June 6, 2018

Montgomery County Council Approves County’s $5.6 billion Operating Budget and $4.5 billion six-year Capital Budget; Prioritizes Education and Public Safety

The Montgomery County Council has approved the County’s $5.6 billion Fiscal Year(FY) 2019 Operating Budget, the FY19 Capital Budget, and the FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The Council approved a $4.5 billion FY19-24 CIP to fund school construction, infrastructure improvements and community projects.

The operating budget funds Montgomery County Public Schools and supports Montgomery College, the County’s Police Department, the Fire and Rescue Service and essential health and human services programs. The Council agreed to add nearly $6.7 million to the operating budget to maintain existing service levels and to minimize call response times for residents during emergencies. The budget also sets aside funding for the County’s FY19 revenue goal of 9.4 percent of adjusted governmental revenues. Funding for this financial obligation helps the County retain its AAA bond rating.

See the full approved FY 19 budget.

County Executive Ike Leggett Vetoes Line-Item in the Capital Improvement Budget

For the first time in his nearly 12 years as County Executive, Ike Leggett has vetoed a line-item appropriation of the Capital Improvement Program approved by County Council. Leggett vetoed appropriations for the Montgomery County’s Clean Water and Permit Compliance Program.

In his recommended FY19 Capital Budget, Leggett recommended a Design/Build/Maintain approach for future stormwater management projects.

The proposed method is a contracting approach, which procures a single contractor to design, build and maintain projects. Currently, the County uses separate contracts for design, construction, and maintenance and tasks the work on a project-by-project basis. Leggett stated that contracting reform is necessary to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of the County’s construction of stormwater management projects and to hold down increases for the taxpayer. Council voted 5-4 against Leggett’s proposal.

On June 1, Leggett submitted a memorandum to County Council President Hans Riemer which outlined why he exercised the veto. The authority for Leggett’s veto is in accordance with the provisions of the County Charter.

Leggett stated in the memorandum “I regret that you and the Council majority have made this veto necessary. Playing politics with a critical environmental issue, doubling down on a costly and inefficient status quo, and kicking the proverbial can down the road will never be confused with effective governance.”

League of Women Voters Presents Voters’ Guide 2018 Primary Election

The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County publishes the Voters’ Guide that includes information on voting, as well as candidates’ responses, in their own words, to questions on a variety of issues. The Voters’ Guide can assist you in your decision-making process as you prepare to vote in the Primary Election on June 26 or at early voting locations from June 14 to June 21. This primary election includes voting for candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Governor, State Senate and House of Delegates, County Executive, County Council and Board of Education.

The League, a non-partisan organization of women and men who promote informed participation in government, does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

There are three ways to get the Voters’ Guide:
  1. Online at vote411.org - an interactive guide for voting information and comparisons of all the candidates’ responses. 
  2. A print copy is available throughout Montgomery County at locations such as libraries, service, senior and community recreation centers. This Guide contains fewer responses of candidates in competitive races, than in online versions.
  3. Two printable Voters' Guides in PDF format - one contains all candidates’ responses and the other is the same as the paper copy is available online at lwvmocomd.org.

Senior Safety Forum in Recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Did you know that in Montgomery County age 60-and-over senior population is increasing faster than the County’s total population?

On Thursday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the County will hold its 8th annual Senior Safety Forum in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It takes place at the Holiday Park Senior Center located at 3950 Ferrara Drive in Silver Spring. Over 50 exhibitors will provide resources for Montgomery County seniors. There will be presentations on topics such as personal safety, financial safety and safe driving tips for seniors. There will also be live musical entertainment, lots of raffle prizes, blood pressure checks and FREE box lunches while supplies last.

This is the perfect opportunity to build senior safety connections that are both importantly factual and fun. Here is more senior safety information.

Heritage Days Return to Montgomery County

Heritage Days is a countywide festival featuring programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. The event takes place on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 from noon to 4 p.m. Programs will feature Civil War and agricultural history, the stories of local railroads and trolleys, historic African American communities and more.

