County Council Seeks Applicants for the Merit System Protection Board

by Patrick Herron

Letters of application must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7.

In additional to Ms. Chiles (Democrat), other members of the Board are Harriet Davidson (Democrat), and Barbara S. Fredericks (Unaffiliated). By law, no more than two of the three members of the Merit System Protection Board may be of the same political party. The appointee for this position may be Republican, Democrat, someone who declines to affiliate with a party, or a member of another party officially recognized by the Board of Elections.

Generally, the Board oversees the Merit System and protects employee and applicant rights guaranteed under the County Merit System. The Board processes grievance and disciplinary appeals by issuing written decisions following review of written records or after conducting appropriate hearings.

The Board normally meets once per month during the day for approximately two hours, additional time is also required for preparatory work. Hearings are scheduled with consideration given to Board availability and held during the day. Duration of hearings are dependent upon issues of a given case and may last more than one day.

The Board, on a periodic basis, also conducts special studies, audits, or inquiries of the administration of the merit and retirement pay systems and, in this effort, may compel the attendance of witnesses. The Board also reviews and approves the creation of occupational classifications, certain personnel transactions, and provides comments on any proposed changes in Merit System law or regulations.

Members of the Board currently receive $8,275.45 per year, which is adjusted annually in December to reflect 50 percent of the percentage change in the Washington Area Consumer Price Index. The Chair receives $10,613.88 per year, also CPI adjusted annually.

Board members are restricted in political activity while serving. Section 403 of the County Charter states, in part: “No member shall hold political office or participate in any campaign for any political or public office during the member’s term of office.” Members of County Boards, Committees and Commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time.

Applicants should send a letter expressing interest, including a resume (no more than 4 pages in length) listing professional and civic experience, political party affiliation, home address, and email address to Council President Gabe Albornoz, via email to or by mail to County Council Office, Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD, 20850.

Letters of application must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7. A financial statement of assets, debts, income, and family property interests will be required of all applicants. Any interviews held are open to the public and will be televised, streamed live and available on YouTube and Facebook.

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