Agenda Item 27
May 26, 2011
Actio'n
MEMORANDUM
May 24,2011
TO:
FROM:
County Council
Robert
H.
Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
~
SUBJECT:
Action:
Bill 4-11, Commission for Women - Reorganization
Government Operations and Fiscal PolicylHealth and Human Services Committee
recommendation:
disapprove the Bill.
Bill 4-11, Commission for Women - Reorganization, sponsored by the Council President
on recommendation of the Organizational Reform Commission, was introduced on March 8,
2011. A public hearing was held on March 29 and joint Government Operations and Fiscal
Policy/Health and Human Services Committee worksessions were held on April 27 and May 5.
Bill 4-11 would eliminate the Office of the Commission for Women, reallocate certain
functions of the Office, and provide staff support for the Commission for Women.
Background
In its report to the Council dated January 31, 2011, the Organizational Reform
Commission (ORC), in
Recommendation
#3, recommended the County reorganize the
Commission for Women and eliminate the Office of the Commission for Women.
The full text of the recommendation is below.
Proposed Consolidations and Reorganizations.
The ORC proposes the following
consolidations and reorganizations for boards, committees and commissions:
a)
Commission for Women (CFW) -
Current Budget-
$881,300 -
The ORC
commends the CFW, which over the years has served a very important function. But
as County government and the social landscape have evolved,
it
is clear that many of
the CFW's activities duplicate those provided by other agencies. We believe that the
CFW's core functions can be served in other ways. The CFW's counseling and
career center is now duplicated to a great extent by the new Family Justice Center, the
County's Workforce Development program, Montgomery College, and private.
entities and religious organizations.
.
I
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Additionally, the County's Office of Intergovernmental Relations effectively
advocates for the County at all levels of government including CFW issues.
)i-
The ORC recommends that the Commission for Women be restructured as an
advisory comwlittee attached to another department or unit deemed most
appropriate by the Council and Executive. This action could save the County more
than $800,000 annually.
Executive's Response
In a memorandum to the Council President dated February 21, 2011, the Executive
responded to each of the 28 recommendations in the ORC report (©6). The Executive supported
this recommendation with conditions as follows:
3. Reorganize the Commission for Women and eliminate the office.
County Executive's Position: Support with Conditions
I support the ORC recommendation regarding the reorganization of the Commission
for Women. My FY12 Recommended Operating Budget will address the
reorganization of this Commission, but in order to maintain the excellent work of the
Commission for Women I will recommend a reduction, but not the elimination of all
staff support. This recommendation requires implementing legislation which I will
forward to the Council.
However, the Executive subsequently decided that his proposed modified reorganization ofthe CFW
did not require County legislation, and he did not submit proposed legislation to implement this ORC
recommendation.
Bill 4-11, sponsored by the Council President on recommendation of the ORC would
implement ORC Recommendation #3.
Public Hearing
All 10 speakers at the Council's March 29 public hearing opposed the Bill, including the
President of the Commission for Women, Jaclyn Lichter Vincent. See ©11-12. Representatives
from the AARP-Maryland (©13-15), Maryland NOW (©16-18), Montgomery County Chapter­
Older Women's League (©19-23), Montgomery County Women's Bar Association (©24-25),
and the Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable (©26-28) each opposed the Bill. Family law
attorneys Sharon Grosfeld (©29-30), Carren Oler (©31-35), and Anne Lopiano (©36) all
opposed the Bill. Finally, a volunteer for the CFW Counseling and Career Center, Colleen
Kelly, testified in opposition to the Bill. See ©37-39.
The overwhelming support for the CFW Office and opposition to the Bill was based upon
the direct services performed by the CFW Counseling and Career Center.
2
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Worksessions
The joint Government Operations and Fiscal Policy and Health and Human Services
Committee reviewed this Bill at worksessions on April 27 and May 5. The joint Committee
recommended (5-0) approving the Executive's proposal to keep the Office with reduced staffing
as part of the single budgetary unit called the Community Engagement Cluster. The joint
Committee also placed additional funding on the reconciliation list for one licensed therapist to
supervise the volunteer counselors.
Issues
1.
What is the fiscal and economic impact of the Bill?
OMB estimated annual net savings from the Bill of $586,360. This estimate is based
upon eliminating the personnel and operating expenses for the Office of $869,610 and providing
staff support from the CAO at the cost of $282,980. OMB assumed that the CAO would have to
hire a Manager I and an Administrative Specialist I to provide staff support for the Commission.
This would be the same staff complement that the Executive recommended in the FY12 Budget
if the Office of the CFW is retained and the Counseling Center is eliminated. A Manager I is the
highest grade in the County. merit system.
The joint Committee recommended placing
$190,860 on the reconciliation list to pay for one full-time licensed therapist and a principal
administrative aide to continue counseling with volunteer counselors.
2. What senrices are performed by the Office?
The Commission for Women (CFW) is an advisory board comprised of 15 volunteers
from the community and a County department. The CFW was created more than 30 years ago to
provide unique services to displaced homemakers and other women seeking to enter the
workforce. Over the years some of these services have been duplicated by other public and
private entities. The CFW's counseling and career consultation programs are now duplicated to
a great extent by the new Family Justice Center, the County's Workforce Development program,
Montgomery College, and private entities and religious organizations. The Commission also
works as an advocacy group for women's issues, with some assistance from the County's Office
of Intergovernmental Relations, at all levels of government.
The Office of the Commission for Women provides staff support for the Commission and
oversees the counseling and other direct client services to women in the Women's Counseling
and Career Center. CFW estimated that about 50% of their budget is spent providing direct
services. Career guidance is provided both through individual "career counseling" and through
some of the classes offered in the counseling center for help with job loss, entering or re-entering
the workforce, balancing work and family, networking skills, dealing with difficult people in the
workplace, resume writing, job hunt strategies, interview techniques, and internet job search. The
Center also offers the Meyers-Briggs personality type test and interpretation, and other career
aptitude tests. Pure career guidance is a relatively small part of the Center's services. Most
clients come to the Center with other problems such as depression, separation and divorce, low
self esteem, anger and trust issues, or other serious life crises that are either affecting or are being
affected by the career issues, and must be handled at the same time.
3
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In FYlO, more than 900 clients participated in 3113 counseling sessions at the Center,
and 2200 participated in classes and· support groups. Of the 2291 clients returning the
demographic information forms when participating in counseling or classes, 42% identified
themselves as belonging to ethnic minorities, including 17% African-American, 14% Hispanic,
6% Asian Pacific, 1% American Indian, and 4% other ethnicity. Thirty-eight percent (38%)
reported incomes under $30,000; 15% between $30,000 and $50,000; 11 % between $50,000 and
$70,000; and 37% reported incomes above $70,000. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of clients were
not currently married and 27% reported that they had never been married, while 29% responded
that they were separated or divorced, and 1
%
indicated they were widowed. At the time they
received services at the Counseling and Career Center in FYIO, 57% of clients reported they
were not employed. Thirty-one percent (31 %) were between the ages of 20 and 39; 57% are
between the ages of 40 and 60, and a little over 10% are 60 or older (41 % are 50 and older).
3. Are these services available in other places?
The Executive's list of other entities providing similar services is at ©40-42. Executive
staff was not able to verify the capacity or the fees charged for the services of the many agencies
on the list. The Organizational Reform Commission concluded that many of these counseling
services were available from private non-profit providers and elsewhere in the County. For
example, HHS provides similar mental health counseling through employees and vendors. The
testimony at the hearing indicated that the CFW has been successful in providing much of this
service through volunteer counselors. This could also be done through another agency, such as
HHS.
4. Should the Bill be enacted?
The Executive proposed eliminating the counseling services provided by the Office and
retaining the Director as part of a unified appropriation for the Office of Community
Engagement.
The joint Committee recommended
(5-0)
approval of the Executive's
proposal to keep the Office of the Commission with reduced staffing as part of the single
budgetary unit with the Office of Community Partnerships, the Regional Service Centers,
and the Gilchrist Center. Most of the savings from the Bill would still be realized due to
the reduced funding. The joint Committee recommended
(5-0)
disapproval of the Bill.
This packet contains:
Bill 4-11
Legislative Request Report
Executive's ORC Recommendations Memo February 21,2011
Fiscal Impact Statement
Public Hearing Testimony
Commission for Women
AARP-Maryland
Maryland NOW
Montgomery County Chapter-Older Women's League
Montgomery County Women's Bar Association
Circle
#
1
5
6
8
11
13
16
19
24
4
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Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable
Sharon Grosfeld
Carren Oler
Anne Lopiano
CFW Counseling and Career Center
List of Other Service Entities providing counseling
26
29
31
36
37
40
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Bill No.
4-11
Concerning: Commission for Women ­
Reorganization
Revised:
March 7. 2011
Draft No. --=2_ _ _
--c~~-_-
Introduced:
March 8. 2011
Expires:
September 8. 2012
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
_N~o~n.!.!:e~
_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President on the recommendation ofthe Organizational Reform Commission
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
eliminate the Office ofthe Commission for Women;
reallocate certain functions of the Office of the Commission for Women;
provide for staff support for the Commission for Women; and
generally amend the law concerning the Commission for Women.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 1A, Structure of County Government
Section 1A-203, Establishing Other Offices
Chapter 2, Administration
Section 2-59, Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
Chapter 11, Consumer Protection
Section 11-6, Filing Complaints
Chapter 27, Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Sections 27-26B, 27-28, and 27-33A
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface bracketsD
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law hy original hill.
Deletedfrom existing law hy original hill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill hyamendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Alaryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No.
4-11
1
2
Sec. 1.
Sections 1A-203, 2-59, 11-6, 27-26B, 27-28 and 27-33A are
amended as follows:
lA-203.
(a)
Establishing other offices.
Executive Branch. These are the offices of the Executive Branch that
are not part of a department or principal office.
[Office of the Commission for Women [section 27-28 et seq.]]
3
4
5
6
7
8
*
2-59.
*
*
*
*
Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
*
(c)
(1)
(2)
Composition and terms ofmembers.
The Coordinating Council has 17 members.
