December 18, 2014

County’s Holiday Schedule for Christmas and New Year’s

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Christmas Day on Thursday, December 25 and New Year’s Day, January 1:
  • County Offices – closed 
  • Libraries – closed on December 25 and January 1; all branches will close at 6 p.m. on December 24 and 31 
  • County liquor stores – closed 
  • Recreation – all facilities closed December 25 and January 1; senior centers, community and neighborhood recreation centers will be closed December 25 through January 1; aquatics programs operating on a modified schedule, contact each facility directly 
  • Montgomery Parks -- all Parks facilities are closed both days. For operating schedules during the holidays, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, tennis centers, trains and carousels, visit
  • Ride On – Sunday schedule 
  • Metrobus – Sunday schedule 
  • Metrorail – Sunday schedule 
  • TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) -- closed 
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – no collection* 
  • Transfer Station – closed 
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free 
  • MCPS Administrative Offices – closed 
  • State offices and courts – closed 
*Collection provided one day later for remainder of week (last collection day is Saturday).

Leggett, Governor-Elect Hogan Meet on Local Issues; Speak at Committee for Montgomery Breakfast

County Executive Ike Leggett and Governor-Elect Larry Hogan held their first meeting, since the recent election, at Seibel’s Restaurant in Burtonsville on December 11 to talk over issues of common concern, including economic development and transportation.

The two leaders shared the stage the following morning at the Committee for Montgomery’s (CfM) Annual Legislative Breakfast, viewed by many as the unofficial kick off of the legislative season. This year’s 25th breakfast followed a long-standing CfM tradition that in gubernatorial election years, the new governor-elect is invited to present the keynote address.

Before Governor-Elect Hogan spoke, Leggett focused his brief remarks on the six-point plan he introduced in his inaugural address designed “to spur economic growth and position our County for the future.”

Listen to Leggett’s remarks.

In an interview at the breakfast, the governor-elect said that he had what he termed “a terrific meeting” with Leggett the day before and “what I found was that he and I actually agree on a lot of things, found some common ground.”

Hear Hogan’s comments on his meeting with the Executive.

According to its website, Committee for Montgomery is "a coalition of leaders representing a broad cross-section of Montgomery County business, labor, education, civic and community-based organizations. Our mission is to advocate in Annapolis on issues of importance to Montgomery County and the State."

Leggett: County Delegation to India, Taiwan Elevates Montgomery’s Global Profile and Puts “Runners on Base” to Broaden Life Sciences Investment, Boost County Business

During his recent economic development trip to India, County Executive Ike Leggett visited the offices of the Montgomery County-based life sciences firm U.S. Pharmacopeia in Hyderabad.  

County Executive Ike Leggett’s recent 12-day mission trip to India and Taiwan broadened Montgomery County’s reach in education, biotech and other high-tech areas and helped local businesses and Montgomery College extend their markets in India.

A full schedule of visits across seven cities to businesses, high-tech parks, government offices and educational institutions reflected the focus of the mission on education, business development, and cultural understanding.

Leading a delegation that included Indian-American Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller, Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, County Councilmember Nancy Floreen, and several County business leaders, Leggett visited four cities in India before continuing on to Taiwan.

The delegation opened doors for County businesses, established a “Sister City” relationship with Hyderabad, a major IT hub in India dubbed “cyberabad,” and furthered the study of languages, cultures and the humanities through the signing of a collaboration agreement between the Global Institute of Humanities at Montgomery College and Jindal Global University.

New Flyers for Seniors on Staying Safe on the Roads and Accessing Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Two new flyers covering topics of interest to seniors have been created.

“Staying Safe on the Roads" (pdf) contains information for seniors, their families and friends to help older drivers recognize shortcomings and plan for the effects of aging. The flyer also includes a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions about older driver safety.

“Vital Living Network’s Guide to Lifelong Learning Opportunities in Montgomery County for Older Adults" (pdf) lists nearly 20 sources of classes, programs and activities at locations around the County.

Also see two earlier flyers on senior issues: "Transportation Options for Older Adults" (pdf) and "Caregiving Support and Aging Services" (pdf).

Copies of the new flyers will be distributed to County facilities such as public libraries, community recreation centers and regional services centers.

Schedule of Upcoming Public Forums on FY2016 Operating Budget

County Executive Ike Leggett will hold the first of five budget forums the first week in January to seek input from residents about Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget priorities. The free forum will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 5 at the BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown.

Additional forums (all beginning at 7 p.m.) in other areas of the County are scheduled on:
Sign language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible, but no less than 72 hours prior to the event. If these or other services or aids are needed to participate in this activity, call 240-777-6507, TTY 240-773-3556 or email a request to

The County Executive announces his Recommended Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget on March 16. The County Council approves the operating budget at the end of May.

Join Montgomery County’s conversation about the FY16 Operating Budget on social media and help raise awareness by using #MontCoFY16budgetforum.

Tips to Reduce Waste and Recycle More during the Holidays, Throughout the Year

Residents are reminded that they can help the County reach its goal to reduce waste and recycle 70 percent of the waste stream by 2020 by reducing the amount of waste they generate and recycling everything that is possible to recycle.

The Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services (DSWS) of the Department of Environmental Protection, notes that while the winter holiday season traditionally yields extra amounts of waste, there are ways to reduce what individual households might generate now and throughout the year.

See the news release for tips about unwanted mail and how to reduce, reuse and recycle while shopping, wrapping and entertaining. Also included are tips about recycling beyond the holiday season, plus information on recycling Christmas trees.

Executive Joins Local Leaders to Discuss Regional Problems

County Executive Ike Leggett (center) with (left to right) Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Washington DC Mayor-Elect Muriel Bowser, Vice Chair of the Arlington County Board of Supervisors Mary Hynes and the Greater Washington Board of Trade Executive Director Jim Dinegar.

County Executive Ike Leggett recently participated in a regional leaders forum hosted by the Greater Washington Board of Trade. Topics discussed by the officials included transportation, education, economic development, affordable housing, the 2024 Olympic Games and the Purple Line.

Office of Consumer Protection Advises Residents to Choose Charities, Donate Carefully

The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) warns County residents to be cautious when donating to charities and other causes.

Our community has stepped up to raise money and needed items for the families affected by the recent  plane crash tragedy in the County. However, it is important to remember that scammers often use tragedies to take advantage of people.

