March 24, 2016

County Executive Ike Leggett's Recommended FY 2017 Operating Budget

County Executive Ike Leggett released his recommended FY17 Operating Budget of $5.3 billion on Tuesday, March 15. The proposed budget calls for an increase in spending on Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) by almost $136 million ($90 million over Maintenance of Effort) and addresses the loss to County coffers by the Wynne case with a 3.9 cent increase per $100 assessed valuation in the property tax rate over the current year. The budget closes an estimated $178 million gap.

Leggett’s budget reflects the suggestions and concerns brought forward by hundreds of residents during County events and meetings including the five budget forums held in January and February.

FY2017 County Government Spending

FY2017 Budget Shortfalls Closed

Property Tax Increases_FY17

Montgomery County Recognized as an Environmental Champion at the Transforming Communities: Trash-Free Solutions for Healthy Lives, Clean Land, Safe Water Summit

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, Montgomery County Executive, Ike Leggett, Tommy Wells on behalf of District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Lori Arguelles, Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation.
County Executive Ike Leggett participated as a keynote lunch speaker at the Transforming Communities: Trash-Free Solutions for Healthy Lives, Clean Land, Safe Water Summit sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation on March 22. The event was held at the University of Maryland College Park Samuel L. Riggs Alumni Center. This summit marked the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Potomac River Watershed Trash Treaty, an agreement between regional leaders, businesses and governments who are committed to working towards a cleaner community. During the event, Leggett received the Potomac Champions Award.

A closing panel discussion included Lisa Feldt, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. Joining Feldt was Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of Energy & Environment; and Adam Ortiz, Director of the Department of the Environment for Prince George's County.

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Reopen Kensington Park Branch

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett invites residents to celebrate the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand reopening of the newly refreshed Montgomery County Public Libraries’ (MCPL) Kensington Park Branch located at 4201 Knowles Ave. The event will be held on Saturday, April 2 beginning at 10 a.m.

The library closed on October 10, 2015 so the facility could be renovated. The improvements for the library includes a full-service elevator to provide access to the library’s lower-level meeting rooms and restrooms; redesign of the children’s area to provide an expanded space for picture books and early reading materials; new circulation and information desks; interior design upgrades such as new carpeting and paint; enhanced Wi-Fi; additional power outlets; and new technology enhancements such as a mobile device charging station, digital signage, laptops for in-house use, and a 3D printer. 

Friends of the Library, Kensington Park Chapter will provide refreshments immediately following the ceremony. A jazz ensemble will provide musical entertainment and the Montgomery County Historical Society will provide a historical display. 

For more information, visit the MCPL website at

Silver Spring Named as one of America's 11 Most Awesome Urban Districts "Exploding with Character"

With all of the downtown Silver Spring offerings, it no surprise that Tripadvisor recently named it one of the best urban districts. The review not only lauded the arts and entertainment district as charming, cultured and musically inspired, but emphasized the American Film Institute Silver Theater, The Fillmore and the Silver Spring Market as features that make Silver Spring a great change-of-pace travel option for those visiting the nation’s capital. 

Levine Music to Open Fifth Campus at New Silver Spring Library

The Silver Spring Library, at 900 Wayne Avenue, is looking forward to sharing their space with new tenant, Levine Music. The new campus, which will be located on the entire second floor of the library will primarily be used for studio teaching, plus large classrooms and a recital hall.

Levine Music is preparing to begin offer programming in the new location in fall 2016. The joint arrangement will offer Montgomery County Public Libraries and Levine Music the opportunity work collaboratively to offer programming to enrich the lives of County residents.

Numerous tax credits, deferral and tax assistance programs available to help residents.

Doing your taxes can be tricky, but having information can make things a bit easier. In a continued effort to provide proactive communications with the public, the Department of Finance prepared a presentation which highlights information about property tax relief measures available to County residents. The information, useful to all residents, includes specific information helpful for seniors.

Students Strike a Pose at Montgomery County Recreation’s Fashion Boot Camp Finale

East County Community Recreation Center joined the ranks of New York, London, Milan, and Paris as fashion élites on Friday, March 18, when they hosted the Fashion Boot Camp Finale.

Montgomery County’s First Lady Catherine Leggett emceed the fashion show, which was also attended by Councilmember Nancy Navarro. The event showcased 60 participants from the County’s first Fashion Booth Camp who bedazzled the audience with their style, strutting, singing and dancing.

Fashion Boot Camp, offered by the Recreation Department’s Youth Development Team, emphasized teamwork, leadership, time management, and hard work in this creative program. The program aimed to teach middle and high school students what it takes to be successful in the modeling industry. 

Read more from press release.

Join the Department of Environmental Protection to Celebrate Earth Month

Earth Day is celebrated nationally on April 22, but Montgomery County celebrates the full month of April. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers programs throughout the month to celebrate our natural resources, stimulate environmental awareness and promote sustainable environmental initiatives.