The County Council requests the following individuals to serve
as ex officio members ofthe Coordinating Council:
(A) The Administrative Judge for District 6 of the Maryland
District Court or designee ofthe Administrative Judge;
(B) The Administrative Judge for the Montgomery County
Circuit Court or designee of the Administrative Judge;
(C) The State's Attorney for Montgomery County or designee
[or] ofthe State's Attorney;
(D) The Regional Director of the Division of Parole and
Probation, Maryland Department of Public Safety and
Corrections or designee of the Regional Director;
(E) The County Sheriff or designee of the County Sheriff; and
(F) The President of the County Board of Education or
designee of the President.
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
(3)
Subject to confirmation by the County Council, the County
Executive should appoint the following individuals to serve as ex
0-
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BILL No. 4-11
28
29
30
31
32
33
officio members of the Coordinating Council:
(A) A member or designee of the County Council, selected by
the Council President;
(B) The Chief of Police or designee of the Chief ofPolice;
(C) The Director of the Department of Health and Human
Services or designee of the Director.
(D) [The Executive Director]
~
34
35
36
member or designee of the
Commission for Women [or designee of the Executive
Director]; and
(E) The Director of the Department of Correction and
Rehabilitation or designee ofthe Director.
37
38
39
*
11-6.
Filing complaints.
*
*
*
40
41
42
*
(f)
*
Referral to the [Commission for Women] Departments
gf
Economic
Development and Health and Human Services.
The Director may refer
a domestic worker to the [Commission for Women Counseling and
Career Center] Department of Economic Development and the
Department of Health and Human Services for additional assistance if
the Director determines that the services offered there would benefit the
worker.
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
27-26B.
Interagency fair housing coordinating group.
*
*
(b)
*
The County Executive appoints the members of the coordinating group,
subject to confirmation by the County Council. The coordinating group
consists ofone or more employees of each of the following agencies:
(1)
Office of Community Outreach in the Office of the Chief
52
53
54
o
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BILL
No. 4-11
55
56
57
58
59
60
Administrative Officer;
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)
(9)]
Human Rights Commission;
Housing Opportunities Commission;
Department of Economic Development;
Department of Housing and Community Affairs;
Community service centers;
Department of Health and Human Services; and
[Commission for Women; and
Commission on People with Disabilities.
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
~
*
27-28.
Created;
composition;
compensation of members; meetings[, etc.]
*
appointment;
*
terms
of
office
and
*
to support the Commission.
*
*
Staff.
The Chief Administrative Officer must designate appropriate staff
69
70
71
72
27-33A.
(a)
Fees.
The County Executive by executive order may impose user fees on
participants in
[the
programs, services, or activities] any program,
service, or activity conducted by the Commission for Women. [Fees]
Each fee must not exceed the reasonable cost of administering the
program, service, or activity.
73
74
75
76
77
(b)
The [Director] Chief Administrative Officer may waive the user fee
charged to a participant if:
78
79
(l)
(2)
The waiver would promote the purposes of this Article; and
The participant cannot afford to pay the fee.
@
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 4-11
Commission/or Women
-
Reorganization
DESCRIPTION:
Bill 4-11 would eliminate the Office of the Commission for Women,
reallocate certain functions of the Office, and provide staff support
for the Commission for Women.
The Organizational Reform Commission recommended that the
Commission for Women be reorganized and the Office eliminated.
Although the CFW has served an important function over the years,
many of its activities duplicate the activities of other County agencies
and private organizations. The goal is to restructure this function to
reduce County discretionary expenses to meet reduced County
revenues.
County Executive, Commission for Women
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Organizational Reform Commission Report.
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
Not applicable.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
None.
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
ROCKVlLLB, MARYLAND 2OSS0
MEMORANDUM
February 21,2011
TO:
FROM:
V
~lerie
Ervin, President,
co~ty counc~ ~
Istah
Leggett,
County
EXecutIv"--P~.
SUBJECT: Organizational Reform Commission Recommendations
This memorandum provides the County Council with my recommendations
regarding the final report of
the
Organizational Reform Commission (ORC) which was
released on January 31, 2011. I am deeply grateful to aU of the ORC members, who were
very generous in volunteering their time and expertise .and spent hundreds of hours in
developing the report. As the attached materials indicate, I am supportive ofmost of the
ORC recoIIllI1endations and urge
the
Council
to
approve the recommendations as outlined
in my attached response.
The Commission has acknowledged that implementing its recommendations
will
be
difficult. time consuming and complex. However, this is not a sufficient
justification for failing to undertake the implementation effort. In addition, the
controversy and opposition that some ofthese recommendations have engendered are
also not alone a basis for rejecting the recommendations. Challenging the status quo will
always provoke opposition from entrenched interests and those not willing to undertake
necessary changes. At a time when we have requested that our residents shoulder
increases in taxes (i.e. the energy, telephone and property taxes) and we have reduced
several important public safety and safety net services, and reduced funding for
education, we owe it to the taxpayers ofthis County to undertake the arduous task of
further restructuring our government in order to achieve every possible efficiency and
savings. Furthermore, my Fiscal Year 2012 Recommended Operating Budget is very
likely to includ.e additional reductions
to
many vital programs and services. To ignore
possible long-term savings at this critical time would be a disservice to our taxpayers.
I realize that a majority of the County Council has already indicated that at
this time they do not support State legislation that would enable the Council to merge
Park Police and County Police ifit later chose to do so. This legislation is a necessary
first step in implementing one of the most prominent recommendations of
the
ORC -- i.e.,
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Valerie Ervin, President, CO'lmty Council
Page 2
February 21,2011
a merger of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC)
Park Police with the County Police Department.
l
The Council's recent action
was
not
taken in the context ofthe broader ORC report, this recommendation and the upcoming
March 15
th
budget recommendations. Unfortunately. the Council will have to make
extremely difficult decisions in the FY12 budget deliberations, including reductions to
services and programs, cuts
in
staffmg levels, and possibly significant changes
to
pay and
benefits for County employees. As I stated at the time that the Council discussed
the
proposed State legislation, I do not believe it was prudent for the Council to reject that
potential merger, and the savings and efficiencies that would arise from that merger,
before it fully evaluates all ofthe implications ofthat decision in the context of all of the
issues that relate
to
the FY12 operating budget.
I respectfully urge you
to
comprehensively evaluate the ORC
recommendations along with my reconunendations and the implications for the FY 12
budget and beyond. My staff and I stand ready to work with you
to
ensure that the
efficiency and effectiveness of County Government is maximized
Attachments
. copies:
Organizational Reform Commission Members
Stephen B. Farber, County Council Staff Director
Christopher S. Barclay, President, Board of Education
Dr. Jerry D. Weast, Superintendent, Montgomery County Public School
Jerry Robinson, Acting Executive Director, Housing Opportunities Commission
Francoise Carrier, Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board
DeRionne P. Pollard, Ph.D., President, Montgomery College
Jerry N. Johnson, General Manager/CEO, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.
Executive Branch Department and Office Directors
Fariba Kassiri, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Jennifer Hughes, Special Assistant to the County Executive
I
MCIPG 112-1 I
-
Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission-County Police Authority,
Metropolitan District Tax, and Transfer ofProperty
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OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
MEMORANDUM
March 29, 2011
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Valerie Ervin, preSide1[oun'Council
Joseph F. Beach, Direc
Bill 04-11, Commission r Women· Reorganization
Bm 05-11, Office of Human Rights - Human Rights Commission - Reorganization
Joseph F. Beach
Director
The purpose of1his memorandum is
to
transmit a fiscal and economic impact statement
to the Council on the subject legislation.
LEGISLATION SUMMARY
Bill
04~11
would eliminate the Office of the Commission for Women, reallocate certain
functions of the Office and provide staff support for the Commission for Women, and generally amend
the law concerning the Commission for Women.
Bill 05-11 changes the authority of the Human Rights Commission to adjudicate only
those cases that allege a violation ofthe County's Human Rights law that are unique to Montgomery
County. The Office of Human Rights will investigate and attempt to conciliate those cases that assert an
act of discrimination that is unique to Montgomery County under the County's Human Rights law. Since
1he number of cases that will be handled by the Office of Human Rights witl be greatly reduced, the size
of the office may be reduced, which should provide the County with a reduction in expenditures.
For complaints that allege a discriminatory act that is also prohibited under state or federal law, the
Commission must handle the complaint by advising the complainant ofthe
right
to me a legal action
in
state court under the state human rights law or to file a complaint with the applicable state or federal
enforcement agency. A complainant will retain the right to enforce all a!t1'ects of the County's Human
Rights law, including provisions that prohibit acts of discrimination that are not unique to the County,
through the state court system
FISCAL SUMMARY
The fiscal impact of the subject legislation is shown below for both the Office of the
Commission for Women and the Office of Human Rights.
Bill 4-11 would eliminate the Office ofthe Commission for Women, but would require that
the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) designate appropriate staff
to
support the Commission. The
chart below shows the savings from the elimination of the Office, but shows the resources that may be
required to continue to support the Commission. Continued support for 1he Commission could be at
Office
- - - - - - - - - - . - - - - -
- - - - -
of the Director
- - - - - - -
..
­
101 Monroe Street, l4th Floor· Rockville, Maryland 20850 • 240-777-2800
www.lllontgomerycountymd.gov
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Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
March 29, 2011
Page 2
varying 1evels based on the needs of the Commission. the judgment of the CAO as to the level of support
that was appropriate, and available resources. The analysis below assumes that ongoing support would
be
provided through a Manager I position and an Administrative Specialist I (grade IS).
FYlZ
EIiDloillllte
Omee
41f
Commlsioo for
WomeD
FYll
FY14
FY15
FY16
FY17
T41tal
PeIWlIDel
~~
Operating ExPense
($7~7,7JQ).
