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Montgomery Organizational Reform Commission to Hold Public Forum on Wednesday, October 20 | Community Spirit

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Montgomery Organizational Reform Commission to Hold Public Forum on Wednesday, October 20

        The Montgomery County Organizational Reform Commission, appointed by County Executive Isiah Leggett and the County Council, will hold a public forum on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.  Residents who can offer suggestions on ways to restructure and improve the current organization of County Government and County-funded agencies are encouraged to attend.

        The eight-member commission, named in July, was created at the urging of Leggett and Councilmember Roger Berliner.  It is composed of County residents who are experienced in government, business and non-profit service delivery. The volunteer commission is scheduled to provide recommendations to the County Executive and Council by Jan. 31, 2011. 

        “Finding new ways to make government more efficient and effective in these tough economic times is a challenge, and we want to make sure we are not overlooking good ideas,” said Leggett.  “I encourage residents to share their suggestions with our commission by attending the forum and participating.”   

        Residents can sign up in advance to speak at the forum by calling 240-777-7814 or 240-777-7938.  If time allows, speakers who do not sign up in advance will also be able to offer suggestions.  Written suggestions will also be accepted. Since starting its work, the commission has been soliciting ideas and suggestions for potential reorganization or consolidation from elected officials; residents; business and community leaders; County and agency employees; bargaining unit representatives; and other stakeholders. 

        The commission will draft and adopt written criteria to evaluate suggestions that merit further consideration.  The criteria must include a minimum level of potential cost savings; a standard for ease of implementation; and a measure of acceptable service level impact.

        The County Executive’s appointments to the commission include:  M. Cristina Echavarren of Chevy Chase, an executive with a non-profit organization who is experienced in modernizing budget and accounting processes; Joan Fidler of Bethesda, the president of the Montgomery County Taxpayers League; Susan Heltemes of Silver Spring, who has led and managed teams for nationally recognized research firm Westat; and Richard Wegman of Bethesda, the former chief counsel and staff director of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Governmental Affairs.

        The Council appointments include:  Scott Fosler of Chevy Chase, who has served as president of the National Academy of Public Administration; Daniel Hoffman of Rockville, who for the past nine years has managed organization transformation and process analysis efforts as a senior associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Washington Federal Practice; Vernon H. Ricks, Jr., of Potomac,  a former Takoma Park City Councilmember who has served on the boards of directors of Maryland Municipal League and the National League of Cities; and Len Simon of Bethesda, the president of the Edgemoor Citizens Association and an employee of the Washington-based firm Simon and Company that works with local governments.

        Richard Wegman and Vernon H. Ricks, Jr. are co-chairs of the commission.  The final report must contain the commission’s recommendations to reorganize or consolidate functions performed by County government or County-funded agencies, along with the rationale and estimated cost savings associated with implementation.

           Residents with comments, suggestions and ideas about reorganizing County government are welcome to email them to the commission at any time at organizational.reform@montgomerycountymd.gov .