November 12, 2019

Marcus Jones Sworn in as New County Chief of Police


Marcus Jones, a 34-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department, was formally sworn in as the County’s new police chief today, Nov. 8, in ceremonies at Gaithersburg High School. County Executive Marc Elrich, who nominated him as chief in October, was among those at the ceremonies.

The appointment of Chief Jones was unanimously confirmed by the County Council on Nov. 5.

“This is an important day for our new police chief, the Montgomery County Police Department and our County,” said County Executive Elrich. “Chief Jones has lived in, and served, this County for more than 30 years. He is well respected and has my full support as well as that of County Council. Over the last few months, he has demonstrated the capacity to lead this department and his strong community ties will be critical as we work to make a good department better. I want to thank the men and women of our police department for their focus and commitment to the people of this County as we have worked to identify a new police chief. I am confident that under Chief Jones’s leadership, we will improve the department’s relationship with all communities within the County and ensure that we remain one of the safest places to live and work in the region.”

Chief Jones was named as an assistant police chief in April 2018 after serving for four years as captain of the Third District station in Silver Spring. He has served as interim police chief since earlier this year.

Chief Jones previously served as captain of the department’s major crimes division, where he oversaw the homicide, robbery, cold case and fugitive sections.

In 2011, Chief Jones received the “Montgomery’s Best Award” for directing the Damascus Gardens Drug Market Initiative to eliminate an open-air drug market.

He has a business administration degree from the University of Maryland and has attended the FBI National Academy.

Montgomery County Executive Elrich Announces More Sustainable Winter Storm Initiatives


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has announced that the County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) would be using new environmental controls to ensure that snow removal operations are more sustainable. County Executive Elrich discussed the new approach during the County’s annual “Snow Summit” at which preparations for the 2019-20 winter storm season were reviewed and equipment was rolled out by MCDOT’s Highway Services Division.

The Snow Summit this year was held at the MCDOT Gaithersburg Depot. Among those joining County Executive Elrich were MCDOT Director Chris Conklin, Highway Services Division Chief Richard Dorsey and representatives of Montgomery Parks, which also has snow removal responsibilities on its properties. Among the innovations they talked about were MCDOT’s experimentation using rubber-tipped blades on snowplows. Metal-tipped blades damage the roadway if they are used before there is three inches of snow on the ground. Rubber-tipped blades may allow trucks to begin plowing sooner, without using salt.

One of the challenges MCDOT faces during snowstorms is finding the right balance for use of salt—applying enough to make roads safe and protect the lives of travelers while also minimizing water quality and other environmental impacts.

More information about the innovative preparations the County is making as it readies for the upcoming storm season can be found here.

County Executive Adds Another Budget Forum


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has added an additional date and location for his Fiscal Year 2021 budget forum tour.

At 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, he will host a special forum with seniors about FY21 Operating Budget priorities. The forum will be held in the Maryland Room in Clubhouse One of at Leisure World, which is located at 3700 Rossmoor Boulevard in Silver Spring.

Purple Line Construction to Necessitate Temporary Bus Stop Changes in Silver Spring


The Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail are on their way, but construction of the 16-mile east-west light rail line that will connect the Bethesda and New Carrollton metro stations will necessitate temporary bus route modifications in response to construction in and around the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center in Downtown Silver Spring. Starting Sunday, Dec. 1, those temporary changes will impact some Ride On passengers.

The Ride On bus stops on the first floor of the transit center will be temporarily relocated to the street to safely accommodate Purple Linework. Ride On routes on the second floor of the transit center will not be relocated.

Temporary bus stop locations will be along northbound Colesville Road (between Wayne Avenue and Georgia Avenue), on the second floor of the transit center and on East-West Highway and Colesville Road.

Ride On routes that will be affected by the changes includes 1, 2, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 28 and 129.

For more information about planned road closures and general project information for the Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail, go to www.purplelinemd.com. Construction updates are available directly at https://purplelinemd.com/construction/construction-updates.

County Launches ‘Be Safe, Be Seen’ Campaign to Increase Safety During Decreased Daylight


Montgomery County Government departments and agencies are combining their resources in November to launch one of the most aggressive campaigns in County history to make drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists aware of the added perils that come with time changes, and decreased hours of afternoon daylight occurring with the switch to Standard Time. The approximately 20 planned “Be Safe, Be Seen” events will form the most comprehensive one-month safety campaign that the County has ever undertaken.

