ROCKVILLE—In his last day as president of the Montgomery County Council, Roger Berliner spoke with reporters in Rockville, recounting a year that included continued budget wrangling, squabbles over Pepco's performance and steps to aid small businesses and stimulate economic development.
Click here to a see a video of Berliner’s remarks.
Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring took the reins as the council’s new president on Tuesday.
But before he stepped aside during Tuesday's council meeting, Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Potomac outlined what he sees as the council’s greatest accomplishments during his yearlong term.
The council on Tuesday also released a list of accomplishments from the past year, including:
- Fiscal stewardship, including a property tax rate below the county’s charter limit for the first time in 11 years.
- A focus on economic development, including creation of a “small business navigator” to help businesses wade through government regulations and bureaucracy and
- Pursuing expanded transportation options, including planning for bus rapid transit.
- Support of Montgomery County Public Schools.
- Strengthening the county’s safety net services, including health care for the uninsured.
- Protecting the environment, including new business codes that promote energy efficiency and a tax credit for green businesses.
- Enhanced public safety, including reforms to the police disability retirement system.
- Promoted affordable housing through legislation requiring consideration of affordable housing collocation on county-owned land.
- Advocating for “21st century” utility service, including increased reliability for all utility ratepayers.
- Support of the county’s arts organizations, libraries, and recreation centers, including the restoration of staffing and hours at some libraries.
- Support for seniors, veterans and working families, including a “Senior Agenda” for funding senior services in the budget.
- Support for people with disabilities, including backing ballot Question A, which supports preferential hiring in county government for people with disabilities.
- Innovation and good government, including funding a new couty position of Chief Innovation Officer.
- Infrastructure funding, including increases for road maintenance and resurfacing and for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission's water and sewer pipe maintenance and replacement programs.
Tell us: What were the County Council’s big wins for the year? What work remains to be done?