December 22, 2016

Holiday Schedule for Christmas and New Year’s Day

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays:
  • County Offices – closed Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2
  • Libraries – closed December 25, 26 and January 1, 2
  • County Liquor stores – Saturday, December 24 and Saturday, December 31, all Department of Liquor Control (DLC) stores will be open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Stores will be closed Sunday, December 25 and Sunday, January 1, 2017
  • Recreation – All facilities and programs closed December 25 and January 1. Senior centers are closed December 24 through January 2. For information on schedules for aquatic facilities and community centers during the holiday week.
  • Montgomery Parks - for the holiday operating schedule on Parks’ facilities visit
  •  Ride On – Saturday, December 24: Saturday schedule with limited late evening service. Trips scheduled to depart from the terminal at 10:01 p.m. or later will NOT depart. Sunday, December 25: Sunday schedule. Monday, December 26: Sunday schedule (Christmas Day - observed). Sunday, January 1: Sunday schedule; Monday, January 2: Sunday schedule (New Year's Day - observed) 
  • Metrorail – Information available at website
  • Metrobus – Information available at website
  • TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – Closed December 25, 26 and January 1,2
  • Transfer Station and Poolesville Beauty Spot– closed on December 25 and January 1
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – will operate as scheduled
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station – closed December 25, January 1
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
  • MCPS Schools and Administrative Offices – Schools and offices closed Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2; no school for students and teachers December 26 – January 2
  • State offices and courts – closed Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2

Council Elects Roger Berliner as President; Hans Riemer as Vice President for 2016-17

The Montgomery County Council unanimously elected Roger Berliner as president and Hans Riemer as vice president of the Council on December 6. They will serve one-year terms as officers of the Council.

Council President Berliner, who represents Council District 1, served as Council vice president for the past year. He is beginning his 11th year on the Council and previously served as Council president in 2011-12. He succeeds Nancy Floreen, who served as Council President for 2015-2016.

Council Vice President Hans Riemer, first elected to the County Council in 2010, represents one million Montgomery County residents as an At-Large Member. Hans has dedicated his public service career to creating opportunity for all people to achieve their potential. As a Councilmember, he works towards this vision by advocating to fund public education and public transportation, early childhood programs, libraries, recreation, human services, housing and economic development

Read more from press release.

Montgomery County's 2016 Team USA Olympians Honored at a Special Ceremony Hosted by County Executive Ike Leggett

County Executive Ike Leggett honored Montgomery County’s 2016 Team USA Olympians in a standing-room-only event on Dec. 19. The celebration held at the Silver Spring Civic Building, located at One Veterans Place, recognized Montgomery County’s four athletes who represented the U.S. in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Joining Leggett were Olympians Jack Conger, Katie Ledecky and Ashley Nee. Helen Maroulis was unable to attend. The U.S. is the first country in 40 years to top the medal chart in every category to earn 46 gold medals. Six of those medals were won by Montgomery County Olympians.

Jack Conger from Rockville competed in the 4 x 200m freestyle swimming event. Conger earned a gold medal for the Men’s 4 X 200m freestyle relay swimming.

Katie Ledecky from Bethesda is a gold medalist from the 2012 Olympics who competed in the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 4 x 200m freestyle and 4 X 100m freestyle relay. Ledecky earned a silver and four gold medals at the 2016 Olympics.

Ashley Nee from Darnestown competed in the canoe slalom. Nee overcame a past serious shoulder injury and the disappointment of just missing placement on the 2012 Team USA for the London games.

Helen Maroulis made history when she defeated Japan's 13-time world champion, giving Team USA its first women's wrestling gold medal in Olympic history. Maroulis competed in the freestyle 53 kg.

The ceremony included a joint proclamation presented by Leggett and Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner. Gabe Albornoz, director of the Montgomery County Recreation Department served as Master of Ceremonies for the event which included rousing music by the Richard Montgomery High School Band under the direction of Dr. Peter Perry.

Other highlights for the event included a presentation of fan mail from Montgomery County Public Library Director Parker Hamilton, the Chairperson of the Maryland Commission for Women Lee Banchu announced that Katie Ledecky and Helen Maroulis would be inducted into the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame in March and Jacqueline Keenan, marketing manager for Rockville Town Square, presented the athletes with two 8-foot flip flops that had been signed by hundreds of residents to show support of the athletes during the 2016 Rio Games.

