Doing More With Less At Consumer Protection

The Rev. Tim Warner is the liaison to the African American and faith communities.
The Rev. Tim Warner is the liaison to the African American and faith communities. (By James M. Thresher -- The Washington Post)
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By Miranda S. Spivack and Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 7, 2008

E ric Friedman, who heads the county's Consumer Protection Office, isn't exactly a shy guy. When Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) was thinking of putting someone else in the job two years ago, Friedman's political allies sprang into action, writing letters and sending e-mails to encourage Leggett and the council to keep Friedman on the job.

Now, Friedman's office, like many in county government during the economic downturn, is being asked to do more, and in some cases that means doing more with less. With two recent retirements reducing his staff to 20 full-time workers and one part-time employee, Friedman said that he might have been remiss in not explaining to Leggett and the County Council the weight of the extra work.

"We are happy to be held in high esteem and be the poster child for doing more with less," Friedman said. "We will do as much as we can."

In recent months, the Office of Consumer Protection has taken on the following new responsibilities:

· Help set up a system to allow prospective homeowners to figure out the probable tax on property they are considering buying;

· Enforce the recently enacted domestic workers protection legislation;

· Manage aspects of the energy and environmental advocacy bills;

· Manage the disclosure requirements for development districts and other real property sales;

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