GO/HHS
Item 2
April 27, 2011
Worksession
MEMORANDUM
April 25, 2011
TO:
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee
Health and Human Services Committee
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
FROM:
SUBJECT:
~
Worksession: Bill 4-11, Commission for Women - Reorganization
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.
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.
1) Proposed Consolidations and Reorganizations. The ORC proposes the following
consolidations and reorganizations for boards, committees and commissions:
Current Budget-
$881,300 -
The ORC
a) Commission for Women (CFW)
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
'---_ _e!1tities and religious organizations.
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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.
);>
The ORC recommends that the Commission for Women be restructured as an
advisory committee 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 of the 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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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 $869,61 0 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.
2. What services 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.
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 I % indicated they were widowed. At the time they
received services at the Counseling and Career Center in FYI0, 57% of clients reported they
3
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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. This proposal will be discussed in detail in the packet describing the Office of
Community Engagement. Once the Committee has decided how to handle the Office of
Community Engagement, the decision as to this Bill will follow.
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
Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable
Sharon Grosfeld
Carren Oler
Anne Lopiano
CFW Counseling and Career Center
List of Other Service Entities providing counseling
Circle
#
1
5
6
8
11
13
16
19
24
26
29
31
36
37
40
F:\LAW\BILLS\11 04 Commission For Women\GO-HHS.Doc
4
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Bill No.
4·11
Concerning: Commission for Women ­
Reorganization
Revised:
March 7. 2011
Draft No.
--=_________
Introduced:
March 8. 2011
Expires:
September 8,2012
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
-!..!N~on..!.l: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 of the Commission for Women;
reallocate certain functions ofthe Office ofthe 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 brackets]]
'" '"
'"
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law
by
original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law
by
original bill.
Added
by
amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill
by
amendment.
Existing law unaffected
by
bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No.
4-11
1
Sec. 1.
Sections 1A-203, 2-59, 11-6, 27-26B, 27-28 and 27-33A are
2
3
amended as follows:
1A-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 ofthe Commission for Women [section 27-28 et seq.]]
4
5
6
7
8
*
2-59.
*
*
*
*
Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.
9
10
*
(c)
(1)
(2)
Composition and terms ofmembers.
11
12
The Coordinating Council has 17 members.
The County Council requests the following individuals to serve
as ex officio members of the Coordinating Council:
(A)
The Administrative Judge for District 6 of the Maryland
District Court or designee of the 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
l3
14
15
16
17
18
19
[or]
of the 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)
(F)
The County Sheriff or designee ofthe County Sheriff; and
The President of the County Board of Education or
designee ofthe President.
(3)
Subject to confirmation by the County Council, the County
Executive should appoint the following individuals to serve as ex
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
o
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BILL
No. 4-11
28
officio members ofthe 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 of Police;
(C) The Director of the Department of Health and Human
Services or designee of the Director.
(0)
[The Executive Director]
f!
member or designee of the
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
Commission for Women [or designee of the Executive
Director]; and
(E) The Director of the Department of Correction and
Rehabilitation or designee of the Director.
*
11-6.
Filing complaints.
*
*
*
*
*
(f)
Referral to the [Commission for Women] Departments
Q[
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.
Interagency fair housing coordinating group.
47
48
49
27-26B.
50
* *
(b)
*
51
52
The County Executive appoints the members of the coordinating group,
subject to confirmation by the County Council. The coordinating group
consists of one or more employees of each of the following agencies:
(1) Office of Community Outreach in the Office of the Chief
53
54
®
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BILL
No.
4-11
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
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.
*
27-28.
Created;
composition;
compensation
of members;
meetings[, etc.]
*
appointment;
*
terms
of office
and
*
W
27-33A.
(a)
*
*
Staff.
The Chief Administrative Officer must designate appropriate staff
69
70
71
to support the Commission.
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.
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
(b)
The [Director] Chief Administrative Officer may waive the user fee
charged to a participant if:
(1)
(2)
The waiver would promote the purposes of this Article; and
The participant cannot afford to pay the fee.
-0
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 4-11
Commission for 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.