(S81,880)
($869,610)
($869,610)
($869,610)
($869,610)
($869,610)
($869,6]0)
($5,217,660)
fReillinSupport-for4l1e C41mmission
<as
r.eqoil'l!d-.ander-proposed MCC.l7.23(e)
Manager
I
(1.0 WY)
$203,840
$203,840
$203.840
$203,840
$203,840
$203,840
$68,890
$1,223,040
$413,340
"$61;5110
Administrative
Specialist (1.0
WY)
$63,890
- - • - Exli0bses
Total
Net Fiteal
Impad
$68,890
'$1'0;250
5282,')80
($586,630)
"$10,250
528l,980
($586,630)
$68,890
1'10,250
$281,980
($586.,630)
$68,890
1>10;250
528l,980
($586.630)
$68,890
1ttl;250
5282,.980
(5586,630)
$10;250
$282,980
($586,630)
$1,697,.880
(53,519,780)
BiD 5-11 wo:uld not eliminate the Office of Human Rights, but would reduce the caseload
for the Office by requiring the Office to investigate, conciliate, and adjudicate before the Commission a
case alleging only discriminatory acts that do not violate State or Federal law. The fIscal impact shown
below replicates the recommendation in the County Executive's Recommended Budget in that all
positions in the Office ofHuman Rights are eliminated with the exception of the Director, a Manager
m.
and four investigators.
Of
the four investigators retained, two will serve for
12
months and continue with
the Office for
FY13-17
and two will serve for six months. The Manager III will serve for four months and
will
be
abolished on
1111111.
Office of Humall Rights"
FY12
($1,271,486)
($1,143,250)
($128,230)
FYI3*"
($1,406,360)
FY14
($1,406,360)
-FYIS
(51,406,360)
FYHi
($1,406,366)
FY17
(SI,406,360)
Total
($8,303,280)
Persof.lllel Costs
. OjM!rating .ExpeDse
*
Reduction in personnel aod related resources lffocus of Office was shifted to only investigate, concilillte, and adjudicate
before
the
Commission a case alleging
only
discriminatory acts
that
do not violate State or Federal law_
.... Savings inCfe8l!C in FY13-17 because two investigator positions and
B
Manager
m
position are retained for part of FY12, but
abolished during the fiscal year. The additional savings are reflected in FY13-17.
The subject legislation would support the County Executive's proposal
to
consolidate the
Office ofthe Commission for Women and the Office ofHuman Rights with the fIve Regional Services
Center, the Office of Community Partnerships (currently
in
the Offices ofthe County Executive), and tbe
Recreation Department's Gilchrist Center and create the Office ofCommunity Engagement. This multi­
department reorganization will streamline operations ofthe affected departments and provide greater
coordination in the County's efforts to reach out and engage the local community in solving public
problems. As the chart below indicates, this reorganization will result in ongoing savings estimated
at
$2.8 million annually and cumulative savings of nearly $17.5 million over
six
years.
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Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
March 29, 2011
Page 3
Regional Serviees Center
Personnel Costs
Operating
Expense
Office ofHumaa Rights'"
Personnel Costs
:Opemting
Expense
Offite of Commision for
Women
'Personnel
eosts
FY12
(5815,390)
($696,060)
($119,330)
($1,271,480)
(51,143,250)
($128,Z;lO)
FYIJ
(5815,390)
FYI4
(5815,390)
($815,3")
"is
FY16
(5815,390)
FYI7
($815,390)
Totili
(54,892,340)
($1,406,3(;0)
(51,406.3'0)
(SI,406,360)
(51,41Ki,360)
(SI,406,360)
(5!l,303,281)
Operating Expense
OMce of CommuniI)'
iPartaerhsip
PersOllllel
Costs
($586.630)
($63,650)
($522,980)
($586,630)
($586,630)
($586,630)
($S86,(30)
(5586,630)
($3,5l9,78t)
Operating Expense
Graud Total
Personnel
Cosm
OperatiJql Expense
($lI!1,tl70)
($84,070)
($3S,OOO)
($2,792,570)
(51,987,030)
($805,540)
(5119,070)
($119,070)
($119,070)
($119,070)
(5119,070)
(S714,420)
(52,927,450)
($1,927,4SO)
($1,927,4SO)
($2,927,4SO)
($2,927,4SO)
(517,419,820)
!Note:
Projections
8SStlme nD
growth in salaries or benefit costs FY13·17
and that abolished
positions are not reinstated
*
Saviogs increase in FYI3-17 because investigator positions
and
a Manager III position are relained
fur
part of
FY12,
but
abolished during
1he
fiscal year. The additional savings are reflected
in
FY13-17.
The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis: Beryl Feinberg and Philip
Weeda oftbe Office ofManagement and Budget and Fanoa Kassiri of
the
Offices of
the
County
Executive.
JFB:pw
c: Kathleen Boucher, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Fariba Kassiri, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Lisa Austin, Offices of the County Executive
Beryl Feinberg, Office ofManagement and Budget
Brady Goldsmith, Office ofManagement and Budget
John Cuff, Office ofManagement and Budget
Philip Weeda, Office of Management and Budget
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3
Testimony ofJaclyn Lichter Vincent
President, Montgomery County Commission for Women
In
OPPOSITION to Council Bill
4-11
March
29, 2011
Good Evening Council President Ervin, Vice President Berliner and members of the
Council. My name is Jaclyn Lichter Vincent and I am the President of the Montgomery
County Commission for Women. Before I begin, with your permission, I'd like to ask my
fellow commissioners, volunteers and supporters of the Commission who are also here in
opposition to this bill to please stand. Thank you.
On behalf of the Commission for Women, I am here to oppose Council Bill
4-11,
which
would eliminate the office of the Commission for Women and its Counseling and Career
Center. If passed, this legislation would have a devastating impact on women and families
in Montgomery County who depend on the direct services and advocacy provided by the
Commission and Counseling Center.
It
would also change the very nature of the
Commission's advocacy on behalf of Montgomery County's women and families.
As you are aware, the Commission for Women was established by statute in
1972
as a
15­
member board advisory to "the residents of the county, the county council, the county
executive and the various departments of county, state and federal governments on
matters relating to discrimination or prejudice on account of sex, and to recommend such
procedures, program or legislation as it may deem necessary and proper to promote and
insure equal rights and opportunities for all persons, regardless of their sex." The law
further provides that the Commission for Women is "an office of the executive branch of
government...under the supervision of an Executive Director ..." which is a merit system
position. The current language in the statute is model legislation for Commissions for
Women across the country.
The proposal under consideration would eliminate the Commission for Women as a
separate and distinct office within the Executive Branch and by default, remove the
provision for a merit-system Executive Director. The ORC recommendation, which was
the impetus for this legislation, proposes to change the commission to a committee
"attached to some department or unit" of county government.
Let's be clear - this is not a budget-savings proposal. This is an attempt to significantly
diminish the effectiveness of the Commission. The County Executive's budget proposal
achieves the same savings without eliminating the office and maintains the Commission
as it was legislatively created and intended. If the Commission were to be placed within
another agency, with whatever staff it is assigned reporting to a politically appointed
department head, the commission would not be able to provide independent advice as it
does now, directly to the Executive and the CounciL
@
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As is made clear in the original statute, the Commission is advisory, it has broad authority
for advising - but we can't make anyone listen. There is no reason to restrict the issues
that the Commission can consider or to whom it can deliver its advice.
I understand the economic challenges facing the County. However, the Commission for
Women has not slid through these difficult times unscathed. In fact, in the FY
2011
budget, the Commission had the second highest reduction, at
27%,
of any department in
County Government. The other offices and departments in the top 5 are much larger
departments with greater budgets (Human Resources, Transportation). A
27%
cut last
year meant a reduction from seven (7) full-time employees to four (4). These workers are
not just for the Commission itself but also staff the Counseling and Career Center. This
27%
reduction was in addition to moving into a county-owned office last summer which
provided significant savings to the County, although not reflected in the Commission's
budget.
Despite these deep cuts and relocation, the Office of the Commission for Women has
continued to provide much needed direct support services to women and families in
Montgomery County and has maintained its effective advocacy at the local, state and
federal levels.
March is Women's History Month. It is a shame that instead of celebrating the work of
the Commission for Women and recommitting ourselves to equality for all in our
community, we are here debating legislation that would so weaken the Commission as to
make it unrecognizable to its founders.
You may indeed have to make significant budget cuts. But even within the Commission's
own budget, you do not need to change the legislation that established this office, to
achieve them.
We urge you to OPPOSE Council bill
4-11
and instead make a statement showing your
strong support for the women and families of Montgomery County and an
acknowledgement of the Commission's fine work in serving their unique needs.
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AARP Maryland
200 St
Paul Place
Suite
2510
Baltimore,
MD 21202
T
F
1-866-542-8163
410-837--0269
nv
1-877-434-7598
www,aarp,org/md
Testimony before the Montgomery County Council
in Opposition of Bill 4-11, Commission for Women-Reorganization
Deniece
L.
Fields
Associate State Director Community Outreach, AARP Maryland
March 29,2011
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Council:
Good evening, my name is Deniece Fields.
I am the Associate State Director for
Community Outreach at the AARP Maryland State Office. On behalf of AARP and our more than
800,000 members in Maryland; 144,000 of whom call Montgomery County home, thank you for
this opportunity to speak in opposition of Bill 4-11
Commission for Women -Reorganization. As
you may know, for over 50 years, AARP has had one mission: helping to make life better for older
Americans through advocacy, public education and service. AARP is a leading voice on issues
important to county residents age 50+.
AARP has partnered with the Montgomery County
Commission for Women to educate and advocate for women and families in Montgomery County
and throughout the state. This past January, AARP was a premier sponsor of the Commissions'
annual Women's Legislative Briefing. The briefing had more than 600 attendees from counties
throughout the state. At this time, no other county convenes a legislative briefing that provides the
same depth and wealth of information. The Commission has an advocacy platform that only a few
organizations can match. For example, at the Women's Legislative Briefing, the Commission used
its power and strength to lead the effort to advocate for state laws to implement the Affordable Care
Act in Maryland (Senate Bill 183 / House Bill 170), as well for the placement of a statue of
HEALTH
I
FINANCES
I
CONNECTING
I
GIVING
I
ENJOYING
W. Lee Hammond, President
Addison Barry Rand, Chief Executive Officer
~
'-:.::!J
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Maryland native, Harriet Tubman, in the National Statutory Hall Collection at the State Capitol
(Senate Bill 351 and House Bill 455). AARP also was pleased to support last year's Women's
Legislative Briefing, as well as the National Convention of the Association of Commissions for
Women Conference in Rockville during 2010.