Consumers are encouraged to:
  • Verify a charity’s non-profit status. 
  • Review how money is spent by the charity. How much money is used for administrative costs? 
  • Know the difference between “tax exempt” and “tax deductible.” 
  • Be careful of similar sounding names. A scammer may use a familiar or generic name such as Police Fund to trick you into donating. 
New fundraising vehicles are also available to individuals and groups seeking donations. For example, there is crowd-funding, the practice of funding a project or cause by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. Crowd-funding is typically done on the internet through websites including Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and gofundme.

OCP offers the following advice to consumers:
  • Donate only to users that you know and trust. It is easy to verify a relative’s fundraising request; however, responding to a local tragedy or catastrophe may take some research on your part. Verify that the donation is going to a legitimate source. 
  • Be careful about bogus websites claiming to be donation centers. 
  • Be aware of any fees associated with a platform. Always read the fine print and remember that the method of payment may involve additional fees. 
  • Verify requests from people you know. Scammers often hack personal email accounts and use the information to steal money. 

For more information, call 240-777-3636 or visit OCP’s website.

County-based Wedding Wire Earns Emerging Business of the Year Award

Steve Silverman, DED director, left, shares the winning moment with Timothy Chi, founder & CEO of Wedding Wire, at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce's Business Awards Dinner held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.
Locally grown Wedding Wire, the nation's leading technology company serving the $100+ billion wedding, corporate, and social events industry, recently won the prestigious Verl Zanders Emerging Business of the Year award presented by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Read more about Wedding Wire and the award.

Ride On Wins Transit System of Year Award

On December 3, Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system received the 2014 Transit System of the Year Award for large bus systems from the Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM). The award was presented at TAM’s annual conference.

TAM is a statewide organization representing every jurisdiction in Maryland and has a membership of more than 80 organizations. It is dedicated to improving mobility for all of Maryland’s residents.

December 4, 2014

Leggett Sworn In for Third Term; Two New Councilmembers Take Office with Incumbents

The officials elected to lead the County Government for the next four years were sworn in at Inaugural ceremonies held at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville on December 1.

County Executive Ike Leggett waves to the audience after taking the oath of office. The nine members of the Council sworn in are (from left):  Craig Rice, George Leventhal, Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, Tom Hucker and Sidney Katz (the two new members), Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer.

The Montgomery County Executive and County Council. Seated (left to right): Hans Riemer, Nancy Floreen (vice president), George Leventhal (president) and Tom Hucker. Standing (left to right): Roger Berliner, Sidney Katz, County Executive Ike Leggett, Nancy Navarro, Craig Rice and Marc Elrich.

Watch the video of the Inauguration Ceremony.

In his speech, Leggett, looked back on “the incredible journey of the past eight years” and looked ahead “to the exciting landscape on the horizon of the next four years and beyond.

“Eight years of hard work is paying off, during that time we laid a new foundation upon which to build our dreams. The County’s momentum is accelerating. But in order to continue to move forward we must eliminate additional barriers to remain competitive regionally, nationally and globally.”

In his speech, Leggett detailed a six-point plan designed to make Montgomery more competitive and promote more investment and job growth.

“Montgomery County will never shy away from competition as long as I am your County Executive.

“Over the next four years, I want to refocus on our economic growth and shared prosperity and put to rest some misperceptions about the business climate in Montgomery County.

“Right here and now, we must dispel any myths about a lack of a welcoming business environment.

“I want us to usher in and foster a ‘culture of yes’ when it comes to doing business in Montgomery County.”

In remarks presented at the Inauguration, Council President Craig Rice talked about functioning as “One Montgomery.”

“This Council will serve once again with our great County Executive, Ike Leggett.  I am intensely proud of the historic collaboration between the Executive and the Council when the County’s fiscal future was truly on the line….

“A central theme of our work together has been that we must function as ‘One Montgomery’ -- that if the County is to stay on track as the economic and educational engine of the State, we must confront the challenges and embrace the opportunities before us together. ‘One Montgomery’ means that all of us -- the Council, the Executive, and our Delegations in both the General Assembly and Congress, as well as the School Board, the College, the Park and Planning Commission, the WSSC and our entire community—must sharpen our focus and work as one, together to achieve our goals.”

Read Council President Craig Rice’s Inaugural Remarks.

Immediate Past Council President Rice Reflects on His Term

As he concluded his one-year term as Council President, Councilmember Craig Rice (District 2) summed up the many accomplishments of the Council this year. He also said that he was glad that the Council was able to address many of the goals he set upon taking office.

“This year, I worked hand in hand with County Executive Leggett and his staff, Superintendent Starr and the School Board, Dr. Pollard and Montgomery College and Stu Edelstein and Universities at Shady Grove to make sure Montgomery County stayed on track as the economic engine and education leader of the State.

“In 2012, I had the privilege to visit the White House where President Obama told a group of Young Elected Officials that ‘You don’t get elected to be somebody; you get elected to do something.’ And I feel confident that we answered the President’s call: We certainly did a lot this year.”

See full text of remarks.

Council Elects Officers for Coming Year

The County Council has unanimously elected George Leventhal (At Large) as president and Nancy Floreen (At Large) as vice president for the year ahead.

President Leventhal, who served as Council vice president this past year, is beginning his 13th year on the Council. He previously served as Council president in 2006. He chairs the Council's Health and Human Services Committee and also serves on the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee.

Vice President Floreen was first elected to the Council in 2002. She chaired the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee until 2010, when she became chair of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee. She remains a member of the T and E Committee.

In his remarks, Leventhal said, “Another election is now behind us. Some people may think that the election results demonstrate that Marylanders are fed up with taxes, but I don’t see it that way. I think Marylanders and Montgomery County residents want to know that their taxes are paying for a government that works.

“We are ready to work with Maryland’s new governor. We want a state government that works, and we want a County Government that works. We are not Congress, and we are not going to engage in petty partisanship at the expense of our efficiency or our productivity. We want results, and we want a County Government focused on customer service.

“I was glad to hear County Executive Leggett in his speech...focusing on strengthening our economy and streamlining bureaucracy.

“We want to generate jobs, so that everyone who wants a job will be able to get one. We need to take a real look at workforce development. We have a disconnect between workers who need jobs and employers who need workers. Some are still feeling the systemic effects of the recession and need re-training and skill development. We must have a more robust training or unemployment program.”

Read full text of Leventhal’s remarks. 