F:\LA W\BILLS\11 04 Commission For Women\Legislative Request Report.Doc
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850
MEMORANDUM
February 21,2011
TO:
FROM:
V
~lerie
Ervin, President,
co~ty counc~ ~
!Slab
Leggett,
CO\Dlty
ExecUtiV~
~
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 all 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 ofthe
ORC recommendations 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 of this 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 include 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 ofthe 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, County 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 staffing 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 of the implications of that 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 recommendations 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
MClPG
112-11 -
Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission-County Police Authority,
Metropolitan District Tax, and Transfer ofProperty
I
(j)
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OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND
BUDGET
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
Joseph F. Beach
Director
MEMORANDUM
March 29. 2011
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Valerie
Ervin,
preSide~oun
Council
Joseph F. Beach, Direc
Bill 04-11, Commission r Women - Reorganization
Bill 05-11, Office of Human Rights - Human Rights Commission - Reorganization
The purpose of this memorandum is to transmit a fiscal and economic impact statement
to the Council on the subject legislation.
LEGLSLATIONS~Y
BilI 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.
BiU 05-11 changes the authority of the Human Rights Commission to adjudicate only
those cases that allege a violation of the County's Human Rights law that are unique to Montgomery
County. The Office of Human Rights will investigate and attempt
to
conciHate those cases that assert an
act of discrimination that is unique
to
Montgomery County under the County's Human Rights law. Since
the number of cases that will
be
handled by the Office of Human Rights will 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 of the right
to
fIle 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 &]JCCts 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 ofthe
Commission for Women and the Office of Human Rights.
Bill 4-11 would eliminate the Office of the 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 ofthe Office, but shows the resources that may be
required to continue
to
support the Commission. Continued support for the Commission could be at
Office of the Director
----~
.--~.-~
..
-~.-.----
101 Monroe Street, 14th Floor· Rockville,
Maryland
20850 • 240-777-2800
www.montgomerycountymd.gov
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Va1erie Ervin, President. County Council
March 29,
2011
Page 2
varying levels based on the needs ofthe 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
18).
Ei.iuurinllte
omee
of
Commlsioll for
Women
PIlflK)nDQI
CQ$t~
FY12
FY13
--FY14
FY15
FY16
FYI7
Total
Operating Expense
($787,73Q}
($81,880)
($869,610)
($869,610)
($869,610)
($80,610)
($869,610)
(5869,610)
($5,217,660)
R41tainSupportfor.tbe
Commission
(liS
requlnd ,uDder-proposed MCC
.l7~18{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;500
SI,697,880
Administrative Specialist (1.0
WY)
$68,890
-, • ,:,Exp0llses
Total
Net Fiscallmpllct
$68,890
c$ltUSO
SlIJ2,980
(S586,63O)
-1U'0,250
$282.'80
($586,630)
$63,890
'fltl,250
$282,980
($586,630)
$68,390
110;250
$282P80
($586,630)
568,890
"$10,150
$281,!)S0
$10;250
SlIJ1,980
($586,630)
(S586,630)
(53,519,780)
Bill
5-11
would not eliminate
the
Office ofHuman 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, aManager III,
and four investigators. Ofthe 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 1II
will
serve for four months and
will be abolished on
1111111.
FYll
FY13"*
($1,4116,360)
FYl4
($1,406,360)
fflS
($1,406,360)
FYI'
(Sl,406,360)
orne!!
ofHllmllll
Rlghls"
Personnel
Costs
OjluatillgEx]lense
(SI,l71,480)
($1,143,250.)
($128,230.)
FYI7
($1,406,360)
Total
($8,303,280)
*
ReductioD in pel1loooel aDd related resources
jf
focus ofOffice
was
sbifted to only
investigate, conciliate,
and
adjudicate
before
the
Commission a case
aneging
{mly discriminatory acts
that
do
not violate State or Federal law.
..... Savings increase in FY13-17 because
two
investigaror
POSitiODS
and a
Manager
m
position are retained
for
part ofFY12, hut
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 of the 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 the
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
win
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
FY12
Reginal Services
Center
Personnel Costs
Operating Expense
Office of Homan Rights·
($815,390)
FYI3
($815,390)
FYl4
($815,390)
llV15
($815,39')
FYlti
($815,390)
FYI7
(SSt5,390)
Totlli
($4,892,340)
($696,060)
($119,330)
($1,271,480)
($1,406,3(i0)
($i,406,360)
($l,4Iki,360)
($1,406,360)
(SI,486,36.)
