AGENDA ITEM 8G
March 3, 2015
Action
MEMORANDUM
February 28,2015
TO:
FROM:
County Council
Jeffrey L.
ZYOn~LegiSlative
Attorney
Non-merit Positions ­
V
SUBJECT:
Action:
Expedited Bill 58-14, Administration
Development Ombudsman
Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee recommendation (3-0): enact Bill
58-14 with technical amendments.
The development ombudsman would provide a high level contact to guide developers and facilitate
the resolution problems in the development process.
In
the Committee's opinion the proposed
non-merit position ombudsman would enhance customer service for developers.
The Committee recognized that the Executive does not intend for the Development Ombudsman
to be in a position to give developers an exemption from any law or regulation required for a
development's approval. Under Bill 58-14 the authority of independent agencies and County
departments would not change.
Background
Expedited Bill 58-14, Administration
Non-merit Positions
Development Ombudsman,
sponsored by the Council President at the request of the County Executive, was introduced on
November 25,2014. Bill 58-14 would create a non-merit position of Development Ombudsman
in the Office of the County Executive. The position description is not in the Bill but is included
in
draft Executive Regulations that were submitted with the BilL
Public Hearing
The Council held a public hearing on January 13, 2015. Five people testified
in
addition to the
Executive's representative. Other people submitted written testimony. The Executive called the
ombudsman "critical to the successful implementation of major development projects
in
our
community that will unlock our economic potential and improve quality of life by creating
walkable, transit-friendly places that attract jobs, workers and residents." Those who have
processed development applications thought that an ombudsman would be helpful as long as the
position is given the authority to resolve problems. Supporters believe that at a minimum the
person in the position would facilitate consensus building among various agencies.
In
one
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supporter's opinion, an ombudsman would keep the County economically competitive in the
Washington D.C. area.
Those who testified from a civic perspective thought that the position was an "unnecessary,
superfluous, expensive, and unneeded addition" without enforcement powers.
In
one person's
opinion, approving the Bill would be an admission of failed management oversight; it would not
hold existing staff and departments accountable. A civic association representative noted the
proposed ombudsman would have a built-in bias in favor of business interests and would be in
sharp contrast to the Council's decision not to fund the legislatively authorized People's Counsel
position.
Issues
1.
Is
an ombudsman needed?
The draft responsibilities for the proposed ombudsman position have 3 components. Each ofthose
components is currently being addressed by the Director ofDPS.
Facilitating commercial and residential development projects is the first responsibility of the
proposed ombudsman. This responsibility is currently addressed by the Green Tape Program!, the
Case Management Program
2,
or the identification of the project as a Strategic Economic
Development Project.
3
The latter 2 programs require DPS to resolve problems with WSSC and
Planning Staff.
In
addition to these other programs, DPS instituted the "Overtime Off-Set
Program" for the expedited review of building permits.
4
This program is available to applicants
who pay a fee for overtime work performed by DPS staff.
In 2011, MNCPPC and the CAO signed a MOU to resolve conflicts between agencies and
departments. WSSC and PEPCO were in the working group that recommended the conflict
The mission of the Green Tape Program is to facilitate the issuance of building permits for commercial construction
in the Enterprise Zones (Silver Spring, Wheaton, and Long Branch) involving new construction, additions, structural
alterations, or changes in use. The Green Tape Team, headed by a "Permit Technician" case facilitator, assists an
applicant with the various filing requirements, regulatory reviews, and inspections, including pre-design consultations
and assessment inspections.
2
The Case Management Program manages high profile projects such as complex commercial construction projects,
expedited Green Tape projects, projects with new building design concepts, and places of worship. The program is
designed to educate applicants about the permit process for their specific project before they begin. The Case
Management Program strategically guides applicants from the preliminary design concept to the issuance of permits
to final inspection.