A 2016 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 26 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurred between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. Because peak evening commuting times in fall and winter occur during periods of increased darkness, danger is increased. The adjustment to Standard Time began the shift for this season.

This new campaign is evidence of the value of collaboration facilitated by the County’s Vision Zero Initiative, which is committed to reducing and eventually eliminating all traffic-related deaths. The concept was initiated by the County’s Police Department during targeted Vision Zero collaboration and subsequently brought in cooperative action by the County’s Department of Transportation. The Be Safe, Be Seen campaign also will involve the combined efforts of the Fire and Rescue Service, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the CountyStat program and the Office of Public Information.

Learn more about the campaign and the scheduled events to promote safety.

4Business Charrettes Set for Nov. 20 and Dec. 9


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council Vice President Sidney Katz are inviting local business owners to attend and participate in two 4Business charrettes as part of the Benchmarking to Be the Best for Business initiative.

The first 4Business charrette will take place at the Upcounty Regional Services Center, located at 12900 Middlebrook Avenue in Germantown, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20. A second charrette is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, a at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center, located at 11701 Georgia Avenue.

The charrettes follow six 4Business listening sessions, an online business climate survey of local businesses and options to submit feedback through the website by email and a digital form.

For more information, visit the 4Business webpage.

Marilyn J. Praisner Library Branch to Reopen on Nov. 16

The newly refreshed Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Marilyn J. Praisner branch will reopen on Saturday, Nov. 16. County Executive Marc Elrich will lead ceremonies starting at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate the grand reopening. The library is located at 14910 Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville.

The refresh for the library includes new ergonomic sit-stand circulation, information and self-checkout desks; renovation of the public restrooms; new painting and flooring; replacement of ceiling tiles; rearrangement of shelving and seating within the library; upgraded lighting with improved energy-efficient, and brighter, LED lamps; new furniture; a drinking fountain with a bottle-filling station; and new window shades in the meeting rooms.

The Friends of the Library, Marilyn J. Praisner chapter, will provide refreshments immediately following the ceremonies.

Partial funding for the project was provided by the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Library, as authorized by the Maryland General Assembly and supported by the Montgomery County delegation to the General Assembly.

Montgomery Manufacturing Event



“It’s a new day for Montgomery County,” said County Executive Marc Elrich at the Montgomery Manufacturing Business Connect forum on Nov. 8 at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville. The first of its kind forum, which was co-hosted by the County Executive and the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI), connected local manufacturers with state and local government resources.

There are more than 400 manufacturing companies in Montgomery County and the event helped connect manufacturing executives from key industries, such as biotech, cybersecurity, defense, electronics, industrial, information technology and pharma with subject matter experts. It also provided information on how to access resources to address workplace needs, reduce energy expenses, find grant funding, access financing and tax credit programs and more.

Manufacturers also were able to connect with federal laboratories regarding technology transfer and partnering to make operations more efficient, profitable and uniquely competitive.

Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz highlighted the importance of manufacturing in Montgomery County and across the state.

Xometry CEO Randy Altschuler was the keynote speaker, and he told the crowd that his company is based here because he loves living in Montgomery County.

Registration Begins for Winter Rec and Parks Programs


The Montgomery County guide for the Department of Recreation and Montgomery Parks winter classes and programs for all ages is now available. Registration is now open.
The guide also includes information about many summer camp programs.

The guide can be viewed online.

Survey on Compensation for Board of Education Members

The Montgomery County Board of Education Compensation Commission is going to study the salary structure for members of the County Board of Education and would like the public’s input via a survey that is now available.

The commission will issue a report to the members of the Montgomery County Delegation to the General Assembly regarding its recommendations for the appropriate compensation for members of the County Board, including any additional stipend for the president of the County Board. The study also will look at a scholarship amount to be awarded to a student member Board of Education member who completes a full term. That scholarship would be applied toward the student’s higher education costs.

The survey for the public can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/boe-compensation-survey. The survey closes on Sunday, Nov. 24.