($8,303,280)
Personnel Costs
:Operating
Expense
Office of Commition for
Women
-Personnel
eosts
Operating
Expense
Offiee ofCommnnity
(51,143,250)
($123,2:;30)
($586,630)
($586,630)
($586,630)
($586,630)
($58(i,63O)
($586,630)
($3,519,780)
($6"3,650)
($522,980)
hrtnerbsip
(5119,070)
($119,070)
($119,070)
(5119,070)
($119,070)
($119,070)
($714,420)
Personnel
Coslll
Operating &pense
GraDdTotal
Personnel
Costll
OperatiDg Expense
($84,070)
($35,000)
($2,792,570)
($1,987,'3')
($805,54.)
($2,927,450)
($2,927,450)
($2,927.450)
($2,927,450)
($2,927,450)
($.7,429,820)
Note: Projections assume no
growth
in
salaries or benefit
costs
FY13-17 and
that
aoolished
positions are not reinstated
.. Savings incrcuse in FY13-17 because investigator positions and
It
Manager III position
are retained
fur
part
ofFY12, but
aoolisbed
during
the
fiscal year. The additional
savings
are reflected in FY13-17.
The following contributed
to
and concurred
with
this
analysis: Beryl Feinberg and Philip
Weeda of the Office of Management and Budget and Fariba Kassiri of the Offices of the County
Executive.
JFB:pw
c: Kathleen Boucher, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Fariba Kassiri, Assistant ChiefAdministrative Officer
Lisa Austin, Offices of the County Executive
Beryl Feinberg, Office ofManagement and Budget
Brady Goldsmith, Office ofManagement and Budget
John Cuff, Office of Management and Budget
Philip Weeda, Office of Management and Budget
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3
Testimony of Jaclyn Lichter Vincent
President, Montgomery County Commission for Women
In OPPOSITION to Council Bi1l4-n
March
29, 20n
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
aclmowledgement of the Commission's fine work in serving their unique needs.
@
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Lf
AARP
Maryland
200 St. Paul Place
Suite 2510
Baltimore, MD 21202
T
1-866-542-8163
F 410-837-0269
TTY 1-877-434-7598
www.aarp.orgjmd
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
I
House Bill 170), as well for the placement of a statue of
HEALTH/ FINANCES / CONNECTING / GIVING / ENJOYING
W. Lee Hammond, President
Addison Barry Rand, Chief Executive Officer
\!.f!)
~
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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 wi11100k 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 ground breaking - 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 a" 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 a" 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 wi" reconsider the short- and long-term consequences to the County's
Budget of the cuts to the Commission for Women.
(ij)
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Tm
VOICE OF M:tDl1.F.E AND
OlDER
'WOMEN
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 ORGANIZA TrON THAT FOCUSES
EXCLUSIVELY ON ISSUES, UNIQUE TO WOMEN, AS THEY AGE.
WE WORK TOWARDS HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR ALL, ECONOMIC
SECURITY, AND ELIMINATION OF
SEXIS~l
AND AGISrv1. WE AIM TO HA VE
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 CONSIDERlNG. 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
RECOMMENDATION 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 UNIQUEL Y 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 GOVERNING 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 BASICAL Y
DEMOLISH THE COUNTY COMMISSION FOR WOMEN'S GOAL OF PURSUING
GREA TER 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 \VOMEN 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
Master Lisa Stearman Segel
2010-2011
President
Barbara Graham
President-Elect
Margaret Schweitzer
Secretary
Stephanie
L.
Fink
Treasurer
At-Large Members
Wanda Martinez
MoincaHarm
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 workshops 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
fmd 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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Furthermore,
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, t4ese 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 Reform 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.
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/2..
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 Maryland Avenue, 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
l
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 turn for this kind of vital
assistance. CFW also provides important leadership for our County on issues of special
importance to women.
Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization composed of judges,
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.
1
The
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- 2­
As you know, County Executive Isiah Leggett has adopted the recommendation of the
Organization Refonn 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 affinnation 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 fonnulate 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 a job. 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 fonner 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 Refonn 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 oftheir 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~.~t:Yic~.1Ulyail~Q~J~t
all CQuuJ)'Jesidents ,
jucluding
eCQnomically. struggling ___.
residents who would otherwise fall through holes in the County's safety net.
For 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,
Jett!e~
Hannon
Presid~nt
,
\~lL.-/
/
/
'\1'
J
I.:
r, ,
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SHARONM. GROSFELDj.ESQUIRE .. ··
9906
OLD SPRINGROAD­
KENSINGTON,.