Moreover, the Commission oversees a counseling and career center that serves women and
families in Montgomery County. The Center provides invaluable information, resources, and
counseling on diverse range of employment and related financial security issues.
Older
Marylanders are concerned about county governments cutting or reducing services while raising
taxes. Two out of five AARP members in Maryland are still employed outside the home. However,
over the past 18 months, more than thirty percent (30%) of the AARP members who are employed
have experienced a reduction in income or loss of a job. Older Marylanders are also concerned
about affording the costs of their utilities and staying in their homes as they age, particularly since
there are more Maryland residents age 50 and older than there are children in grades K-12 across
the state. The Counseling and Career Center is an invaluable resource for County residents,
including our members. During tough economic times, it is unconscionable to eliminate or reduce
services that assist women and children with transitioning through difficult obstacles in their lives.
As more older residents lose their jobs or have difficulty in securing employment, they will look to
county services to help them make it through the day. We implore the County Council to be
mindful that critical services and programs are needed to help many families survive and remain
independent. We realize that the current fiscal landscape makes some cuts unavoidable. However,
the Montgomery County Commission for Women serves countless residents uniquely each year and
the Commission should be protected to ensure that women and families remain intact and strong.
2
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Thank you for the opportunity to share these comments and to oppose Council Bill 4-11.
AARP is committed to working with our elected leaders proactively and productively to improve
life for older residents in Montgomery County and all Marylanders.
3
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P.O.
Box
7216
Silver Spring
MD •
20907
Oppose Council Bill 4-11
Testimony of Linda Mahoney, President, Maryland NOW
(residence: 224 Thistle Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20901)
I am Linda Mahoney, State President of Maryland NOW [the National Organization for
Women].
I am speaking in opposition to Council Bill 4-11.
Maryland NOW and its members understand that Montgomery County must make deep
cuts in some programs in order to provide essential services to its citizens. But we
believe that some cuts are being recommended looking only at dollars and not at
impacts for current and future County budgets.
The Commission for Women [CFW] has survived and remained functional with
extraordinary cuts to its staffing this year. While I have not been able to research all the
Montgomery County programs, I cannot believe that there is any other program which
had staffing cut in half. It is a tribute to the Commission for Women staff and the huge
range of volunteers it leverages that they continue to perform their duties.
Please permit me to provide a context for our opposition to this bill. First, I am not now,
and never have been a member of the Commission for Women. I'm an example of a
professional who is donating time to Commission projects in order to advance the status
of women. There are dozens of us just on the Women's Legislative Briefing steering
committee. And probably hundreds during the course of a year assisting with projects
that the Commission is working on. The County and its residents benefit from the ability
of the tiny support staff's ability to leverage our mostly-professional time to focus on
issues which impact women and our families.
Second, several recent studies have detailed what we have known for decades: dollars
invested in programs to support and improve women's education, jobs and other living
circumstances are more effiCiently spent and have the most effective, positive results on
families and society in general than any other possible untargeted expenditures.
Through the years, the CFW has leveraged tens of thousands of volunteer hours by
professional women and men to provide low-cost or free services to several thousand
Montgomery women and their families every year. A listing of past and present
members of the Commission for Women is a
Who's Who
in local, state, and national
government. Only a commission focused on women would be able to assess the needs
of women and be able to follow up to keep those needs and programs in front of the
Council and County staff.
www.marylandnow.org
410-347-1455
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Mahoney Testimony
March
29,
2011
Thus cuts to programs such as the Commission for Women are short-sighted and
contraindicated. But County budget staff do not have the research context to know this.
It is the responsibility of the County Executive and the County Council to provide the
necessary background and direction to ensure that the budget cuts are done with a
scalpel instead of a meat cleaver.
The listing of current publications generated under the CFW is impressive, including
your groundbreaking - and no-cost - study on
Mothers and Poverty
and the
Mothers
and Poverty Policy Agenda.
The workers' guides and the publication on violence in
relationships give women and girls an ability to accurately assess their circumstances
and resources for improvement. Nowhere else in Montgomery County government will
such essential studies be undertaken, especially with the necessary budget cuts
impacting the other social services departments.
The Women's Legislative Briefing has become a statewide, important event, bringing
together women from a broad range of backgrounds to learn about numerous political
issues and to interface with local, state, and national elected officials. Tens of
thousands of women and men have participated in the past decades, and this
participation has enabled the political process in Maryland to better reflect the needs
and desires of its citizens. Having served on its planning committee, I have personally
observed how essential it is to have staff support for such endeavors.
I
am particularly concerned that the ORC deemed "redundant" the life skills and job
counseling delivered at little ($20) or no cost, lumping these one-day sessions in with
classes at Montgomery College, which currently provides no equivalent counseling, and
costs hundereds of dollars for a class. The CFW counseling provides the short-term,
beginning steps frequently necessary to get someone ready to explore the possibility of
standing up for herself in the workplace or in a divorce context, of taking classes, or
even stepping on a college campus.
Cuts
to
these programs now will merely result
in larger need for county support in future years.
And, as a taxpayer, that concerns
me.
A listing of the workshops and programs provided by the CFW includes sessions on job
skills, which will ultimately payoff in less dependence on county resources and an
increased tax base.
Relationship counseling results in stronger families, fewer
behavioral issues with the children, less demand for domestic violence services, etc.
Divorce seminars result in increased communications, assertivenesss re child support
issues, a team approach to parenting, etc. All have immediate benefits to families and
short- and long-term financial benefits to the county. By focusing on services for
women, families benefit, and county costs can be lowered. Everyone benefits.
While you may be able to "outsource" some of the tasks currently done by the CFW and
its staff, you will not have the virtually free resources provided by the dozens of
professionals, which are currently providing the necessary focus on the needs of
women and their families. It is a fallacy that one or two professionals can substitute for
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Mahoney Testimony
March
29,
2011
the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience which the Commission for Women
provides, accessible only because there is paid staff support to leverage this valuable
resource. Montgomery County - women and men - needs the vision and focus
provided by the Commission for Women and its staff, which is necessary to enable the
County to maximize its assets and continue to provide for all the needs of all its
residents.
The argument against the CFW sounds like the argument against the need for the
Equal Rights Amendment: we have other organizations which help women, so why do
we need the Commission for Women? The obvious answer is that we need all the
organizations we can looking out for the needs of women. There are never enough.
The right answer is more comprehensive: we need the CFW - with staff - because it is
the most cost-effective use of Montgomery County resources.
I know that the County Council is going to have tough decisions in the days ahead. But
I hope that you will reconsider the short- and long-term consequences to the County's
Budget of the cuts to the Commission for Women.
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Tm
VOICE OF MIDllf:e. AND OlDER WOMP..N
MONTGOMERY COUNTY CHAPTER
TESTIMONY OF THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY
CHAPTER OF OWL (MIDLIFE AND OLDER WOMEN)
ON BILL 4-11 BEFORE THE COUNTY COUNCIL
MARCH 28, 2011
I AM SARAH GOTBAUM, M.S.W., SOCIAL WORKER, Ph.D. SOCIOLOGIST,
FEMINIST, AND FOUNDER OF THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY CHAPTER OF
OWL, THE VOICE OF MIDLIFE AND OLDER WOMEN. OWL IS THE ONLY
NATIONAL GRASSROOTS MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION THAT FOCUSES
EXCLUSIVEL Y ON ISSUES, UNIQUE TO WOMEN, AS THEY AGE.
\VE WORK TOWARDS HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR ALL, ECONOMIC
SECURITY, AND ELIMINATION OF SEXISM AND AGISM. WE AIM TO HAVE
OUR VOICE BE HEARD IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND THE
EXECUTIVE BRANCH, THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AND MONTGOMERY
1
®
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COUNTY.
I AM HERE TONITE TO VOICE OUR OPPOSITION TO COUNCIL BILL 4-11,
WHICH YOU ARE CONSIDERING. THIS BILL IS THE PRODUCT OF THE
ORGANIZATIONAL REFORM COMMISSION (ORC), APPOINTED BY THE
MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE, TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS
FOR THE COUNTY TO DEAL WITH THE BUDGET SHORTFALL. THE
ORGANIZATIONAL REFORM COMMISSION'S RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD
MAKE THE COMMISSION FOR WOMEN A REDUCED FORCE IN THE HISTORY
OF THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY.
THE COMMISSION FOR WOMEN (CFW) BEGAN IN 1961 WHEN PRESIDENT
KENNEDY ESTABLISHED THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON THE STATUS
OF WOMEN. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT WAS APPOINTED ITS FIRST CHAIR.
WHEN THE COMMISSION ISSUED ITS REPORT IN 1963, IT BECAME CLEAR
THAT THE WORK FOR WOMEN'S EQUALITY HAD ONLY JUST BEGUN.
MUCH NEEDED TO BE DONE IN THE STATES AND IN LOCALITIES BEFORE
WOMEN COULD ACHIEVE THEIR BASIC RIGHTS.
BY 1963, PRESIDENT KENNEDY CREATED THE INTERDEPARTMENTAL
COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN WITH A CENTRAL
RECOMMENDA TION THAT EACH STATE FORM A SIMILAR COMMISSION ON
THE STATUS OF WOMEN. THE BUSINESS AND PROFESIONAL WOMEN'S
FOUNDATION (BPW) MADE IT A PRlORITY TO SET UP STATE COMMISSIONS.
2
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THEY WERE JOINED BY OTHER WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS, WITH THE
WOMEN'S BUREAU REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS WORKING WITH THEM.
IN 1971, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE MARYLAND GOVERNOR, THE
MARYLAND COMMISSION FOR WOMEN WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE
LEGISLATURE TO PROMOTE THE SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND ECONOMIC
EQUALITY OF MARYLAND WOMEN.
IN THE EARLY 70'S, THE MOVEMENT FOR LOCAL COMMISSIONS GAINED
MOMENTUM. IN 1971, THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL ESTABLISHED
AN AD HOC COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN THE
COUNTY. THE COMMITTEE EXAMINED THE UNMET NEEDS OF WOMEN IN
MONTGOMERY COUNTY: DAY CARE FACILITIES, TRANSPORTATION, JOB
EQUALITY, CAREER COUNCILING, EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES,
SKILLS TRAINING, AND LEGISLATION BARRING SEX DISCRIMINATION.
