December 28, 2017

Montgomery County Issues Update on Prepayment of 2018 Real Property Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service issued an Advisory on December 27, 2017, that states, “A prepayment of anticipated real property taxes that have not been assessed prior to 2018 are not deductible in 2017.” Montgomery County tax assessments are made each July—the 2018 tax assessment will be made in July 2018.

Please see the guidance from the IRS here.

The County continues to advise taxpayers to consult their own tax advisor about the tax consequences of making a prepayment of the taxpayer’s 2018 County real property taxes on their federal income tax return.

Residents who still want to prepay their 2018 County real property taxes may do so by mail or in person; however, the County still encourages residents to pay by mail.

As stated in the County’s Notice of Intent document, in accordance with law passed by the Montgomery County Council on December 26, 2017, there can be no refunds until there is a 2018 tax bill for your account, the prepayment of 2018 tax is posted to your 2018 tax bill, and the prepayment exceeds the amount due on the 2018 Real Property Consolidated Tax bill.

Residents seeking to make prepayments in person may do so Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Treasury office located at 255 Hungerford Dr., Rockville.

Only checks and cash will be accepted as a prepayment of 2018 County property taxes.

Send or deliver your payment to:
Department of Finance
Division of Treasury
ATTN: 2018 Prepaid Property Taxes
255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15
Rockville, MD 20850
For more detailed instruction and required supporting documentation, you should visit the County’s Finance Department’s homepage at or

December 26, 2017

Montgomery County Accepts Prepayment of 2018 Real Property Taxes

Effective today, Montgomery County will accept the prepayment of 2018 County real property taxes.

It will be up to the Internal Revenue Service to determine whether prepayment of 2018 County real property taxes may be deducted for Federal, State, or local income tax purposes. The County advises taxpayers to consult their own tax advisor about deducting a prepayment of the taxpayer’s 2018 County real property taxes on their federal income tax return.

Montgomery County makes no representations about how or whether the prepayment of 2018 County real property taxes affects escrowed taxes. Escrowed taxes are a matter for the taxpayer and the taxpayers escrow agency to resolve.

Montgomery County residents interested in possible 2017 tax deductibility must mail their payment, together with a Notice of Intent, to be postmarked on or before midnight, December 31, 2017.

Residents who want to prepay their 2018 County real property taxes may do so by mail or in person. The County is strongly encouraging residents to pay by mail.

Residents seeking to make prepayments in person may do so between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. -- from December 26 to December 29, 2017, for the purpose of possible deductibility. Only checks and cash will be accepted as payment.

Send or deliver your payment to:
Department of Finance
Division of Treasury
ATTN: 2018 Prepaid Property Taxes
255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15
Rockville, MD 20850
For more detailed instruction and required supporting documentation, you should visit the County’s Finance Department’s homepage at or

December 18, 2017

Schedule for Christmas and New Year’s Holiday’s

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays:
  • County Offices – Closed December 25 and January 1
  • Libraries – Closed December 24, 25 and January 1
  • County Liquor stores (DLC) – December 24 and December 31, DLC stores will open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed December 25 and January 1
  • Recreation – Aquatic, community recreation and senior centers are closed December 25, and January 1. For complete details on facility closures and modified schedules between December 24 and January 1, visit
  • Montgomery Parks - For operating schedule, visit
  • Ride On – Sunday schedule (Riders can access the route schedule). Ride On services end at 10 p.m. on December 24
  • Metrorail – Information available at
  • Metrobus – Information available at
  • TRiPS Commuter Store at Silver Spring Transit Center and TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store – Closed December 25 and January 1
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – No collection December 25 and January 1. Collection will be one day later for the week of December 25 and January 1
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station – Facility will close at 3 p.m. on December 24 and 31. Closed December 25 and January 1
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – Free
  • State offices and courts – Closed Monday, December 25 and Monday, January 1

Statement by County Executive Ike Leggett on Possible County Lawsuit on Opioid Crisis

County Executive Ike Leggett discussed the decision by Montgomery County to investigate legal action against the manufacturers of opioid products to recover damages incurred by the County. Leggett was joined by Council President Hans Riemer, County Attorney Marc Hansen, and Dr. Raymond Crowel of Health and Human Services. Leggett asked for – and the Council approved – the hiring of outside counsel, the firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, to investigate the culpability of opioid producers and distributors and move to take legal action for reimbursement to the County for taxpayer resources that have been, are, and will be used to respond to the crisis.
“Every day brings fresh evidence of the very real damage that the Opioid crisis in wreaking on individuals and communities throughout our great nation. I wish I could stand here and tell you that Montgomery County is immune to this epidemic. Unfortunately, I cannot do that. Ask our first-responders in our Fire & Rescue Service and in our Police. Ask our front-line personnel in Health & Human Services. Death. Addiction. Broken families. Broken lives. We are living this reality today.

“As we continue to respond as a County to the critical needs created by this epidemic, I wanted to do more. I wanted to reach out and ask that those manufacturers and distributors of opioids who marketed the drugs and possibly downplayed their addictive nature be held responsible somehow for the consequences of those actions.

“That is why I asked for – and the Council approved, today – the hiring of outside counsel – the firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP -- to investigate the culpability of opioid producers and distributors and move to take legal action for reimbursement to the County for taxpayer resources that have been, are, and will be used to respond to the crisis.”

The lawsuit will be done on contingency. No County monies will go to the lawsuit and the firm will only be paid if they are successful in winning damages for the County.

Montgomery County’s Priorities for the 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session

County Executive Ike Leggett released Montgomery County’s priorities for the session of the Maryland General Assembly due to convene in Annapolis on January 10, 2018.