The best part of the event for many of the kids who attended the ceremony came when they got to meet the athletes and get a quick photograph.

Celebrating Montgomery County’s 2016 Team USA Olympians

For more information about the event, check;

Improperly Disposed Ashes Destroyed Residents Home; Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Remind Residents to Follow Safety Guidelines When Disposing of Ashes

There is nothing quite like a warm fire in the fireplace to help keep warm when chilly outside temperatures have you shivering to the bone. As pretty as a cozy fire may look, things can turn ugly mighty quickly if you don’t take proper precautions with ashes.

On Tuesday, December 20 MCFRS responded to a fire started in a County resident's home. The fire started in the attached garage from ashes placed in an open pan with ash from a fire. This is the fourth fire that MCFRS has responded to this year that has started from ashes which residents believe had cooled. Fortunately, no one was physically hurt in the fire, however, the accident reportedly caused $700,000 in damages.

Each year, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) responds to fires that are caused by improper disposal of hot coals or ashes from fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, grills or outside fire rings designed for use on decks or patios. The truth is that coals and ashes from fires can remain hot for days after a fire is out. Treat all ashes and coals as HOT ashes, even when you think they have had enough time to cool. Your garage, house or deck are unsafe locations for ashes to cool and have been the site of many recent and devastating fires both locally and nationally.

MCFRS reminds resident to be safe and treat all ashes and coals as hot ashes, even when you think they have had enough time to cool. Your garage, house or deck are unsafe locations for ashes to cool. When messing with ashes, making a bad judgment call can become a deadly error.

Take time to review these important safety messages from MCFRS to keep you and your family safe.

Leggett Taps Private Sector Executive Robert Dorfman to Head County Department of Liquor Control

County Executive Ike Leggett appointed Robert M. Dorfman as the Director for the County’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC), which manages the wholesale distribution of alcohol and the retail sale of liquor in the County. The DLC generates nearly $21 million annually in profit to County taxpayers while better protecting public health and public safety.

Dorfman, who lives in North Potomac, brings to the table a broad range of private sector experience and proven turnaround skills. Dorfman has served in several senior level executive positions at Marriott International. Among those, he was President of Host International, the world leader in airport, travel plazas and sports and entertainment food and beverage operations (responsible for $1.5 billion in annual income and 25,000 employees.) He was the nation’s second largest franchisee of Five Guys (operating 35 locations in Florida, Texas, and Ohio), and was President and Chief Operating Officer of TrustHouse Services Group, the sixth-largest contract services company in the United States.

Most recently, he served as Managing Partner of two World of Beer franchises in Virginia. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the County Council.

Make Martin Luther King Day a Day ON and not a Day OFF!

Join thousands of other residents in honoring Dr. King’s life and teachings by taking part in Montgomery County’s Martin Luther King Day of Service 2017 on Monday, Jan. 16. This annual event, organized by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center and many other partnering agencies, will feature a wide variety of coordinated family-friendly service projects at locations across the County, providing residents of all ages with ways to help our community. Projects will include everything from packaging food for the hungry and making dog toys for an animal shelter to creating blankets for hospices and crafting appreciation cards for military troops. There will be numerous service projects planned for that day by service agencies and nonprofits throughout our region.

More information is available at volunteer center website.

County Officials Celebrate Ribbon Cutting for Progress Place; Services to Homeless Begins on Coldest Day of the Season

With temperatures not rising above freezing on December 16, it seemed spot-on that services began at the newly built Progress Place in downtown Silver Spring. The 39,000 square-feet facility serves the homeless through a successful partnership between government, private development and non-profit partners who work together to serve those in need of services and shelter.

County Executive Isiah Leggett joined by County Councilmembers Nancy Floreen, Tom Hucker and George Leventhal, Department of General Services Director David Dise, Health and Human Services Director Uma Ahluwalia and non-profit partners to cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of Progress Place on December 10. Residents will begin moving into the facility the first week in January.

Leggett Featured as Keynote Presenter for the Committee for Montgomery’s Annual Legislative Breakfast

For more than two decades, County leaders have considered the Committee for Montgomery’s Annual Legislative Breakfast the unofficial kick off of the legislative season. This year’s event held on December 15 featured County Executive Ike Leggett and Baltimore City’s Mayor Catherine Pugh as keynote speakers who discussed how the two jurisdictions can work together to strengthen their economies.

