Lots of new people start new jobs on December 1. For one, I start a new job! I'll be working for the Department on Disability Services with the Government of the District of Columbia. Maybe I'll see you on the 305 sometime.
But this isn't about me. Monday evening starting at 7pm at Glenelg High School, County Executive- Elect Allan Kittleman and County Councilmember- Elect Jon Weinstein drop the "elect" from their names.
In a future post I'll focus on the Fightin' First District and write about the big issues therein. But let me posit a bit about what the new County Executive will be walking into and some of the big decisions he'll have to make in the first several months of his Administration.
We already talked about one decision, ending the restrictions on sugary foods on county property. I already have said that this is good politics for Kittleman, even if the "optics" (to steal a Sparty word because they kicked the Lions' butts Saturday) aren't very good.
Another set of key decisions will be as he chooses a staff. Who will assume important offices in the County Executive's office, and what will the size of his office be? I'm going to guess it's going to be a smaller staff, in order to send a message of fiscal responsibility.
Which leads me to Wednesday evening, December 17 starting at 7pm in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building. That's when the County Executive will hear budget testimony for the FY16 budget cycle. Now, in the past, under Administrations of both parties, that's been when partisans show up to advocate for changes to the budget that the Executive can't be seen as publicly championing. In other words, political cover. So it will be interesting to see what happens in terms of programs and budget line items of which local Republicans are not politically enamored? Such as Healthy Howard, funding for mental health services, funding for police overtime, the county fire tax, and also items which candidate Kittleman promised to support, like an additional connection over US29 in Columbia, and the Inner Arbor Plan.
And then comes January. And with it the inauguration of Governor Larry Hogan. I think it's safe to say there will be strong ties between the administrations of the new Governor and new County Executive. But how is this going to resolve with Howard's having a still majority Democratic delegation? Again, this may be the topic for future posts, but it's going to be interesting to see if, for instance, the Governor can make the stormwater management fee/rain tax go away administratively, via executive order or via the budget.
And looming on the horizon-- interactions between the Kittleman Administration and Howard's other influential bodies. Such as the School Board. The HCEA and HCPOA and the local firefighters. I don't think anyone expects the new administration to be pro-union, but does that mean it'll be necessarily anti-union? With respect to the School Board, Kittleman advocated "24/7" education and bridging the achievement gaps? What are the specific policy platform planks of this?
Thanksgiving was four days away but Allan Kittleman's going to have a full plate for awhile. How he digests and processes when he's learned since the election, and within his public service and political experience, will be pushed to the test very quickly. One of the criticisms of Kittleman during the campaign was that as a member of the majority on Council and in the General Assembly, he never had to govern. That will be changing very quickly, and very drastically.
Happy New County Administration Day! I made that up.
Let's be careful out there.
#kittleman #hocopolitics #hococouncil