MARYLAND 20895 ,
..' .•.•. _ (301) 942-5996,- '.' ..• ­
.
Sharon.grosfeld@griiaiLcom ..
March
29, 201
t
To The Honorable Montgomery County Council:
Good evening .. Jt is a privilege to h.aye tne opportunity to present my.testimony in
+11.;
Commission Jor
\N9,,"en~
Re()rgani;ation. Unfprtunately, both .
opposition to.
this legislation as well as the alternative, proposal
r~commendedbyTheHonorable
·County.Executive
Isiah.·~eggettto cre~te an,OfficeofComlT1unity.~ngagemenfwili
dg .
more harm to the women; children
ancJfarni!i~_ofMontgomery
County
th~n
the desired
good of reducing government expenditures.
Bill 4-11
relies upon the false assurnption
that the services currently provided by the MCCFW can be performed through other
govetnmenfagencies in addition to the priVate sector; The 'creation of the Office of
CommunitY Engagement, intended as an altemativetotheeornplete demolition of the·
-MCCAN, would mesh ,albeit Wfthdevastatingconsequellces, the Operations of the'
MCCFW into a new entityeomposed6f consolidated Commissions and Boafdsthat
wouldoperatethroughasinglecentfalized officei The very foreseeable consequences
of bc:>thwillresultinmore people facing crises
'of
dramatic 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.
am
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.
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While other aspects ofthecoUnty government maybe broken and in need
of
repair,
the MCCFW does not need tobefix9(tlndeed,
if
we were "starting from scratch," the
MCCFW would serve as a model
of
excellence in both delivery of service, as well as
innovation in cost savings, contrary to the Reforri'l 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 being introduced .. It has been bad enough
to watch the Commission's budget get cut year after year, however I never imagined
total elimination of the Commission would ever be on the table here in Montgomery
County.
As a former state legislator who has faCed budgefdeficitSand fought aSimiiarbattte
when confronted with an aHackonthe Maryland State Commission for Women; lam··
very angry to have to ooeeagaindefend theexistEmceof a C()mrnissionthat has·
improved the lives ()four residentssinceitsineeption, andcontinLJestobe a beacon
of
light for so many people with nowhere else tdgefthe help offered solely by the .
MCCFW~
But most importantly,. as a
r~identof
lViontgomery C()unty for half of my life, the
place I choseto raise afamjlybased uponJhe
excellentreputatio~ofoyrcounty's
...
schools, services and
progressive~values,1
find even .col1sideratiQnc)f the dismantling
of
the MCCFW atany levelunconscionabJe,arld. desperately hopeJhat the decisions
made now and in the future
reg~rding
the MGCFW are onlyonasthatstrer'lQthen and
enhance
the .
ability of theCornmission to
cany
out its mission, nather
thaneng~gingin
a
",
process to .destroy
it. .
.
","
Thankyou..
.
"
~
. .
:
'.
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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 turning 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 Backuround
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 CFW first 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
personal counseling
o
career and couples counseling
o
workshops on a wide r!=lnge of topics
o
information and referral
o
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 Montgomery 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, itA 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 FYlO 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 FYI0 revenue
represents 14 percent of the department's appropriation.
VolWlteers, Commissioners, Interns and Externs
Number ofParticipants
Number ofHours
Number ofWork 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
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ANNE
DEBELIUS
LoPIANo,
ESQ.
l'EtEPH0NES:
301.593-6170
AND
410.740.5648
OIl
FAX.: 240-331-7675
684
CONCERTO LANE
SILVER SPRING,
MD 20901
WWW.ANNELOPlANO.COM
EMAJL
ANNELOPIANO@AoL.COM
Tuesday, March 29,2011
TESTIMONY BEFORE THE COUNTY COUNSEL IN FAVO:a.OF
SAVING THE WOMEN'S COMMISSION
Please take all measures possible
to
av?idclosing the Montgomery County
ColllJllissi~for
.
Women. I write both as a concerned Montgomery County citizen who has
used
the services ofthe .