Highlights of the County’s priorities include increased state funding for school construction, education, transportation, affordable housing, environment, economic development, victims’ rights, public safety, core government functions and capital projects. 

Montgomery County’s New Safe Passage Center Enables Supervised Visitation and Monitored Exchange for Families with Custody-Related Court Orders

The County’s new Safe Passage Center is a “family-friendly” and safe access site for families with a Montgomery County Court Order for shared custody and child visitation. The Center’s goal is to provide children safe options to be in contact with both parents regardless of the family situation or parental conflict. The Center is staffed by trained visitation monitors and security guards who remain neutral in family disputes. It features separate parking lots, entrances and waiting rooms so parents do not meet on site.

Services available at the Center are supervised visitation, which allows parents in high conflict or high-risk situations to maintain their bond with their children and have access to their children in a safe and supervised environment, and offers a monitored exchange program for parents with visiting rights.

Referrals to the Center are from the District and Circuit Courts. Services are free for Montgomery County residents. The Safe Passage Center is funded by the County’s Department of Health and Human Services and operated by Family Services, Inc.

More information about the program is available from press release.

Link to Bethesda Beat article: Montgomery County Opens New Center for Child Visitation and Monitored Exchanges

Give the Gift of Safety to School Bus-Riding Students

As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 begins, the danger to school bus-riding students remains a concern. Far too many drivers do not obey the Maryland School Bus Law.

Do you know the law? Throughout the state of Maryland, drivers must stop, and remain stopped, for a stopped school bus with red lights flashing and the stop arm activated. A driver may not proceed until the flashing red lights go off and the bus begins to move. The only time a driver doesn’t have to stop is if the vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction of the bus and there is a physical median/barrier separating the lanes of traffic.

In the beginning 40 days of this school year (with 500 cameras), 7,919 drivers were recorded illegally passing buses stopped to load or unload students. The total citations issued from cameras averaged 198 per day. Last school year in 153 days (between October 13 and June 16), 17,235 citations (112 a day) were issued as the camera program expanded from 108 to 217 camera-equipped buses. Since October 13, 2016, 633 drivers have been repeat offenders.

With camera citations confirming a lack of compliance to the law, it is likely only a matter of time before a child is seriously injured or killed. Make sure you know, understand and obey the school bus law. Let’s work together to make those violations decrease in 2018.

Learn more about school bus safety. Please share the Understanding the School Bus Law information flyer with friends and family. One of the best gifts we can give our children is doing our best to keep them safe! 

Ribbon-Cutting Celebration Opens the Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Quince Orchard Branch

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen the Montgomery County Public Libraries’ (MCPL) Quince Orchard branch. The library is the sixth to be completed under the County’s “refresh” program, which allows the branches to close for a shorter amount of time while saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Hundreds of residents turned out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen the Montgomery County Public Libraries’ (MCPL) Quince Orchard branch. The library, located at 15831 Quince Orchard Road in Gaithersburg had been closed to be “refreshed” under the Library Refurbishment Level-of-Effort initiative in the County’s Capital Improvement Program.

The improvements to the library included new flooring and painting throughout the library, renovated public restrooms, improved book checkout and customer service area, a new book drop, LED lighting, enhancements to the meeting room, modern furniture and workstations in public and workroom areas, motorized shades, and exterior accessibility (ADA) improvements to the grounds and parking lot and a new bike rack at the entrance.

The library opened immediately after the ribbon-cutting. Branch hours are Sunday 1-5 p.m., Monday -Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

One Hundred Percent of Students Passed First National Green Infrastructure Training Offered in Montgomery County

In September, the County’s Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with Montgomery College, introduced a new National Green Infrastructure Training and Certification Program. The exam results, posted on December 7, indicated that 100% of the students who took the exam, passed the test. The national pass rate is 84%. DEP staffers, Ann English and Ryan Zerbe taught the curriculum that was offered at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus.

The new training and certification program ensures that individuals have the foundational knowledge needed to properly perform tasks in construction, inspection, and maintenance of green infrastructure, a fast-growing approach to reduce stormwater pollution. These practices are essential to effectively managing stormwater to minimize flooding risk and protect property and natural resources. The practices, which can include green roofs, pervious pavement, rain gardens, rain barrels, and other approaches, mimic and restore the natural water cycle.

The introduction of the 22 newly-certified professionals helps to generate a trained, green workforce to connect skilled workers to in-demand jobs that protect and preserve the environment. This workforce development work supports the design, construction and installation and maintenance work that DEP is doing to meet the regulatory requirements that the County must meet in their MS4 stormwater permit. The training program is consistent with the DEP mission to enhance the quality of life in our community by protecting and improving Montgomery County's air, water and land in a sustainable way while fostering smart growth, a thriving economy and healthy communities.

County Executive Ike Leggett and First Lady Catherine Leggett Receive Imagine Award for Services to Children and the Arts

Montgomery County Executives Ike and Catherine Leggett- Gala 17 Tribute Video from Imagination Stage on Vimeo.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and First Lady Catherine Leggett were honored with the Imagine Award at the 2017 Imagination Stage Gala. The Leggetts were honored for their outstanding contributions to Imagination Stage and the arts and humanities in Montgomery County. The event was held on December 8 at the Embassy of Italy located in Washington, D.C.

During his 12-year tenure as County Executive, Leggett increased the operating budgets of Montgomery County Arts organizations by 39 percent. Mrs. Leggett’s leadership has played an integral role in the County’s arts programming.

Watch this tribute video to learn more about the Leggetts impact on the arts in Montgomery County.

Stay Safe this Holiday Season and Throughout the New Year

The holiday season is in full swing and while there are types of crimes that unfortunately are related to it, many of the safety tips provided this time of year apply to the entire winter season and beyond.

