April 25, 2016

Montgomery County Delegation 2016 Session Accomplishments

The 2016 Session was one of the busiest ever, with a record breaking number of bills introduced. Lots of bills passed and progress was made on many policy fronts. However, a number of high profile initiatives did not advance and will be carried over into the 2017 Session as “unfinished business.” The Montgomery County Delegation played a leadership role in numerous budget and legislative matters that will have immediate and longer term positive impacts on our residents and businesses.

For the first time in a number of years, both the operating and capital budget bills were passed early with little fanfare. Overall, State aid directed to Montgomery County will increase by about $38 million, from $721 million to $759 million. This increase is driven almost entirely by mandated State funding to support the costs of delivering K-12 education services and the programs provided by Montgomery College at its three campuses.

Read more at 2016 Montgomery County Delegation Accomplishments

Explore a Path to a Greener Life at Montgomery County’s Second Annual GreenFest

Join your friends and neighbors in celebrating the people and environment of Montgomery County with a fun-filled day of entertainment, community and learning. GreenFest is the County’s largest environmental festival, a dynamic celebration to bring together those dedicated to build a greener, healthier community locally and globally. This free event is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Takoma Park Community Center located at 7500 Maple Avenue.

Scheduled highlights of the day will include a welcome from County Executive Ike Leggett and County Councilmembers, remarks by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, musical entertainment, environmental films, electric vehicle show, green scavenger hunt, nearly 100 exhibitors and vendors and more.

The full schedule of special events is available at montgomerycountygreenfest.org. As part of the GreenFest’s commitment to lowering our ecological footprint, the website is designed for mobile usage so festival attendees can view the schedule on their phones rather than printing schedules.

Bus Rapid Transit Open Houses

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation, in partnership with the, Maryland Department of Transportation is conducting a study for developing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along a portion of the MD 355 corridor.

Two public Open Houses will be held to provide information and gather community input about potential BRT service from Bethesda to Clarksburg. At the Open Houses, you will meet the project team and be able to review:
  • BRT elements - how it will work, what it will look like, etc. 
  • The study process and schedule 
  • Existing conditions inventory 
  • Draft of preliminary purpose and need 

Thursday, April 28, 6:30– 8:30 p.m.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Cafeteria, 4301 East-West Highway, Bethesda

Tuesday, May 3, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Gaithersburg High School Cafeteria, 101 Education Boulevard, Gaithersburg

Project information can be found at montgomerycountymd.gov/rts.

People Should Not Be Bought and Sold

Human trafficking has been an issue in Montgomery County, in Maryland, nationally and internationally. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others (Polaris Project). There are generally two forms of trafficking: sex and labor. Victims of human trafficking include men, women, boys and girls. Your next door neighbor may be a victim OR perpetrator of human trafficking.

In 2014, County Executive Ike Leggett created the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to increase understanding of the issue in Montgomery County and to develop interagency coordination of strategies for response and prevention. Overarching goals include:

Increasing the identification and prosecution of all parties supporting the organized crime of human trafficking to include traffickers, suppliers, transporters, advertisers and demand elements;

Elimination of human trafficking, and Improving identification of and services for human trafficking victims. Need Help or See Something Suspicious?

Montgomery County Law Enforcement Agencies and Health and Human Services to Participate in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

County law enforcement agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Office will be participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back day at multiple locations on Saturday, April 30 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is a safe, free and anonymous opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by safely disposing of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs. This initiative is part of a national effort to prevent the increasing problems of prescription drug abuse and theft.

Ride On Food Drive

Ride On is sponsoring its 30th annual Give and Ride Food Drive from April 24 to 30. During this time, Ride On customers who donate a canned or nonperishable food item will receive a free bus ride. All donations go to the non-profit Manna Food Center, which distributes food to the County’s neediest residents. Healthy, single-serve, kid-friendly food items in plastic containers are especially in demand, as are baby food, formula, toddler food, juice and diapers.

All food donations, whether one or more cans, will be valued at the regular fare rate of $1.75. An additional donation is required when transferring to other buses. Residents who do not ride the bus but wish to donate food can participate by giving their donations to a bus operator at any Ride On bus stop. Checks made out to Manna Food Center will also be accepted.

Read more at Ride On Food Drive

May Is Building Safety Month

The Department of Permitting Services (DPS) will observe Building Safety Month (BSM) in May to increase awareness of the importance of building safe and sustainable structures. This year DPS is promoting their new website designforlifemc.org to support the theme of Building Solutions for All Ages. Design for Life offers homeowners and businesses property tax credits for building and renovating homes that will be accessible for everyone.

BSM highlights the work DPS does all year to provide safe and secure communities and contribute to the economic vitality of the County by providing the highest quality of public service while ensuring compliance with Montgomery County’s development and construction standards.

This year’s topic, Building Codes: Driving Growth through Innovation, Resilience and Safety will be supported by weekly themes that spotlight a specific area of building safety and fire prevention:
  • Week One, May 2-8, Building Solutions for All Ages 
  • Week Two, May 9-15, The Science behind the Codes 
  • Week Three, May 16-22, Learn from the Past, Build for Tomorrow 
  • Week Four, May 23-29, Building Codes: A Smart Investment 
DPS is offering free deck maintenance inspections during the month of May to ensure you kick off the summer season with a safe deck. Call 311 or 240-777-0311 to schedule your appointment during the month of May only.

Montgomery Serves Awards

Montgomery County will recognize the extraordinary commitment and dedication of individuals, businesses, community-based organizations, youth and seniors whose work has made a positive difference in the County at the Montgomery Serves Awards. The ceremony will take place at Imagination Stage in Bethesda on Monday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m.

To register for this free event, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-montgomery-serves-awards-tickets-21529490285

Poolesville Library Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Pictured left to right: Upcounty Regional Service Center Director Catherine Matthews, Public Libraries Director Parker Hamilton and Poolesville Town Commissioner Jerry Klobukowski.

The Montgomery County Public Libraries Poolesville Library celebrated its 25th Anniversary on Saturday, April 16. Longtime Poolesville Library advocate Maggie Nightingale received a proclamation from County Executive Ike Leggett declaring April 16 as Maggie Nightingale Day.

Taste the World in Fenton Village

Whether you are a food connoisseur or just someone who is looking for good eats and an enjoyable afternoon, the Taste the World in Fenton Village is a perfect option. The event is scheduled for Sunday, May 15 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Located throughout Fenton Village, the Taste the World will showcase the diversity of restaurants just south of downtown Silver Spring and the hard-working entrepreneurs who operate these small businesses. The unique varieties of restaurant offerings and small businesses are a major draw, as is the authentic character of the neighborhood and the adventure of trying new foods and restaurants.

Often called the “hidden gem” of Silver Spring, Fenton Village is an eclectic, diverse community located just south of downtown Silver Spring between Wayne, Georgia and Burlington Avenues and Fenton Street. Event details, maps, and lists of restaurants and sponsors are available at tastetheworld.fentonvillage.org.