Local arts and culture as well as outdoor recreation, including biking, hiking, and walking tours, are also highlighted. Many venues offer musical entertainment, children’s activities and refreshments.

This is Heritage Montgomery’s 21st year for hosting this celebration. For a complete list of all the locations and scheduled events, download brochure.

NOTE: The Heritage Days program at the Red Brick Courthouse in Rockville has been canceled due to unexpected construction at the courthouse.

Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation is Hiring

The Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR) is hiring for various correctional/public safety positions. These are great career opportunities for individuals interested in public safety, medical, social work/counseling and food services to name a few.

Spread the word about these career opportunities - great pay and benefits. Foreign-language proficiency is a plus! For more information, contact DOCR’s Human Resources Section directly at 240-777-9759, MC311 or visit the Department’s website.

The Atlantic Hurricane and Summer Storm Season Has Begun

“When thunder roars, go indoors!” The Atlantic Hurricane and Summer Storm season began on June 1 and will run through November.

Do you know the difference between a Severe Thunderstorm “Watch” and a “Warning?” The County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has provided important safety tips and information to help keep you and your family safer during the summer storm season. Take some time to review and prepare before the storm.

Most important, make sure that you are signed up to receive the emergency warnings from the County’s Alert Montgomery system.

Health Officials Urge Residents to Take Steps to Protect Against West Nile and Zika Virus; Reduce Mosquitoes — Get Rid of Breeding Sites

Now that we are into the warmer months, health officials urge residents to protect against mosquito bites.

Residents can help themselves and the community by getting rid of mosquito breeding spots. Mosquitoes breed in small amounts of water. Eliminate standing water in and around your home. Throw out or frequently empty and scrub items that hold water such as buckets, planters, toys, pools, and birdbaths.

Dispose of trash such as plastic bags, bottle caps, open drink cans or bottles, disposable cups and food wrappers where water can pool.

Keep mosquitoes out of your home by using air conditioning if possible. Make sure windows and doors have screens on them and those screens are in good repair. Clean out roof gutters and down-spouts. Ensure tarps and swimming pool covers are positioned so water drains.

More information about controlling mosquitos is available at montgomerycountymd.gov/mosquito.

Award-winning Author Dinaw Mengestu Joins the Contemporary Conversations@ MCPL Series and Big Read Montgomery

Award-winning author and MacArthur Foundation Fellow Dinaw Mengestu is the featured speaker for Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Contemporary Conversations and Big Read Montgomery event. The program will be held at the Silver Spring Library located at 900 Wayne Avenue on Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. Registered guests are invited to a reception at 6:30 p.m. to meet the author. Refreshments will be served.

Mengestu will discuss his personal immigrant experience and his award-winning, debut novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears. The book tells the story of the immigrant experience in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County. A graduate of Georgetown and Columbia universities, Mengestu came to the United States at the age of two; a move that reunited his family after his father was forced to flee their home in Ethiopia. Mengestu has published in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal.

This event closes a two-month celebration of Big Read Montgomery, which featured varied programs that celebrated the diverse immigrant experiences of residents through discussions about The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.

More information, including registration information, is available online.

Montgomery County to Host 22nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration with a Barbecue, Entertainment and Award Ceremony

 download flyer
The County’s 22nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration is scheduled for Friday, June 15. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:25 p.m. The event will be held at the BlackRock Center for the Arts located at 12901 Town Commons Drive in Germantown.

The free event, hosted by County Executive Ike Leggett, highlights the contributions of African Americans who are living legends in our community. The program focuses on the service of the honorees whose contributions are in various fields including business, health, media, sports, education, law, ministry, community organizations, medicine or the arts. These residents have shaped the cultural heritage and richness of our African American community.

After the ceremony and program, an old-fashioned barbecue dinner will be served, followed by a special presentation of the acclaimed movie Marshall. The film looks at the achievements of young Thurgood Marshall whose legal genius in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, paved the way for the most impactful victory in the quest for freedom and equality in the history of the United States since the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Throughout the program, Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological & Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) winners of the Montgomery County NAACP Branch will provide entertainment.

For more information and registration go to montgomerycountymd.gov/humanrights.