Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Public Safety and Management & Fiscal Policy Committees Discuss Bill 45-10 and Public Safety System Modernization

The Public Safety Committee (PS), chaired by Phil Andrews, and the Management and Fiscal Policy (MFP) Committee, chaired by Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg, met on Monday, October 4th at 9:45 am to discuss the following agenda items:
  1. Bill 45-10, Personnel - Disability Retirement – Eligibility – Total and Partial Incapacity
  2. Amendment to the FY11-16 Capital Improvements Program and Supplemental Appropriation to the FY11 Capital Budget - Public Safety System Modernization
Bill 45-10

Most of this morning’s discussion focused on Bill 45-10, Personnel – Disability Retirement – Eligibility – Total and Partial Incapacity. This Bill would create a two-tiered system to distinguish between partial and total disability in regard to disability retirement benefits. The Councilmembers agreed that a two-tiered system makes sense, but would like the details to be worked out during collective bargaining. Councilmember Trachtenberg stated that she was happy that everyone seemed to be on the same page with respect to establishing a two-tiered system. Presenters included representatives of the Office of the County Attorney as well as the Fraternal Order of Police. No action was taken this morning and a follow-up work session will be scheduled.

Public Safety System Modernization

The committees held a briefing/discussion regarding an amendment to the Public Safety Modernization (PSSM) CIP project and a Supplemental appropriation of $21.6 million. The purpose of the supplemental appropriation and amendment is to accelerate the purchase on new replacement radios. In addition, Spring/Nextel, which is responsible for covering the costs associated with re-banding within the 800 MHz frequencies, has offered to pay the County $3.3 million if the County will move forward with purchasing new radios rather than proceeding with the current plan that requires the company to loan radios to the County. Steve Emanuel, Director of the Department of Technology Services, answered questions during the briefing. Councilmember Trachtenberg requested additional information on why this project is a priority at this time. There will be a scheduled work session on this topic.

Please contact Laurie Mintzer Edberg, Director of Management and Fiscal Policy, at 240-777-7948 (direct dial) or with any questions regarding this MFP session.

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