It is always important to Be Seen, Be Alert, and Be Responsible.

Be Seen: If you are buying a new winter coat, consider purchasing a light-colored one, or at the very least, wear a white scarf and white gloves. Look for athletic clothing with reflective patches and check out what is available at running stores that increases visibility. Don’t assume that just because you can see a vehicle, that the driver can see you.

Be Alert: Give full attention when walking or driving. Remember, Maryland is a Hands-Free state, no texting or even holding a cell phone while driving. Distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of collisions. And, when walking by a roadway or crossing streets don’t wear ear buds and don’t be looking down at a cell phone.

Be Responsible: Don’t drink and drive and don’t host a party for teens that includes alcohol. The most responsible party hosts ensure that no guest drives after drinking and enforces a zero tolerance for alcohol use by guests under age 21.

Read more about Safety Tips.

Montgomery County: The Address of Choice

The 2018 issue of Montgomery County Economic Development is now available, and inside the publication readers will learn why Montgomery County is the address of choice for many leading-edge businesses. The publication touts the County’s dynamic economy, highly educated talent pool, robust arts community, great outdoors and proximity to the nation’s capital. Read more, here.

Bus Route Changes for the Wheaton Area

Several Ride On and Metrobus routes in the Wheaton Downtown area have changed and some bus stops are relocated, as Montgomery County’s transportation system keeps in step with the Wheaton Downtown Revitalization Project that is ongoing through 2020.

Over the next three years, the Wheaton Revitalization Project will transform Wheaton’s central business district with mixed-use, transit-oriented development. The project will provide a new 14-story Montgomery County Government office building, about 400 below ground parking spaces, retail and residential space and a new town square. The most significant area impacted during construction is the Wheaton Triangle area between Veirs Mill Road and Georgia Avenue. The local roads of the Triangle area include Grandview Avenue, Reedie Drive and Triangle Lane.

No bus routes have been eliminated, but their paths have been somewhat altered. The affected bus routes are:
  • Ride On Routes 7, 8, 9 and 31. 
  • Metrobus Routes C2, C4, Y2, Y7 and Y8. 
The locations of the new bus stops are:
  • Near the southwest corner of University Boulevard and Fern Street. 
  • On the east side of Grandview Avenue at Kensington Boulevard.
The route changes necessitated the elimination of the following bus stops:
  • Amherst Avenue: Metrobus Stop ID: 2000519; Ride On Stop ID: 20022. 
  • Georgia Avenue: Metrobus Stop ID: 2000507. 
  • Georgia Avenue: Metrobus Stop ID: 2000525, Ride On Stop ID: 22770. 
  • Reedie Drive: Metrobus Stop ID: 2005422, Ride On Stop ID: 25238. 
Ride On RealTime will reflect the bus stop changes beginning January 8 (the Ride On service change date). Routes 7, 8, 9, and 31 are changing on December 17 to coincide with the Metrobus service change date.

Read more about from press release.

Montgomery County Sustains Viable Agricultural Industry

The Montgomery County Agriculture Reserve encompasses 93,000 acres and includes hundreds of farms and thousands of horses. Jeremy Criss, the director of the Department of Agriculture, talked about the economic impact of those farms, including the booming horticulture business and the equine community, during a recent video interview about farming in the Montgomery County suburbs. (Video Credit: Amber Gerard)

Watch the video from YouTube.

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Offer Free Children’s Animation Workshops

This winter break Montgomery County Public Libraries will offer free Animation Workshops for kids ages 10 to 14 years old. The hands-on, one-hour programs are designed to show participants how to animate their drawings and create a flipbook. All supplies are provided.

The free workshops, supported by a grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, are scheduled at the following branches:
  • Germantown, Century Blvd., Germantown, December 26 at 1: 30 p.m.
  • Gaithersburg, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg, December 27 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Gaithersburg, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg, December 27 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Twinbrook, 202 Meadow Hall Drive., Rockville, December 28 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Aspen Hill, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville, December 28 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Silver Spring, 900 Wayne Ave. Silver Spring, December 29 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Long Branch, 8800 Garland Avenue, Silver Spring, December 30 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Marilyn Praisner, 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, December 31 at 2 p.m. 
For more information, or to register, visit County's library calendar.

December 5, 2017

County Executive Ike Leggett Developing a Recommended Savings Plan to Address FY18 Revenue Shortfall

Montgomery County’s November income tax distribution for the state of Maryland is forecast to be short $64 million below expectations. County’s Department of Finance projects a total revenue shortfall of $95 million in expected FY18 resources. Adding a $25 million revenue shortfall from the previous year, the total savings required are $120 million

To address the shortfall County Executive Ike Leggett has asked all Executive Branch departments to identify a two percent savings in the current FY18 budget.

Leggett will present his recommended savings plan to Council in mid-December.

County Executive Wants to Hear from You to Determine Priorities for the FY19 Budget

County Executive Ike Leggett will host five budget forums in January to gather resident input on their priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget.

Suggestions and ideas submitted during the forums will assist the County Executive to prepare his FY19 Budget. The budget is submitted to the County Council on March 15.

Forums are scheduled throughout January across the County:
Join Montgomery County’s conversation about the FY19 Operating Budget on social media and help raise awareness by using #MoCoBudget19.

What’s "On Tap" at the Department of Liquor Control

It’s been almost one year since Robert Dorfman was appointed as director of the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC). On a recent episode of County Report This Week, Dorfman talked about operational improvements at the warehouse and what customers can expect in terms of selection, pricing and improved customer service at the DLC’s 27 retail stores this holiday season.
During the next few weeks, the DLC will assist the Montgomery County Police Alcohol Holiday Task Force with compliance checks of businesses that hold alcohol licenses.

