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Dear Residents,

Today we concluded our work on next year’s budget.  A $5.4 billion dollar budget, a budget larger than some states.  

I know you will be pleased to hear that we did not raise taxes!  It is a fiscally responsible budget.  At the same time, it is a budget that reflects our values and our commitment to the fundamentals of county government – schools, transportation, the state of our roads, and the maintenance of our libraries and recreation centers.  We strengthened the safety net that helps those most vulnerable, made significant strides in providing more pre-k and child care, and supported programs to help our businesses thrive and our economy grow.  

In the pages that follow, you will be able to learn more as to how we will invest your hard earned tax dollars.  In the video linked above, you can hear my full comments on next year's budget.  Should you need additional information on these topics, or any other issue, please do not hesitate to call (240-777-7828) or email my office at any time.

Roger Berliner
Council President
District 1



FY18 Budget By Infographic

(Click the Infographic to see an enlarged version)

School Budget & Educational Programs

As always, one of our County’s highest priorities and most basic responsibilities is education.  The collaboration between the Council, the Board of Education, Superintendent Smith and the school system reflects our shared commitment to providing a world class education for all Montgomery County students, while using transparent metrics that will allow us to gauge our progress.  Being able to work in true partnership with our MCPS colleagues has helped us address the critical needs of our growing school system and ensure that it remains one of the best school systems in the country. 

  • Funded 100% of the school system’s $2.52 billion FY18 operating budget request in our capital improvement budget, an increase of $64.6 million from FY17 budget
  • Funded an additional 103.8 full time employees over the FY17 approved level, for a total of 22,284 positions
  • Added more than $4.5 million in this budget for Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start programs to serve students from low-income families
  • Allocated $314.7 million for Montgomery County, $3.2 million above the County Executive's recommended budget, to strengthen its impact and support the quality programming it offers
  • Increased the budget for the Montgomery County Adult English Literacy by $200,000 - bringing it to a total of $1.66 million - including a $100,000 to support additional Adult ESOL programs 


Providing A Safety Net:
Housing, and Health & Human Services

Our county has a strong social safety net for our neighborhoods in need.  Strengthening that safety net is more important than ever as needs grow.  We must face with clear-eyed resoluteness the growing poverty in our midst, and this budget does that.


  • Allocated $1.76 million to provide a 2 percent increase to eligible contracts with non-profit services providers, so that they can continue to endeavor to end chronic homelessness, address the scourge of hunger, provide essential medical services to our most vulnerable, and confront the mental health challenges in our community
  • Approved $3.2 million for 138 Council grants to nonprofit organizations for a variety of programs that support youth development, housing, health, hunger prevention, services for seniors and the disabled, and community and economic development


  • Approved $185,286 to expand the Senior Cold Meal Program to five days per week, and administer it an additional four weeks per year
  • Approved $5,140 for public information on selecting caregivers

Public Health:

  • Approved $100,719 for the Care for Kids program to meet increased program demand
  • Approved $78,983 for the Care for Kids Behavioral Health program
  • Approved $76,893 for an additional Montgomery Cares 1,000 visits to meet increased demand
  • Approved $147,560 for to increase the reimbursement rate for Montgomery Cares clinics by $2 (to $73)
  • Approved $161,906 for a dental clinic director of the county dental program
  • Approved $76,588 for a Healthcare for the Homeless nurse case manager
  • Approved $76,700 to increase capacity for the mobile dental program for the homeless

Food Security:

  • Approved $80,000 for ongoing implementation of the County's Food Security Plan
  • Approved an additional $150,000 for weekend food for elementary school students at high FARMs schools

Early Childhood Education:

  • Approved $2 million to increase WPA subsidies for children birth to 5 years old
  • Allocated $342,000 for Pre-K services for 40 3-to-5 year-olds (delivered by Centro Nia)
  • Added $2,186,180 to support expansion of 10 MCPS Head Start classrooms to full school day programs


  • Approved $59.1 million in capital and operating budget resources to be available for program uses in the Housing Initiative Fund (HIF), the highest level since FY10
  • Allocated funding within the HIF to ensure funding for the permanent supportive housing needed for the Inside (not Outside) initiative, which houses the County’s chronically homeless
  • Allocated up to $1 million from the HIF to capitalize the new Montgomery Homeownership Program, which provides up to $40,000 in down payment assistance for households using the Maryland Mortgage Program
  • Allocated $1.3 million of funding for Code Enforcement Inspectors and staff associated with the enhanced code enforcement as part of a two-year intensive inspection program for multi-family rental housing, as required by Bill 19-15
  • Added $210,000 to enhance tenant advocacy and outreach services focused on assisting tenants in resolving complaints


Building a Transportation Future & Maintaining Our Environmental Stewardship

Transportation-related items were high on our list as we went through this budget, as they should be given the state of traffic in our County.  Through our efforts in this budget, we created new Ride On routes, increased service to existing routes, took a major step toward the creation of Montgomery County's Bus Rapid Transit network, and began allocating funding to prevent traffic crashes as part of our Vision Zero plan.  We also endeavored to reinvest in our environment, by adding money for tree planting throughout the County. Here are the details of all these efforts and more: 