It
allows all DPS stakeholders to jointly review the project as a whole, address the use, land and
building codes and collectively identify and resolve impeding or conflicting issues. The program provides a systematic
approach to proactively guide and timely resolve land and building permitting issues before becoming major obstacles.
3
A project that creates or retain jobs in the County, particularly in knowledge-based high paying industries; leverages
substantial private capital investment; helps the County achieve strategic redevelopment objectives; or otherwise
advances the economic goals of the County may be designed as a Strategic Economic Development Project by
Executive order. Once designated, the project gets priority treatment in the development process and preferred tax
treatment.
4
Executive Regulation 20-07AM.
1
2
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resolution procedure.
5
Since that MOU was signed, no conflicts have been raised to the
Department head level.
Promoting regulatory efficiency, accessibility, transparency, predictability and consistency, the
second responsibility of the ombudsman, is the objective of both DPS and Planning Staff.
An
Executive employee outside of those agencies would not have the authority to force actions in
those agencies.
The identification ofsystematic changes in the development process, the third ofthe ombudsman's
draft responsibilities, is already in process. The Committee's next agenda item describes the
progress the Directors of DPS and the Planning Department are making toward streamlining the
record plat approval process. The scope oftheir streamlining task includes the entire development
process.
The PHED Committee believes that the proposed ombudsman would enhance customer
service for developers.
Staff does not recommend filling the ombudsman position as the position's functions are already
being performed.
2. Does the Executive need additional authority to hire an ombudsman?
Existing law would allow the Executive to appoint a Development Ombudsman without enacting
Bill 58-14. The provisions in current law include the intended functions of the ombudsman:
Chapter 2. Administration
Sec. 2-27A. Procedures to monitor, review and coordinate the county housing and
development authorization process.
(e)
* * *
* * *
Ombudsman and expediter functions. The County Executive shall designate an
organization unit or official with responsibility for serving as an ombudsman and
expediter on behalf of builders, developers and other business enterprises with
regard to the development authorization process, including such activities as:
(1) Representing the County Executive in obtaining the cooperation of
County, bi- County, and state agencies in expediting permit applications;
(2) Expediting individual permit applications in accord with the County's
economic development policies. This may include at the request of the
applicant and as an initial step in the entire development process, the
convening of representatives of all offices and departments of the County,
public agencies, boards and commissions likely to require public takings,
construction or extension of public facilities, dedications or easements, for
the purpose of ascertaining the general scope and nature of such public
requirements;
5
The signed MOU prompted the PHED Committee to recommend deferral of SRA 09-02 to the Council.
3
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(3)
Conferring with agency liaison staffs and developers and builders to
facilitate understanding of responsibilities and to eliminate processing
obstacles.
The only difference between the Executive's existing authority and BillS8-14
is
the fact that
the position would be a non-merit position. Under current law, the ombudsman could be an
existing employee assigned to this role. The enactment of Bill 58-14 would require funding for a
. new position in the Executive's office and would create authority for a second Development
Ombudsman.
The Committee recommended amending Subsection 2-27A(e) to accomplish the Executive's
goal without creating the legislative possibility of2 ombudsmen. The Committee specifically
recommends:
1) Delete all proposed changes to Subsection 2-26
2) Amending Sec. 2-27A(e) as follows:
Ombudsman and expediter functions. The County Executive [[shall]]
designate an organization unit or official with responsibility for serving as an
ombudsman and expediter on behalf of builders, developers and other business
enterprises with regard to the development authorization process [[, including]]",
The designated ombudsman may be filled by a non-merit position in the Office of
the County Executive. The ombudsman may perform such activities as:
3. Is the new position worth the $200,000 projected cost?
*
* *
In
December 2014 Executive staff projected a FY16 budget gap that would require a 6 percent
reduction in County Government spending. This assumed funding for MCPS at the State
maintenance of effort level. The Board of Education has requested $83 million above that level.
Under these circumstances, the question is whether the proposed position is supportable.