Public safety is a top priority for the DLC, and the department recently won a national award for its Legislative Outreach Program at the Maryland Alcohol Forum. The forum, “Innovative Solutions to Keeping Communities Safe,” highlighted alcohol licensing needs and educated attendees about the public safety benefits of alcohol regulation.

In case you missed it, the president of the Maryland Public Health Association noted the importance of the “health and social costs” of the alcohol industry in a recent op-ed in The Baltimore Sun.

With Montgomery County’s system of alcohol regulation, the County is a leader in protecting public health and safety. For example, the system allows the County to refuse to carry alcohol-industry products designed to encourage underage drinking.

A Johns Hopkins University study reported that Montgomery County has the second-lowest rate among all Maryland counties in alcohol-related treatment admissions and the second lowest rate of alcohol-related crashes. In addition, the County has lower rates of youth binge drinking and alcohol-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

For more information go to

Leggett’s Mobile Integrated Health Care Program Connects Frequent Callers of 9-1-1 to Needed Health Services to Save Dollars, Deliver Better Health Care

County Executive Ike Leggett has sent the County Council a supplemental appropriation of more than $400,000 to begin the implementation of the Montgomery County Mobile Integrated Health care project. The program is a bold, new program that more efficiently and effectively serves frequent callers for County ambulance services.

The Montgomery County Mobile Integrated Healthcare program is a collaborative effort by the County Fire & Rescue Service and the County Department of Health & Human Services designed to reduce the growth rate of system demands on the County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and provide better health care for County residents who are frequent ambulance users.

The Montgomery County Mobile Integrated Health care project follows a pilot project that involved frequent EMS callers who needed healthcare but not ambulance services. By providing those individuals with the medical and social services they needed, the calls to EMS were cut more than half and residents received healthcare to meet their needs.

More information is available in the press release.

Office of Human Rights to Host Employment Law Updates & Information Breakfast

download flyer

The County’s Office of Human Rights and the Human Rights Commission will host a free seminar for employers to learn about emerging employment laws and regulations including sexual harassment, Earned Sick and Safe leave, age discrimination, tipped employee reporting requirements, minimum wage and the Ban the Box law.

The free breakfast will take place Thursday, December 7, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The event will be held in the second-floor conference room at the Rockville Memorial Library located at 21 Maryland Avenue.

Space is limited for this free workshop. Registration is available online at or by contacting Beverly Marshall at 240-777-8479. A complimentary continental breakfast will be served.

Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection Continues to Reduce the County’s Carbon Footprint

Yard Trim Composting Facility
The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has taken another step to protect the environment in Montgomery County. DEP has partnered with Braskem’s I’m Green polyethylene (PE) and ProAmpac’s Trinity Packaging Division to provide packaging for Leafgro®, which is the County’s composted soil enrichment product. The new wrapping is a sustainable resource made from sugarcane.

Leafgro® is made from composted leaves and grass collected from around the County which is converted into a soil conditioner. If not for the composting option, the leaves and grass clippings used to make the rich organic compost would be combusted.

The partnership with Braskem and ProAmpac ensures that future Leafgro® compost packaging will be 100 percent based on I’m Green sugarcane bioplastic. This means it is produced from renewable resources that are carbon negative to help the County reduce its carbon footprint. Leafgro® brand compost, is sold throughout the U.S. mid-East Coast in “big box” stores and in select home and garden centers. Once the composting facility has worked through its existing stock of regular (fossil-based) bags, Leafgro® will begin to be sold to distributors in its new, plant-based packaging — early April, 2018.

For more information on the DEP composting program, visit Montgomery County Yard Trim Composting Facility website.

County Executive Ike Leggett and Catherine Leggett Host 32nd Annual Executive’s Ball Benefitting Arts and Humanities

County Executive Ike Leggett and the First Lady Catherine Leggett hosted the 32nd annual Executive’s Ball on Sunday, December 3. The event was held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel located at 5701 Marinelli Road. The Montgomery County Executive’s Ball brings together the arts and humanities community with elected officials, the business community and philanthropists to support, sustain and promote cultural assets in our community. Proceeds from the event support arts in education programs in Montgomery County, which provide cultural and learning opportunities for youth throughout the County. The ball is administered by The Community Foundation for Montgomery County and is funded solely through corporate and private donations.

Montgomery Community Media produced a video to honor Mr. and Mrs. Leggett for their dedication to the arts throughout the years.

Volunteer Opportunities for the Holiday Season

The winter holidays inspire many people to give back to the community, and local nonprofits and government agencies have many opportunities for volunteers to help during the holidays. The Volunteer Center provides hundreds of opportunities to connect volunteers to meaningful community service opportunities during the holiday season and all year long.

If you would like to volunteer this holiday season, visit the Volunteer Center website to see the opportunities available for all ages and interests.

Comcast created this video that highlights the Volunteer Center’s amazing volunteers and nonprofits in Montgomery County.

Calling Montgomery College and High School Student Artists for the 2018 Wheaton Arts Parade Poster Contest

Montgomery college and high school students are invited to submit designs to illustrate themes for the September event highlighting the arts and diverse cultures in Wheaton. The winning design will be used in promotional materials for the 2018 Wheaton Arts Parade scheduled for September 23. The deadline for entries is December 31.

The artist of the winning design will receive a $300 prize, presented by the IHOP of Wheaton. The student will work with Wheaton artists on the details that will refine their design into the poster and other promotional materials. Design entries should include space for graphic elements that will be added with event information (such as a logo, hashtag and web address).