THEIR OBJECTIVE, AS DIRECTED BY THE COUNT COUNCIL, WAS TO MAKE
RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WOULD REMEDY PROBLEMS FOUND IN ITS
REVIEW. THEIR FINAL REPORT RECOMMENDED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A
COMMISSION FOR WOMEN TO UNIQUELY DEAL WITH THE PROBLEMS OF
SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN IN THE COUNTY.
MY ORGANIZATION, THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY CHAPTER OF OWL (THE
MIDLIFE AND OLDER WOMEN'S LEAGUE) BECAME INVOLVED WITH THE
COMMISSION FOR WOMEN THROUGH ITS ANNUAL PROGRAM OF
PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING THE WOMEN'S LEGISLATIVE BRIEFINGS
3
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ON POLICY ISSUES, SPONSORED BY THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY
COMMISSION ON WOMEN. WE BECAME INVOLVED WHEN OWL WAS
FOUNDED IN 2008. IN NO TIME WE WERE ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERS
WORKING WITH THE COMMISSION TO PLAN FOR OUR MUTUAL CONCERNS
AND ISSUES ON LEGISLATION AND PUBLIC POLICY GOVERt"l"ING THE
QUALITY OF AGING IN MARYLAND AND MONTGOMERY COUNTY.
PLANNING WITH THIS LARGE DIVERSE COMMITEE ENABLED US TO
ENGAGE WITH OTHER WOMEN'S RACIAL AND LATINO ORGANIZATIONS,
INTRODUCING AGING AS A WOMEN'S ISSUE, REQUIRING EDUCATION AND
ADVOCACY. THE WORKSHOPS HELD EACH YEAR FOCUSED ON OUR
CONCERNS REGARDING SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, AND HEALTH
CARE FOR THE AGED.
WE ARE VERY CONCERNED BY THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
ORGANIZATIONAL REFORM COMMISSION (ORC) TO CUT AND BASICALY
DEMOLISH THE COUNTY COMMISSION FOR WOMEN'S GOAL OF PURSUING
GREATER EQUALITY FOR THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN MONTGOMERY
COUNTY AND THE CONTINUATION OF ITS CHALLENGING FUNCTION.
THE APPROVAL OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE IN ITS PROPOSED BUDGET TO
DISMANTLE THE COMMISSION FOR WOMEN, MERGING
IT
WITH OTHER
AGENCIES, WOULD SO WEAKEN ITS FUNCTION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
AS TO INCITE THE CRY OF "SHAME" BY CONCERNED WOMEN WHO HAVE
BEEN ADVOCATES FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN MARYLAND AND AROUND
4
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THE COUNTRY. THE ABSENCE OF THE COMMISSION'S UNIQUE
CONTRIBUTIONS TO RESEARCH, DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT PROGRAMS
REGARDING SUCH ACTIVITIES AS EMPLOYMENT, DAY CARE FACILITIES,
JOB
COUNCILING, AND EDUCATION, AND TO INFORM THE PUBLIC ON
DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES AGAINST WOMEN WOULD NEGATE THE
ORIGINAL COUNCIL GOALS. WE WOULD REGRET DEEPLY SUCH AN
ACTION.
5
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If
Montgomery County Women's Bar Association
Executive Committee
l\faster Lisa Stearman Segel
President
Barbara Graham
2010-2011
President-Elect
Margaret Schweitzer
Secretary
Stephanie
1.
Fink
Treasurer
At-Large Members
Wanda Martinez
MoincaHann
Susan Oldhams
Madam President and Council Members:
Good evening. My name is Sharon Johnson, and I am here on behalf of the
Montgomery County Chapter of the Women's Bar Association speaking to you in
support of the Commission for Women. We strongly urge the Council to fully fund the
Commission for Women in this year's budget.
The Commission for Women serves many vital functions for the women of
Montgomery County which are not available through other county agencies or
departments. The Women's Commission provides affordable individual and group
counseling to the women of our county on a myriad of issues including career counseling
and advancement; loss and grief; life transitions; job loss; and re-entering the work force.
Separate and distinct from the counseling services, the Commission also offers
affordable workshops and programs in areas such as career advancement, housing,
sexual harassment, health, aging, financial planning, children and family issues, and
separation and divorce - just to name a few. These programs and
workshop~
empower
women to be productive members of the community. Women who utilize the services of
the Commission find jobs and leave the ranks of the unemployed. They pay taxes and
find resources to be self supporting. They are better able to support their families - not
just financially but emotionally as well. At the end of the day these women, their
children, and their families no longer rely on county services for support, thereby
creating a domino effect with a positive result. Defunding the Women's Commission
would ultimately leave these women without the tools they need to become independent,
giving them little choice but to rely on other county agencies to provide these services.
These services are not only more costly in both dollars and otherwise, but they are likely
to be needed over a protracted period of time, thereby setting in motion a domino effect
in reverse. This is exactly the type of structural budgetary deficiency that the
Organizational Reform Commission (ORC) was asked to address and eliminate. Instead,
the ORC's recommendation to dissolve the Commission for Women will promote and
maintain those longstanding structural deficiencies.
Please respond to:
P.O. Box
4465,
Rockville, MD 20849
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Furthennore, it was disturbing to learn that the ORC made its
recommendation to the council without any real knowledge or understanding of
the distinct mission of the Women's Commission or the specific details of the
actual programs, services, and workshops offered by the Commission. Similarly,
the ORC failed to educate themselves about the Family Justice Center, their
mission, and their programs. Rather than doing their "due diligence," the ORC
simply
assumed
the services provided by the Commission for Women and the
Family Justice Center are indistinguishable and interchangeable. Nothing could
be further from the truth. The Family Justice Center was established as a "one­
stop shop" for all of the county's domestic violence programs and services. The
services provided by the Women's Commission are separate and distinct from
those of the Family Justice Center as they are much broader, far reaching, and
intended to address completely different issues and concerns.
The Montgomery County Women's Bar Association has had a long­
standing relationship with Commission for Women. We have supported the
Commission by participating in their annual Law Day Conference,
complementing various workshops by providing free legal advice to participants.
In addition, our members participate in the "Legal Call Back" program and serve
as "drop-in" volunteers to help fill the gap from recent budget cuts.
Montgomery County has long been a national leader in education, quality
of life, and economic vitality. Forty years ago, we were one of the first local
governments to establish a commission devoted specifically to issues which are
unique to women. Since then,
thousands
of women have benefited from the
services and programs offered by the Commission and in return, tqese women
have contributed to the economic growth, quality of life, and high educational
standards enjoyed here - qualities that attract people and businesses to
Montgomery County. Without the Commission for Women, all of the invaluable
programs, workshops, and services will be lost forever.
Eliminating the Commission for Women will do a great disservice to the
women of this county and to the community as a whole. Women constitute more
than
fifty
percent
(50%)
of our population. Do not turn your backs on them.
Instead, stand up for our women (your wives, sisters, mothers and daughters).
Reject the recommendation of the Organizational Refonn Commission and keep
Montgomery County moving forward. The Montgomery County chapter of the
Women's Bar Association urges you to keep the Commission for Women alive
with full funding and show us that you are the progressive, forward-thinking
leaders you say you are.
Respectfully submitted,
/'~'
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Montgomery County
Divorce Roundtable, Inc.
Testimony of John Spiegel, J.D.
Montgomery County
Divorce Roundtable
March 14,2011
The Honorable Valerie Ervin, President
Montgomery County Council
Executive Office
Buildin~
100 Mary land A venue, 6
t
Floor
Rockville, MD 20850
Re: FYl2 budget allocation for the Montgomery County Commission for Women.
Dear Council President
..
--
...
--.~---
We members of the Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable! are writing to express our
strong support for Montgomery County Commission for Women ("CFW") and for its
Counseling and Career Center.
We know from our different professional disciplines and responsibilities that the CFW,
through its Counseling and Career Center, provides effective informational programming and
therapeutic and job counseling services to women (and men) who are going through major life
transitions, including marital separation, divorce, and career transitions. CFW helps an
extremely diverse group of clients-peoples of different races, nationalities, and income
levels. CFW helps many people who would have no other place to tum for this kind of vital
assistance. CFW also provides important leadership for our County on issues of special
importance to women.
The Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable is a 50l(c) (3) nonprofit organization composed ofjudges,
masters, court administrative officials and other court staff, attorneys, mediators, collaborative law practitioners,
psychologists, clinical social workers, and representatives from organizations with a commitment to children and
families. From our interdisciplinary perspective, the Divorce Roundtable addresses recurring problems faced by
separating and divorcing families, particularly as they interact with the legal system. Over the past 18 years, the
Roundtable has played an important role in developing the custody/visitation mediation program and the fIrst
parenting classes. Roundtable members developed Guardian ad Litem training programs which have served as a
model for trainings now presented statewide as BIA (Best Interest Attorneys) trainings, created the pilot program
for supervised visitation in Montgomery County, participate as instructors at Judicial Institute programs, and host
conferences for interdisciplinary professionals in the region to collaboratively address significant issues related to
divorce, families, and the courts.
I
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- 2­
As you know, County Executive Isiah Leggett has adopted the recommendation of the
Organization Reform Commission's Recommendations to essentially eliminate the Women's
Commission and its Career and Counseling Center. In his letter to you dated February 21,
2011 it is stated on page 2, paragraph 3, that:
"I support the ORC recommendation regarding the reorganization of the Commission
for Women. My FY12 Recommended Operating Budget will address the
reorganization of this Commission, but in order to maintain the excellent work of the
Commission for Women I will recommend a reduction, but not the elimination of all
staff support. This recommendation requires implementing legislation which I
will
forward to the Council."
We agree with his affirmation of "the excellent work of the Commission for Women" and the
decision not to support elimination of all staff support for CFW. Moreover, we are mindful of
the financial constraints that require significant reductions in funding for County government.