Ultimately, this will be a budget issue for the Council.
This packet contains:
Expedited Bill 58-14
Legislative Request Report
County Executive Memorandum
Proposed position description
Fiscal and Economic Impact Statements
Circle #
1
4
5
6
10
F:\LAW\BILLS\1458 Administration-Nonmerit Positions\Action Memo.Docx
4
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Expedited Bill No.
_..::5~8_-1.:...;;4:...-
_ __
Concerning: Administration - Non-merit
Positions - Development
Ombudsman
2/24/2015
Draft No. 2
Revised:
Introduced:
November
25,2014
Expires:
May
25,2016
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
N
Sunset Date: .... =o"'-'n""-e_--::-_ _ __
Ch, _ _
I
Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President at the Request of the County Executive
AN EXPEDITED ACT
to:
(1)
create a non-merit position of Development Ombudsman in the Office of the
County Executive; and
(2)
generally amend the laws governing non-merit positions in the Executive Branch.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 2, Administration
Section 2-26
Section 2-27A
..
..
..
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deleted from existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deleted from 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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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 58-14
1
Sec.
1.
Section 2-26 is amended as follows:
2-26. Non-merit positions.
The following positions in the Office of the County Executive are non-merit
positions:
2
3
4
5
6
*
(e)
Special Projects Manager [.]
[[~
*
and
]]
*
7
8
[[ ill
Development Ombudsman]].:.
*
*
*
9
10
11
Sec. 2. Section 2-27A is amended as follows:
Sec. 2-27 A. Procedures to monitor, review and coordinate the county housing and
development authorization process.
12
13
14
* * *
(e) Ombudsman and expediter functions. The County Executive [[shall]] must
designate an organization unit or official with responsibility for serving as
an ombudsman and expediter on behalf of builders,. developers and other
business enterprises with regard to the development authorization process
[[, including]]. The designated ombudsman may be filled by a non-merit
position in the Office of the County Executive. The ombudsman may
perform such activities as:
(1) Representing the County Executive in obtaining the cooperation of
County, bi- County, and state agencies in expediting permit
applications;
(2) Expediting individual permit applications in accord with the
County's economic development policies. This may include at the
request of the applicant and as an initial step in the entire
development process, the convening of representatives of all offices
and departments ofthe County, public
agencIes,
boards
and
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
o
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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 58-14
28
commissions likely to reqUIre public takings, construction or
extension of public facilities, dedications or easements, for the
purpose of ascertaining the general scope and nature of such public
requirements;
(3)
Conferring with agency liaison staffs and developers and builders to
facilitate understanding of responsibilities and to eliminate
processing obstacles.
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
* * *
Sec. 3. Expedited Effective Date.
The Council declares that this legislation is
necessary for the immediate protection of the public interest. This Act takes effect
on the date when it becomes law.
Approved:
36
37
38
39
40
41
George Leventhal, President, County Council
Date
42
43
44
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
45
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
46
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
-3­
F:\LAW\BILLS\14S8 Administration-Nonmerit Positions\Bi\I 2.Doc
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Expedited Bill -14, Structure of County Government - Non-merit Positions - Development Ombudsman
DESCRIPTION:
PROBLEM:
The requested legislation creates a non-merit position of Development Ombudsman in
the
Office ofCounty Executive.
.This new position
is
needed to facilitate the approval process of commercial and
residential development projects deemed high priorities by the County and to resolve
conflicts that arise related to the entitlement process, permitting, and general
regulatory procedures.
To
act
as
a facilitator for commercial and residential development projects, by working
as
an intermediary to .address challenges, issues
and
concerns during development; to
promote regulatory efficiency, accessibility, transparency, predictability
and
consistency across agencies
and
departments; to identify systemic challenges
in
the
entitlement process, permitting, and general regulatory procedures
and
to facilitate
necessary changes
that
bring about tangible improvements that save both time and
costs.
