Montgomery County Executive James P. Gleason this week submitted his plan for a new Commission on Children, Youth and the Family.
The proposal, which is intended to coordinate the county's annual expenditures of $5 million for family and youth services, will compete with a similar measure proposed by Council President Elizabeth Scull. Each proposal grew out of lengthy public hearings last December.
Scull set a tentative hearing date of June 1 for the measure, which Gleason aide Charles M. Maier said the county executive would like to see enacted before he leaves office.
In other action, the council passed a zoning amendment that will make it easier for developers to build the required number of Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) on hilly terrain.
The council also passed several measures that angered and pleased landlords. Scull said landlords expressed pleasure at the council decision to apply Consumer Price Index figures for rental unit increases on a yearly basis, rather than every few months, when the CPI changes, as is the case now.
However, the council also decided on Tuesday, for the first time, to apply its strict rental increase guidelines to vacant apartments in the county, and not just those that are occupied.
"The landlords didn't like that," Scull said after the council session. Some landlords had been raising rents on vacated apartments by as much as 30 perent or more, she said.
However, the council put off for several weeks voting on its controversial rent supplement program, on the grounds that it will cost at least $3 million, money that the proposed budget may not contain. "The council wants to see what the budget looks like before we move ahead with this," Scull said.
Under the program, low-income families could receive county support for their rents, based on a complex formula involving family size and the percentage of income devoted to rent, she added.
Under Gleason's proposal for the Commission on Children, Youth and the Family, the county Department of Human Resources would become the Department of Family Resources.
The commission, which would be an adviser to the director of the new agency, would have 18 members, six of whom would be parents, six would be children and six would be from county agencies dealing with family services.
Under the Scull proposal, the commission members would be professional persons from the county departments and agencies in the field. The commission would report directly to the county council and the county executive, a function which would give it more visibility and effectiveness, Scull said.
Gleason "is looking to the users, I am looking more to the providers," Scull said.