Hundreds of County and Maryland state leaders attended the event held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in North Bethesda. To view the keynote presentation, go to

Groundbreaking Held for Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center

The cold temperatures did not stop the community from coming out to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center on December 10. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett joined over a hundred residents to break ground to begin the demolishment of the existing structure and start construction of the new facility. The new Center will be located at 14715 Good Hope Road in Silver Spring on the same site of the former facility.

Joining Leggett were County Council President Roger Berliner, County Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Councilmember Hans Riemer, Department of Recreation Director Gabe Albornoz and Department of General Services Director David Dise.

Other participants included Michael F. Riley, director of the Montgomery County Department of Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission; Eliot Pfanstiehl, CEO, Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc.; and representatives from Action in Montgomery.

The new 14,000-square-foot building will be more than twice the size of the original structure, vastly increasing capacity and making it more useful to the community. The new building will be located at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Good Hope Park on the site of the existing parking lot. The new parking lot will be built on the site of the old building after it is demolished.

For more information check press release.

Community Guide for Immigrant Residents of Montgomery County Available Now

The Gilchrist Center has created a community guide that provides resources to help immigrants understand their rights. Included in the Guide are links to fact sheets and contact information for useful local and national resources. The Guide is available online.

Updated Transportation Fact Sheet Offers Information to Help Seniors Get Around

There are tons of ways to get around Montgomery County – and seniors can access special transportation options and discounts. Check out our updated factsheet, “Transportation Options for Older Adults” 

Transportation Network Directory for People with Disabilities & Adults 50+ website Available Now

The Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities and Commission on Veterans Affairs has completed a comprehensive Transportation Network Directory for People with Disabilities & Adults 50+. This guide is a comprehensive listing of public, private and non-profit transportation in the Washington Metropolitan Region, State of Maryland, and beyond that can be used by everyone in the community with an emphasis on people with disabilities and older adults.

The information provides information on private and public transportation, how to get to Ocean City, ways to access the airports and escorted transportation and more. There is also included information on reduced fees on Metro for Veterans with a disability. The web-based guide is available at County website.

Leggett Joins Other Municipal Leaders from Across the Country to Emphasis the Importance of Immigration Program to the President-elect

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett joined 18 municipal government officials from across the US urging President-elect Donald Trump to continue a program that protects children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent the letter on Dec. 7 to ask Trump to continue to accept and consider applications under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) until Congress modernizes U.S. immigration policy.

Joining Leggett in signing the letter included: Mayor Megan Barry of Nashville, TN; Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, NY; Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence, RI; Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, CA; Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver, CO; Mayor Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, MN; Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, PA; Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco, CA; Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose, CA; Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle, WA; Former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, MD; Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis, M0; Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, AZ; Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, TX; and Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, MA.

The DACA program helps ensure that qualified undocumented youth can seek higher education, work and engage in military service without fear of deportation. Youth who were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; came to the U.S. before reaching their 16th birthday; have lived in the US continuously for five years; and are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; who have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind; and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety; may apply through the program for temporary deferred action and work authorization.

New Traffic Pattern at the Capital Crescent Trail and Little Falls Parkway Beginning On or Around January 2017

Montgomery County Park Staff will implement a new traffic pattern to improve safety at the intersection of Little Falls Parkway and the Capital Crescent Trail. In the vicinity of this intersection, vehicular traffic on Little Falls Parkway will merge from two lanes to one, in each direction. The speed limit will reduce from 35 mph to 25 mph, and additional signs alerting motorists of pedestrians and bicyclists will be installed.

Park staff will conduct additional studies in the vicinity of this intersection to identify a safe long-term solution to accommodate both vehicles and trail users. The long-term solution may involve additional traffic pattern changes and trail connectors. Trail users and motorists should always use caution when entering the intersection, adhere to the new traffic patterns, and obey state laws at all times. For further information, please visit

Montgomery County History Conference Coming to Montgomery College on January 28

Montgomery College is teaming up with Montgomery History to co-host a History Conference on January 28 at Montgomery College’s Bio science Education Center in Germantown. The day-long event includes workshops, presentations, and panel discussions covering a wide range of topics within the realm of local history. Since 2007, the Montgomery County History Conference has been a venue for people of all ages and backgrounds—civic leaders, students, museum professionals and volunteers, history buffs, genealogists and the general public—to explore and celebrate the many facets of our past that shape our community to this day. For more information, go to website.