GOALSAND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
Office ofHuman Resources
FISCAL IMPACT:
Office ofManagement and Budget
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ma
nla
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
ma
Stuart Weisberg OHR (7-5154)
APPLICATION
MUNICIPALITIES:
ma
PENALTIES:
WITHIN
nla
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..
,
.
]
_"- i
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 208S0
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
MEMORANDUM
October 31, 2014
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Craig Rice, President
Montgomery County Council
lsiah Leggett,
County Executive
/"-l~
~
Expedited Bill to Create Non-merit Position of Development Ombudsman
I am attaching for Council introduction an Expedited Bill to create a non-merit
'
position of Development Ombudsman.
The purpose of this bill is to create a position to more efficiently facilitate the
approval process of commercial and residential development projects and to help resolve conflicts
that arise related to the entitlement process, permitting, and general regulatory procedures. This
position would serve to promote regulatory efficiency, accessibility, transparency, predictability
and consistency across agencies and departments. The Development Ombudsman would also act to
identify systemic challenges in the entitlement process, permitting, and general regulatory
procedures and to facilitate necessary changes that bring about tangible improvements that save
both time and costs.
I am also attaching for your information a draft copy of Executive Regulation
18­
14, Position Description for Development Ombudsman, which includes a definition of the work,
examples of duties and responsibilities, and the recommended qualifications, knowledge, skills,
and abilities for the position.
Attachments
IL: sw
montgomerycountymd.gov/311
"
'3'
i'.'
'
240-773-3551
nv
®
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· I
,I
MONTGOMERY COUNTY
EXECUTIVE REGULATION
Offices of the County Executive. 101 Monroe Street. Rockville, Maryland
Subject
Position Description for Development Ombudsman
Originating Department
Regulation Number
18-14
Effective Date
Office of Human Resources
Position Description for Development Ombudsman
in the Office of the County Executive
Executive Regulation No.. 18-14
Issued by: County Executive
Authority: Montgomery County Code, 2004, Sections 1A-204 and 2-26(f)
Supersedes: none
.
Council review: Method
(l)
Montgomery County Register,
Volume xx, Issue xx
Comment deadline:
Effective date: _ _ _ _ _ __
Summary:
This regulation provides a position description for the non-merit position ofDevelopment
Ombudsman
in
the Office of the County Executive.
It
includes a definition of the work, .
examples of duties and responsibilities, and the recommended qualifications, knowledge,
skills. and abilities for the position. Montgomery County Code Section 2-26(f) designates
this position as a non-merit position. Under County Code Section 1A-104(b)(2), a person
holding a position
in
the Executive Branch designated by law as a non-merit position must
be professionally qualified under a position description established by regulation under
method (1).
.
Office of Human Resources, Executive Office Building, 7th Floor
101 Monroe
~treet,
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Address for
Comments:
Staff contact: Stuart Weisberg, 240-777-5154, or stuart.weisberg@montgomerycountymd.gov
Please use the key below when reading this regulation:
Boldface
Heading or defined term.
Underlining
Added to existing regulation
by
proposed regulation.
[Single boldface brackets]
Deletedfrom existing regulation
by
proposed regulation.
D@ble underlining
Added by amendment.
[[Double boldface brackets]]
Deletedfrom existing or proposed regulation by amendment.
* * *
Existing language unchanged by executive regulation.