Chat Online with the County Executive

Residents are invited to share their comments and/or concerns about issues with County Executive Ike Leggett during his next Online Chat to be held on December 10 from  2 to 3 p.m.

Questions may be submitted before or during the chat at Live Discussion with Ike Leggett.

Questions and answers will be posted both during and after the chat.

For more information, call the Office of Public Information at 240-777-6507.

Life Sciences Impact Grant Program to Retain Jobs and Stimulate Growth Launched; Information Session Set for December 12

Under a new program aimed at strengthening the Life Sciences industry within the County, the Department of Economic Development (MCDED) has announced that grants of $5,000 to $25,000 will be available to companies to assist in the advancement of business development and product development initiatives.

An information session for potential grant applicants will be held on December 12 at 10 a.m, at DED’s offices, 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville.

Montgomery County Life Sciences companies are encouraged to submit an application that will be evaluated on the strength and ability of the company to execute the project, ability to leverage other funding sources and use of local vendors for goods/services purchased for the project.

The deadline for applications is Friday, January 2, 2015. Between five and seven companies will be selected to receive grants and will be notified by February 20, 2015.

Find the application.

Get more information about the program.

Ride On May Institute ‘S’ Plan During Winter Storms, Other Emergencies

When snow, storms or other special circumstances occur that affect Ride On’s ability to follow normal weekday schedules, the County’s transit service may operate under the 'S' Service Plan. Under the plan, Ride On attempts to maintain some bus service on all its routes even when conditions prevent staying on a regular schedule. Read more.

Pilot Snow Removal Program Launched for Capital Crescent Trail

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is launching a pilot snow removal program this winter for the Montgomery Parks portion of the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda.

Park staff will clear snow on three and a half miles of the trail starting at the Bethesda Avenue entrance point to the Montgomery County / Washington D.C. line, as well as along 12 feeder trails. Parks staff will begin clearing the trail within 24 hours from when snow stops falling.

Regular updates on the status of snow removal along the trail will be posted on Montgomery Parks’ website at during and after snow events. Trail users are welcome to contribute updates on the conditions of the trail via Twitter using #CCTSnow.

Funded by the County, the pilot program includes a one-time allocation to purchase special trail clearing equipment, as well as support to cover staff time.

The Capital Crescent Trail is a 10-foot wide, 11-mile hiker-biker trail connecting Silver Spring to Georgetown in Washington D.C. It is one of the most heavily used trails in the United States and is a recognized commuter trail by the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Leggett Commends Transportation Department for Role in Developing Bill 33-13 to Improve Pedestrian, Bicyclist Safety

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has congratulated the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) for playing an essential role in crafting Bill 33-13, Streets and Roads - Urban Road Standards and Pedestrian Safety Improvements passed last week by the County Council.

MCDOT successfully advocated for modifications to the bill proposed by the Council, changing the initial “one-size fits all” approach to one that incorporated flexibility in creating a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly urban environment. MCDOT was concerned that the bill as originally written compromised the safety of walkers and bikers.

Bill 33-13 accomplishes the goal of establishing adaptable guidelines for lane widths and road intersection curb radii that make safety for pedestrians and bicyclists the priority.

In addition to the changes for urban roads detailed in Bill 33-13, MCDOT led the effort to further modify the County Code to ensure that more sidewalks will be built during road construction and development.

Read the Council news release for more about the bill.

Read the Executive’s release on MCDOT’s contribution to enhancing the bill.

A Holiday Safety Reminder: “Heads Up in Parking Lots”

Malls, shopping areas, airports and highways aren’t the only places that are more crowded than usual during this time of year. Parking lots are often filled to near capacity which means that there are more drivers looking for an empty space. That, combined with more people than normal walking to and from their vehicles, can lead to accidents for pedestrians and drivers.

This has become such an issue that Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett made reducing pedestrian collisions a priority of his administration.

In support of the Executive’s priority, the Public Information Office began working on a public education campaign in July 2013 to help reduce the number and severity of parking lot collisions. Staff started working with property managers and owners of private parking lots to develop the campaign due to the fact that 83 percent of the collisions in 2012 occurred in private, retail lots.

The campaign slogan developed reflects a simple, direct message that tells pedestrians and drivers what to do: “Heads Up in Parking Lots: Don’t run over people. Don’t get run over.”

Learn more about the parking lot safety campaign on the County’s website.

Visit Montgomery County CEO Earns Maryland’s “Tourism Person of the Year” Award; Organization Takes Top Honors for Best Website, Best Digital Campaign

Kelly Groff, president and CEO of Visit Montgomery County received the distinguished award of Tourism Person of the Year at the Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit held recently in Ocean City. Now in its 33rd year, the prestigious award is given to an industry leader whose exceptional commitment has significantly enhanced and perpetuated the tourism industry in Maryland.

“I am thrilled to win Tourism Person of the Year, and it’s an honor to be recognized by my fellow hard-working peers in the Maryland tourism industry,” said Groff.

Visit Montgomery County also won honors as Best Website and Best Digital Campaign.

The criteria for the Best Website award specified that the new website should demonstrate a creative implementation of a brand that is visually pleasing, unique, that captures the spirit of the brand and is user friendly. In late August, Visit Montgomery launched with updated features like a county-wide calendar of events, interactive map and a trip builder.

The Best Digital Campaign award was received for the Brand Connect campaign with The Washington Post online. The new campaign brought together content generated by the Visit Montgomery staff with consumers searching the Post website. The #1 article was “Summer is for Biking in Montgomery County,” which promoted the new Capital Bikeshare program.

Read more about Kelly and Visit Montgomery in the release.

Springbrook High School Student is a Children’s Defense Fund Success Story

In this season of celebrating holidays and the blessings of family, friends and home, 17-year-old Monica Chica has a story that sends a message of hope for all ages.

The Springbrook High School student and native of El Salvador shares the experiences that have shaped her young life in a recent Children's Defense Fund Child Watch Column by Marian Wright Edelman entitled “Learning to Love What You Have.”

Edelman wrote that Monica “has an attitude about choosing to be grateful that’s wise far beyond her years: ‘The most important lesson I learned is that being happy is not about having with you what you loved in the past, but learning to love what you have in the present.’”

Hear Monica’s story in her own words.

The Children's Defense Fund grew out of the Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of Marian Wright Edelman. The CDF website states that the organization has for decades "… partnered with numerous organizations and worked with policy makers to build bipartisan support to enact laws that have helped millions of children fulfill their potential and escape poverty because they received the health care, child care, nurturing, proper nutrition and education they deserve.”

