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About the Council

The Montgomery County Council is the legislative branch of County Government. It has nine members, all elected at the same time by the voters of Montgomery County for four-year terms. The terms of the present Council, elected November 2010, began at noon on December 6, 2010 and will continue until noon on the first Monday in December 2014.

Five members of the Council are elected by the voters of their respective council districts. The county is also divided among our police and fire districts, and of course, our great school system. Four members, including Councilmember Hans Riemer, are elected at-large by all the voters of the County. The Council officers are elected by the Council from among its members in December for a one-year term. Officers for 2012-2013 are:

The Council’s Responsibilities

The County Council’s responsibilities are specified by the County Charter and state law. Some of the Council’s principal responsibilities are:
  • Appropriates money to fund the capital and operating budgets and sets the local property tax rate and other local taxes.
  • Approves all land use plans including the General Plan, area master plans, and sector plans prepared by the Planning Board.
  • Acts on zoning changes.
  • Exercises oversight over County programs to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Approves the six-year capital improvements, public services, and fiscal policy programs.
  • Approves the county Ten Year Solid Waste and Water Supply and Sewerage System Plans.
  • Serves as the Board of Health for Montgomery County.
  • Enacts all County laws and amendments to the Code.
  • The Council sets the tax rates required to fund the County budgets.
  • The Council confirms major appointments made by the County Executive and appoints the members of the Montgomery County Planning Board and the Board of Appeals.
  • Acts on or initiates reorganization plans for the County government’s executive branch.
  • Directs and reviews the annual independent audit of County government operations.

When the Council Meets

The Council generally meets on Tuesdays beginning at 9 a.m. The Council meets other days in committees and frequently holds public hearings and forums in the evenings. Nearly all Council meetings are open to the public.

Council Procedures

The Council conducts business in the following manner:
  • An item of business is introduced at a regular Tuesday session. The public is notified through the advance agenda and Council report and the Council’s website.
  • The Council schedules a public hearing if required by law, which is advertised in Montgomery County newspapers as well as in the agenda. Special measures may be advertised by press release.
  • After the public hearing, the Council holds committee and full Council worksessions. For worksessions, the staff prepares a packet of material for the Council’s consideration that summarizes issues raised.
  • Worksessions are open to the public and are publicized through the agenda mailing. After the worksessions, the item is brought before the Council for final action, usually at a regular Tuesday session.

Standing Committees

There are currently six Council standing committees: Education; Health and Human Services; Government and Fiscal Policy, Planning, Housing, and Economic Development; Public Safety; and Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment. Each Committee has budget review and program oversight responsibilities. Some cross-cutting issues may be reviewed by two committees meeting jointly.

In some of the committees, an individual other than the Chair has been designated as the Lead Councilmember for an issue or group of issues. Lead Councilmembers take the initiative in developing agenda items in their areas of responsibility and act as chair of the committee when their items are being discussed.

Council committees customarily meet on Mondays and Thursdays. During the Council budget seasons (January through June), committee sessions are held more frequently.

Hans Riemer currently serves on the following Committees & Boards:
    • MEMBER: Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GOFP)
      • JURISDICTION: Economic and fiscal policy; spending affordability; County Government administrative departments; cable and telecommunications issues; technology issues; personnel and compensation issues; procurement policy; oversight of interagency teams on training, public information, procurement, and PEG (public, education, and government) cable television channels.
    • MEMBER: Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment (T&E)
      • JURISDICTION: Water and sewer issues and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission; issues relating to environmental protection and conservation, including forest conservation; solid waste issues, including the incinerator and landfills; issues relating to State and County roads and streets, including snow removal and street lighting.

General County Council Contact Information
  • Mail: 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850
  • (240) 777-7900 (voice)
  • Dial 711 or call (800) 201-7165 (TTY for hearing impaired)
  • (240) 777-7888 (fax)
  • Legislative Information Services: (240) 777-7910
  • Listen to Council Sessions and Committee Meetings Live: (240) 773-3377
  • E-mail: county.council (AT) (Please note: E-mail sent to this address is included in the daily mail log, which is available to all Councilmembers and staff, and becomes part of the official public record).

Individual Councilmember Contact Information
  • Phil Andrews: 240-777-7906 or councilmember.andrews (AT)
  • Roger Berliner: 240-777-7828 or councilmember.berliner (AT)
  • Marc Elrich: 240-777-7966 or councilmember.elrich (AT)
  • Valerie Ervin: 240-777-7960 or councilmember.ervin (AT)
  • Nancy Floreen: 240-777-7959 or councilmember.floreen (AT)
  • George Leventhal: 240-777-7811 or councilmember.leventhal (AT)
  • Nancy Navarro: 240-777-7968 or councilmember.navarro (AT)
  • Craig Rice: 240-777-7955 or councilmember.rice (AT)
  • Hans Riemer: 240-777-7964 or councilmember.riemer (AT)