PHED ITEM #2
February 23,2015
Worksession
MEMORANDUM
February 19,2015
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee·
Jeff zyonll;islative Attorney
Worksession: Expedited Bill 58·14, Administration
Development Ombudsman
Non·merit Positions -
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
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.
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Issues
1. Is an ombudsman needed?
The draft responsibilities for the proposed ombudsman position have 3 components. Each of
those 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
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 of systematic changes in the development process, the third of the
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
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 "Pennit 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 20-07 AM.
5
The signed MOU prompted the PHED Committee to recommend deferral of SRA 09-02 to the Council.
1
2
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streamlining the record plat approval process. The scope of their streamlining task includes the
entire development process.
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;
(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 Bill 58-14 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.
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.
Staff Recommendation
Do not enact Bill 58-14.
3
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This packet contains:
Expedited Bill 58-14
Legislative Request Report
County Executive Memorandum
Proposed position description
Fiscal and Economic Impact statement
Circle
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1
3
4
5
9
F:\LAW\BILLs\1458 Administration-Nonmerit Positions\PHED Memo.Doc
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Expedited Bill No. _.;::;5=8_-1:....:4'--_ __
Conceming: Administration - Non-merit
Positions - Development
Ombudsman
Revised:
11118/2014
Draft No.
_1_
Introduced:
November 25, 2014
Expires:
May 25,2016
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
~N.:.>o'-!..!n:x.e
_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, 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
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Qouble underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
1t
.,
.,
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
2
3
4
5
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:
6
*
(e)
*
*
7
8
9
Special Projects
Manager[.]~
and
Development Ombudsman.
ill
Sec. 2. Expedited Effective Date.
The Council declares that this legislation
lOis necessary for the immediate protection of the public interest. This Act takes
11
effect on the date when it becomes law.
Approved:
12
l3
14
Craig Rice, President, County Council
Date
15
16
17
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
18
19
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
Q
\.::.../F:\LAW\BILLS\1458 Administration-Nonmerit Positions\BiI\ LDoc
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Expedited Bill
-14, Structure of County Government - Non-merit Positions Development Ombudsman
The requested legislation creates a non-merit position ofDevelopment Ombudsman in
the Office of County Executive .
.This new position is needed to facilitate the approval process ofcommercial
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.
DESCRIPTION:
PROBLEM:
GOALSAND
OBJECTIVES:
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 p!ocess, permitting, and general regulatory procedures and to facilitate
necessary changes
that
bring about tangible improvements that save both time and
costs.
COORDINATION: Office of
Human
Resources
FISCAL IMPACT: Office ofManagement and Budget
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
nla
nla
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
nla
Stuart Weisberg OHR (7-5154)
WITIDN
MUNICIPALITIES: nla
PENALTIES:
wa
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.~
j
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVlLLB, MARYLAND 2OSst)
Isiah
Leggett
County Executive
MEMORANDUM
October 31, 2014
TO:
Craig Rice, President
Montgomery County Council
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
~
FROM:
SUBJECT:
~--
'"I(J
--
~
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
240-773-3556 TTY
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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
Regulation Number
18-14
Effective Date
Office ofHuman 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 IA-204 and 2-26(f)
Supersedes: none
.
Council review: Method (I)
Montgomery County Register,
Volume xx, Issue xx
Comment deadline:
Effective
dare: _________________
Summary:
TIrls regulation provides a position description for the non-merit position ofDevelopment
Ombudsman in the Office ofthe County Executive.
It
includes a definition of the wor14
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 IA-1 04(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 ,Street, 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.
Dou~
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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MONTGOMERY COUNTY
EXECUTIVE REGULATION
Offices of the County Executive. 101 Monroe Street. Rockville, Maryland
Subject
Position Description for Development Ombudsman
Regulation Number
18-14
Effective Date
Originating Department
I
Office
ofHuman Resources
Position Description for Development Ombudsman
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is senier 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 of the County Executive. As this is anon-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 com mercial 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 regulatory procedures 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-NCPPC, SHA, DEP, MMCDDT, MOOT, MOE,
MHT, DBED 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 balance between
(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 (Le., 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 cQnceptual 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 assign ments 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
an~
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
C1tM«-
[.W~
lohql\f
Date
~----------------------------------------~®
(Page 4 of 4)
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Fiscal Impact Statement
Bill XX-14
Position Description for DeveJopment Ombudsman in tbe Office
1.
Summary.
of
the Co'untY Executive
ThisbiU
will create the non.merit position ofDevelopment Ombudsman
in
the Office
of
the County Executive.
2. An estimate of cbanges 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, and
m~thodologies
used.
The estimated annualized compensation costs for this position are $198,600, based on the
average salary paid to other Question A employees within Montgomery County
Government.
.
AssQJIljng
this positiop
Wilf.
qe
filledfor~e s~cond
half
of
FVIS,
the total Cost
for
the
current
fiscal
year ,will
be
apprdximateIy'$99~3d6
in compensation for
a
total six-year
estimated cost of $1,092,300.
key'tcsporr~i~ilities"of
the·ombudsrilan'·
po~ition
ihc1ude' thci:
pr()fubtio~ofr6gulntory
efficiencyandcdnsistency. both internal and external to COWlty 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,
indetenninate.
".
"
3.
See the
~;pons~
to
it~m i.~
#c"enuea~~ex,pe~dltur.~;
estir;.fttes
cov~ring,at 'lea~t tb~ n~xt~ fise~lyear~.
' .,
' " ..
,. , . . "
4.
An
actuariaJ analysis through
the entire
amorti7..Dtion period
for
each bill
that
would
affect retiree
pension
or group
insurance costs.
N/A
S. 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
wilJ
be spent by participants in the hiring process. The total time needed is
indetenninate and wilt vary based on the nunlber and qualifications of the applicants.
(j)
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7. An explanation of how the addition of new staff responsibilities would affect other
duties.
N/A
8.
An
estimate of costs wben an additional appropriation
is
needed.
See response to item 2.
9. A description of any variable that could affect revenue and
cost
estimates.
The salary for a new hire can vary from the estimate based on the credentials of the
selected
candidate.
10. Ranges of revenue or expenditures that
are
uncertain or difficult
to
project.
N/A
11.
If
lit
bill is
likely to
have
DO
fiscal impact, wby tbat is tbe
case.
N/A
12. Other
f'lScal
impacts
or
comments.
N/A
13.
~he
fonowing contributed
to
and
concurred with this
analysis:
Lori
O'Brien,
OHR
Compensation
Manager
Cotey Orlosky,
OMB
Management
and Budget Specialist
Date
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Economic Impact Statement
Expedited BDI ##-14, Strueture of Coonty Government
Non-merit PositioJUJ - Development Ombudsman
,Background:
This legislation would
create
a non-merit position ofDevelopment
~bodsman
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 methodologies
used.
Not applicable·
2. A
description of any variable that could affeet the economic impact estimates.
There
are
no variables that could affect the economic impact
estimates.
3. The Bill's
positive or negative effect,
if
any on employment, spending, saving,
investment, incomes, and
property
values
in
the County.
Expedited Bill ##-14 e$bIishes
a
position
that
would facilitate commercial
and
residentia1 development projects and thereby encourage economic development in
the
COlUlty.
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
hav~
a
positive impact' on
economic development and
the
County's economy.
4.
If
a
Bill
is likely
to
have no economic impact, 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 concurred with this analysis:
David
Platt
and Rob
Hagedoom, Finance.
Page 1 of1