SoccerPlex's Maureen Hendricks Field Rated Best in Professional Soccer by Sports Turf Managers Association

The Maryland SoccerPlex, at 18031 Central Park Circle in Boyds, has earned "Field of the Year Award" honors from the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA), the professional association of 2,600 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide.

The award recognized the superb quality of the playing surface at Maureen Hendricks Field, the SoccerPlex's showcase stadium and the home of the Washington Spirit of the National Women's Soccer League. It also hosts many other youth, college and professional soccer matches annually, with D.C. United, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the University of Maryland having hosted events in recent years.

STMA ranks Maureen Hendricks Field as the top playing surface among eligible professional soccer venues, an honor previously bestowed on world-class facilities such as Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH; Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO; and Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX.

A panel of 11 judges independently scored entries based on playability, appearance of surfaces, utilization of innovative solutions, effective use of budget and implementation of a comprehensive agronomic program.

November 13, 2014

Memorial Plaza Dedicated

In observance of Veterans Day, the new Memorial Plaza located on the Government Complex Center Terrace between the new Courthouse annex and the Executive Office Building in Rockville was officially dedicated and the eternal flame unveiled on November 10.

The ceremony was an opportunity for the County to show its appreciation and support for those people who put their lives on the line, domestically and abroad, to ensure our continued safety.

The plaza is part of the Judicial Center Annex construction project that began in 2011 and involved an addition to and renovation of the existing Judicial Center. The  annex is a six-story building with one level underground parking and one level mechanical penthouse.

The plaza and green spaces were redesigned to invite public use of the space. The area features a water fountain, new landscaping, bench. A Memorial Walkway will display the plaques that were relocated from the original Memorial Garden to allow for the construction of the annex.

View more photos from our flickr album.

Holiday Season Comes to the County with a Flair

The 2014 Holiday Season will kick off locally in colorful style on Saturday, November 22 in Silver Spring when the Annual Thanksgiving Parade steps off at 10 a.m. from Ellsworth Dr. and Fenton St. and proceeds south on Georgia Ave., ending at Silver Spring Ave. The parade will be held rain or shine.

The line-up of more than 100 parade units features the inflatable turkey, which is the Montgomery County parade logo, as well as a 12-foot inflatable Silver Spring penguin, a Teddy Bear toy float, and more drum lines and colorful dancing groups than ever.

For more information, call 240-777-6821 or visit or download flyer in pdf format.

One of the entertaining marching units that make the Thanksgiving Parade a fun event for all ages.
Photo by Ken Stanek.

Annual Leaf Collection Underway in Southern Part of County

The Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services (DHS) is conducting its annual vacuum collection of leaves in the southern part of the County now through mid-December

The leaf vacuum collection district is bounded by I-495, I-270, the Rockville City limits, Norbeck, Bel Pre and Bonifant roads, Northwest Branch Park, and the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County lines.

Residents should look for signs posted along the streets for information. DHS crews are posting new, larger, more informative signs this season that will direct residents to DHS’s website for more information about collection dates.

Leaves should be placed in piles or containers on the grass or behind the curb, off the road pavement, but near the street. Placing leaves in streets or alleys can disrupt traffic, negatively impact drainage infrastructure, hamper snow removal operations, pose a risk of fire hazard for automobiles parked over them, limit the availability of residential parking and pose a safety risk to pedestrians of all ages.

The leaf collection program is restricted to leaves only. Tree debris, sticks, branches or coarse garden debris should be placed in containers or tied in bundles no more than four feet long and placed where yard trim is regularly picked up.

Residents who miss the two scheduled vacuum collections can still have their leaves collected by placing them in paper yard trim bags or reusable containers for pick up on their regular yard trim collection day. Leaves placed in plastic bags will not be accepted.

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance begins November 15; Residents with No Insurance Urged to Sign Up

Residents without health insurance coverage are urged to sign up through the Maryland Health Connection when open enrollment begins November 15.

Consumers can now go to and browse the site to compare prices and plans available during open season, as well as get an estimate of financial assistance that may be available to help pay for insurance premiums.

Residents who enrolled during the first year of open enrollment (October 15, 2013 to March 15, 2014) need to re-apply on Maryland’s new website by December 18 or risk losing any financial assistance they received to help pay the insurance premiums.

Health navigators, assisters and insurance brokers will be available to answer questions and help consumers browse the website and preview available health plans on Saturday, November 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at three locations in Montgomery County:
  • UpCounty Regional Services Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown 
  • Piccard Drive Health Center, 1335 Piccard Dr., Rockville 
  • Silver Spring DHHS Services Center, 8818 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring 
Residents are also invited to attend free information sessions on the 15th about "The Importance of Health Coverage and Choosing A Health Plan." Sessions will be available in English, Spanish and Amharic:

  • 10 to 11 a.m.
  • 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown (English) 
  • 1335 Piccard Dr., Rockville (Spanish) 
  • 8818 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring (Spanish) 

  • Noon to 1 p.m. 
  • 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown (Spanish) 
  • 1335 Piccard Dr., Rockville (Spanish) 
  • 8818 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring (Spanish) 

  • 2 to 3 p.m. 
  • 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown (English) 
  • 1335 Piccard Dr., Rockville (English) 
  • 8818 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring (Amharic) 

The Maryland Health Connection’s call center will open on Sunday, November 16 at 10 a.m. for residents to apply by telephone. Call toll free 855-642-8572 (TTY 855-642-8573).

Beginning Monday, November 17, in-person assistance will be available at more than 30 locations throughout Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

For details on sign up locations, go the Capital Health Connection website at or call 240-773-8250.

For additional information on eligibility guidelines and the documents needed to apply, go to

“Recipes for Success” Cooked Up for Restaurant Entrepreneurs

The County’s new “Recipes for Success” program is designed to help individuals planning to open a new restaurant or expand an existing restaurant navigate the County’s permitting and licensing process quickly and efficiently.

“Recipes for Success” includes a free, pre-design consultation at which representatives from all County agencies involved in restaurant approvals will be available to explain the requirements to open or expand a restaurant. Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services (DPS) is partnering with the departments of Economic Development, Liquor Control, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Fire and Rescue Service, as well as the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

Every Tuesday prospective and existing restaurant owners will have the chance to meet with representatives from the departments at one time to review their plans and learn how to open or expand a restaurant in the County.