As you formulate the FY12 Operating Budget, we urge you to implement staffing reductions
for CFW in a manner that maintains the organizational integrity of this beautiful organization.
It
is often said during governmental budget-cutting that the goal is to trim the "fat." In that
regard, CFW has always been an exemplary agency-all bones and muscle. Most of the staff
have been at CFW for many years, and they treat their employment as a passionate
commitment, not just ajob. In addition, many committed community members, including
members of the Divorce Roundtable, have volunteered our services to CFW for years. This
means that the beneficial impact of the funds allocated to CFW are always multiplied by the
many hours donated by staff and volunteers. Moreover, during the past years, CFW and the
Counseling and Career Center have absorbed repeated and deep cuts, reducing its paid staff to
a small percentage of its former size.
Even with committed staff and volunteers, there comes a breaking point, a point when an
organization simply lacks the resources to accomplish its core mission. We fear that
significant cuts would be devastating to CFW and to the many Montgomery County residents
who look to CFW for effective help in hard times.
In this regard, we disagree with the conclusion expressed in the Final Report of the
Organizational Reform Commission and County Executive Leggett's decision to adopt those
recommendations as the related to the CFW, that core functions of the CFW and the
Counseling and Career Center can be administered by the Family Justice Center, the
Workforce Development Program, and Montgomery College. We hope that FY12 Operating
Budget will allow CFW to continue providing direct services to County residents, for the
following reasons:
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-3 ­
1.
While the Family Justice Center plays a key role in domestic violence situations.
However, the Center serves victims only during the period of their immediate crisis.
By contrast, CFW provides a wider range of services over a broader period of time. In
this way, CFW and the Family Justice Center provide complementary, not duplicative,
services.
2. Similarly, while the Workforce Development Program provides important services in
showing clients how to apply for specific jobs, CFW provides a broader array of career
counseling services and informational programming, which help County residents to
reach the point where they are ready to apply for these specific jobs. Here too the
services of the two organizations are complementary, not duplicative.
3. Finally, although Montgomery College provides a wide range of services to its
students, most of its services are restricted to its student body, whereas CFW provides
,..
,yit~l§.~IY.ifes.~yai1~.1:>kJQ.all c.Q1Jn1Y.lesid~nls,jncluding
eCJlnQmically struggling,
residents who would otherwise fall through holes in the County's safety net.
F or all these reasons, we ask you to minimize the reductions in funding and staffing for
Montgomery County Commission for Women ("CFW") and for its Counseling and Career
Center in the FY12 Operating Budget. As you make any cuts, let it be with a scalpel and not
an ax, so that this unique and inspiring institution can survive.
Sincerely,
p,
,
i,'
"
\
j
i
I
\1
I'L/'
/"t
/
J effie}\ Hannon
Presid~nt
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·SHARONM. GROSFELD,.ESQUIRE. .
• 9906 OLD SPRING ROAD .
'
.t(ENSINGTON,. MARYLJ\ND20895 . ­
,.(301)942~5996
.." ....
.
.PSharon.grosfeld@gmaiLcom
March 29, 2011 .
"
.
TESllMONYIN OPPOSITIOf'J"tO BILL4:'11,'ColTlfhissid", {ofWomeh"Reorganizafion
','
.
. .
'.
..;,
To The Honorable Montgomery County Council:
is a privilege to tlavettleopportunity t()presentmytestimony in
opposition to
am
+11; Commissionfor w'9men-:
Reorgani~crtion
.. Unf()rtunately•. both
this legislationasweUasthe alternative ,proposal rE}commendedbyTheHonorable. .
County Executive Isiahleggett to
crea~e an,Office'ofCommunityE:ngagemenf~lI~p
.
more
harmtothewomen~.children anQJar,ni'if3.~.qfMontgomery
Countythf:ln the
de$ir~
good
of
reducing government expenditures. Bill 4-11 relies upon th'e'false assumption
that the services currentJy provided by the MCCFW can be performed through other
governmenfagehciesi~additi()ntothe
private sector: The creation of the Office of .
ComrlllulitY Engagement. intended
as
an alternative-Iothe'complete demolition of the' .
MCCAN. would mesh.albeitWithdeWastating·consequences.the operations of the'
MCCFW irlio a hewentitYcomposed6fcOrisolid8ted Commissions and Boarosthat
would operate through a single eentraU.zed Office: .Thevery foreSeeable consequences·
of both'Willresultinmore people facing crises ofdramatic proportions. Proposals such'
as the ones embodied in Bill 4-11 and the Proposed Office of Community Engagement
may be genuinely considered as a means of reducing the size and cost of government,
but they have the much more detrimental effect of contributing to the ever increasing
backlash against women in almost all aspects of their lives.
One practical example of the harm that would
be
caused by implementation of these
initiatives can
be
seen through my work as a family lawyer. The counseling center has
provided critical assistance to numerous people facing all types of personal issues that
could not be addressed elsewhere. The effect has been to save families from a child's
juvenile delinquency, a parent's unhealthy behavior that jeopardized the entire family's
well-being, and other destructive behaviors that would have ultimately required the need
for other much more costly county services
if
the counseling center had not been in
existence. The life saving and cost saving benefits provided by the counseling center,
award winning programs and invaluable publications offered exclusively by the
MCCFW, cannot be duplicated in or through any other county agency.
Goodevening~.lt
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While other aspects ofthecountygovemment maybe broken and in need of repair,
the MCCFW does not need t6
be
fixed.:· rl1deed,
if
we were "starting from scratch," the
MCCFW would serve as a model ofexeellencein bothdelivary of service, as well as
innovation in cost savings, contrary to the Reform' Commission's report which is filled
. with gross inaccuracies about the work and' operations of the MCCFW.
As a former President of the MCCFW, lam deeply saddened to see such legislation
and
proposals to eliminate the Commission beingintroduced.lt has been bad enough
watch the Commission's'bl.ldget get cut year afteryear,however
f
neveYiniagined
total elimination of the Commission would ever
be
on the table here in Montgomery
County.
to
As a former state' legislator
who
has faCed budget'deficits'and fought
a
Similar battle
when corifrontedwith an attack
on
the Maryland State Commission for Women, Jam··' .
very angry to have
to
bnCeagaindefend the existence
Of
a Comrnissiohthat has
improvedttielives ofouf reSidemssincefits inception, and continues
to
be a beacon of
light for
sO
many people with howhere else
to
get the help offered solely by the· '"
·
M C·C·FW.·· ...
.";:"
,',
But most importantly, as a resident of
~ontgomeryC9unty
for half of my1ife,
th~
place
I
choseto raise a famiJy based upon ·the exceIlEmtreputatio!1ofoYr.county's ...
schools,seJ'Vices and progressivevalues,l find
.~ven
co-,1siderationo.f
the
dismantling of
the MCCFW at any leveluncol1scionable,anq desperately hope that the decisions
made now and in the future
reg~rdingthe.
MCCFW are
onIY()neSthatstre~Qthen
and ,
enhance theabiJity.ofthe Commission.to canyoutits. mission, rather thaneogCl9irlgil1a
'
process. to destroy
it.;..
.Thank you.
'
..
,
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Law Office of Carren S. Oler
216 North Adams Street
Rockville, MD 20850
Tel: 301·838-0035
Fax: 301·340·6947
March 29, 2011
Testimony before the Montgomery County Council in Opposition to Bill 4-11
Personal Introduction
My name is Carren Oler, and I am an attorney who has practiced family law for
about 30 years, almost all of that time here in Montgomery County, where I live.
I recognize the budget constraints facing the County, and appreciate that hard
choices need to be made. Nonetheless, I believe that the Commission for Women
provides vital services to Montgomery County in its current form and I ask that you
understand why it is imperative that you reject this Organizational Reform Commission
(ORC) recommendation to abolish the office of the Montgomery County Commission for
Women.
It's hard for me to believe that
in
but a short few months it will have been 29
years since I was initially appointed by the late Charles Gilchrist (then the County
Executive) to serve as a Commissioner on the Commission for Women. I concluded my
term serving as President of the Commission in 1985 -1986. At that time my three
children were then just school age, and next month, I look forward to the milestone of my
youngest son tuming 35! I'm delighted to report that I've become a grandmother, and I
have four grandchildren and the pleasure in that role is not hyperbole.
But remarkably in all this time, the importance of the work performed by the
Commission for Women in advocacy, in promoting equity, in providing practical
information and education to the public, as well as the personal and career counseling
programs has not diminished but is more essential than ever.
Brief Background
The Montgomery County Commission for Women (CFW) was established by an act of
law in 1972 to advocate for equal rights for women. Its goals are to:
• eliminate conditions which prohibit the equal participation of women in the
benefits, responsibilities and opportunities of society
• enable women to participate as equals in the community through the acquisition
of skills and competencies, information, and resources
• 1973 -The CFWfirst opened its offices for advocacy activities
• 1976 - A counseling center then known as A Women's Place was initiated as a
program of the Commission for Women
1
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• 1977 - The New Phase Career Center was initiated
• 1991 - A Women's Place and the New Phase Career Center were combined in
1991 and called the Commission for Women Counseling and Career Center
The CFW has both advocacy and service responsibilities. The Commissioners,
who are volunteers appointed by the County Executive, serve the advocacy role,
providing advice to the County Executive, the County Council, the public, and
agencies of the county, state, and federal government, on the issues
of
concern
to the women of Montgomery County.
The Counseling
&
Career Center (CFWCCC) is the service component of the
Commission for Women. The services include:
o
o
o
o
o
personal counseling
career and couples counseling
workshops on a wide range of topics
information and referral
legal call-back service
The Commission for Women Counseling and Career Center provides a broad scope of
programs and services designed to meet the needs and interests of women in our
community while fulfilling the Commission's mandate to address inequities women
experience in society. Services at the Center include:
• short-term goal oriented counseling
o
individual counseling for personal and career issues
o
couples counseling,
• workshops and seminars on a wide range of topics
• vocational and personality assessments
• Legal Call-Back Program
Legal questions are answered by phone on a call-back basis. Local attorneys
provide free telephone consultations on specific questions within a two-week
period. (240) 777-8300
• information and referral services and the use of the Center's library
It is important to note that the Commission's services are available to men as well.
