February 24, 2016

County Executive Ike Leggett Testifies Before the Maryland Senate Budget & Tax Committee

Montgomery County has welcomed nearly 3000 new students to the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) the last couple of years. To effectively address this enrollment growth, Leggett testified before the Maryland Senate Budget & Tax Committee to underscore the need for increased state funding for MCPS capital projects.

Leggett emphasized the challenges of the enrollment growth and the deterioration of buildings as key reasons for the need of increased capital funding from the state. The requested state funds are necessary for ongoing maintenance and necessary updates and to provide for capacity of projected enrollments over the next decade.

Montgomery County Council Reschedules Town Hall Meeting for Clarksburg Area

The Montgomery County Council will meet with residents of the County’s fastest-growing community when it hosts a Town Hall Meeting for Clarksburg starting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2. The meeting will be held at Rocky Hill Middle School located at 22401 Brick Haven Way in Clarksburg, just off of Route 355. A pre-meeting reception will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Council originally planned to host the Town Hall Meeting on January 27, but postponed the meeting following the snow storm that hit the County that week.

Five-Day Delegation to Cuba

Donating a baseball to school children in Old Havana Tuesday morning
Montgomery County officials, including County Executive Ike Leggett and Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Nancy Navarro are on a five-day delegation mission to Cuba.

The Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce organized the trip to be a historical regional exploratory mission to lay the groundwork for future relationships, promote greater cultural ties and build potential economic and business interests in Cuba. The mission will also serve as a platform to share best practices and showcase the Washington metropolitan area’s strengths in transportation, tourism, health and education.

Members are meeting with Cuban government officials, including Havana Mayor Marta Hernández Romero, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz. They will also speak with U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis about U.S. diplomacy in Cuba and economic opportunities for regional businesses in Havana.

Washington Regional Leaders to Join Hispanic Chamber on Exploratory Mission to Cuba>

Understanding the Zika Virus

In Montgomery County, the Zika virus infection is something to be aware of but not alarmed by. The Department of Health and Human Services has collected important information to help you understand what is known about the virus, how it is spread and ways to protect yourself. Visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/zika.

Montgomery County Has Joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform™

Montgomery County announced its partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform ™ partner. This partnership will assist the Department of Energy in their efforts to collect and manage building energy data. Other partners include: Atlanta, Berkeley, Cambridge, the California Energy Commission, Houston, Kansas City, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C.

Montgomery County is the first county in the nation to pass a building energy benchmarking and transparency law. The SEED Collaborative three-year partnership with Montgomery County will provide support to collect, clean and manage data from different sources across the County’s large building portfolio. The County will receive assistance with the initial setup and implementation of the SEED Platform™, ongoing technical support, business process support, complimentary hosting services, and access to a peer community of users and developers to share feedback and solutions. Read here for more information on SEED Platform™ press release.

Get ALL Your Money and Financial Education Resources

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a possible refundable tax credit for people who worked in 2015. The federal credit ranges from $2 to $6,242. Eligibility and credit amount depends on income, family size, and other factors. The State of Maryland offers an Earned Income Tax Credit, matched by Montgomery County's Working Families Income Supplement to eligible residents.

For more information on financial education, and resources for free assistance with tax preparation go to montgomerycountymd.gov/cashback.

Spring is in the air at Montgomery County Recreation

Registration for the Recreation Department's spring programs is now open. Programming options include a wide variety of classes and programs intended to help participants stay active and have fun. Offerings include creative arts, aquatics, sports, therapeutic recreation services and active adult senior programming. For online registration or to view the programming guide online, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.

Department of Transportation Shares a new Vision for Transportation in Montgomery County

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (DOT) has developed a strategic vision to effectively and efficiently connect people of all ages, incomes and abilities with the best transportation choices and services. The progressive framework aims to shape a rapid, safe, accessible, efficient, transportation system which bridges residents to home, work. school, recreation, entertainment and services.

Read more about the DOT vision.