The “Recipes for Success Welcome Packet” will be available at all County regional services centers or online. Business owners can also schedule a free pre-design consultation meeting by calling 311 or 240-777-0311 from outside the County. To download the preliminary design consultation application packet, visit the DPS website.

Handy New Booklet for Seniors Tells How to “Get Out & Stay Active”

With a copy of “Get Out and Stay Active: Living and Thriving in Montgomery County,” seniors can learn about programs and services in the County such as: active adult programs for those 55+; senior centers; fitness and sports; travel; tips and tours; volunteering; and transportation options.

The 22-page booklet was published by Montgomery County Recreation in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Aging and Disability Services.

See the booklet.

Police Chief Manger to Lead Major Cities Chiefs Police Association

Police Chief Thomas Manger has been elected to serve as president of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association (MCCA) for the next two years, beginning January 1, 2015.

MCCA is a professional association of chiefs and sheriffs representing the largest cities in the United States, Canada and the UK. MCCA membership is comprised of the 66 largest law enforcement agencies in the United States, nine largest in Canada and one in the UK. The MCCA provides a forum for urban police, sheriffs and other law enforcement chief executives to discuss common problems and to share information and problem-solving strategies.

The current president of MCCA, Chief Charles H. Ramsey, Police commissioner of Philadelphia, will complete his two terms in office at the end of December 2014.

Read the news release.

Leggett Signs “Ban the Box” Bill

County Executive Ike Leggett on Nov. 10 signed the “Ban the Box” legislation that will delay the time during the job application process when certain employers can ask an applicant about their criminal background. Among those at the ceremonies in Rockville were the chief sponsors of the legislation, County Councilmembers Marc Elrich, left, and Cherri Branson, right. Also at the ceremonies were Councilmember Roger Berliner (second from left), Council Vice President George Leventhal (center) and Director of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Art Wallenstein.
County Executive Ike Leggett recently signed the legislation passed by the County Council that delays the point at which an employer in the County can inquire into the criminal history of an applicant for a job in the County until the conclusion of the first interview. It makes exceptions for any positions currently required by state or federal law to have completed background checks, like childcare workers, teachers, and those working with vulnerable populations.

The ‘Ban the Box’ law gets its unofficial name from the question (or box to be checked) on an employment application that asks an applicant about their criminal background.

Read more in the news release.

Survey for Residents about Local Cable Channels

The mission of Montgomery County’s Public, Education and Government (PEG) organization of locally-based cable television stations and their respective web sites is to provide information about programs and opportunities throughout our County.

The stations represent County and local governments, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and the independent Montgomery Community Media.

To help meet their goals, the channels are seeking the most relevant methods to communicate with and learn more about what information is important to residents and viewers.

The 11-question survey should take only about three minutes to complete – a small investment of time to help PEG better serve you.

Public Libraries Offers New Online Driving Test Resource for Residents

Montgomery County residents can now take free online Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) practice tests thanks to a partnership between Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) and, that allows access to the test at

The new service includes free tests, specifically based on Maryland State DMV materials, and accessibility tools that allow users to hear selections read aloud, make them into MP3s, translate pages into other languages, magnify text and mask sections of the screen for greater visibility.

For more information on other services available from Montgomery County Public Libraries, visit

County Maintains Coveted Triple-A Bond Rating

Montgomery County has maintained its Triple-A bond rating from three Wall Street bond rating agencies, which enables the County to sell long-term bonds at the most favorable rates, saving local taxpayers millions of dollars over the life of the bonds.

The rating also serves as a benchmark for numerous other financial transactions, ensuring the lowest possible costs in those areas, as well.

Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s all affirmed the “AAA” rating – the highest achievable -- for the County. They all termed the outlook for Montgomery County as “stable.”

Read more information in the news release.

Public - Private Partnership Agreement Signed for Wheaton Triangle Redevelopment

County Executive Ike Leggett recently announced the signing of a public-private partnership agreement that will remake the downtown Wheaton Triangle. The County’s partners in the venture are affiliates of StonebridgeCarras, LLC, a Bethesda-based real estate firm, and The Bozzuto Group, a Greenbelt-based residential real estate company.

The agreement also creates a new Georgia Avenue gateway to Silver Spring with mixed-use development on the site of the current headquarters of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), which also houses the County’s Planning Board and Planning Department staff.

Together, the two sites represent 1.1 million square feet of development that is expected to advance Montgomery County’s smart growth, continue the revitalization of downtown Wheaton, and move County departments and agencies from leased space to a more cost-effective, environmentally sensitive, publicly owned building.

Wheaton’s new downtown will be a transit-oriented development that includes a town square, a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified office building, retail, residences -- including affordable housing -- and public parking.

Read more in the news release.

Recreation Reopens Clarksburg 55+ Active Adult Program

After being eliminated more than four years ago due to budget cuts, the Clarksburg 55+ Active Adult Program has resumed operations at the Clarksburg Park Activity Building, 22501 Wims Rd. The new senior program will be offered on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The 55 + Active Adult Programs, formerly known as the Neighborhood Senior Programs, offer socialization, entertainment, health, wellness, exercise and informational programs in 13 locations throughout the County.

For more information, call 240-777-4924.

Gas Station Thefts in County; Police Offer Tips

Over approximately the last three months, 12 thefts from vehicles and six vehicle thefts have occurred at gas stations while people have been filling up their vehicles.

County Police investigators believe that during these thefts, the suspects look for a distracted victim; for example, a person who is outside of their vehicle paying for their gas purchase or who is talking on his/her cell phone. While the victim is outside of his/her vehicle and is distracted, the suspect quickly enters the vehicle. Often before the victim realizes what has occurred, the suspect(s) flees the area. In some incidents, only property is stolen.

In the wake of continuing reports of these kind of thefts, police urge residents to remove their keys from the ignition and lock their vehicles while they are at gas stations.

Anyone with information about these thefts should call the Centralized Auto Theft Section at 240-773-6370.

Deadline Nears to Apply for Positions on Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Advisory Committees

The Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) remind County residents, businesses and community organizations interested in serving on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor Advisory Committees (CACs) that they have until November 21 to apply.

Over the next two years, four major corridors will be evaluated for a Rapid Transit System, including Georgia Ave., US Route 29 (Colesville Rd. and Columbia Pike), MD Route 355 (Frederick Rd., Rockville Pike and Wisconsin Ave.) and Veirs Mill Rd. A CAC will be established for each corridor under consideration

The CAC nomination form is available online and details the structure, selection procedures, specific tasks, formation process and operating guidelines for the CACs.

