(6/2016) There is a lot of good news to share in Frederick County! The County budget was passed by the County Council providing support for our schools, our Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters and many other important services – all while maintaining the same tax rates and living within our means. The economy is booming with almost 3,200 new jobs added in 2015 across a wide variety of industry
Citizens – Montevue Settlement
I am very pleased to share that Frederick County has signed agreements with Aurora Holdings VII, LLC, to retain the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facilities. The county will continue its longstanding mission to take care of its own, honor the 1828 deed on the property and keep the promise to seniors.
Citizens and Montevue have always represented something good and special in our community. I am proud that we will continue this tradition. These agreements replace a bad financial deal with one that saves taxpayers money, retains an important asset and is a good financial settlement for the county. On top of that, no new money is required, as the funding is already
included in the budget.
The settlement ends all of the outstanding lawsuits and other pending legal issues between Aurora Holdings, the citizen plaintiffs known as Save Citizens and Montevue and the county. Many of these lawsuits were inherited from the prior administration. Residents in the assisted living facility will continue to receive care for as long as they need it.
Aurora has guaranteed annual profits of at least $2.5 million to the county while it continues to manage the facility for the next 18 months. Aurora will be paid a below-market management fee of 4.5 percent of gross revenues under the management agreement. Should Aurora fail to provide the county with at least $2.5 million each year in profits, the county may terminate the
management agreement. This agreement demonstrates that this operating model can be financially sustainable as we continue to take care of our seniors in need.
The county’s settlement will cost taxpayers half as much as it would have cost to continue down the path to sell the Citizens-Montevue facilities to Aurora. All monies needed for settlement are already in the county budget so new dollars are needed. The county would have had to pay an additional $15.4 million to close on the sale had the sale proceeded because the last
Board of County Commissioners agreed to sell these facilities at a financial loss and the proceeds from the sale would not cover the cost of the mortgage.
These agreements ensure a continuity of care for the residents as well as a stable working environment for the facilities’ many employees. I also appointed an advisory board to work with county staff to evaluate and recommend long-term operating options and best practices. At the end of the day, it is all about taking care of people – our seniors who need assisted living
or nursing home care and the employees who provide that care.
Help shape our future! I recently kicked off a new, exciting, and dynamic long-term planning initiative called Livable Frederick. The objective is to create a vision for what we want Frederick County to look like in 20 years and beyond. The public outreach process includes a survey tool to encourage residents to share their vision and ideas for how they want to live and
work in the future. We want you to inspire and inform what Frederick County can become in the future.
It only takes a few minutes to complete our survey at www.livablefrederick.org. Please participate and help to shape the future of Frederick County.
County government provides important services to Frederick County residents. People depend our on our roads and bridges to get to work, school, and daily activities; enjoy our libraries and our parks; feel safe due to the excellent service of our public safety professionals; and take advantage of many other services ranging from the health services, to aging, to animal
control, and transit.
An important part of providing effective and efficient services is to make sure we provide good constituent service when people need help or have a problem that needs to be solved. Serving people is what Frederick County Government does best. Every day, employees help our citizens and businesses. With over 245,000 residents and 6,300-plus businesses, it is not unusual to
hear from people who need additional assistance or who are concerned about a specific topic.
With the change to charter government and the responsibility for management of the county resting with the County Executive, it was important that we develop a system to handle constituent services so people would get the help and answers they need. Often citizens contact the County Executive and the County Council with issues. To make sure we had a streamlined process,
County Council staff and the Administration’s staff met to develop a collaborative process for addressing citizen concerns. The County Council agreed to this process with the objective to get answers and information to our citizens.
We track constituent service requests and in many cases, answers are provided the same day with most issues resolved within a week. Issues are resolved faster because decisions no longer have to be made by committee. Our objective is to get answers for our citizens. And the new process is working! So far this year, 42 percent of requests have been resolved within one
business day. That’s efficient, effective government.
As the first County Executive, I am pleased that Charter government is working; that superb services are being provided to our residents; that our financials are being managed conservatively and responsibly; and that business under my administration is thriving and growing jobs. Most important is making sure the county government is open and transparent so people can
If you have a concern about a county government service, please let me know. You can call 301-600-1100, or click the "Let Us Know" link on our website, www.FrederickCountyMD.gov. Our county employees are here to help you. They do an exceptional job of providing nationally recognized services to the citizens of Frederick County.