View more information from the press release.

Montgomery Parks Garden of Lights Show is Open

For the last 19 years, Brookside Gardens has transformed into a whimsical winter wonderland with twinkling lights and glimmering displays. More than one million dazzling and colorful LED lights are handwoven into original works depicting animals, flowers, and other natural elements.

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, hosts the Garden of Lights Brookside Gardens’ annual walk-through light show every night through January 1, 2018, except December 24 and 25. Find more information here.

Register Now for the 100 Mile Challenge

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation is ready to help jumpstart your 2018 fitness resolutions. The 100 Mile Challenge is back for its third year, and registration is now underway.

This program encourages residents – and their dogs – to log 100 miles of physical activity in 100 days. For this challenge, you can walk, run, or bike one mile a day or engage in 20 minutes of continuous physical activity. It all counts as you move to a fitter you. The Department of Recreation is partnering with the City of Gaithersburg and Montgomery Parks on the program.

The 100 Mile Challenge runs from January 24 - May 4, 2018. The kickoff event is scheduled for Saturday, January 20, 2018, from 2 - 4 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Executive Office Building located at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville.

More information is available at the 100 Mile Challenge website. Register online at, activity no. 42466.

Author Mark Tooley to Speak at December Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable Meeting

Author Mark Tooley will speak on “The Peace That Almost Was: The Forgotten February 1861 Washington Peace Conference” at the December meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable on Thursday, December 14 at 8 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Hilton, 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation requested.

November 15, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Thanksgiving Day, November 23

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23.

Road Closures Planned in Silver Spring for Thanksgiving Parade; Portion of Georgia Avenue Will Be Closed in Both Directions

The Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is set for Saturday, November 18, in downtown Silver Spring, and residents and business owners are asked to plan accordingly because there will be several road closures and detours in the area. If you are planning to watch the parade, organizers strongly encourage you to take the Red Line to the Silver Spring Station.

As a security precaution, all the northbound and southbound lanes of Georgia Avenue will be closed between East-West Highway and Colesville Road from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the parade.

Below, is a list of the roads that will be closed between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., for the parade:
  • Northbound and southbound lanes of Georgia Avenue between East-West Highway and Colesville Road 
  • Cedar Avenue between Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue 
  • Pershing Drive from Cedar Avenue to Veterans Place 
  • Veterans Place from Pershing Drive to Ellsworth Drive 
  • Ellsworth Drive from Georgia Avenue to Cedar Avenue 
  • Roeder Road from Fenton Street to Cedar Avenue 
  • Fenton Street from Colesville Road to Wayne Avenue 
  • Wayne Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Bonifant Street from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Thayer Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Silver Spring Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation is posting road closure and detour signage along the roadways impacted by the parade route.

The following streets and the Town Center Parking garage must be cleared of parked vehicles for units to line-up or pass beginning at 2 a.m. on Saturday, November 18:
  • Cedar Avenue 
  • Pershing Drive 
  • Roeder Road 
  • Ellsworth Drive 
  • Georgia Avenue 
  • Veterans Place 
In addition, the Wayne Avenue Garage closes at 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 18.

If you have questions about these road closures or parking, call MC311 at 3-1-1. If you are telephoning from outside of Montgomery County, call 240-777-0311.

The Thanksgiving Parade officially begins at 10 a.m. and continues until noon. More than 130 units are expected to participate, including colorful floats and inflatables, marching bands, police, fire units, and more.

For more information about the Thanksgiving Parade, visit here.

County Executive Ike Leggett Signs County Law Raising Minimum Wage to $15

On November 13 County Executive Ike Leggett signed into a law a bill passed by the County Council to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years.

Leggett made the following statement about the County Council’s action on the minimum wage bill.

“Montgomery County has a long history of programs and policies designed to increase opportunities for low-wage workers – more than just about any other jurisdiction. That includes prior increases in the County minimum wage, a law requiring County government contractors to pay a ‘living wage’, a County earned income tax credit and paid sick leave requirements – among others.

“Montgomery County residents who work hard to support themselves and their families need and deserve yet another increase in the minimum wage. The question over the past year has been how much, within what time period, and how we mitigate possible negative impacts on our small businesses and on youth employment. Good intentions are not enough. That is why I vetoed the bill passed 5-4 by the Council last January.

“Based on the changes from the original bill, what the County Council approved today is close enough to the conditions I laid down for my support that I will sign the measure into law.”

Read more at Bill 28-17.

Residents Can Learn More About the US 29 Bus Rapid Transit at an Open House

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on US 29 will be the first of its kind in the State of Maryland. Join the Montgomery County Department of Transportation at an open house to learn how the BRT will provide an easier, faster, more reliable, and less stressful way to travel. This family-friendly event will include a children’s activity area.

The open house will be held:
The 13.5-mile BRT will operate between the Silver Spring Transit Center and Burtonsville along the US 29 corridor. The BRT will feature limited stops, off-board fare collection, priority signaling, Wi-Fi and level-boarding through all doors to provide a faster ride. Stations will have real-time travel information. Learn more about BRT at

County Council “Town Hall” for County Youth on November 29

The Montgomery County Council wants to hear from young residents at their upcoming MOCO Youth Town Hall. The meeting is scheduled for November 29 at 6 p.m. in the County Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

The event will open at 6 p.m. with a reception in the Council Cafeteria, followed by the Town Hall Meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the Council Hearing Room located on the third floor.

Participation is also available on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information, call 240-777-7926.