Last day to Participate in a Research Study On Your Perception About Opiate and Heroin Use in Your Community Is Friday, December 23

Maryland residents, age 18 years and older, are asked to help by taking a research study that explores Marylander's perceptions, awareness and use of prescription opioids and heroin in your community. This study, conducted by the University of Maryland Baltimore in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Behavioral Health Administration should take about 10-minutes and is available online. Everyone who completes the survey can register to win a $50 gift card.

Bernie Scholarship Awards Program Looking for Past Awardees to Participate in Effectiveness Survey

In its 22 years of existence, The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program has awarded $469,700 in scholarships to 423 low-income residents of subsidized rental housing in Montgomery County. To evaluate the success of the program and improve its effectiveness, the program’s Board of Directors has hired Quick Study Consulting, LLC, to assist with the collection and analysis of survey data from past scholarship recipients. If you are a past scholarship recipient, or know someone who is, please email the program at and provide the scholarship recipient’s name and preferred email address so that a copy of the survey can be sent to him or her on or about Jan. 15, 2017.

December 2, 2016

Stay Safe this Holiday Season

Ah, the winter holidays. They were immortalized in song as “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Unfortunately, the holiday season is also one of the most vulnerable times of the year. That’s why Police Chief Tom Manger, Fire Chief Scott Goldstein and others joined County Executive Ike Leggett to promote ways to “Stay Safe this Holiday Season.” The speakers at a recent press conference held at the new Clarksburg Premium Outlets gave tips on how to better “Be Seen,” “Be Alert” and “Be Responsible.” Topics covered included driver and pedestrian safety, including safety in parking lots. Approximately one in four pedestrian collisions occur in parking lots…and they will be crowded during this prime shopping period. Information was also provided about respecting the designated disability parking spaces for people whose vehicles have disability plates or hang tags. Also each year police and firefighters hand out environmentally-friendly reusable shopping bags during the ‘Shop with a Cop or Firefighter” campaign. And drivers were reminded that there is never a reason to drink and drive during the holidays, if you plan ahead for an alternative way home. Learn much more at press release.

Leggett’s Streamlining Continues to Yield Big Rewards with Improvements to Permitting Services that Save Residents and Businesses Money and Time; Time Required for Commercial Permitting Services Down More Than 50 Percent

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced significant improvements in the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) processing times. The commercial permitting processing time has decreased over the past two years from an average of 25 weeks to an average of 12 weeks a 52 percent improvement. Initial reviews are completed in 20 to 30 calendar days and solar permits, which have increased dramatically in volume, have a three to five day turn- around. A total of 60,543 permits and licenses were processed in fiscal year 2016, which is a 20 percent increase in volume over 2013 and a 63 percent increase in work volume since 2009. This is customer service and customer friendly.

Recognized by the National Association of Home Builders for their streamlining work, DPS credits the launch of the web-based system called eServices as pivotal in the improvement of services. County residents and businesses use "ePermits" and "ePlans" to apply online and electronically submit building and permitting plans for electrical, deck, new home and right-of-way permits.

The online process kicked off in December 2013; since then, the use of ePermits and ePlans has expanded to required use and there has been a dramatic improvement in review times with businesses receiving their building permits in one-third of the time that it took in Fiscal Year 2015.

The software developer for the ePlans system created a "green" calculator to estimate the benefits to the environment due to avoided vehicle miles, saved fuel costs, avoided driving time, trips removed from the road and paper and trees saved. The estimated positive environmental impacts are considerable and critical.

For more information about the Department of Permitting Services, call 311 or visit the website at

Montgomery County Earns 2016 Triple-A Bond Rating; Among the Best in the Nation for Fiscal Responsibility

County Executive Ike Leggett recently announced that Montgomery County has maintained its Triple-A bond rating for 2016 from three Wall Street bond rating agencies.

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.”

The Triple-A bond rating enables Montgomery County to sell long-term bonds at the most favorable rates, saving County 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.

Standing UP for the Montgomery Way

County Executive Ike Leggett, County Councilmembers and other public officials, faith leaders, and neighbors came together on November 20 with a crowd of more than 1,000 people at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring to reaffirm the County’s support of diversity, inclusion, and respect for all – the core values that have made Montgomery County a model community.

    Montgomery County Council Votes to Revise Landlord-Tenant Law

    On November 29 the Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to amend Bill 19-15 in an effort to reform the County’s landlord-tenant laws on November 29. The bill enhances the rights of tenants and improves the quality of rental housing through increased inspections.

