Friday, March 06, 2009

Council to Leggett: Don't Count on Ambulance Fees

In the following letter to the County Executive, seven members of the County Council asked him not to include ambulance fee revenues in his forthcoming FY 2010 budget. Leggett's ambulance fee proposal has met with heavy opposition and the council has not yet decided its fate.

March 5, 2009

County Executive Isiah Leggett
101 Monroe St., 2nd Floor
Rockville, MD 20850

Dear County Executive Leggett:

The County Council will continue to work closely with you, Executive Branch staff, and agency leaders to best address the extraordinarily challenging FY '10 Operating Budget. To accomplish this, it is crucial that the Council and the Executive Branch work from the same revenue assumptions in the budget - and that those assumptions are grounded in reality.

Last year, you assumed revenues from ambulance fees in your proposed FY '09 Operating Budget. The Council removed those assumed revenues because the Council had not yet considered the legislation proposed by you to establish ambulance fees. In November, 2008, the Chief Administrative Officer communicated to the Council President that unless the Council passed an ambulance fee prior to your budget submittal, this fee would not be included in your FY '10 Operating Budget. Given that the Council has not approved ambulance fees and is not likely to do so prior to final action on the budget it would be unwise to assume such revenues in the FY '10 Operating Budget. We therefore assume, given the prior communication, that this will not be included in your FY '10 Operating Budget.

Working closely together, we will develop and approve and FY '10 Operating Budget that protects essential services and the safety net, while balancing the budget by reducing spending in the wisest and fairest ways possible.


Phil Andrews
Roger Berliner
Valerie Ervin
Nancy Floreen
Mike Knapp
George Leventhal
Duchy Trachtenberg