Womens' Commission, as an attorney who
referred
many impoverished or just
working
womeIl.thC!e
for much needed, affordable counseling
andl~.information,
as well as in my role as a Board metllber.
and immediate past president ofthe Montgome.t:Y>Younty Divorce Roundtable. The Commission for
Women has been a vital and generous partner
to
the Roundtable's work over many years,tearning with
our volunteer lawyers who teach seminars foftheCommission, publishing (in severallan&wteaes) and
updating a directory and of affordable and
freel~services
and social service resources for needy
women and families, called a
Guide
to
SeptlI'IlIU1ntl1J4;»ivorce
that are available nOwhere else
in
this
County, or
in
this state. Your phones
will
ring
off
the
hook by callers wanting the information
in
this
oIle .
resource,
if
it
is
no longer
updated,
published and diSseminated.
bas.
The Commission for Women has also
partnere<t
with
the Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable
to help us publicize our own affordable public education events. The Montgomery County Divorce
Roundtable is a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated
to
SUpporting families and children
in
all
varieties
()~
..
separation and divorce, in ways that can
defuse
legal processes
that
hann
children and
parents,
and vqy
often,
that
help parents resolve
issues
out ofcourl.We do that with the
~elp
of the Women's
Commission. The WOlDen's Commission
helps
SAVE the County 1D0ney
by
beingtbe best
organization I know of for leveraging tbevoIullteer tilDe of lDany professionals to educate wo#en
about resolving their legal issues
with
as6ttle.resort to court involvement as
is
necessary
and~afe,
and about how to take sensible informed action steps, rather than simply mnning
to
court and ...
crying for help.
.
You can take apart an important lifeline to wOlDen and children in a
pen
stroke,
but to do so
will
be to put out a light that cannoteasilybe
revived.
Since 1972, the
Women~s
Connn.issionis
~of
what makes Montgomery County Maryland a national leader
in
human rights efforts.
Forexample~
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 infonnation.
and
best
practices for supporting the
rights
and
interests
of women and families.. Jfyou put out the light
at the WOlDen's' ColDIDission,you send the County back,60 years or so, not
only
in
fu
role as
national leader, but
in
its ability to foster the weD being of
its
children - who
ost
often mthe
care
of wOlDen.
Very truly yo
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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 ofthe 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
ismy understanding
that Bill
4-11
was drafted as a result of conclusions reached by the ORC. Due to my
experience with the CFW and my knowledge of the 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 oflonger 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 fmd 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 considerably more income for Montgomerv
County.
And Imally, 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. 1bis 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. 1bis 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 Briefing.
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 staff has 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 of the
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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Attachment
#
8
Referral Resources for CFW Counseling and Career Center Clients
3/14/2011
Affiliated Community Counselors,
Inc~
50 West Montgomery Avenue,
Suit~
110
Rockville,
:MD
20850
.
301-251-8965
accirockville@gmail.com
http://www.accirockville.org/
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.jssa.orgl
Provides individual and group therapy, support groups, and vocational services.
Child Center and Adult Services
301-978-9750
http://www.ccascounseling.org!
Provides psychological evaluations, counseling and therapy for families and children.
Family Services Agericy, Inc.
301-840-3200
http://wWw.familyservicesagency.orgl
Offers individual, marital, family, child, adolescent and group therapy.
Washington Pastoral Counseling Services
301-681-3201
http://www.wpcs.org!
Provides professional counseling for individuals, couples and families.
Montgomery Works
Wheaton Office
301-946-1806
Germantown Office
240-777-2050
http://www.montgomeryworks.comlworkshops training. asp
htt;p://www.montgome:ryworks.comlcalendar.asp
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http://montgomeryworks.org/upcoming 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 of trainers, and space.
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Professional Outplacement Assistance Center (POAC)
410-290-2600
http://www.dllr.state.md.us/Poac/
Provides career assistance for individuals who are
in
the prQfessional, technical and
managerial occupations.
Rockville Women's Business Center
301-315-8096
http://www.rock.villewbc.orgltraining.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.org/index.php?option=com content&task.=view&id=23&Itemid=74
Serves low-income Latino and African immigrants with life skills and training for eiD.ployment.
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 .oasisnet.orglCitieslWashingtonDCarea.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/ce/careerworkskills.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.org/whatweoffer/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.orglhtmllpages/serviceS/index..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.montgomervcountvmd.gov/dedtmpl.asp?url=/contentldedltech 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.gov/hhstmpl.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?ur1=/content/hhs/offices/tess.asp
In
collaboration with HIlS, Mary Center
&
Impact Silver Spring, bilingual Community
Connectors meet with residents in the 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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