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline is December 15

There are several changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but health insurance coverage is STILL available through the ACA. The enrollment period is December 15, so residents must enroll early to not miss the chance for affordable health coverage. You can browse and compare plans at Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. Find out what documents you need to enroll at

Registration for Department of Recreation Winter Classes and Programs is Open

Registration for the Department of Recreation winter classes and programs is now open. Among the many offerings are aquatics, art classes, sports, therapeutic recreation services, active adult senior programming and much more.

To view the guide and register online, go to Print copies are available at community recreation centers, park facilities, aquatic centers, senior centers and public libraries.

Free Employment Expo for Adults 50 and Older Returns to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on April 16

Mark your calendar for the 50+ Employment Expo that will be held on April 16, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Recruiters from dozens of employers, including nonprofits, government, healthcare, retail, technology and more will attend the expo. The event will take place at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel & Conference Center located at 5701 Marinelli Road in North Bethesda.

Seminars and continuing education sessions on topics such as completing applications, preparing resumes, changing careers, job training, optimizing online employment resources and more will provide job seekers tools to assist with an effective job search.

For additional information contact Micki Gordon at

Enforcement Underway for Regional Street Smart Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign

Each spring and fall, the Washington region, through the Council of Governments, launches a Street Smart educational and enforcement campaign to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety. This year’s fall campaign introduced a new educational theme, “Shattered Lives.” The concept focuses on the fact, that when a serious injury or fatality occurs in a traffic crash, the lives of all who know and love the victim are shattered. The hope is that this message will resonate with our community members and encourage drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to be watchful for one another and obey the protective laws for all who share our roadways.

Compliance with the laws is supported by increased police enforcement in Montgomery County and throughout the Washington Metropolitan area. Learn more about safety tips, laws and the Street Smart campaign. #BeStreetSmart

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Participates in Environmental Summit

County Executive Ike Leggett recently participated as a speaker at the Transforming Communities: Trash-Free Solutions for Healthy Lives, Clean Land, Safe Water Summit (Trash Summit) sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. The event was held at the Nationals Park, Norfolk Southern Club in Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III joined Leggett to speak at the event. Leggett presented awards to two Montgomery County residents, Beth Rogers and Kevin Kearney, for their work to advance the County’s anti-littering and trash-free programming goals.

The Trash Summit brought hundreds of community members, business leaders, elected officials and partners to explore topics of waste reduction, litter prevention, and community cleanups. The event included a variety of round-table discussions, panels with local leaders, presentations, and an awards ceremony.

Winter Wonderland Comes to Bethesda

The Bethesda Urban Partnership will kick off the holiday season at Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. Veterans Park is located at the corner of Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues in Bethesda. The free celebration features holiday performances, a live ice sculpting presentation and a visit from Santa Claus.

Other activities include holiday choral performances from local school groups. Academy of the Holy Cross, Chevy Chase Elementary School, Georgetown Preparatory School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Seneca Valley High School, Washington Episcopal School and Westbrook Elementary School.

For more information visit

Montgomery County Awarded National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” Grant

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) received a National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” grant in partnership with the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC), Montgomery Community Media, and the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

The goal of the “Big Read” is to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and spread the transformative power of literature. The featured book, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu, tells the story of the immigrant experience in Montgomery County and the Washington metropolitan area. The book is available at your local MCPL libraries in print and downloadable formats and for purchase at the FOLMC bookstores.

“Big Read” community events will be held from April to June 2018. A full calendar will be available at later.

October 30, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Veterans Day Observed on November 10

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Veterans Day, Friday, November 10.
  • County Offices – closed.
  • Libraries – closed.
  • County Liquor stores – all County liquor stores will be open normal hours.
  • Recreation – aquatic and community centers open as scheduled except for Germantown Indoor Swim Center, which is closing at 2 p.m. on November 10 and closed all day on November 11 for a swim meet. Other classes and programs will meet as scheduled; all senior programs canceled, and administrative offices and senior centers closed.
  • Montgomery Parks - For operating schedule, visit the website.
  • Ride On – will operate on a special modified schedule holiday.
  • Metrorail – Information available at
  • Metrobus – Information available at
  • TRiPS Commuter Store at Silver Spring Transit Center - open 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store – not operating.
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – Regular schedule.
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station – Regular schedule.
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free.
  • State offices and courts – closed.

Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe on Halloween

Halloween can be a spirited day of tricks and treats but it is important to keep safety in mind. Montgomery County public safety personnel offer the following tips to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible when you head out on Halloween. Read more at Montgomery County Public Safety Agencies Provide Halloween Safety Tips

Neighborhood Leaf Collection Begins November 6

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

Residents should look for posted signs along the streets for information about pick-up dates. For more information visit

County Businesses in the Power 100

What do Discovery Communications, MedImmune and Marriott International have in common? Besides being in Montgomery County, these businesses and their influential leaders made the Washington Business Journal’s 2017 Power 100 List. Check out the entire Power 100 list, which includes even more familiar Montgomery County business leaders.

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and Public Schools Team Up to Protect the Environment

Fifth-grade students from Strathmore Elementary School teamed up with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection to complete four Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) rain gardens. 

The four projects are a cost-effective, environmentally-efficient way to capture the muck that comes from storm and pollutant runoff. Prior to the implementation of these projects, stormwater runoff from the impervious surfaces (parking lots, rooftops, etc.) on these school properties ran directly into the streams. These projects now redirect the runoff into the rain gardens where it filters through plants and soil before replenishing the groundwater.

County Executive Isiah Leggett, MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Smith, DEP Director Lisa Feldt, Strathmore Elementary School Principal Tivinia G. Nelson and Principal Intern Carrie Zimmerman joined the students for the event, which took place at Strathmore Elementary School located at 3200 Beaverwood Lane in Silver Spring. The other three schools which got the projects included: Argyle, Newport and Sligo Middle Schools.