(Page 1 of 4)
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I
MONTGOMERY COUNTY
EXECUTIVE REGULATION
Offices of the County Executive. 101 Monroe Street. Rockville, Maryland
Subject
Position Description for Development Ombudsman
Originating Department
Office
ofHuman Resources
Regulation Number
18-14
Effective Date
Position Description for Development Ombudsman
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is senior staff level work dedicated to facilitating the approval process of commercial and residential
development projects deemed high priorities by the County and to resolving conflicts that arise related to
the entitlement process, permitting, and general regulatory procedures. The position is located in the
Offices ofthe County Executive. As this is a non-merit position within Montgomery County Government,
the employee will be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. The
employee reports to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAD). Key responsibilities ofthe position include:
• Acting as a facilitator for commercial and residential development projects, by working as an
intermediary to address challenges, issues and concerns during development;
• Promoting regulatory efficiency, accessibility, transparency, predictability and consistency across
agencies and departments both internal and external to County Government; and
S~rving
as a catalyst by identifying systemic challenges in the entitlement process, permitting, and
general reguJatoryprocedures and facilitating with the agencies and departments to make
necessary changes that bring about tangible improvements that save both time and costs.
The work is primarily sedentary, performed primarily in office settings subject to usual everyday risks,
although the employee may make occasional on-site visits to various on-going development projects.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:
• Assists with the process of obtaining commercial and residential real estate development
approvals and permits necessary for construction .by acting as a problem-solving liaison between
the County and State agencies and those affected by their rules and processes.
• Brings systemic concerns to the attention of the County leadership for resolution.
• Recommends improvements In procedures and processes to agencies and the County Executive.
• Facilitates communication and coordination between the public, individuals, groups, businesses
and various County and State agencies (e.g., WSSC, M-I\lCPPC, SHA, OEP, MMCOOT, MOOT, MOE,
MHT, OBED and DPS).
• Works across government agencies to address systemic problems and reduce regulatory burdens
while promoting transparency and predictability regarding regulatory activity, consistency of
business regulation within the County, appropriate flexibility, and a reasonable balancebetween
(Page 2 of 4)
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY
EXECUTIVE REGULATION
Offices of the County Executive. 101 Monroe Street. Rockville, Maryland
Subject
Position Description for Development Ombudsman
Originating Department
Regu!ation Number
18-14
Effective Date
Office of Human Resources
the underlying regulatory objectives and the burdens imposed by the regulatory activity.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
• Extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of land development, construction, and
master planning (i.e., transportation needs, resource protection, and public facilities) and current
issues affecting building and land regulation and development.
• Knowledge ofthe County's real estate regulatory processes and real estate development matters.
• Knowledge of infrastructure matters related to development projects including financing
permitting and capital project schedules.
• Skill in identifying, analyzing and evaluating information concerning highly complex and often
politically sensitive technical and conceptual information.
• Skill in negotiating agreements which accommodate the conflicting interests and viewpoints of
numerous groups and organizations.
• Ability to express facts, conclusions and recommendations clearly and concisely, both orally and in
writing.
• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with government and elected
offiCials, community and business groups, builders and developers.
• Ability to provide high level subject matter input, expertise, and advice regarding the development
of land use planning policies.
• Ability to attend meetings and perform work assignments at locations outside the office.
RECOMMENDED QUALIFICATIONS;
Experience:
Seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience involving development review,
permitting, zoning, economic development, community planning, and land use planning processes,
monitoring and tracking, three
(3)
years of which are in a supervisory or executive capacity.
Education:
Possession of a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in real estate,
engineering. business administration, construction management, architecture, economics, urban
planning or in an appropriate planning specialization or related field.
Equivalency:
An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
(Page 3 of 4)
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY
EXECUTIVE REGULATION
OffIces of the County Executive. 101 Monroe Street. Rockville, Maryland
Subject
Position Description for Development Ombudsman
Originating Department
Regulation Number
18-14
Effective Date
Office of Human Resources
MEDICAL PROTOCOL:
Medical History Review:
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
Approved as to form and legality:
Office of the County Attorney
CllAML
-rW~
lOf,ql~
. Date
(Page 4 of 4)
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Fiscal Impact Statement
Bill XX-14
Position Description for Development Ombudsman in the Office
of
the Co'unty Executive
1. SUminary.
ThisbiU will create the non-merit position of Development Ombudsman in the Office of
the County Executive.