With all due respect - legislative attorney Robert Drummer's statement to you
in the "Legislative Request Report," that many of the Commission's "activities are
duplicated by other County agencies and private organizations" is flawed. For example,
the relatively newly created "Family Justice Center" has a particular focus on Domestic
Violence and services to victims (and their Children), who find themselves in such
circumstances. That agency's mission does not encompass employment counseling for
a client in an intact marriage who has just lost their principal source of income because
of job loss or a widow whose spouse's death has left her impoverished requiring her to
find employment. The Commission for Women offers such a county resident the
2
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essential assistance for emotional support or grief counseling, as well as employment
counseling and job readiness.
The data compiled by the Commission's Decennial
2007 Report on the Status
of
Women
in Montgomerv County
revealed that the face of poverty in Montgomery County is a
woman's face, and much of the time it is a mother's face. This startling fact was
apparent when the Report found that:
• Families with incomes below the federal poverty line comprise only 3% of the
county's population, but they account for 30% of families headed by a single woman with
young children; and
• Families headed by a single woman comprise 15% of county families, but they
account for 47% of the county's families with incomes below the federal poverty line.
See
2009 Mothers and Poverty Agenda for Action, Page 3.
Copy of full report may be found on the Commission for Women's home page at:
www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cfw
As a result of this work compiling the 2007 Report, the Commission created the
Mothers and Poverty (MAP) Committee in July 2007 to concentrate on this issue.
The goal of the MAP was 1) to understand why single mothers are so over­
represented among the poor; 2) to identify services, programs and policies to address
the needs of single mothers living below the poverty level; and 3) to advocate the
implementation of those services, programs and policies. The MAP published an
Agenda for Action (again available on the Commission's webpage) and the work is
ongoing to create:
"a comprehensive approach that will achieve the goal of moving low-income
mothers and their families out of poverty. It can't be done piecemeal. It can't be
accomplished by anyone agency or organization. It will require a well­
coordinated system of services and changes to policies, programs and laws.
Above all,
it
will take a commitment, a determination to end the poverty that so
many single mothers and their children endure.
We hope that this Agenda for Action will serve as a guide for advocates, service
providers, legislators, policymakers and administrators. It is intended to map our
way toward the elimination of poverty among this most vulnerable population -­
our community's single female-headed families with young children."
No other agency in the county has the Commission for Women's comprehensive
oversight mission of both advocacy/policy development and direct service.
Another of the Commission's projects focuses on Immigrant Women in
Montgomery County (IWIN).
3
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U.S. Census 2000 indicates that Montgomery County has by far the largest
population and percent of foreign born residents of any jurisdiction in Maryland.
The Maryland Department of Planning reports that Montgomery County's foreign
born population approaches 233,000 residents--almost 27% of the county's total
population.
Immigrant women often face serious challenges in the workplace, the schools,
and in dealing with health and social services. Lack of knowledge and language barriers
may make these women more vulnerable to abuse, harassment, discrimination and
worse.
Objectives of the IWIN:
• Increase economic empowerment, viability and stability of immigrant women
employed in low-wage jobs
• Improve financial literacy for immigrant women in low wage jobs
• Decrease exploitation and discrimination of low-income immigrant women
• Raise public awareness of the special challenges confronting low-income
immigrant women.
What other government organization is embracing this obligation?
I frequently refer clients and colleagues to the Commission, and try not to miss
the Women's Legislative Briefing each year. Many times I have served as a presenter at
the Commission's legal information workshops about separation, divorce and child
custody and I have also attended excellent professional training workshops sponsored
by the Commission, such as for example, "A Guide to Working with Women and
Shame." As a family lawyer I can report to you that in this metro area there is no "Bar
Association" which offers the professional training which links one's legal expertise with
the literacy in managing client emotions such as the Commission for Women does.
Continuing Education
The Montgomery County Commission for Women Counseling
&
Career Center is
recognized by the National Board of Certified Counselors to offer continuing education
for National Certified Counselors. The Commission adheres to NBCC Continuing
Education Guidelines (NBCC Provider #5105). Each course meets the qualifications for
three (3) contact hours of continuing education.
The Commission is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to
sponsor Category I continuing education programs. Each course meets the qualifications
for three (3) hours of continuing education.
Use of Volunteers and Revenue
From the Annual Report Fiscal Year 2010
(See
CFW webpage)
4
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The service fees charged in FYI
0
were
$50
per individual counseling session,
$20
per
group or workshop session and
$55
for vocation interest and personality type testing. The
Counseling and Career Center generated a total of
$157,625
in fees. The FYI
0
revenue
represents 14 percent of the department's appropriation.
Volunteers, Commissioners, Interns and Externs
Number ofParticipants
Number ofHours
Number of Work Years
123
12,893
6.19
Revenue Generated by Counseling Center Fees
Revenue Generated by Private and Corporate
Contributions
$157,923
$7,025
Undesirable Outcome
The elimination of the Commission for Women will mean that there is no longer
an agency within Montgomery County devoted to advocating the empowerment and
advancement of women. The issues addressed by the Commission are not
comprehensively addressed as matters of policy or legislation by other bodies of county
government nor are the services provided by the counseling center duplicative of other
county services. I respectfully urge the defeat of Bill 4-11 and the continuation of full
County government support for the Montgomery County Government Commission for
Women.
Respectfully submitted,
Carren S. Oler, Esquire
Law Office of Carren S. Oler
216
North Adams Street
Rockville,
MD 20850
Tel:
301-838-0035
Fax: 301-340-6947
Email: csolerl014@gmail.com
5
@
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ANNE
DEBELIDS LOPIANO, ESQ.
684
CONCERTO LANE
TELEPHONES: 30L593-6770
AND
410.740.5648
SILVER SPRING,
MD 20901
OR
FAX:
240-331-7675
WWW.ANNELOPIANO.COM
EMA1L ANNELOPI.ANO@AOL.COM
Tuesday. March
29,2011
TESTIMONY BEFORE1'lIE,COUNTY COUNSEL IN FAVOR OF
SAVING TBEWOMEN'S COMMISSION
Please take all measures possible
to
avoid closing the Montgomery County CommissionfoI
Women.
I
write both as a concerned Montgomery County citizen who
has
used
the services ofthe
Womens' Commission, as an attorney who
has
referred many impoverished or
just
working women there
for much needed, affordable counseling
and
legal information, as well as
in
my role as a Board member
and
immediate
past
president ofthe Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable. The Commission for
Women
has
been a vital and generous partner
to
the
Roundtable's work over many years,
teaming
with
our volunteer lawyers who teach
seminars
for the COmmission, publishing
(in
several languages)
and
updating a directory and of affordable and
free
legal services and social service resources for needy
women and families, called a
Guide
to
Separatitl"lUul
Divorce
that
are
available nowhere e1se
in
this
County.. or in
this
state. Your phones
will
ring
offthe hook by callers
wanting the
information
in
this
one .
resource,
if
it is no longer
updated,
published arid disseminated.
The Commission for Women
has
also
partnered.
with the Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable
to help us publicize our own affordable public education events. The Montgomery County Divon:e
Roundtable is a 50l(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting families and children in all varieties of '
separation and divorce, in
ways
that can defuse legal processes
that harm
children and
parents,
and
very
often,
that
help parents resolve
issues
out ofcotJrt.
We do that with the
~elp
of the Women's
Commission. The Women's Commission helps
SAVE
the County money by being the
best
organization I know of for leveraging the volunteer time of many professionals to educate women
about resolving their legal issues with as little resort to court involvement as
is
necessary and safe,
and about how to take sensible informed action steps, rather than simply
running
to
court
and
crying for help.
You can take apart an important lifeline to women and children
in
a pen
stroke, but
to do so
will
be to put out a light
that
cannot easily
be
revived.
Since
1972,
the Women's
Commission
is
partof
what makes Montgomery County Maryland a national leader in human rights efforts. For example,
in
2010,
the Commission planned and implemented the 40th annual convention ofthe National Association
of Commissions for Women,
bringing
together
170
people
from across
the country
to
share
information
and best practices for supporting the
rights
and
interests ofwomen and
families.
If
yoil
put
out the
light
at the Women's' Commission, you send the Connty back 60 years or so, not only
in
its
role as a
national leader, but
in
its
ability to foster the well being of its children - who
~most
often
in
the
eareofwomen.
Q~(
~
Very
truly
yo "
vI
~
Anne DebeU
P,lano!
r-----­
@
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Testimony of
Colleen Kelly
Resident of Montgomery County, Maryland
Before the
Montgomery County Council
Hearing on
Bill 4-11, Commission for Women - Reorganization
March 29, 2011
Good evening members of the County Council. Thank you for this opportunity to testify
at this evening's hearing and present my views as a concerned resident of Montgomery
County in regard to Bill 4-11 concerning the reorganization of the Montgomery County
Commission for Women (CFW).
My name is Colleen Kelly, and I have been a proud resident, taxpayer and voter in
Montgomery County for 22 years. Over the past 7 months I have volunteered several
hours a week at the CFW's Counseling and Career Center. This volunteer experience is
why Bill 4-11 caught my attention.
There are three points of concern that I would like to address to the County Council as to
why I oppose Bill 4-11:
First, the recommendation by the Organizational Reform Commission (ORC) to
restructure the CFW and eliminate its Counseling and Career Center because
alternative services exist is based on inaccurate information.
It
is my understanding
that Bill 4-11 was drafted as a result of conclusions reached by the ORC. Due to my
experience Vvlth the CFW and my knowledge ofthe alternative service providers listed in
the ORC report, I am not convinced that services that duplicate those at the CFW's
Counseling and Career Center currently exist in Montgomery County. Consequently, the
recommendation by the ORC in regard to the CFW's counseling and career center is
invalid and by relying on this information, Bill 4-11 will be detrimental to thousands of
Montgomery County women and families, who will no longer have access to these
services.
I reviewed the ORC report as it pertains to the CFW and do agree with the ORC's
statement that the CFW has served a very important function
in
our community. In fact, I
would submit that it continues to do so. The part of the report that confuses me, however,
is the premise that the CFW's Counseling and Career Center activities are duplicative.