    Councilmember Marc Elrich sponsored Bill 19-15 and Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Tom Hucker are co-sponsors. The Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers George Leventhal and Hans Riemer, held five worksessions on the bill.

    Read the Council staff report (pdf).

    County Cable Montgomery produced a video which shows conditions some tenants currently endure in the County. YouTube link to;
    Video credit: Lilian Mass, a communications specialist and Loren Olson videographer and editor with County Cable Montgomery

    Montgomery County Announces Date for the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center

    On Saturday, December 10 at 12:30 p.m., Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will participate in a groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction of the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center The facility is located at 14715 Good Hope Road in Silver Spring.

    The new 14,000 square foot building will be more than twice the size of the original structure, vastly increasing capacity and making it more useful to the community. The new building will be located at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Good Hope Park on the site of the existing parking lot. The new parking lot will be built on the site of the old building after it is demolished. The new lot will be closer to the tennis courts and ballfields.

    The building is being replaced because key building systems such as the structural system, exterior walls, elevators, roof and HVAC and electrical system have surpassed their useful service life and it does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

    Reduce, Reuse and Recycle During the Holidays and Everyday Throughout the Year

    As you are decking your halls this holiday season, you can help the environment by reducing waste, reusing items, and recycling everything that can be recycled. The holiday season traditionally generates additional amounts of waste. Every environmentally-friendly action, regardless of how small, can make a difference to ensure cleaner land, air and water. 

    Read more about the tips the Department of Environmental Protection provides tips to help the environment at press release.

    Office of Consumer Protection Offers Tips to Protect Residents This Holiday Season

    The holiday season is one of the busiest times of year for shoppers and retail stores. The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection put together this great video to help consumers be smart shoppers during the holiday season.

    Retiring Police Lieutenant Exemplifies Remarkable Dedication to Public Service

    On Wednesday, November 30, Lieutenant Thomas B. Jacocks retired from the Montgomery County Police Department after 61 years on the job. That makes him the longest-serving member of law enforcement at a single agency in the state of Maryland.

    After a stint in the military, he joined the force when Eisenhower was president, the County had approximately 200,000 residents and police officers didn’t go through a training academy, they were issued a uniform, badge and gun and learned on-the-job.

    What he learned over time was that police work was a great fit and as Chief Manger said at his retirement party at the Public Safety Headquarters, “He never lost his passion for the job and has been totally committed to serving the residents of Montgomery County each and every day.”

    He has been blessed with very-understanding-wife Peggy, five children and seven grandchildren. And he also found time to put in over 30 years of service to the Maryland Special Olympics program. In 1985 Maryland began a Torch Run to raise funds for Special Olympics and Lt. Jacocks has never missed the annual runs sponsored by the Montgomery County Police Department.

    So what does a man now carrying a retiree badge and gold police retiree ID card, do with his time after a 61-year-long law enforcement career? He’ll take a couple of days off, and then return to the department as a volunteer. As his wife Peggy said, “He is still committed to the work he was given. He just won’t have to go in five-days-a-week to do it.”

    Thank you Lieutenant Jacocks, for your decades of humble and remarkable service to the residents of Montgomery County!

    Read more about Lieutenant Jacocks in a Washington Post feature story at: , and see channel 4’s coverage of his retirement party at:

    Winter Registration for Montgomery County Recreation Department is Open

    Registration for the Recreation Department's winter 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

    WorkSource Montgomery to Help Better Prepare Workers for Careers in Information Technology and Cybersecurity

    WorkSource Montgomery, Inc., the workforce development resource for Montgomery County businesses and career seekers, is partnering with Montgomery College on a $5.6 million America’s Promise grant. The grant will provide Information Technology and cybersecurity training for students to ensure Montgomery County is better equipped to meet local business needs.

    The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training funded the grant. According to a 2015 report by Montgomery College, nearly 20,000 jobs in cybersecurity in Maryland go unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers.

    For its part, WorkSource Montgomery will conduct outreach to local companies to inform them about this specialized training and determine the specific skills that businesses need the most. In addition, the local workforce organization will actively promote the training to potential employees and connect employers with qualified applicants.

    Christmases During the Civil War

    Cathy Wright, Curator of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, will speak on "Christmases During the Civil War" at the Montgomery Civil War Roundtable on Thursday, December 8 at 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Gaithersburg Hilton, 620 Perry Parkway in Gaithersburg. A $5 donation is requested. Call 301-253-3485 for more information.