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Montgomery County Council Meets on Sept. 19 to vote on the Safe Streets Act of 2023

MARYLAND, September 19 - For Immediate Release: Monday, September 18, 2023

Also on Sept. 19: Public hearing on Spending Affordability Guidelines; proclamation presentations recognizing Opioid Awareness Month, the retirement of Agricultural Services Director Jeremy Criss and National Dog Service Month

The Montgomery County Council will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. and will begin with two proclamation presentations. The first, presented by Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Sidney Katz will recognize Opioid Awareness Month. The second, presented by Councilmember Marilyn Balcombe, Vice President Andrew Friedson and Councilmember Dawn Luedtke will recognizing the retirement of Agricultural Services Director Jeremy Criss.

At 1:30 p.m. an additional proclamation, presented by Councilmembers Luedtke, Natali Fani-González and Laurie-Anne Sayles and Council President Evan Glass, will recognize National Dog Service Month.

More detail on each agenda item is provided below. 

Legislative Session

Bill 35-23, County Minimum Wage – Tipped Employees

Introduction: Lead sponsors Councilmembers Will Jawando and Kristin Mink will introduce Bill 35-23, County Minimum Wage – Tipped Employees, which would adjust the calculation of the minimum wage for tipped workers and phase out the tip credit amount under the County minimum wage law. Under current County law, an employer calculating a minimum wage may include within the calculation a “tip credit” for tipped workers. The bill would discontinue the tip credit for minimum wage workers as of July 1, 2028.

The tip credit represents an amount of the minimum wage a worker is expected to receive in tips. The current amount of the credit is the hourly minimum wage minus four dollars or a lesser credit if the employee or representative of the employee satisfies the Executive Director of the Office of Human Rights that the employee receives a lesser amount in tips. The limit and phase-out of the tip credit would be staggered over multiple years as proposed in the legislation.

A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10, 2023.

Bill 34-23, County Minimum Wage - Wage Commission – Established

Introduction: Lead sponsor Councilmember Jawando and will introduce Bill 34-23, County Minimum Wage - Wage Commission – Established, which would establish an advisory wage commission to make recommendations to the County Executive and the County Council regarding minimum wages and working conditions by industry in the County and specify the membership and duties of the wage commission. The Wage Commission established under the bill would consist of seven members. The County Executive would appoint six of the members, subject to confirmation by the Council.

A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10, 2023.

Bill 11-23, Motor Vehicles and Traffic - Traffic Control Signals, Devices, and Enforcement Action Plan (Safe Streets Act)

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Bill 11-23, Motor Vehicles and Traffic - Traffic Control Signals, Devices, and Enforcement Action Plan, also known as the Safe Streets Act of 2023. The Safe Streets Act of 2023, spearheaded by lead sponsor Council President Glass, would create safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists on Montgomery County roadways. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors. The Transportation and Environment (TE) Committee recommends enactment with amendments.

Bill 11-23 would require an infrastructure review for pedestrian-related collisions within a County’s school zone; prohibit a driver of a motor vehicle from making a right turn on a red at certain intersections; require certain traffic control devices at crosswalks in the County’s downtown and town center areas; and require the County Executive to provide an automated traffic enforcement plan.

Consent Calendar

Each item on the Council’s Consent Calendar can be found on the Council agenda for Tuesday, Sept. 19, which is available on the Council website.

Public Hearings

Unless otherwise noted, the Council will hold the following hybrid public hearings at 1:30 p.m.  Residents can visit the Council website to learn about the multiple ways to provide testimony.

Spending Affordability Guidelines for the FY25 Capital Budget and the FY25-FY30 Capital Improvements Program

Public hearing: The Council will hold a public hearing on Spending Affordability Guidelines for the FY25 Capital Budget and the FY25-FY30 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). These guidelines limit certain types of debt that may be programmed for expenditures in the CIP and set the Council’s voting thresholds for the capital budget each year.

The Council must adopt spending affordability guidelines for the aggregate capital budget by the first Tuesday in Oct. of every odd calendar year. By evaluating and setting appropriate debt levels every two years, the Council preserves the County’s fiscal health and manages the amount of general funds required for debt service. The Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee is tentatively scheduled to review the guidelines on Sept. 21.

Proposed Council Closed Session

At 1:45 p.m., the Council is expected to hold a proposed closed session to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice under Maryland Code, General Provisions Article §3-305(b)(7); and to consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation under §3-305(b)(8).  Topics are County procurement law and all pending litigation involving the County.

Proposed Committee Closed Session

Executive Director Recruitment Committee

At 3 p.m. the ad hoc Executive Director Recruitment Committee is expected to meet in a closed session to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction, pursuant to Maryland Code, General Provisions Article §3-305(b)(1)(i), and §3-305(b)(14), before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, to discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process. Topic is a personnel matter concerning one or more specific appointees, employees, or officials, and engagement of executive search firms.

The purpose of this ad hoc Council committee is to evaluate the role and responsibilities of the Council's executive director position and make decisions about the recruitment process. The work of this temporary committee coincides with Council Executive Director Marlene Michaelson's decision to leave her post in February 2024.

The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. View the current Council and Committee agendas, Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review on the Council website.

Council and committee meetings are streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.

Release ID: 23-298
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926, Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884