BEWARE! SCAM Phone Calls AGAIN Demand Money to Prevent Arrest

Telephone scammers are using the guise of a sheriff’s deputy to extort people into sending money to avoid arrest. Recently, over 50 residents reported receiving a scam telephone call requesting money or credit card information. The caller, falsely claiming to be from the sheriff's office, says a warrant has been issued and will be served unless money is paid. The caller has also left voice mail messages with a call-back number that is answered by a realistic law enforcement sounding recorded announcement.

Residents are warned to never provide unsolicited callers with credit card or bank information. Deputy Sheriffs will never call and threaten arrest or demand payment.

For more information see MC Sheriff's website.

Free Employment Expo for Adults 50 and Older

The 50+ Employment Expo will be held on April 4 at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda.

Recruiters from dozens of employers, including nonprofits, government, healthcare, retail technology and more will attend the expo. In addition, there will be seminars and continuing education sessions available to assist with things such as completing applications, resume preparation, changing careers, job training, website lists and more.

There is free parking and easy access via the Metro Redline to the White Flint Station. For more information go to 50+ Employment Expo website.

Pregnancy Tests and Counseling Provided

Montgomery County can put you in touch with pregnancy tests and prenatal counseling. Early pregnancy detection is important to ensure that both mother and baby have every opportunity for a healthy birth outcome. 

Find out more, visit MC311 website or call 311.

Former County Administrator Tom Street Named WSSC’s Deputy General Manager for Administration

Former Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Thomas J. Street began as WSSC’s new Deputy General Manager for Administration on February 16. In his new role, Street will guide and oversee the administrative aspects of the Commission.

Prior to his appointment, Street served under County Executive Ike Leggett, as one of four administrators who supported and advised the Chief Administrative Officer. While with the County, Street’s areas of responsibility included oversight of the County’s MC311 Initiative and coordinating issues such as Wheaton revitalization, inclement weather response, pedestrian safety, the Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway mass transit projects, and affordable housing.

Volunteers Makes a Difference for Manna Food Center

Manna Food Center provides food to 40,000 individuals annually and helps distribute rescued food to soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters county-wide. Manna coordinated two beneficial service projects for dedicated volunteers on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Volunteers made 100,000 meals which consisted of rice, beans and other savory ingredients and collected nearly 30,000 pounds of food at 27 Giant stores across the County.

Read more about the important work Manna does in their February newsletter.

County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council President Nancy Floreen Proclaim February as Library Lovers Month

Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Sidney Katz joined County Executive Ike Leggett to kick off Library Lovers Month at the Silver Spring Library on February 6. Throughout the month of February, branches and FOL chapters hosted Library Lovers themed programs and activities celebrating all aspects. 

February 3, 2016

Summer Camp Registration is Open

 view program online
Registration for Montgomery County Recreation’s summer camps and programs are now open. Hundreds of affordably priced offerings, including arts, nature, science and sports are featured, among many other options for tots to teens.

Camps and summer programs are available for all skill levels at hundreds of locations throughout the County. Early registration is encouraged because space is limited and signups are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

More information is available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.

Al Roshdieh Appointed as Director of Montgomery County Department of Transportation

Al R. Roshdieh as Director
of the Department of
Transportation (MCDOT)
The Montgomery County Council approved the appointment of Al R. Roshdieh as Director of the Department of Transportation  on February 2. Roshdieh has served as Acting Director since December 22, 2014. During the past year, Roshdieh has reinvigorated the department’s mission and staff with a progressive vision for sustainable transportation.

Read more here.

Montgomery County’s Office of Human Rights Co-Sponsors Civil Rights Historic Bus Tour

Online registration is now open for the upcoming annual civil rights historic bus tour that retraces the steps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights heroes. The tour is hosted by the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Public Libraries, the African American Employees Association, the Lincoln Park Historical Foundation and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The trip is available to county and non-county residents.

The bus tour leaves Rockville on April 3 and returns on April 10. The tour will travel to Greensboro, NC; Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, AL; Memphis and Nashville, TN; Little Rock, AR and Jackson, MS to retrace the Freedom Trail to learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, voter’s rights, Little Rock Nine and other significant events of the Civil Rights Movement.

