March 23, 2017

Statement from County Executive Ike Leggett Regarding the Rape at Rockville High School, March 16, 2017



County Executive Ike Leggett made this statement following the allegations of the rape of a Rockville High School Student:

"I was immediately sick and disgusted when it was reported that two young men raped a 14-year-old student at Rockville High School last Thursday. This should not happen. Period. My deepest condolences go out to this young girl and her family.

Thankfully, the alleged rapists were arrested by the police. Obviously, if convicted, these young men need to be severely punished for this heinous act, and I am confident that the justice system will do its job.

In addition, I know that Police Chief Thomas Manger is hard at work with his staff investigating what happened and securing procedures to ensure our students are safe and their parents don’t have to worry. We are working with School Superintendent Jack Smith to support Rockville High School Principal Billie-Jean Bensen, and the entire Rockville High School community in this time while anxiety is high.

Although these individuals had no previous involvement in the County’s criminal justice system, these alleged rapists do have outstanding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) orders. If convicted, and after serving their sentences, the County -- consistent with our longstanding policy -- will cooperate fully with ICE to see that the two are deported to their countries of origin.

To the Rockville High School community and the neighborhoods it serves, I want you to know that the County government and the school system will do whatever is necessary to keep your children safe."

A Message from Jack R. Smith, Superintendent of Schools - Serious Incident at Rockville High School

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett FY18 Operating Budget Closes $138 Million Gap; Boosts Schools Spending by $54 Million; Holds Line on Property Taxes

 FY2018 Recommended Operating Budget

On March 14 County Executive Ike Leggett released his Recommended FY18 Operating Budget of $5.4 billion for the year that begins on July 1, 2017 – a budget that increases County spending on the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) by $54 million and holds property taxes at the Charter Limit by reducing the tax rate by 2.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

Leggett’s FY18 total budget increases spending from $5.3 billion to $5.44 billion, a 2.7 percent increase. This budget provides a blueprint for a sustainable and comprehensive fiscal future for the County. It reflects a balanced approach to meeting the growing needs of the County’s diverse communities and robust business sector while keeping faith with County taxpayers.

Read more on the budget highlights at press release.

County Government Spending

Budget Shortfalls Closed


The full budget and highlights are available on the County’s website at reports.data.montgomerycountymd.gov/omb.

Department of Housing and Community Affairs Expands Focus on Tenant Rights


Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) is ratcheting up efforts to inform and protect tenants. New DHCA actions include an upgraded tenant rights website, initiating more extensive inspections and compliance efforts and creating an inventory of buildings that require extra attention to achieve and remain in compliance with County codes –while maintaining a marketplace that is fair to both tenants and landlords.

The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved Bill 19-15 to address issues with landlord-tenant relations on November 30, 2016. In addition to a more extensive inspection process, Bill 19-15 includes several other changes in tenant rights and protections. Improvements included greater clarity and flexibility with leases, expanded options for DHCA to deal with landlords who do not make mandated repairs in a timely manner, and a guarantee of free meeting places to gather and form tenant organizations.

More information, vist montgomerycountymd.gov/tenantrights or see press release.

Montgomery County Stands Together to Reaffirm Solidarity in Response to Threats Against the Jewish Community




At an event held on March 3, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington were joined by Federal, State and Montgomery County Government officials to reaffirm the County’s solidarity with the Jewish community following recent threats to Jewish community centers across the country.

The event, held at the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington located in Rockville, corroborated the strong positive rapport between our elected leadership and the faith based community. It also affirmed that our community stands together when anyone or any group is threatened.

New Property Tax Credit for Longtime Homeowners and Military Retirees 65 years and Older

Longtime property owners and military retirees 65 years and older may be eligible for a break on their property tax. The new property tax credit provided in recently enacted Bill 42-16 provides a tax credit to people over 65 years of age who have lived and owned a dwelling for at least 40 consecutive years, or are retired from one of the U.S. Armed Forces.

