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Andrew Friedson

Councilmember

Andrew Friedson
 
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Featured Stories

Ensuring Fiscal Oversight

October 15, 2019 - The residents of Montgomery County deserve and rightfully expect County government to spend their hard-earned taxpayer dollars appropriately, effectively, and efficiently. That requires a serious commitment to fiscal oversight that I believe is one of the County Council’s most fundamental responsibilities.

That’s why I’m so pleased to have worked with Council President Nancy Navarro and Council Vice President Sidney Katz to craft legislation the Council unanimously approved last week that for the first time requires a proactive financial audit of potentially high-risk County contracts by the independent County Inspector General’s office. This rotating, department-by-department review of County spending and financial controls will help us identify and prevent waste, fraud and abuse.

While preparing this legislation, we found that Montgomery County lags behind many of our peer jurisdictions around the region when it comes to funding for fiscal oversight activities. This is critical work. While it comes at a cost, that cost in dollars pales in comparison to the cost in public trust if we don’t take care of this core responsibility to you.

MORE:  https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/Resources/Files/agenda/col/2019/20191015/20191015_9.pdf

Join Councilmember Friedson and Commander Gagen for a Community Conversation
Activating Parks and Open Space

 

September 19, 2019 - As the Council's Parks Lead, I recently got to see how Montgomery Parks staff are creating vibrant facilities offering the activities that are in most demand by our residents.

I also want to give you a sense of the improvements that will be happening in downtown Bethesda. One of the key recommendations of the 2017 Bethesda Downtown Plan was to increase parks and open space. The newly revitalized and expanded Battery Lane Park was reopened this summer, the Council provided the funding to purchase land across from the Bethesda Row Cinema at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues to create the new Capital Crescent Civic Green, and now exciting plans are underway to expand green space and civic space at the Bethesda Farm Women's Market.

The proposed plan includes an array of public use spaces including a playground, an open lawn, a dog park, an amphitheater/pavilion, a splash pad, flexible space for special events, and an expanded and revitalized retail market. The Planning Board will review the Sketch Plan for this project sometime this fall.

Whether it's a dog park, playground, cricket field, or the rehabilitation of a historic building to create a community gathering place, we'll continue to fight to ensure our parks system has the resources needed to best serve you.

Inclusive Housing Options

 

September 17, 2019 - This week, the Council unanimously passed Bill 20-19. This legislation, which I introduced earlier this summer, waives County licensing fees for disabled individuals in accessory dwelling units (ADUs). This bill enables residents with qualified disabilities, seniors, and veterans to take advantage of ADUs and remain close to their loved ones with one fewer financial barrier.

From my experience working to launch the Maryland ABLE program at the state level, I became acutely aware of the significant challenges so many families in our community face. Advocates and families expressed a strong interest in ADUs as a way to provide dignity and independence while ensuring family members are in close enough proximity to offer comfort and support when needed. As we looked at the accessibility of the County’s ADU program, this was an opportunity to be inclusive.

For a modest cost to the County, this bill represents a significant benefit for our families and our neighborhoods by allowing a more inclusive community.

Getting Back to Basics

 

August 23, 2019 - If we want residents to trust government to do big things, we have to first prove we can get the small things right. That starts at the local level.

Few things are more fundamental to our day-to-day quality of life than what the team at the Montgomery County Division of Highway Services Bethesda Depot does every day. I was able to ride along with them around District 1 on Monday. We filled potholes, toured the Depot facility, and checked in on two roads being rebuilt after they were blown out by the flooding on July 8.

It was an awesome opportunity to see how some of the most fundamental local government responsibilities are carried out and a reminder of how important it is that we continue to focus on the basics.

Improving our County’s Economic Competitiveness

 

July 30, 2019 - Thanks to my Montgomery County MD Council colleagues for their unanimous support of Bill 10-19 to strengthen the Economic Impact Statement process - showing that we see our business community as partners and recognizing the increasingly competitive regional, national, and international economic environment we face.

We must consider the impact legislation may have on nonprofits and employers who are paying the wages that sustain our quality of life and creating the tax revenue that helps fund the County services and investments we rely on.

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