On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council unanimously elected Roger Berliner as president and Hans Riemer as vice president of the Council. They will serve one-year terms as officers of the Council.
Council President Berliner, who represents Council District 1, served as Council vice president for the past year. He is beginning his 11th year on the Council and previously served as Council president in 2011-12. He succeeds Nancy Floreen, who completed her one-year term as president on Tuesday.
“Fortunately, we do not need to make Montgomery County ‘great again,” said Council President Berliner. “But we do need to help our County fulfill its even greater promise. My priorities for the year ahead to help us fulfill our County’s extraordinary promise include: Getting the Basics Right; Serving as a Model Inclusive Community; Expanding the Ladder of Opportunity; and Creating Vibrant Communities.”
“Our County is a national leader on many, many issues,” said Berliner, “a fact we are justifiably proud of. But what our residents really expect of us is to deliver on the fundamentals—get the basics right.”
Berliner is in his third term on the Council. He was first elected in 2006. He represents District 1, which includes the western part of the County from the Washington, D.C., line to the Frederick County border. District 1 includes the communities of Bethesda, Cabin John, Chevy Chase, Garrett Park, Glen Echo, Friendship Heights, North Bethesda, Potomac, Poolesville, Randolph Hills and Somerset.
As chair of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee, Berliner has led the charge on creating more multi-modal transportation options. He guided the Council to supporting rapid transit, is a forceful proponent for improving Metro, and has been a strong advocate for providing greater bicycle and pedestrian safety.
Berliner authored of more than two dozen laws that make Montgomery County one of the most sustainable communities in the country, including ensuring that the County buys 100 percent renewable power. He also guided the Council to provide protection to Ten Mile Creek in the Clarksburg area from the threat of over-development. Councilmember Berliner’s background as an energy lawyer has allowed him to play a lead role for the County and the state in holding Pepco accountable for greater electric reliability.
Over the past year, he sponsored an initiative that would help the County evaluate all of its programs to help feed the hungry so they could be better coordinated and more effective.
Vice President Riemer, the Council’s lead member for digital government, is beginning his seventh year on the Council as an at-large member. He has been a strong advocate for funding public education and public transportation, early childhood programs, libraries, recreation, human services, housing and economic development. He chaired the Council’s Ad-hoc Committee on Liquor Control that sought to reform the County’s program of alcohol distribution.
A dedicated environmentalist, Riemer has worked to strengthen the County’s rural, suburban and urban areas by placing walkability, public transportation and sustainability at the center of planning goals. For the past three years, he has hosted the “Great Montgomery Bicycle Summit” to bring together bicycle advocates, planners and residents to improve bicycle opportunities throughout the County.
Vice President Riemer serves on the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee and its Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee.
Top: Roger Berliner (right) was unanimously selected as the new president of the Montgomery County Council on Dec. 6. Hans Riemer was unanimously selected as vice president. They will serve one-year terms.
Next: Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen was saluted by her colleagues on Dec. 6 as she completed her one-year term as Council president. New President Roger Berliner presented her with a gavel on behalf of the Council.
Photos and video courtesy Montgomery County Council.