For more information, call 240-777-7155, email or visit the RTS website

County Archives Re-opens at New Location

Montgomery County Council President Craig Rice, Council Vice President George Leventhal and Councilmember Nancy Navarro were among those celebrating the recent re-opening of the Montgomery County Archives at its new location, 8536 Anniversary Circle in Gaithersburg

The archives were established on July 29, 1985 to serve as the institutional memory of the County government and contain the government’s official records. It has been closed since 2010 due to a structural renovation project.

The Montgomery County Historical Society is again administering the operation of the archives. Research hours are Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m., and by appointment.

For more information about the archives, call 301-926-5002 or 301-340-2825.

"Ready for Tomorrow: Education and Workforce Summit" Airing on County Cable

The key points and enthusiasm of the “Ready for Tomorrow: Education and Workforce Summit,” which recently attracted more than 200 attendees and an elite group of speakers to the White Oak Community Recreation Center, has been captured in a one-hour special program now showing on the County Government cable station County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The summit, which was organized by County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, focused on themes such as closing the academic achievement gap and preparing young people for the jobs of the future.

“Ready for Tomorrow” can be seen throughout November on CCM (Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) on Fridays at 11 a.m.; Saturdays at 2:30 p.m.; Sundays at 11 a.m.; Mondays at 9:30 a.m.; Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Thursdays at 11 a.m.

County Teens Speak Out at Town Hall Meeting

Local teens recently had a chance to interact one-on-one with County Council members at the Teen Town Hall Meeting and voice opinions on issues of concern to them.

Because nearly one-quarter of the County's population -- of almost 1 million people -- is under the age of 18, the decision-makers of today wanted to hear from the decision-makers of tomorrow.

Hear what the young people had to say.

October 16, 2014

Montgomery County’s Cybersecurity Center Moves Forward

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) was established in 2012 through a partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, the State of Maryland and Montgomery County. It exists to help “businesses secure their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together experts from industry, government and academia to provide real-world cybersecurity solutions based on commercially available technologies.”

County Executive Ike Leggett said, “The center puts Montgomery County at the forefront of an emerging economic boom that will help the nation meet one if its most pressing challenges."

With the center being located locally, Leggett has said that Montgomery County is well-positioned to be “the nation’s leading location for civil cybersecurity solutions, business growth and job creation.”

Now, the NCCoE will be home to the first federally funded research and development center “solely dedicated to enhancing the security of the nation's information systems.”

Read the NIST news release announcing that the new center will be operated by the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization with three initial tasks totaling about $29 million.

Read more information in The Post’s weekly Capital Business publication (Oct. 13).

Montgomery College Shares in US Department of Labor Grant for Cyber Technology Career Pathways Project

The White House has announced that Montgomery College is one of 14 community colleges in Maryland that will share a nearly $15 million federal grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration that will fund a cyber technology career pathways project at the college.

Montgomery College will receive $5,371,743 -- the most of any of the 14 colleges and more than one-third of the total amount of the grant, $14,957,899 – to focus on training in the cybersecurity economic sector, information technology, professional, scientific and technical, and educational services industries.

The community colleges will work in partnership with key employers and a number of hospitals to develop training pathways for low-income workers with minimal prior education or experience in information technology or cybersecurity.

Unemployment Rate Lowest in State for July, August

The fact that the County’s 5.1% unemployment rate was the lowest in Maryland for July and August is the result of successes within the local diverse business community enhanced by County economic development efforts and initiatives

Learn more about the County’s business climate and the, services and resources available to help businesses be creative and grow in the Department of Economic Development’s digital magazine.

Outstanding Achievements in Arts & Humanities to be Recognized; Free Tickets Available

The County Executive's Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities are the most prestigious honors conferred by Montgomery County on individual artists, scholars, organizations and cultural patrons. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made a difference in Montgomery County through the arts and humanities.

The 13th annual awards ceremony will be held on Monday, October 20 at Montgomery College's Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, beginning at 7 p.m.

Eight awards will be presented this year.

The event is free but tickets are required. Register for tickets online.

New Minimum Wage in Effect for County

County Executive Ike Leggett (at podium) and supporters of the County’s new minimum wage law at the recent announcement. Also participating were (behind Leggett’s right) Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Mark Elrich. 

The County’s Minimum Wage Law that went into effect October 1 raised the local minimum wage to $8.40 per hour. Under the law, the minimum wage will increase each year until it reaches the maximum of $11.50 on October 1, 2017.

The new Minimum Wage Law will be enforced through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The contact information for inquiries on Wage and Hour Enforcement is: Employment Standards Service, 1100 North Eutaw St., Room 607, Baltimore, MD 21201; call 410-767-2357; fax 410-333-7303; email

For more information, read the information sheet, visit the MC311 webpage or call a customer service representative at MC311. There is also a document detailing wage/tip calculations (pdf) that can be downloaded.

Enhancements Added to Alert Montgomery Emergency Notification System; Subscribers Should Update Current Accounts

The County's Alert Montgomery system has added new enhancements that will improve the speed, reliability and customization of the alerts subscribers will receive.

To obtain the new enhancements, current subscribers must re-register (update) their Alert Montgomery accounts.  Subscribers have begun receiving emails with a trusted/secure link from Everbridge, the new Alert Montgomery system provider. The link will remain open for 72 hours so subscribers can upgrade to the new system. Current subscribers who do not update their accounts will still receive some emergency alerts but will not have access to any of the new features.

New features include:
  • Selecting alerts as desired for emergencies, weather, traffic, school closings, etc. 
  • Receiving alerts via cell phone, email, text, home land line phone, work phone, or the new Mobile Member app 
  • Choosing to receive alerts for a specific address and for other locations of particular interest 
  • Specifying particular times during the day or night when you would prefer to block incoming notifications 
New notification topics include:
  • Severe weather warnings to include tornado watches/warnings 
  • Traffic disruptions - major collisions, road closures 
  • School emergency notifications - closings 
  • Shelter-in-place and evacuation information 
  • Significant water main breaks and downed power lines and outages 
  • Significant law enforcement or fire rescue incidents impacting the community 

Residents of Takoma Park, Rockville and Gaithersburg should sign up for the cities’ alerting systems through the following links. Some alerts from the County system will automatically be relayed onto the cities' systems. Existing subscribers to any of the systems will receive separate sign-up instructions:
To create a new Alert Montgomery account or learn more about the system go to, call 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311, or visit

Residents Encouraged to Take Advantage of Early Voting

The County Board of Elections (BOE) reminds residents that Early Voting for the General Election will occur from October 23 to October 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at locations around the County.
See the Early Voting locations on the BOE website at

For other election information, call 240-777-VOTE, visit, BOE’s mobile friendly website at or the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website at or follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Facebook or Twitter.

