June 6, 2018

County Executive Ike Leggett Vetoes Line-Item in the Capital Improvement Budget

For the first time in his nearly 12 years as County Executive, Ike Leggett has vetoed a line-item appropriation of the Capital Improvement Program approved by County Council. Leggett vetoed appropriations for the Montgomery County’s Clean Water and Permit Compliance Program.

In his recommended FY19 Capital Budget, Leggett recommended a Design/Build/Maintain approach for future stormwater management projects.

The proposed method is a contracting approach, which procures a single contractor to design, build and maintain projects. Currently, the County uses separate contracts for design, construction, and maintenance and tasks the work on a project-by-project basis. Leggett stated that contracting reform is necessary to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of the County’s construction of stormwater management projects and to hold down increases for the taxpayer. Council voted 5-4 against Leggett’s proposal.

On June 1, Leggett submitted a memorandum to County Council President Hans Riemer which outlined why he exercised the veto. The authority for Leggett’s veto is in accordance with the provisions of the County Charter.

Leggett stated in the memorandum “I regret that you and the Council majority have made this veto necessary. Playing politics with a critical environmental issue, doubling down on a costly and inefficient status quo, and kicking the proverbial can down the road will never be confused with effective governance.”

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