  • Approved $1 million to initiate a new, limited-stop Ride On extRa service on Route 355 between Lakeforest Mall and the Medical Center Metro Station, starting in October
  • Allocated $7.5 million in next fiscal year's budget to study and design the County's first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route on Route 29
  • Approved $705,000 for new Ride On routes in Clarksburg and the Upcounty area to the Shady Grove Metro Station to provide needed services to one of the fastest growing parts of our County
  • Funded installation of 12 new Capital Bikeshare stations, including the first nine stations in the White Flint and Twinbrook areas
  • Added $6.9 million for neighborhood road resurfacing for a total of $12 million in FY18 and added funding in the FY17 resurfacing fund for a total of $16.2 million
  • Added $100,000 for a Vision Zero grant program that will fund traffic safety projects proposed by government agencies, non-profits and community organizations
  • Added $500,000 to plant nearly 3,000 street trees in neighborhoods across the County
  • Funded a state-of-the-art traffic signal operation that has been shown to reduce travel times by 10% to 15%


Strengthening our Commitment
to Public Safety

Our County's public safety apparatus is among our most important, and most fundamental services.  In order to keep our county safe and secure, my colleagues and I included a number of new recruit classes as well as new equipment to stations across the County to help reinforce and support the tremendous work our public safety officers undertake on a daily basis. 

  • Increased our public safety budget by restoring overnight police department coverage
    and added sixteen new patrol officers as well as two Community Engagement officers
  • Added two police recruit classes  - one starting in July 2017 with 32 candidates and the other starting January 2018 with 36 candidates
  • Added recruit class expected to graduate 65 firefighters. Five of those positions will support the Advanced Life Support (ALS) chase car at Aspen Hill (Station 40) and the remaining 60 will replace personnel lost through attrition
  • Included $190,500 and one new captain position to provide liaison services at the WMATA Rail Operations Control Center
  • Added $450,000 for five full-time employees to staff a paramedic position at Takoma Park Station 2
  • Approved $132,288 for the County's first supervised visitation center, which will fund two guards, three observers, metal detectors, security cameras, and keep the the center open for 28 hours a week


Supporting our Parks and

One of the qualities that I think sets our County apart from other communities is our commitment to what I would call the soul of Montgomery County.  We value our natural resources, our parks, and recreation opportunities – all of which help to keep us grounded.  This budget reflects those values too.


  • Approved a total budget of $37.8 million for the Department of Recreation, an increase of $3.5 million (10.1 percent) over the FY17 approved budget
  • Approved a net increase of six full-time and three part-time positions—the sixth straight year the number of positions have increased (although the total number of positions remain fewer than pre-recession levels).
  • Added $298,092 for an additional Dream Academy Program to allow a program at JoAnn Leleck at Broad Acres and Harmony Hills elementary schools. Funding will also support the staffing needed for program oversight and expansion
  • Added $52,742 for an additional day of programming each week at the new Dream Academy site (Leleck at Broad Acres) for half-year
  • Added $52,742 for an additional day of programming each week at the second highest need Dream Academy program (Harmony Hills) for half-year
  • Added $97,898 for an additional day of programming each week at the existing Dream Academy program at South Lake Elementary School for full year


  • Approved a tax-supported budget of $94.8 million for the Parks system (which includes 418 parks) -- a $1.3 million increase over the County Executive’s recommendation
  • Approved $100,000 transfer from the Cable Fund for a “WiFi in the Parks” pilot program
  • Restored funding to critical park programs/initiatives, including: 
    • $125,000 for activating urban parks
    • $625,463 for improving ballfields
    • $212,269 to enhance/expand the trail system
    • $109,541 for operating budget impacts for new and expanded parks
    • $236,699 for inflationary increases to sustain current level of service at parks/facilities
    • $81,329 for a Program Access Outreach Specialist to assist with ADA compliance by providing inclusionary services for patrons of park facilities and programs




Creating Economic Opportunities and Strengthening Our Local Economy

Supporting and maintaining a healthy, vibrant economy is paramount to our county’s future.  In this budget, we have taken steps to create a stronger business climate and support our small businesses, the lifeblood of our county’s economy.

  • Funding for Business Solutions Group to provide greater constituent service and support for our County’s small businesses
  • Funding for new microloan program to support entrepreneurial enterprises
  • Continued funding and support for the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) which is tasked to accelerate business growth and retention in Montgomery County
  • Increased funding for workforce training


Other Budget Highlights

  • Increased grant funding by $100,000, for a total of $5.4 million
  • Added $100,000 to enhance arts funding throughout Montgomery County
  • Provided $150,000 for operating support for the National Philharmonic
  • Approved an FY18 budget of $42.7 million for Montgomery County Public Libraries, an increase of $1.07 million over the approved FY17 budget, that will expand hours at three branches (Kensington Park, Little Falls and Twinbrook) and help maintain our County libraries
  • Provided $5.095 million for the Public Election Fund for the 2018 election cycle, bringing the total funding to $11 million
  • Allocated $10,000 to strengthen outreach and translation services for our senior community

FY18 Budget Useful Links