The ORC states that "the Family Justice Center, the County's Workforce Development
Program, Montgomery College and private entities and religious organizations" offer the
same affordable personal and career counseling, as well as the wide range of workshops
currently offered at the CFW. As a volunteer at the CFW I have interacted with these
other agencies and have found that while they offer critical complementary services, they
do not provide the kind of longer term assistance or cover the wide range of issues that
residents find at the CFW.
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The CFW's Counseling and Career Center is not a crisis center. The CFW's Counseling
and Career Center is where the crisis centers send their clients after the immediate crisis
has been resolved. The CFW's Counseling and Career Center provides support to
individuals for several months after a crisis. The CFW's Counseling and Career Center
also helps to avoid crisis, by providing support and resources to Montgomery County
residents who find themselves struggling with such personal challenges as job loss,
financial pressures, divorce and separation, parenting issues, and more. The CFW
Counseling and Career Center offers resources, personal counseling and a wide variety of
workshops every week to help keep Montgomery County residents functioning to the best
of their abilities during difficult transitional times.
Over the past 6 weeks, since reviewing the ORC report, I have made additional telephone
calls and surveyed the clients that come into the counseling center, and have been
convinced that the services of the CFW are not available elsewhere in Montgomery
County. This being the case, I am concerned as to where the hundreds of clients of the
CFW's Counseling and Career Center will
turn -
will they put additional demands on our
already overworked police departments, fire departments and hospital emergency rooms?
I strongly urge the County Council to further study this situation before considering a
restructuring of the CFW. The residents of Montgomery County need access to the
affordable counseling services and workshops that have served our community so well
over the past three decades.
Second, I believe Bill 4-11 will eliminate a cost effective program. The CFW's
Counseling and Career Center is fortified by over 120 community volunteers,
contributing over 13,000 labor hours of their time each year. This is the equivalent of 6
full time employees - at no cost to taxpayers. Additionally, clients who come into the
counseling and career center
lli!Y
for the counseling sessions and workshops, generating
over $100,000 in additional income for Montgomery County every year. This
partnership between government and community volunteers to keep these important
affordable services available to county residents should be held up as a model, not
eliminated.
I strongly encourage the County Council to establish a sound business plan to not only
keep the CFW Counseling and Career Center in business, but to increase its visibility
throughout the county so that it will generate considerablv more income for Montgomerv
County.
And fmally, my third concern is that if the CFW's advocacy function is restructured
into simply "an advisory committee attached to another department" the leadership
and innovation that Montgomery County has shown across the nation on such issues
as sexual harassment, pay equity, gender equity in schools, girls in technology, and
violent crimes against women will cease. Several important Maryland resources will
disappear, as well as revenue opportunities.
Less than a year ago the Montgomery County CFW was show-cased in a national
leadership role as it hosted the 40
th
Annual National Association of Commissions for
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Womens' conference here in Rockville, Maryland. This conference brought in
representatives from 29 states. Not only was this event significant because it underscored
the Montgomery County's CFW's national leadership, but it brought tax revenue into our
county as almost 200 conferees stayed at the Rockville Hilton and bought meals at local
eateries. The hotel tax alone would be over $5000. This accomplishment should be
celebrated and encouraged - not blatantly disregarded as Bill 4-11 does.
For the past 31 years, the Montgomery County CFW has taken a leadership role on state
legislative issues affecting women by hosting an annual Women's Legislative Briefmg.
This event has grown to include 700 attendees from all around the state. This function is
self supporting with over 80 co-sponsors, and like other functions organized by the CFW,
brings revenue into Montgomery County.
The projects initiated by the CFW have won national achievement awards four times
since 2000. Additionally, Montgomery County's close proximity to the nation's capital
has facilitated the ability of the CFW to influence federal policy on behalf of issues
impacting women and families, and participate in pertinent White House discussions. If
Bill 4-11 is enacted these opportunities will be wasted.
Over the years, the CFW has produced reports, brochures, handbooks, studies and
surveys.
It
has hosted multi-day conferences and held public hearings and issue forums.
The CFW has established a computer camp for girls, and developed on-line tool kits and
on-line archives. These numerous accomplishments have been possible due not only to
the dedicated volunteers who have been appointed to the independent Commission for
Women, but also the very hardworking support staff. It is not operationally feasible to
expect that this level of achievement, or anything close to it, can continue while sharing
4 support staff with 10 other service groups spread out over 6 locations.
Montgomery County has done a lot to raise awareness for women's issues over the past
40 years. But we have a long way to go. Over the past several years the CFW's budget
and staffhas been slowly eliminated. The demise of the CFW has been the equivalent of
death by 1,000 cuts and I am afraid that eliminating the counseling and career center and
shoving the Commission for Women into the layers of bureaucracy within a county
agency will be the final cuts that cause the end of Montgomery County's progressive
leadership for women's issues.
When I introduced myself, I stated that I am a "proud" resident of Montgomery County.
I didn't make that statement lightly. I am very proud to be a resident of one ofthe
nation's most progressive and innovative counties. I am impressed and proud when I
hear from family and friends from around the country who have heard on their local news
of something Montgomery County has accomplished. Montgomery County has been a
leader for governments across the nation in many areas certainly education and also on
women's issues. I truly hope that our current budget crisis will not mark the end of this
county's focus and leadership on women's issues.
Please do not support the passage of Bill 4-11.
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Referral Resources for CFW Counseling and Career Center Clients
3/14/2011
AffiIiated Community Counselors, Inc.
50 West Montgomery Avenue, Suite 110
.
Rockville, MD 20850
301-251-8965
accirocmlle@gmail.com
http://www.accirocmlle.orgf
A not-for-profit mental health clinic providing individual, couple, family and group counseling
and therapy for adults, adolescents, and children. ACCI has served the Rockville area for more
than 25 years.
Jewish Social Service Agency
Rockville Office
301-881-3700
Gaithersburg Office
301-990-6880
Silver Spring Office
301-587-9666
http://www.jssaorg/
Provides individual and group therapy, support groups, and vocational services.
Chlld Center and Adult Services
301-978-9750
http://www.ccascounseling.orgf
Provides psychological evaluations, counseling and therapy for families and children.
Family Services Agency, Inc.
301-840-3200
http://wWw.familyservicesagency.org/
Offers individual, marital, family, child, adolescent and group therapy.
Washington Pastoral Counseling Services
301-681-3201
http://www.wpcs.orgf
Provides professional counseling for individuals, couples and families.
Montgomery Works
Wheaton Office
301-946-1806
Germantown Office
240-777-2050
http://www.montgomerywo:r:k:s.comlworkshopstraining·am
http://www.montgomeryworks.com/calendar.asp
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http://montgomeryworks.org/upco:tning events.asp
Workshops and training are provided on topics such as job hunting, career development, and
computer training. The the
links
above show information for the calendar of events for trainings
for March and April at the Germantown
and
Wheaton location. MontgomeryWorks programs
change monthly depending on need, availability oftrainers, and space.
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Professional Outplacement Assistance Center (POAC)
410-290-2600
http://www.dllr.state.md.us/poacl
Provides career assistance for individuals who are in the prQfessional, technical and
managerial occupations.
Rockville Women's Business Center
301-315-8096
http://www .rockvillewbc.org/training.html
Offers workshops and individual coaching for women interested in starting a business·
CASA of Maryland: Center for Employment and Leadership
Takoma Park
301-431-3479
Silver Spring
401-431-4185
Germantown
240-777-3499
http://www.casademaryland.orgt'index.php?option=com content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=74
Serves low-income Latino and African immigrants
With
life skills
and
training for e:tnployment
Works
with
employers to promote employment opportunities
National Family Resiliency Center
301-610-5666
http://www.divorceabc.coml
Offers educational seminars, workshop and mediation services for divorcing families as well as
individual, group and family counseling.
Washington Metropolitan Oasis
301-469-6800
http://www.oasisnetorglCities/WashingtonDCarea.aspx
An
adult educational center for those 55 and over offering classes and discussion groups.
Montgomery College
240-567-5188
http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce/celcareerworkskills.html
Provides training for retirement planning, financial planning and investment as well as workforce
and continuing education courses in business, language skills, technical education, health
sciences,
art
and design.
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Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County
301-942-7700
http://www.crcmc.orglwhatweoffer/training,html
Offers mediation services to address conflict issues in the workplace, family, neighborhoods, etc.
Spanish Catholic Center
301-740-2523
http://www.catholiccharitiesdc.org/page.aspx?pid=357
Provides social services, job, and legal assistance for the Spanish speaking population.
Families Foremost Center (FFC)
Mental Health Association of Montgomery County
1109 Spring Street, Suite 300 in Silver Spring
(301) 585-3424
.
http://www.mhamc.orglhtm1/pages/servicesiindex.html
Provides free, comprehensive services for pregnant women and parents
with
young children (less
than four years of age). Services include: adult education
(ABE/GEDIESOL)
classes, in-home
intervention services, parent education classes, computer literacy classes, health education
classes, employment readiness classes, developmental infant and toddler programs, parent-child
activities, family literacy activities, Reading is Fundamental, peer support and case management.
Montgomery County Department of Economic Development
240-777-2000
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dedtmpl.asp?url=/contentidedltech transferlbew resources. asp
Administers networking groups for female business owners as well as a woman owned business
certification program. The website provides links to other resources for female entrepreneurs.
Montgomery County Department of Health
and
Human Services
Behavioral Health and Crisis Services
240-777-1770
http://www.montgomerycountymd.govlhhstmpl.asp?url=/contentlhhslbhcs/mhs as.asp .
Offers referrals for mental health and substance abuse services for eligible individuals. Provides
assistant to victims of domestic violence through advocacy and counseling.
Tess Community Center
301-565-7675
http://www.montgomerycountymd.govlhhstmpLasp?url=/contentlhhslofficesitess.asp
In
collaboration with HHS, Mary Center
&
Impact Silver Spring, bilingual Community
Connectors meet with residents in tjJ.e TESS office and-in the community, providing information,
resources and assistance to families and individuals. Free legal advice is provided to low-income
families at a walk-in clinic on the 1
st
and 3rd Wednesday of each month..
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