Guest Speaker: Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Councilmember (District 1), Chairman, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Topic: Regional Priorities and Plans
Vice Chair Gus Bauman introduced Councilmember Berliner and explained the role he plays as Chairman of COG. Mr. Berliner has leveraged his position as chairman to focus on key issues such as Metro which is critical to growing our region’s economy. It is important to bring the region together to support Metro with stronger governance and to create a context for dedicated funding. The current plan is to show improvement and more reliable service, create performance metrics and operating benchmarks, and design a funding package.
In terms of growing the region’s economy, a relatively new focus with the Global Cities Initiative is to help the region develop export capabilities. There are key clusters identified as strengths of our region and there is great potential to grow economic activity.
Attendees raised questions about a number of issues including the Bethesda Downtown Plan, the American Legion Bridge, I-270 funding, cost of doing business in Montgomery County and Maryland, housing affordability, and funding a regional economic development entity.