DEP provides numerous volunteer opportunities such as workshops, stream clean-ups, and demonstrations. Earth Month closes with a grand finale celebration GreenFest scheduled for April 30 at the Takoma Park Recreation Center (calendar info). The event will include music, films, speakers, exhibitors and workshops all focused on building community and improving our environment.

View the full DEP calendar.

Visit Montgomery's Digital Marketing Summit Sponsored by Washington Post Digital

Visit Montgomery will offer a Digital Marketing Summit, sponsored by the Washington Post, to discuss effective strategies in social media. The event will be held on Thursday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. Experts will address current market trends in the digital era. Registration information available here.

March 10, 2016

County Executive Ike Leggett Announces Intensive Effort to Fill Potholes

Montgomery County Ike Leggett announced an intensive effort will be made in the upcoming days to focus on pothole repair. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Department will add extra equipment and staff from all seven of MCDOT’s regional depots.

MCDOT repairs potholes every day of the year except during rain and snow – and this year has been no exception. However, with the intensity of the blizzard of 2016 and the wide fluctuations in temperature over the winter months, the potential for potholes increased. The focused effort of deploying crews in full force will ensure County roads are repaired as soon as possible.

MC 311 is available for residents to report potholes online at Report Potholes Online or call 311 or 240-777-0311.

Moving Forward on Bus Rapid Transit

County Executive Ike Leggett announces his multi-year plan to make Bus Rapid Transit a reality in Montgomery County. Supporting Leggett’s initiative were (left to right) Councilmember Roger Berliner, Councilmember Marc Elrich, Transportation Department director Al Roshdieh, and Councilmember Nancy Navarro.
County Executive Ike Leggett announced his plan for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on Wednesday, March 2. The BRT will expand opportunities for continued economic development, increased job growth and reduction of traffic congestion.

Leggett sent a formal memo to Council President Nancy Floreen and Council Vice President Roger Berliner which outlined a strategic plan to expeditiously move progressive transit options forward. Leggett’s proposal will initially focus on the heavily traveled Rockville Pike and Route 29 corridors. 

The BRT service on US 29 will initiate operations in less than four years and will include specially-branded vehicles and rail-like stations with amenities such as level boarding and real-time bus arrival information.  These features will make the BRT an optimum option to move commuters rapidly.  The $6.5 million for planning and design of the US 29 BRT service will come from the six-year capital budget and will not require a tax increase.

Leggett’s proposal also includes $5 million of funding for the State to continue BRT planning on the MD 355 corridor.  The County Executive has called on the state to match the County’s $5 million funding to continue the BRT planning on MD 355 to a Locally Preferred Alternative.  He has also encouraged the State to continue planning and design efforts on the Corridor Cities Transitway and the Veirs Mill Road BRT corridor.

In addition, Leggett has recommended the initiation of priority bus service in the short term on MD 355 from Lakeforest Transit Center to Medical Center Metrorail Station and express bus service from Clarksburg to Shady Grove Metro Station.  He has also requested that the State fund MetroExtra priority service along Veirs Mill Road. 

More information on the BRT is available at

Montgomery County Visitor Spending Hits Record High

A recent study completed by Visit Montgomery, the official tourism website for Montgomery County, revealed travel and tourism to be a driving economic engine for the County.

According to the study, Montgomery County welcomed more than 8 million visitors, including over three million overnight visitors. Visitors spent $1.75 billion in 2014 which means that travelers spent $200,000 per hour in the County. This spending represented 10.7% of all visitor dollars spent in the state. In 2014, the number of visitors grew 6.1% with sales totals up 3.7%.

Tourism means more than just the number of visitors and the business sales. Tourism supports nearly 29,000 County jobs – 6.3% of all jobs in the County. Statewide, tourism ‘saves’ each household more than $1,000 – the amount each household in MD would need to contribute to replace state and local tax revenues generated by visitor activity.

To read more on the study go to Montgomery County Visitor Spending Hits Record High of $1.75 Billion in 2014.

Learn More About Police Chief Manger In a Feature Interview with Bethesda Magazine

from Bethesda Magazine
Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, a leader who brings honor to himself, the Police Department and the County, takes great pride in the dedicated work of the just under 2,000 sworn officers and civilians under his command.

Serving as the Chief of Police for the County since February 2004, Manger began as a Patrol Officer in Fairfax County and worked through the ranks to become the Chief of Police of Fairfax County before becoming the top cop in Montgomery County.

In an extensive interview with David Frey, writer for Bethesda Magazine, Manger gives readers an insight into his perspectives on the current pressing issues facing law enforcement professionals.

Read the article at Police Chief Manger Bethesda Magazine Interview.

