District Council Public Service Opportunities and Updates

Posted by Amanda Fiedler | Councilor, District 5

Anne Arundel County Council is currently in legislature for the month of August. While there are no public gatherings or discussions about laws, there is daily work for the residents of our neighborhood. One of the tasks of the district council is to appoint people to commissions within the district. Anne Arundel has a total of 60 boards, commissions and councils, and each of these boards is made up of selected volunteers who have been screened through an application process.

In the last three years of my activity on the council, I have voted on appointments to the appeal committee, the personnel commission, the pension supervisory commission, the soil protection district and the planning advisory board, to name just a few. With five dozen community service groups in the county, the need for interested and willing volunteers is critical to everyone’s success.

The district council has three upcoming dates when we return from our summer break. Appointments will be made to the Salary Standard Commission and the Ethics Commission in September.

The Salary Standards Commission is tasked with reviewing the council’s current compensation and benefits, comparing it with surrounding jurisdictions and counterparts across the country, and making recommendations for changes to the nearest county council. This is a four year term for all seven members.

The ethics committee was created by the electorate to administer the public ethics law and to train and advise the county’s staff. The commission assures the residents of the district that elected officials and employees will judge impartially and independently on decisions with which they are entrusted. One seat is available for this commission to be appointed by the Council.

Later this year, the council will appoint members to the Charter Review Commission and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will have the responsibility to review our district as part of the General Development Plan for Region 4 goals of Plan2040.

The Charter Review Commission has an important responsibility to the citizens of Anne Arundel County as its primary role is to recommend revisions to the county charter and redistribution of the city council. Simply put, our charter is the framework for the county government that grants powers, duties, and privileges to Anne Arundel County in particular. Our city council card determines in which of the seven boroughs you live. The commission is tasked with using the information from the 2020 census to create near-equal populations in each district. The District Council is actively seeking proposals for the Charter Review Commission.

Although the Council announces only four committee or committee appointments this year, it is very important that qualified, interested individuals be nominated for future consideration. Whether an unexpected vacancy or a term limit, the council is regularly responsible for filling these important mandates. I hope all residents will consider these options.

When the Council meets again in September, there will be two laws that I have presented for public comment and vote.

The first is Resolution 36-21, which will assist the county board in promptly entering into an agreement with Robert A. Pascal Youth and Family Services to rent a plot of land owned by the county adjacent to a current plot of land that Pascal Youth and Family Services currently owns rents. In 2019, Pascal entered into an agreement with the county to rent an empty building owned by the county and briskly invested over $ 700,000 to renovate and upgrade the interior and exterior to accommodate critical mental health services and health To offer beds for crisis patients. This new leasing option would help Pascal expand his services to meet his daily waiting list of over a dozen needy residents at no cost to the taxpayer.

This extension to a building with an elevator would also enable Pascal to offer mental health services to people with disabilities. While I was disappointed that the government asked the Council to reject this resolution, I will be unwavering in my support for growing private and public partnerships that will provide the necessary and critical treatment to people in crisis.

Bill 71-21 will restructure the certification and renewal process for pool operation and lifeguard licenses in the county. Currently, the county is one of the few, if not the only jurisdictions that require lifeguards to obtain a license from the Anne Arundel County’s Department of Health to review their lifeguard certification. We are also the only major jurisdiction that requires annual pool operator certification. Both are unnecessary, tedious, and costly steps for pool management companies, community pools, and the department staff. This bill removes the need to license a certified lifeguard and moves pool operations certification to a three-year schedule. I will continue to deal with bureaucratic waste to support local businesses, their employees and the use of your tax dollars.

If you are interested in working on a district commission or a board of directors and would like further information, please contact me. I am available to you and your family for all questions and concerns about our great district. Contact me at [email protected]

About Ellen Lewandowski

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