By Adam Pagnucco.
Facing severe crises to public health, the county’s economy and its budget, County Executive Marc Elrich sent the letter below to the county council about the budget. The main takeaways are:
1. The executive has instituted freezes on hiring and procurement for functions not related to COVID-19 response. Overtime has also been restricted to COVID-19 response departments.
2. The finance department has begun estimating the crisis’s impact on county revenues.
3. The executive has begun talking to the county’s unions about “a range of compensation issues.” No further details were provided.
4. Office of Management and Budget Director Rich Madaleno has been designated as the liaison to the council on “issues related to fiscal response and recovery.” When Madaleno was a State Senator, he was a key player in working on the state’s budget problems during the Great Recession. Few people in Maryland understand the state budget better than Madaleno.
We reprint Elrich’s letter below. Bethesda Beat has reactions from some members of the county council.