Celebrate the World of Montgomery

The diverse cultural heritages which play an active role in the lives of Montgomery County residents and communities will be showcased at the annual World of Montgomery Festival to be held at Westfield Wheaton on Sunday, October 19 from noon to 5 p.m.

The festival showcases the rich local diversity through food, music, dance, traditional arts and hands-on projects for children and families. There will be an international village, a global kitchen with chef demonstrations of traditional ethnic food, a craft market, a Parade of Cultures, two performance stages of traditional dance and music, traditional arts and fun activities for the whole family.

See more about the festival at

Community Service Week: Where Will You Serve?

The spirit of Community Service Day, October 25, has been extended to an entire week – the 18th through 26th -- so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and give back to the place you call home. This is a great way for students to earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours and for families and groups to serve together.

Projects are available for the entire week of October 18-26. To get moe information about projects and to sign up, visit

Senior Connection Gala

The Senior Connection will celebrate 20 years of providing free services to seniors in Montgomery County at its Annual Gala on Saturday, October 18 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place. The event will also celebrate the contributions of Founding Executive Director Sue Dollins as she retires. The gala will include a reception, dinner, dancing, live band, a silent auction and other surprises.

The Senior Connection is the region’s largest provider of free services to senior citizens, including escorted transportation, grocery shopping and bill paying.

For reservations, call the Senior Connection at 301-962-0820, or visit

Free Program on Seniors and Driving

A free program about seniors and driving entitled “Keeping Your Keys: To Drive, or Not to Drive?” will be presented at Montgomery County Recreation’s Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center on Wednesday, October 22, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The center is located at 1000 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring.

Participants will learn about the effects of aging on the ability to drive and that it is not always inevitable that all seniors will have to stop driving.

Keynote speakers will be Judith Goldstein, O.D., chief of Low Vision & Rehabilitation Services, Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Timothy Jones, certified driving rehabilitation specialist.

Sign language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible, but no less than 72 hours prior to the event. If these or other services or aids are needed to participate, call 240-777-8086 or email

Pre-registration is required. Call 240-777-8085 to register or for more information.

Residents, Business Representatives Sought for Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Advisory Committees

The Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) are seeking volunteers -- residents, businesses and community organizations -- to serve on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor Advisory Committees (CACs). .

Over the next two years, four major corridors will be evaluated for a Rapid Transit System, including Georgia Ave., US Route 29 (Colesville Rd. and Columbia Pike), MD Route 355 (Frederick Rd., Rockville Pike and Wisconsin Ave.) and Veirs Mill Rd. A CAC will be established for each corridor under consideration.

A CAC nomination form, due on November 21, is available online and details the structure, selection procedures, specific tasks, formation process and operating guidelines for the CACs.

Residents along the corridors under study should send nomination forms to the president of the civic/homeowner association that represents them. Each civic group along the corridor will select one representative to serve on the CAC for that corridor.

Businesses along the proposed routes are asked to send nomination forms to their respective Chambers of Commerce, which will make recommendations on proposed business representatives. Links to all the chambers are available online.

Each committee also allows for a number of “at large” representatives who may not live or work directly along the corridor but have an interest in the project. This form, also due November 21, should be emailed to or mailed to MCDOT Director’s Office, 101 Monroe St., 10th Floor, Rockville, MD 20850. Residents may nominate themselves or be nominated by others.

For more information, call 240-777-7155, email or visit the RTS website

Conference and Visitors Bureau has New Name, New Website

The organization formerly known as the Conference and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Montgomery County, MD Inc. is now Visit Montgomery, with a tagline of “Maryland’s Gateway to the Nation’s Capital.”

In addition to the new name, Visit Montgomery has launched a new website -- -- with updated features like a countywide calendar of events, interactive map and a trip builder. The trip builder allows visitors to browse the site, save their itineraries and email them to themselves and friends.

Additional features include suggested itineraries with a built-in map route so visitors can hover over the route to obtain directions and print the itinerary.

Fire Prevention Month Focuses on Working Smoke Alarms

October is Fire Prevention Month and this year’s theme focuses on the importance of working smoke alarms and knowing how old your alarms are.

Most of us pay close attention to expiration dates on food and medicine however many residents are unaware that smoke alarms also have expiration dates. All smoke alarms, hard-wired and battery powered expire and should be replaced every 10 years.

Get more information about the latest smoke alarm requirements.

Contractor Named to Redevelop Park & Ride Lot in Burtonsville

County Executive Ike Leggett has marked another milestone in the County’s plan to revitalize Burtonsville with the announcement that EDENS has been selected to enter into exclusive negotiations with the Department of Economic Development to redevelop the six-acre Park & Ride lot on US Route 29.

EDENS is a nationally recognized developer with regional offices in Bethesda. The firm is known locally for the epicurean mecca, Union Market, near NoMa – a growing neighborhood in the District of Columbia between Union Station, the U.S. Capitol, Shaw, and the H Street, NE corridor -- and the LEED Silver-certified, two-million square-foot Mosaic District in Fairfax.

The strategically located six-acre Park & Ride parcel will help define the larger “village center,” which includes Burtonsville Crossing, an adjacent shopping plaza owned by EDENS. Together, the two properties create a catalyst for the Burtonsville Crossroads Neighborhood Plan adopted by the Montgomery County Council in 2012. The plan outlines the community’s goals for 190 acres near US 29 and MD 198 and advocates for pedestrian connectivity, high-quality design, investments in businesses and preservation of the environment.

Read more in the news release.

Placemaking Initiative for Downtown Silver Spring announced by Councilmember Riemer

To gather community input and ideas and develop a vision for the enhancement of public spaces in downtown Silver Spring, County Councilmember Hans Riemer has announced a “placemaking” initiative to be led by the County’s Planning Department in partnership with the Silver Spring Regional Services Center, residents and business owners.

Two mini-charettes will be held on October 25 and November 9 that will provide a framework for future development proposals, public and private investments and planning processes, as well as cultural and community efforts for public spaces in downtown Silver Spring. Potential short-term and long-term strategies that will address the placemaking aspirations of the community will also be identified.