Honor & Gratitude: Chronicles of 'Montgomery County Vietnam Veterans' to Premiere

Montgomery College Television in the Cultural Arts Center on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus, will premiere the documentary “Honor & Gratitude: Chronicles of Montgomery County Vietnam Veterans” on March 23. The story features seven Montgomery County residents who share their stories of serving as veterans in the Vietnam War. It is a moving recount from a prisoner of war, nurse, marine, two infantrymen, an air cavalryman, and a boat operator.

The Cultural Arts Center is located at 7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring. A reception will be held in the lobby at 1 p.m. The screening will begin at 2 p.m. A question and answer session with a Vietnam veteran panel will follow the documentary

Register for this free event at

Closing Ceremony to Mark a New Beginning for the Wheaton Library

Montgomery County Public Libraries will officially close the Wheaton branch, 11701 Georgia Avenue, in a public ceremony on March 13 at 5 p.m. The public is invited to the event which will include light refreshments and brief remarks from officials before County Executive Ike Leggett formally closes the facility.

The library will close to begin construction for the new combined Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center, which is expected to open in late 2018. The new facility will be built on the site of the existing library.

For more information, visit the MCPL website at

It is the Law in Montgomery County to License Your Pet Dogs and Cats

With warmer weather finally here, pet dogs and cats will be anxious to be outdoors and for longer periods of time. That means your pet be up-to-date with its rabies vaccination and wear a Montgomery County Pet License tag. It is the County law that all pet dogs and cats four months of age or older must have both a valid rabies vaccination and a Montgomery County Pet License. That law applies even to dogs and cats whose owners try to keep them indoors, on their personal property or dogs and cats that live on a farm.

Licensing is the fastest way for Animal Services officers to reunite owners with lost pets and it ensures that pet’s rabies vaccination are current. For more information on obtaining a pet license go to and click on “Licensing.”

Bethesda Film Fest to Showcase Five Diverse Documentary Shorts

The fourth annual Bethesda Film Fest will feature five short documentaries made by local filmmakers. The films will show at Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda on Friday, March 18 at 7 and 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m.

Films include a professional Lucha Libre wrestling star, an unlikely civil rights leader and the first ever women’s mosque. The evening will include a discussion with the filmmakers after the screening. Tickets are available at for $10. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door. The Bethesda Film Fest is produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District.

New Online County Map Commemorates African American Historic Sites

Councilmember George Leventhal and the Planning Board recently debuted an online map of County-designated African American Historic Sites. The map shows historic sites, parks, trails and buildings that commemorate African American heritage.

The planning staff mapped two dozen historic African American sites in the first phase of this project. The locations included are not an exhaustive compilation of all significant African American sites in the County. More locations will be added after community feedback is received and additional sites are identified and evaluated.

The online map can be found at

Celebrate Earth Month with Montgomery Parks!

Looking for a way to give back during Earth Month? Check out Montgomery Parks’ special Earth Month volunteer events happening throughout the month of April. Earth Month volunteer opportunities will include Stream & Park Cleanups, Natural Surface Trail Work and Weed Warrior Projects among others. Most volunteer opportunities are approved for students to early student service learning hours.Visit for more information.

Reenactors, Union and Confederate Soldier Encampments and Guided Tours Bring Poolesville History to Life

The history of Poolesville will come alive with the first Poolesville in History Day on Saturday, May 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will offer a journey through the history time line of Poolesville. The celebration will take place throughout town in the Whalen Commons.

Reenactors will include John Poole Jr., the founder of Poolseville, tribe members from the

Piscataway-Conoy native American Indian tribe which inhabited the area near the mouth of the Monocacy and Professor Thaddeus Lowe, the father of American Aeronautical Corp.

Throughout the day, Confederate and Union encampments will be located in the park with historical lectures, enactments and historical interpreters in period dress. Entertainment will include performances by Doug Jimerson and the Washington Revel's Jubilee Voices. Other displays will include presentations by Rangers from the Battle of Balls Bluff National Park Service, representatives from the Sugarload Ethnic Project, and the African American heritage in Poolesville.

Heralds of Hope Theatre Company to Present "The Dance On Window's Row"

The Heralds of Hope Theatre Company will present “The Dance on Window’s Row”, a romantic comedy written by African-American playwright from Burgaw, North Carolina, Samm-Art Williams.

The performance will be held in the Randolph Road Theater, 4010 Randolph Road, Silver Spring. The event will be held April 1 – 17, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Ticket price is $20. Online ticket purchases and seat selection is encouraged. More information is available at

Montgomery Parks’ Arbor Day Poster Contest!

Students in third- through fifth-grade are invited to participate in a Montgomery Parks poster contest for a chance to host an Arbor Day Celebration at their school in April. Entries must be received by March 25. The winning submission will be chosen on March 31 and the winning school will be notified by April 4. For official rules and submission guidelines go to