2. An estimate of changes in County revenues and expenditures regardless of whether
the revenues or expenditures are assumed in the recommended or approved budget.
Includes source of information, assumptions, imd methodologies used ..
The estimated annualized compensation costs for this position are $198,600, based on the
avcrage salary paid to other Question A employees within Montgomery County
Government.
.
'
Assumjng this position will be filled for the
s~cond
half of
fYIS,
the total cost for the
current nscalyear will be
approximately'$99~360
in compensation for a total six-year
estimated cost of $1,092,300.
keytcspon'~ibi1ities'df the·ombudsil1an'po~ition
ihdude
the;prbmotior1 ofrdgulatory,"
efIicienc)tandcdnsistency, both internal and external to
COW1ty
Government. Successful
execution of these and other responsibilities will likely result in budgetary savings over
what would be achieved without the position. The amount of that savings is, however.
indeterminate.
::;
3.
~~:venue a~,de;~pe~ditur:~;estiOtates ~ov~ring atlea~t
the
n~d~ flsc~lyear5.
' '
See the
r~'~po~s~
to
it~m
2:'
,',' ,
.'
,'"
.'
',',,'
4. An actuarial analysis through the entire amortization period for each
bill
that would
affect retiree pension or group insurance costs.
N/A
5. Later actions that may affect future revenue and expenditures
if
the bill authorizes
future spending.
N/A
6. An estimate of the staff time needed to implement the bill.
Staff time
will
be spent by participants in the hiring process. The total time needed is
indeterminate and will vary based on the number and qualifications of the applicants.
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7. "An explanation or"how the addition of new staff responsibilities would affect other
duties.
N/A
8.
An
estimate
of costs when an additional appropriation
is
needed.
See response to item
2.
9. A
description
of
any
vari~ble
that
could affect revenue and cost estimates.
The salary for a new hire can vary from the estimate based on the credentials ofthe
selected candidate.
10. Ranges
of revenue or
expenditures that
are uncertain or
difficult to project.
N/A
ll.
If
II
bi1l is likely to have
no
fiscal
impact,
why
that is the case.
N/A
12. Other fiscal impacts
or
comments.
N/A
13.
~hc
following
contributed to and concurred with this analysis:
Lori OtBrien, OHR
Compensation
Manager
Corey
Orlosky, OMB
Management and
Budget Specialist
Date
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Economic Impact Statement
Expedited Bm
#11-14,
Structure of County Government
Non-merit Positions - Development Ombudsman
i
,Background:
This
legislation would create a non-merit position ofDevelopment ombudsman
in
the
Office ofthe County Executive. This position would
:facilitate
the approval process of
commercial and residential- development projects deemed a high priority by the County.
The position would resolve conflicts that
arise
related to the entitlement process,
permitting,
and
general regulatory process.
1. The sources of information, assumptions, and inethodologies uaed.
Not applicable­
2. A description of any variable that could affect the economic: impact estimates.
There
are no
variables that could affect the economic
impact
estimates.
3. The Bm's positive or negative effeet,
if
any on employmeaft spending, saving,
investment, incomes, and property values in the County.
Expedited
BUI ##-14
establishes
a position
that
would facilitate commercial and
residential development projects and thereby encourage economic development
in
the
County. By promoting regulatory efficiency, accessibility, transparency,
predictability and consistency
across agencies
and departments,
this
position would
expedite the development process thereby reducing both time and costs of
development projects. Therefore Bill
##-14
would have
a
positive impact-on
economic development and
the
County's economy.
4. H a BiB
is
likely
to
have no economic impac:ft why
is
that
the ease?
This bill would have an economic impact because its purpose is to facilitate the
approval process
and
resolve conflicts and thereby reduce the costs and time for
specific development projects.
S. The following contributed to or conc:urred with
this
analysis: David Platt
Hagedoorn, Finance.
and
Rob
Date'
I
Page 1 ofl
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