Residents are invited to attend the charettes and bring their own ideas to discuss. The placemaking website,, has additional details ,informatin about the two remaining workshops and an online sign-up form (advance sign up is not required but encouraged) and a place to submit comments
relating to the topics.

Public Forum on Proposed Additions to Ride On Service

Montgomery County will hold a public forum on proposed Ride On service additions on Wednesday, October 29 at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place. The forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end after the last speaker presents remarks. In case of inclement weather, the public forum will be held on October 30.

Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to speak at the public forum are requested to furnish in writing, on or before October 27, their name, home address, telephone number, e-mail address and organization to the Division of Transit Services, 101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor, Rockville, MD 20850;
240-777-5801, (fax) 301-251-4850. 

Individuals who have signed up to speak must provide two printed copies of their testimony for the record.
Get more information on procedures from the news release.

Report Issued on Cultural and Linguistic Diversity of MCPS Students, Staff

Students of color and English language learners make up two-thirds of Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) enrollment while White educators account for roughly three-fourths of all school-based professionals.

At the County Council’s direction, the Office of Legislative Oversight compiled a report on how the demographic alignment between MCPS students and educators and use of language assistance services varied across the school system.

The final report has been issued and four findings emerged:
  • The demographic mismatch between MCPS students and school professionals mirrored state and national trends. 
  • Student subgroups tended to be concentrated in schools with other members of their subgroup. 
  • Schools with high concentrations of student subgroups tended to have more professionals from that subgroup, but often had the widest demographic mismatch between students and staff. 
  • Schools’ requests for central office language assistance services (interpreter and language line services) generally aligned with their ESOL-eligible and Latino student enrollment. 
See the entire report.

Money Flowing, Businesses Growing in Montgomery County

It has been said that there is no money for start-ups here. NOT TRUE! Montgomery County is proud to shine the spotlight on local success stories from our business community

During 2013 and through this year, Montgomery County businesses from targeted growth sectors have received local and state investments to support their ongoing growth and success.

From grants, loans and tax credit incentives, to targeted funding programs and competitive investment awards, local companies continue to contribute to the growth of the innovative economy in the County.

Read about a few examples of local businesses receiving key investments to help support their strategic growth.

Innovative Technology Project puts County on Cover of State Tech Magazine

The County made the cover of the latest StateTech magazine, as part of the article that explains how the Internet of Things technology was used on the SmartAmerica program designed to help make residents of low-income housing safer.

Basically, the SmartAmerica project involves sensors in public housing units that will alert the resident and public safety officials of hazardous conditions, such as smoke, hazardous gases, air-quality, etc.

Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman is featured and quoted in the article entitled “Better Living Through Technology.” Projects in San Jose, CA and Kansas City, MO are also featured.

All three projects are outlined in the From the Editor column by Editor-in-Chief Ryan Petersen.

See the entire article.

County’s Recycling Coordinator Receives Green Champion Award

Alan Pultyniewicz, the County’s recycling coordinator in the Division of Solid Waste Services ( Dept. of Environmental Protection), has been named as a Green Champion “for his work toward the County’s goal of recycling 70 percent of collected trash by 2020.” He has been working on the County’s recycling program since 2000.

Alan was one of five recipients of the 2014 Green Awards sponsored by Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Green, a local nonprofit and incubator that promotes sustainable living. The honorees received their awards at the recent annual Bethesda Green Awards Gala.

Read more about the winners and the awards.

September 19, 2014

"You Only Live Once" Teen Pedestrian Safety Program Launched

Officials attending the launch of the YOLO campaign included (left to right: 1st row: Councilmember Cherri Branson, School Board member Dr. Judith Docca, County Executive Ike Leggett, School Board V.P. Patricia O'Neill, Seneca Valley HS Principal Marc Cohen, mother of teen pedestrian victim Gwendolyn Ward, Council President Craig Rice and School Board member Rebecca Smondrowski. 2nd row: Transportation Director Art Holmes and Police Traffic Division Director Captain Tom Didone. 

The County has launched a new education program to reduce pedestrian crashes involving teens. Entitled YOLO (You Only Live Once), the campaign, developed by the Department of Transportation, includes a toolkit that will be distributed to every County high school to reduce students’ risks by reminding them not to walk while distracted.

The announcement was made by County Executive Ike Leggett, County Council President Craig Rice and Vice President Board of Education Vice President Patricia O’Neill at a news conference at Seneca Valley High School (SVHS) in Germantown. In October 2012, 15-year-old Christina Morris-Ward, a SVHS student, was struck and killed as she distractedly crossed the street on her way to school. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, about half of students ages 15 to 19 say they use a cell phone when walking to school.

Each year, more than 400 crashes involving pedestrians occur on Montgomery County roadways. Teens ages 15 through 19 make up half of all underage pedestrian fatalities. I According to Safe Kids Worldwide, one in five high school teens cross the street while distracted by electronics.

Get more information about the YOLO and Walk Your Way campaigns.

Read more about the press event announcement.

Leggett, Council Add 10% More Hours, Plus Staff, Materials to Libraries

 Local elected officials gathered at Rockville Memorial Library with community library advocates and Friends of the Library, Montgomery County representatives to announce the expanded hours, along with increased staff and added materials in the branches to support the extra hours. Pictured (from left): Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz; Council President Craig Rice; County Executive Ike Leggett; MCPL Director Parker Hamilton; Councilman Phil Andrews; Council Vice President George Leventhal; and Councilmembers Nancy Floreen, Roger Berliner and Nancy Navarro.  View photos from the event.

Beginning Sunday, October 5, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will be open longer, with added service hours totaling 106 hours, 9.4 percent more than in fiscal year 2014.

Sixteen branches will have expanded hours, joining the five branches whose hours were increased in FY13. The expanded hours at the Silver Spring branch will go into effect when the new library opens later in this fiscal year.

Four more branches will be open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. bringing the total number with Sunday hours to 13.

In support of the expanded hours, a substantial increase in staff has been added -- 39 merit positions, plus additional substitute staff – bringing current staffing to its highest level since FY10.

To further enhance the system, funding for materials acquisition was increased for the current fiscal year by $500,000. This is the largest materials budget ($5,350,000) since FY10.

The increases were made possible by recommendations from County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council totaling $800,000 in the FY15 Operating Budget in response to feedback from the community.