Clarksburg Citizens and Business Advisory Group Monthly Meeting

Montgomery County Correctional Facility  | Telephone: (240) 773-9700

MEETING DATE: January 21, 2003

Bina Allgood, Joe Anastasi, Jenny Barber, Rob Green, Nancy Hislop, Steve Howie, Cathy Jewell, Yael Klejman, Suzy Malagari, Teresa Noone, Don Phillips, Terry Reister, Brian Roynestad, Guy Ruffner, Art Wallenstein, John Williams

Construction is complete. Rob Green reported that there are a few last minute adjustments to be made such as countertop cracks and adjustments to doors. Minor problems are being discovered as a result of using the building. This is not out of the ordinary for a building of this size (305,000 square feet). DPWT is very responsive to our needs with anything that needs to be repaired or adjusted.

Bill Novak and his staff (DPWT) are still in the house on the hill until April or May. They are still doing final closeouts and remain available to us if needed. Once this house is vacated, it will be bulldozed so it is not a security threat.

The first siren test that was scheduled for January 6 at 1 pm failed. Don Phillips, a representative from the siren installation company, M.C. Dean, was present to explain why. Don Phillips explained that there was a bad connector in the solar panel, which did not let the batteries recharge. There was a lag time between the time the siren was installed and when the decision was made for the sound of the siren, which subsequently was long enough for the batteries to drain. With the quality and problem free history of the equipment, Mr. Phillips stated it was a fluke. The equipment has a one year warranty on maintenance and a continued 24/7 coverage plan to be set up. Rob Green stated that it will be the responsibility of the security perimeter team to check the meter daily.

Terry Reister asked why we were using solar power instead of a local power source. The entire unit is a battery system. Mr. Phillips reported that there is no easy power hook-up for the siren at that installed location, so solar power is simply used to triple charge the batteries. He also stated, in his experience, the solar power systems were more reliable.

The next siren test is February 3, 2003 at 1 pm.

Staff Event: There will be a closed staff and family event February 1, 2003 for DOCR and DPWT employees. The refreshments are being provided by a local business, Clarksburg Deli.

Volunteer Orientation: Volunteer Orientation is scheduled for February 8 and 9. Vonda Henley (Volunteer Coordinator) is organizing these sessions.

Simulated Incarceration: The Simulated Incarceration is scheduled for February 15 and 16. Art Wallenstein stated, as of tonight's meeting, there are 141 acceptances. Our goal is 250 participants. Art reported many interesting people have accepted; State representatives, local citizens, and various media people. If anyone on this committee has addition people (local community citizens) that they would like to have invited, please submit the names to Howard Copeland, 240-773-9731 or Sabrina Garcia, 240-773-9730 so that they can mail invitations. No one can attend without an invitation.

County Transit is supplying Corrections with to and from Ride-On bus service from the Executive Office Building to MCCF for those that did not want to drive the distance.

Public Tours: There will be public tours on February 22 and 23 from 11 am to 4 pm. This is for anyone and everyone who is interested to be escorted through the building for a very informative tour.

Formal Dedication: A formal dedication with the County Executive will be scheduled for early March.

Yael Klejman from County Transit reported that the #75 bus route began operation as scheduled on January 6, running from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. It is too early to tell what the rider ship will be.

Rob Green reported that the "Dead End" sign that was a concern from our last meeting has been removed. Steve Howie had a concern about the sign at the entrance to Whelan Lane being inappropriate.

The County's contractor for snow removal has done an excellent job during the inclement weather we've recently had.

Approximately 80 staff (nurses, correctional officers, dietary officers, counselors, teachers, and clerical staff) have gone through our MCCF Orientation training. MCCF is very busy with tours and scenarios (HHS tours, Hyattstown Fire and Rescue, Fire Marshall Robot, the Police ERT group, and the Police K-9 Units) that are scheduled almost every day.

Mr. Wallenstein reported on the County budget. It is public information that the County budget is $300,000,000 in arrears. There have been three reduction exercises that each agency in the County has been working on.

1. 2004 Normal Budget Submission, 1% reduction for non-Public Safety agencies
2. Mid-year Savings Program
3. 2% reduction for Public Safety, 3% reduction for non-Public Safety agencies of their remaining budgets

Through all these reductions, Art Wallenstein reported that we have not lost one staff member from Corrections. Budget hearings begin next week for all departments.

Steve Howie asked how can Corrections reduce their budget without compromising public safety. In a normal year the public safety agencies can usually dodge the reductions. This year's budget deficit is twice what it was in the difficult FY91-92 budget year. The County revenue growth is currently 5%, but the level of service expectation in Montgomery County is very high, far beyond other jurisdictions. Because of the confidentiality of the executive process Mr. Wallenstein can not discuss any budget plan at this time.

The Kingsley Wilderness School is scheduled to move to the their renovated school in late April. This will not conflict with any jail inmate movement.

Rob Green asked if the project areas were clear for installation of the gate and fence. Are the construction deliveries complete? Cathy Jewell will check to see if the project is complete and if all heavy equipment movement has stopped.

A proposal was made that CBAG remains intact and that meetings continue monthly through June, bi-monthly until December and beginning January 2004, the decision will be made as to how often to meet (bi-monthly or quarterly). A new name for the group will be decided in July 2003. Everyone agrees the new committee will not just be a Clarksburg committee, but a committee involving interested persons throughout the County. After the jail is officially open, the new committee will address new programs, volunteers, operational elements, security issues, as well as community issues.