going on now on River Road is intended to provide the feeder cables for that new substation. According to representatives from Pepco, the work should be completed by late March of this year. After that, they will move to Western Avenue on their way to Harrison Street. A fact sheet for that portion of the project is available  here.Pepco will be responsible for repaving River Road in the section between Little Falls Parkway and Western Avenue. Road restoration will take place in April.

Exelon Pepco Merger

On Tuesday March 31, my colleagues unanimously endorsed a resolution that tells the Maryland Public Service Commission that the settlement that our County Executive reached with Exelon/Pepco isn't enough to make the proposed merger in the public interest.  It isn't a bad deal; it is just the wrong deal. Exelon must put more on the table, much more, to come close to meeting the public interest. See my comments to MCMedia  here.

2015 Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference

CM Berliner speaks at 2015 Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference -  I was asked to speak to our role as legislators in leading the charge for smart growth. As I thought about this presentation, I asked myself what is the biggest lesson I have learned over the past eight years as we in Montgomery County have sought to implement smart growth principles.  And the answer I would offer is simply this – change is hard, and changing a deeply rooted culture is even harder.  The whole speech can be found here.

Earth Day Art Contest 2015

This year I invited MCPS student in grades 3 through 8 to celebrate Earth Day by participating in my 1st Annual Earth Day Art competition. The theme was Making A Difference. We got many submissions, showing the immense artistic abilities and environmental stewardship we have amongst our County's students. Please find all the winners & runner-ups  here



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