County Council Committee to Conduct Oversight Meeting on OIG Report About MCPS Complaint Processing on Thursday, February 8

The Montgomery County Council will hold committee meetings on Thursday February 8 and Friday, February 9. Meeting agendas below courtesy Montgomery County:

Per the press release: Joint Audit and Education and Culture Committee will conduct oversight meeting on OIG report about Montgomery County Public Schools complaint processing; Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee will receive an overview of the FY25-30 Capital Improvements Program; and Joint Economic Development and Education and Culture Committee will receive update on economic opportunities associated with sports

The joint Economic Development (ECON) and Education and Culture (EC) Committee will meet on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 9:30 a.m. to receive an update on economic opportunities in the sports and sports tourism industry.

The members of the ECON Committee include Chair Natali Fani-González and Councilmembers Marilyn Balcombe, Evan Glass and Laurie-Anne Sayles.

The members of the EC Committee include Chair Will Jawando and Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Kristin Mink.

The Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee will meet at 1 p.m. to receive an overview of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025-2030 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and review the Infrastructure Maintenance Taskforce Report.

The members of the GO Committee include Chair and Council Vice President Kate Stewart, Council President Andrew Friedson and Councilmember Sidney Katz.

The EC Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to review a $724,442 supplemental Appropriation for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and the Maryland Works Developing and Implementing Systems to Accelerate Youth Apprenticeships Grant.

The joint Audit and EC Committee will meet at 3 p.m. to discuss Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report #OIG-24-08, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Complaint Processing.

The members of the Audit Committee include Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Chair and Council Vice President Stewart, Council President Friedson and Councilmember Katz.

The ad hoc Executive Director Recruitment Committee is scheduled to meet in a proposed closed session on Friday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. under Maryland Code, General Provisions Article, Section 3-305(b)(1)(i). The topic is the appointment of an employee over whom the Council has jurisdiction.

More detail on each agenda item is provided below.

Economic Opportunities in the Sports/Sport Tourism Industry

Briefing: The joint ECON and EC Committee will receive a briefing about growing sports tourism in Montgomery County and identifying workforce development opportunities. At this meeting, a panel of stakeholders from the sports tourism industry will conduct a presentation focusing on opportunities and challenges for growing the industry.

The sports tourism industry refers to economic activity generated in Montgomery County by sports teams. While Montgomery County does not have a professional sports team, youth and amateur sports are very popular among residents and facilities are often booked weeks or months in advance.

Overview of the Recommended FY25-30 Capital Improvements Program

Review: The GO Committee will review the macro assumptions in the County Executive’s recommended FY25-30 CIP. On Jan. 16, the County Executive transmitted the Recommended FY25 Capital Budget and the Recommended FY25-30 CIP. In the CIP, spending is recommended to increase by more than $133 million or 2.3 percent in the six-year period, rising from more than $5.7 billion to more than $5.8 billion. The County Charter calls for a biennial CIP process and for a new CIP to be approved by June 1 in even-numbered years. This year is a full CIP review year and every project in the CIP is is included in the Council’s review.

Infrastructure Maintenance Task Force Preliminary Report

Review: The GO Committee will review the preliminary report of the Infrastructure Maintenance Task Force. Compiled every four years, the report describes the funding necessary to maintain County agencies’ infrastructure in both the capital and operating budgets. The task force focuses on capital programs that rehabilitate infrastructure or replace it in kind and on operating programs engaged in preventive maintenance. The preliminary report is provided prior to approval of the capital and operating budgets.

Supplemental Appropriation #24-48 to the FY24 Operating Budget, $724,442 for the Maryland Works, Developing and Implementing Systems to Accelerate Youth Apprenticeships Grant

Review: The EC Committee will review a $724,442 supplemental appropriation for MCPS and the Maryland Works Developing and Implementing Systems to Accelerate Youth Apprenticeships Grant. This is a competitive grant from the Maryland Department of Education that leverages one-time American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds for investments in establishing industry aligned youth apprenticeship infrastructure for Maryland schools and business sectors. The grant will fund an MCPS partnership with HCM Strategists, a national education policy consulting organization, and the Maryland Department of Labor to develop and implement systems to accelerate and sustain youth apprenticeship opportunities.

Office of Inspector General Report #OIG-24-08, MCPS Complaint Processing

Review: The joint Audit and EC Committee will meet to review OIG Report #OIG-24-08, MCPS Complaint Processing. On Aug. 11, 2023, The Washington Post published an article detailing allegations of sexual harassment and bullying by an MCPS employee who had recently received a promotion within the school system. Multiple investigations have ensued in the intervening months, conducted by MCPS, an external legal firm and the Montgomery County inspector general.

The OIG has issued three reports related to this issue and this meeting will focus on the third and most recent report, OIG Report #OIG-24-08. This report sought to assess whether MCPS has effective procedures for the receipt, assignment, investigation, referral, resolution, documentation and retention of allegations of misconduct by its employees.

Ad Hoc Committee on Executive Director Recruitment

Proposed Closed Session: The ad hoc committee on Executive Director Recruitment intends to meet in 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, under Maryland Code, General Provisions Article §3-305(b)(1)(i). The topic is the appointment of an employee over whom the Council has jurisdiction.

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 2024.

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