County Executive Ike Leggett Endorses County's Commitment to Library Cards for all Students at White House Summit

County Executive Ike Leggett joined St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock at a White House ConnectED meeting on Tuesday, January 19 to talk about the importance of every student having their own library card. Leggett presented information to leaders from over 40 cities about the essential role local governments play in assuring that all students have access to free library resources.

This meeting is the first-ever national convening of chief elected officials, school superintendents and library leaders to explore how stronger partnerships between schools and libraries build a bridge to ensure all children have the resources to reach their full learning potential.

Director of Public Libraries Parker Hamilton and Montgomery County Public Schools Chief Engagement and Partnership Officer Timothy B. Warner also represented Montgomery County at the meeting. 

Read more about the White House Summit.

New Ride On Bus System Maps Now Available

Ride On has published an updated system map that is available both online and as a paper map to help residents and visitors plan their travel using transit. In addition to Ride On’s 78 routes, the map shows other transportation options including Metrobus, Metrorail, MARC Commuter Rail, MTA Commuter Bus, local shuttles, Amtrak and Greyhound.

Residents may call MC311 at 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311.

Leggett Promotes Friendlier Aging Community

In December County Executive Leggett convened a Summit On Aging to celebrate the accomplishments and understand the priorities for shaping Montgomery County as a lifelong community for residents ages 55 and older. 

Review here for an overview of the County Executive’s Summit on Aging.

Twinbrook Branch Library Celebrates Reopening

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Twinbrook Branch located at 202 Meadow Hall Drive in Rockville on January 30. The event marked the official reopening of the branch after being closed to be “refreshed” under the Library Refurbishment Level-of-Effort initiative in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

The Twinbrook Branch library is the first MCPL branch to be refreshed under the library refurbishment program which provides important enhancements to a facility. The refurbishment initiative provides the opportunity to implement focused capital improvements in a seven-year rotation rather than waiting for the 20-year to 30-year full renovation cycle.

Berliner Elected to the Board of Directors of the Washington Council of Governments

In January the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) elected Councilmember Roger Berliner, Vice President of the Montgomery County Council, as its Chairman for 2016. Berliner, who served on the COG Board since 2007, shared his two focus issues are the Metro transit system and economic development.

The Board of Directors is COG’s governing body and is responsible for its overall policies, functions, and funds. Board members are appointed each year by the participating local governments and by caucuses of state legislative delegations from the region. Read more at Berliner Wants to Improve Metro, Economic Development as New Chairman of Council of Governments.

Nominations Sought for Montgomery Serves and Neal Potter Volunteer Service Awards

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center, in partnership with the Montgomery County Commission on Aging and The Beacon Newspapers are accepting nominations for the Montgomery Serves and the Neal Potter Path of Achievement awards. The awards honor some of the County’s most dedicated volunteers. Categories include: lifetime service, youth, business, individual and group. 
More information and nomination forms are available at Volunteer Center website. Nominations for all categories will be accepted through Friday, February 26 at 5 p.m.

Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity FY 2015 Annual Report

The Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity FY 2015 annual report shows the Center had served over 21,000 residents last year. The report highlights the key programs such as the information and referral, English as a second language classes, workforce development, civic engagement academies, computer literacy and citizenship classes, and pro bono legal assistance.

The Gilchrist Center opened its doors in September 2001 and serves as the County’s welcome center giving the County’s diverse population a connection to volunteer opportunities, civic engagement, cross cultural activities, economic empowerment and information about public and private services. The center provides these services through partnerships with other organizations and the use of skilled volunteers. 

Read the Annual Report (pdf).

Department of Health and Human Services releases Annual Report and Strategic Plan

The Department of Health and Human Services recently released the FY 2015 Annual Report (pdf)  and the Department’s Strategic Roadmap: FY 2016 – FY 2018 (pdf).

The annual report provides an overview of the comprehensive services and accomplishments of the department.

The Roadmap will guide the department’s delivery of services over the next three years.