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Roger Berliner


Council President Roger Berliner

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A Responsible Budget

On May 22, the Council concluded our work on next year’s budget. A $5.4 billion dollar budget, a budget larger than some states. It is a fiscally responsible budget. At the same time, it is a budget that reflects our values and our commitment to the fundamentals of county government – schools, transportation, the state of our roads, and the maintenance of our libraries and recreation centers. We strengthened the safety net that helps those most vulnerable, made significant strides in providing more pre-k and child care, and supported programs to help our businesses thrive and our economy grow.

For more information, please read my latest newsletter here. In the Berliner Brief: Budget Newsletter you will be able to learn more about how we will invest your hard earned tax dollars. In the video linked above, you can hear my full comments on next year's budget as we passed it.

Reaffirm Our Community Values

On Monday, January 30, 2017, my colleagues and I, with County Executive Leggett, released a statement reaffirming the core values of Montgomery County: we are a safe, welcoming, and inclusive community. The President's Executive Orders will not change how we interact with our residents. The Montgomery County Police Department does not enforce federal immigration law, and does not inquire about the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested. We firmly stand for the "Montgomery County Way," and will not tolerate hate or discrimination in our community.

On February 14th at 11 am, my colleagues and I on the Council were briefed on ' Combating Hate Crimes & Extremism: The Montgomery County Model.' The Montgomery County Model -- under the leadership of World Organization for Resource Development & Education (WORDE), Reverend Kasey Kaseman from the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships, and Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger has produced some of the finest work in the world in this field. Rather than sowing seeds of distrust, they work hard to bring communities and struggling individuals into a safe environment. You can watch the full briefing here

Parking Analysis for Downtown Bethesda

The Council recently learned that the County Executive has agreed to reserve use of the centrally-located Woodmont Corner Garage in downtown Bethesda for Marriott once it moves to the area in 2022. Together with the potential impact of the Bethesda Downtown Plan, it is clear now is the time to look at the big picture when it comes to public parking in downtown Bethesda. On February 13, I asked our Department of Transportation to perform a thorough analysis of future parking supply in the area.  Read the letter here.

Council Efforts to Maintain Metro Service for Our Residents

On Monday, February 6, my colleagues and I asked Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans and his colleagues to do whatever they can – without sacrificing the integrity of the safety and reliability work already underway – to minimize service cuts and fare increases proposed in the system’s fiscal year 2018 budget. Read the letter here

My Comments on Raising the Minimum Wage

Bill 12-16 was discussed in the Health and Human Services Committee on December 7, 2016. The County Council will continue to review and act on the bill in early 2017.   The bill, as currently drafted, would raise the county's minimum wage for workers to $15 by July 1, 2020. Please see my full remarks from the December 7 committee meeting.

Bethesda Downtown Plan

After 20 years, the Bethesda Master Plan will have a fresh new look. With the help of residents, businesses, community groups, and the Montgomery County Planning Department, the Council has created a more modern Downtown Bethesda Master Plan. The plan enhances what has made this part of of our community such a success. The work on the Plan was organized around three themes: social sustainability, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability.  Read more and watch my statement at its approval.

Fulfilling Our County's Promise

Serving as Montgomery County MD Council President over the next year is an honor, one I do not take lightly. In a time of great anger, our response must be to double down on respectful discourse, on listening even more carefully to what our residents are saying to us, on honoring the legitimate needs of all of our residents, and on finding common ground. I look forward to working with my colleagues to move our county forward.

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..

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. 

More 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.

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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