For more information go to the press release.

Cornerstone Montgomery Celebrates Ike Leggett

Cornerstone Montgomery held its inaugural “Celebrating a Legacy” event on October 17. The gala honored County Executive Ike Leggett for his support of individuals living with mental health disorders.

Cornerstone Montgomery is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization which provides comprehensive, community-based mental health services.

More information is available at

Are You Paying Too Much for Prescription Drugs?

Do you feel you are paying a lot more for your generic or off-brand prescriptions? Then the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund (MCHI) want to hear from you. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh may be able to take legal action to help you if your situation falls into the criteria of Maryland's new prescription drug price gouging law. For more information, go to

MCHI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy organization created in 1999 with a mission to educate Marylanders about sound ways to achieve quality, affordable health care for all.

Public Meeting on the Wall Local Park Interim Plan

Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks is having a Public Meeting to discuss the interim plan to improve Wall Local Park in North Bethesda. The meeting will be held at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver Swim Center located at 5900 Executive Boulevard in North Bethesda on Monday, November 13 at 7 p.m.

Under the guidance of the current White Flint Sector Plan, staff will present the interim plan to improve the park area as well as review future park plans. It will feature the realignment of Executive Boulevard and Market Street to allow a new parking garage to be built.

For additional information visit the Wall Local Park Project page at

Author Eugene D. Schmiel Will Speak on the Life and Times of Union General Jacob D. Cox

Author Eugene D. Schmiel will speak on the life and times of Union General Jacob D. Cox of Ohio at the November meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable on Thursday, November 9 at 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Gaithersburg Hilton located at 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested. For more information, call 301-253-3485.

October 16, 2017

Leggett Conducts National Anthem at the Opening of National Philharmonic

County Executive Ike Leggett conducted the National Philharmonic at Strathmore in the playing of our country’s National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” to open National Philharmonic's 2017-2018 season held at The Music Center at Strathmore. Video and Photo by Jay Mallin.

Community Service Week Spotlights Montgomery County’s Volunteer Spirit

County residents are invited to give a few hours of their time to join Montgomery County’s annual celebration of community service by volunteering for one or more of the many projects planned for the 31st annual Community Service Week, which begins Sunday, October 22, and runs through the following Sunday, October 29.

Community Service Week is organized by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center. And, features all kinds of service projects sponsored by a wide range of non-profit organizations, schools, and government agencies. This year’s activities include opportunities to clean up streams and parks, collect canned goods for needy families and prepare meals for a homeless shelter. There are also opportunities to serve as event staff at fundraisers, assist nonprofits with outreach efforts, and visit with nursing home residents.

Visit the Volunteer Center website to see the complete list of service projects available and to sign up to help. Check back frequently as projects are added daily.

For more information, call 240-777-2600 or email

Art and Humanities Award Winners to be Honored at the Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities Ceremony

County Executive Ike Leggett and Mrs. Leggett will honor eight community leaders for their contributions to the County’s art and cultural community at the Annual County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities ceremony. The event will be held Monday, November 6 from 7– 9 p.m. at Round House Theater in Bethesda located at 4545 East-West Highway. This free event requires tickets, which can be obtained at Executive's Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations who have made a difference in Montgomery County through the arts and humanities. More information on the event is available at

Free Employment Fair Offered by East County Regional Services Center on November 2

The East County Regional Services Center will host a free employment fair on Thursday, November 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. The community event will be held at the East County Community Recreation Center located at 3310 Manor Way in Silver Spring.

The event is an opportunity for job seekers to connect with employers. Applicants are asked to bring their resume and dress in business attire to meet with recruiters from public and private employers.

The event will include three employment workshops:
  • Resume Review and Interviewing Skills (2 to 3 p.m.)
  • Uncovering the Secrets of Finding & Applying for Jobs in the Federal Government (4 to 5 p.m.) 
  • Starting Your Own Business Time (5 to 6 p.m.) 
Participant registration is available by email at or by calling 240-777-8411. Pre-registration is encouraged for the job fair; however on-site registration is available. For more information about the job fair call 240-777-8411.

Employers who are interested in participating in the job fair can register online. For questions about employer registration email

Montgomery County to Participate in Drug Enforcement Administration’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 28

Please save the date: Saturday, October 28 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the 14th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This is a good opportunity to safely dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs that have accumulated in your medicine cabinet. The biannual event is organized by the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and is coordinated in our County by the Montgomery County Department of Police (MCPD) and the County’s Department of Health and Human Services.

MCPD and its allied County law enforcement agencies will provide anonymous drop off sites throughout the County. According to the DEA, unused and/or expired medicines that are stored in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, abuse...and accidental poisonings and overdoes. A list of all the take-back location sites will be available on both the Montgomery County and MCPD websites later this month.

See the press release for more information.

County Executive Ike Leggett Gives Thumbs Up to Mobike, a new Dockless Bike Share – While Celebrating the New Protected Bike Lanes in Silver Spring

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett cut the ribbon for a new protected bike lane and announced a County agreement for the new bike share program, to become available in Silver Spring later this month. He was joined by Casey Anderson, chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, County Council Vice President Hans Riemer, Peter Gray, board member of Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Al Roshdieh, director of MCDOT, and Jillian Irvin, head of U.S. Government Affairs for Mobike

Montgomery County has a new protected bike lane and an agreement for a new bike share program, to become available in Silver Spring starting in the next few weeks.

The agreement with Mobike is a pilot project to test the concept of dockless bikes in Silver Spring. To use Mobike, individuals will download the Mobike app to register and locate a nearby bike, then unlock it by scanning the QR code, after arriving at the desired destination, the bicyclist can park the bike in an approved area and lock it, making it available for the next user. These bikes are powered by unique high-tech features including smart-lock technology, non-puncture airless tires, bike status sensors and built-in GPS locators.