This bill, passed by County Council, provides a 20 percent credit on County property taxes for owner-occupied dwellings for which at least one of the owners meets the stated eligibility requirements. For more information

Update on Montgomery County’s Department of General Services Public-Private Partnerships

Progress Place
Public-private partnerships (P3s) save residents money and support County Executive Ike Leggett’s mission to advance economic development, enrich the community and ensure quality modern facilities which effectively serve County residents. P3s create opportunities to work with the private sector to provide optimal use of County land and resources. The Department of General Services (DGS) leverages County assets by working with development partners in the private sector.

DGS’s most recent completed P3, Progress Place, resulted from collaborative work with Bethesda-based Washington Property Company. Progress Place located in downtown Silver Spring, provides services to the homeless. For more information on this recently completed project and future P3s, view presentation.


Get On Board with Bus Rapid Transit



Montgomery County residents, workers and visitors need better ways to get around. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a new mode of transportation coming to Montgomery County that will help relieve the frustration and stress that many drivers face. Driven on the street, often in its own lane on busy roads, it will make fewer stops than a traditional bus so you can get where you need to go quicker. For the latest updates on the BRT check out www.getonboardbrt.com.

Sign Up for Targeted Purple Line Project Updates

Construction work will soon begin on the Purple Line Project. Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up for targeted notifications to keep up to date on construction.

The Purple Line is a 16-mile, 21-station light rail line that will extend from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George's County. It will provide a direct connection to the Metrorail’s Red, Green and Orange Lines at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton. The Purple Line will also connect to MARC, Amtrak and local bus services. The five stations in and around the University of Maryland campus will be a “fare-free” zone for students and faculty.

The project will include the completion of the Capital Crescent Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring, the completion of the Green Trail along Wayne Avenue to Sligo Creek Parkway, and the construction of a bike path through the University of Maryland campus.
For general information about the Purple Line project, or to schedule a meeting for your community or business, please call at: 443-451-3706 | 443-451-3705 (EspaƱol) or email Purple Line Project Team.

Montgomery County Remembers Child Safety Seat Advocate Emilie Crown


Emilie Crown
Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS)
Program Manager
Last month, Montgomery County lost a dedicated public servant with the sudden passing of Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) Program Manager Emilie Crown. During Ms. Crown’s 26-year career with MCFRS, she tirelessly advocated and championed for children’s safety.

Credited as the architect of Montgomery County’s nationally-recognized and acclaimed child car seat program, she served as one of the first certified “tech” safety seat installers. At the legislative level, Crown helped obtain passage of Maryland’s Booster Seat Law. She was considered one of the Country’s foremost authorities on child passenger safety.

Prior to joining MCFRS, Emilie began her career as an Emergency Department nurse with Montgomery General Hospital and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. She served as the State’s only certified instructor for Safe Travel for All Children, a course that includes the travel needs of children with special healthcare needs.

Ms. Crown’s vocation will live on and countless more young lives will be made safer and possibly saved during a collision. As we remember her family, friends and MCFRS colleagues who will miss her dearly, we can all celebrate her enduring legacy, maintaining the highest standards of child passenger safety.

Under Maryland law, every child under eight years old must be secured in a federally approved and correctly-used child restraint system (child safety seat or booster seat) when riding in a motor vehicle, unless the child is 4’9” or taller. For more information on the MCFRS Infant and Child Car Seat Safety Program, or to have a car seat installed, checked or inspected, visit website.

Departments of Correction and Rehabilitation and Human Resources Collaborate to Improve Hiring Practices for Correctional Officers

In July 2016, the County’s Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR) and Human Resources embarked on a change in their recruitment practices to address the need for Correctional Officers. Clear communication, progressive thinking, and resourceful solutions were the fundamental principles of the improved hiring outreach strategies. The changes nearly doubled the number of applications and inquiries regarding positions. In the last hiring process DOCR successfully on boarded one out of every 13 of the qualified applicants who applied. Less than a year ago that number was one out of 26.