Constituent Services: An Important Responsibility for County Council Members

If you are reading this, you probably already know that the County Council is the legislative branch of Montgomery County government.  The Council approves an annual budget of over $5 Billion and addresses issues such as education, transportation, public safety and economic development for over one million County residents. From my eight years on the Council, I have learned that day-in and day-out, one of the most important roles for Council Members is ensuring that the local government works in support of our residents’ everyday lives, like working to have safer pedestrian crosswalks or expanding access to after school programs. The work of my Council staff one-on-one with county residents or with community groups to help solve problems in our residential neighborhoods seldom generates news headlines but is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. In her own words, Rachel Kaplan speaks to this part of my work:   Dear Hans, When we moved here from DC, I wasn’t thinking about the work of local government. However, I now realize how much difference good local government makes in our everyday lives. The year we moved here was a drought year, so we didn’t know that we had a basement water problem. As we renovated our house we attempted to address property drainage problems by upgrading the existing systems.  My husband noticed that the entrance to our neighbor’s driveway at the sidewalk was below grade with water rushing down the driveway every time there was a heavy rainfall. At first, he tried using sandbags which did not resolve the problem. Then it occurred to us to contact your office to ask if there was something that Montgomery County could do to address this problem.  We called your office and very shortly a County Public Works official showed up to investigate. That was soon followed by the arrival of a work crew who corrected the problem by rebuilding the sidewalk.  Your staff followed up with us to confirm that the work had been done and the problem was resolved. We and our neighbors now have dry basements. We all thank you for providing prompt and effective constituent services. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve. Yours truly,
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