More information is available at the Press release.

County Council Committee Supports Leggett’s Changes to Minimum Wage Hike Proposal

The County Council Health and Human Services Committee last week approved amendments to the minimum wage hike proposal, now before the Council, that reflects changes requested by County Executive Ike Leggett. In a September 13 memo to the Council, Leggett listed the changes necessary to win his approval. Leggett vetoed legislation in January that narrowly passed the Council.

The Committee voted 2 -1 to lengthen the timeline to provide large and small businesses an additional two years for implementation. The amendment would also redefine a "small business" from 25 employees to 50 employees or less.

The proposal is tentatively scheduled to go to full Council for action on November 7.
A recent Washington Post editorial expressed concern about the proposed increase in the minimum-wage hike. Read the full article.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and County Executive Ike Leggett and County Councilmember Sidney Katz announced a Countywide campaign to raise public awareness. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional and financial abuse and affects people of all age, gender, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The outreach campaign will include advertisements on Ride On buses and bus shelters, social media, and other communications throughout the month of October.

Individuals encountering domestic violence are encouraged to call the Family Justice Center (FJC) at 240-773-0444 to access multiple services in one location, or to call the Abused Persons Program (APP) at 240-777-4673 for counseling and services to help end the cycle of violence. The FJC and APP coordinate support services, so individuals can dial either one to get needed help. However, in case of emergency, people should never hesitate to dial 9-1-1.

More information is available from the press release.

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Host World War I Programs

Montgomery County Public Libraries will commemorate World War I (WWI) with two free special programs held at the Olney Library during October. The library is located at 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Road.

A WWI traveling exhibit is on display during scheduled library branch hours through October 31. The display, provided by the Maryland Library Association, includes five paintings by Bob Horvath of WWI airplanes. The paintings are on loan from the U.S. Air Force Museum in Washington D.C.

A special presentation called “The Grit and Gusto: Farmerettes and Suffragettes on the Homefront in WWI” will be held on Sunday, October 29 from 3 to 4:45 p.m. Judith Welles, author of the book, “Cabin John: Legends and Life of an Uncommon Place,” will present the special program.

More information is available from the press release.

County Executive Ike Leggett Joins Walk to School Day

Walk to School Day promotes pedestrian safety, physical activities, and environmental preservation. County Executive Ike Leggett and Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith joined in the event held at Ronald McNair Elementary School in Germantown. Hundreds of MCPS students, staff and community members on October 4.

Upcoming Public Meeting on the Oaks Landfill Solar Photovoltaic Project

Community members are invited to participate in a discussion on the development of a Photovoltaic solar system, at the former Oaks Landfill. The public meeting will take place on October 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Laytonsville Elementary School located at 21401 Laytonsville Road in Gaithersburg.

Photovoltaic pulls energy from the sun and converts it to electricity. Solar is already an important part of the County’s strategy for renewable energy. Use of solar and other advanced energy technologies in County facilities not only improves energy independence, it is cleaner energy that saves money.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2018. This is a joint project with the County’s Departments of Environmental Protection and General Services.

More information about the project, visit County's website.

Register Now for Youth Winter Basketball Leagues

Are you ready for some hoops?

Registration is now underway for Montgomery County Recreation’s Youth Winter Basketball Leagues program.

The season runs for eight weeks beginning in January of 2018, and the program is geared for boys and girls in grades K – 12.  Register online by November 3 from

For more information, call 240.777.6870.

WorkSource Montgomery Announces New Partnership to Address Need for Nurses

WorkSource Montgomery has announced a new partnership with the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) and the University of Maryland School of Nursing at Universities at Shady Grove (USG) to expand career opportunities for nurses in Montgomery County. The new collaboration provides a way to increase career opportunities for residents and address the critical nursing shortage in the County.

Along with providing scholarships, WSM and the HIF will work with the health industry, education and community partners to leverage current resources and realign existing programs to expand clinical rotation opportunities.

For more information, check the website.

MCDOT’s Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations Recognized for Implementation of Cost-Saving Idea

Pictured (from left to right) are MCDOT Deputy Director Emil Wolanin, Team Member (TM) Rudy Ramirez, Team Leader Vincent Subramaniam, MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh, County Executive Ike Leggett, Office of Human Resources Director Shawn Stokes, TM Dewa Salihi and TM Kamal Hamud. Other team members not pictured are Aweis Hassan, Lee Kennedy, Gary Morningstar, Eileen Normand, Pramod Patel, Joe St. Laurent, Greg Whitener and Steve Young.
A team from MCDOT’s Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations (DTEO) was recognized by County Executive Ike Leggett for participation in the Rewarding Excellence Bonus Incentive Award Program designed to encourage and promote new, innovative ideas, concepts, and strategies for the cost-effective delivery of County services and products. Front-line employees find cost savings and half of the first year’s savings are distributed to them. 

DTEO found a way to recover costs incurred in replacing traffic signal equipment damaged by traffic crashes, contractors, utilities, construction projects or in other ways by billing the responsible parties. It is estimated that about $9,400 a year in County costs will be recouped through the new DTEO process. 

See press release for more information.

Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District Announces Songwriter Contest

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District has announced the annual Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards. The competition is seeking the best local songwriters and will award one talented songwriter a Grand Prize of $10,000 and 25 hours of recording studio time with Innovation Station Music.

The competition also includes a young songwriter category for aspiring songwriters, who are 18 years old or younger, to win $2,500.

Entries must be received by Monday, November 6. For more information on guidelines and information on the competition go to