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Advisory Board Asks For Funding Increase At Bethesda Regional Center

By Aaron Kraut

Wednesday - 4/17/2013, 1:37pm  ET


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The Citizens Advisory Board that covers Bethesda, Chevy Chase, North Potomac and Potomac is hoping the County Council adds more money to its FY14 budget for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

The Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane) is the county government’s base of operations in downtown Bethesda, but has gone through significant staff and funding cuts in recent years. The Center is down to Director Ken Hartman, who oversees many of the boards and committees that deal with development and government services, Bethesda Urban District manager Karen Thon and an intern.

County Executive Isiah Leggett’s proposed FY14 budget includes a $17,000 bump in funding from last year, an amount that Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board chair Marc Korman last week told Councilmembers was not enough:

The Regional Services Centers perform a valuable local government service and must be maintained and strengthened. The Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, for example, has been instrumental in coordinating public dialogue on Woodmont Triangle development and White Flint urban services, assisting emerging Senior Villages, and increasing non-profit services. We are disappointed that the recommended operating budget proposes only a relatively negligible increase in funding to the Regional Services Centers (approximately $17,000 over last year’s approved expenditure). We urge the County Council to recognize the vital function performed by the Regional Services Centers, and increase funding proportionally. Specifically, the regional services centers need their own administrative coordinator at each center, at least on a part time basis. Some of the work done in these centers cannot be done from Rockville.

The Citizens Advisory Board also identified a faster Bethesda CBD Sector Plan rewrite, library funding, an increase in School Resource Officers and economic development funding as priorities in its full testimony.

Video via Montgomery County Council