August 13, 2018

Holiday Schedule for Labor Day, Monday, September 3

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Labor Day holiday, Monday, September 3:

Public Hearing on Small Cell Antennas in Residential Neighborhoods Scheduled for Sept 25

At the request of the County Executive, the County Council introduced Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA 18-11) to address deployment of 5G small cell antennas in residential areas. A public hearing will be held regarding ZTA 18-11 on Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor hearing room of the County Council Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

More information about how ZTA 18-11 will impact residential neighborhoods is available here. Under ZTA 18-11, replacement of tall streetlights would be allowed without a public hearing; replacement of shorter streetlights in neighborhoods with underground utilities would continue to require a public hearing.

Anyone interested in testifying at the meeting can sign-up here, no later than Sept. 11. For more information, visit

“Leggett Legacy Forward” Event Helps Underrepresented County Students

Leggett Legacy Forward” is an event to raise money to help underrepresented County students go to college through the Achieving College Excellence and Success program, a partnership of Montgomery College, the Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Universities at Shady Grove. Sponsored by County Executive Ike Leggett and Mrs. Catherine Leggett, the event will be held at The Music Center at Strathmore on September 23. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m., the program will begin at 4 p.m. Admission is free, though advance registration is required.
Those unable to attend may show support with a donation to The Ike and Catherine Leggett Scholarship through the Montgomery College Foundation and/or donate through the Universities of Shady Grove Foundation.

More information is available here.

Visit Montgomery’s Insider’s Guide to the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

One of the largest county fairs in Maryland, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair has been a major draw for locals and visitors since 1949, with activities, more than 5,000 farm animals, food, and carnival rides for all to enjoy. Sitting on 62 acres, this year’s fair began August 10 and will run through August 18 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds located at 501 Perry Pkwy in Gaithersburg.

To help you make the most of your visit and for a break down of what you need to know before you load up on cotton candy and funnel cake, check out Visit Montgomery’s guide here.

Support for Caregivers

Family caregivers are a vital part of our community. Montgomery County Aging and Disability Services offer individuals and their caregivers a fact sheet with information about resources and how to access support.

Register for Fall Parks and Recreation Classes and Programs

Registration is now underway for Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks activities, classes and programs that are featured in the fall issue of the Guide.

The Guide is available online. Look for hard copies at local Parks and Recreation facilities, including aquatic centers, libraries and recreation centers.

Inside the Guide you will find a wide variety of classes, part-time employment opportunities, programs for active adults and so much more. The aquatics offerings range from swim lessons to lifeguard training to water fitness classes and more.

Register at

American Film Institute Latin American Film Festival Celebrates Ibero-American Cultural Connections

This is the 29th year for the American Film Institute Latin American Film Festival. This long-running event showcases Latin American cinema, including films from Spain and Portugal during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Highlights from this year's slate of early announcements include Sundance Film Festival award winners The Queen of Fear (Argentina) and Time Share (Mexico); acclaimed genre-bending Brazilian werewolf movie Good Manners; Colombian graphic novel adaptation Virus Tropical, winner of this year's SXSW Audience Award; Peruvian drama Retablo, winner of the Crystal Bear and Teddy Jury Award for Best First Feature Film at the 2018 Berlinale; and the U.S. premieres of Puerto Rican drama Silence of the Wind and historical epic Morazán, the first official Academy Awards submission for Honduras.

The complete schedule of approximately 45 films is expected to be announced in late August. More information on the festival and the schedule can be found here.

August 1, 2018

Putting the ART back in pARTnership – Montgomery County and National Park Service Sign 10-year agreement for Shared Management of Glen Echo Park

Montgomery County and the National Park Service have signed an agreement sharing the management of Glen Echo Park for the next 10 years. Under the new agreement, Montgomery County is responsible for operation, maintenance and day-to-day management of the park.

The County will continue to work with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture to provide public art programs, studio exhibits, performances and social dances, which have made Glen Echo an attraction and destination for tens of thousands.

More information on the partnership agreement is available here.

A schedule of events held at the park is available at

35th Annual National Night Out

Mark your calendars, 2018 National Night Out annual observances will take place on Tuesday, August 7. If you aren’t familiar with National Night Out, it is designed to generate neighborhood support and participation in crime prevention efforts and to enhance police and community relations. It was originally sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

There will be many celebrations throughout the County to help neighbors get to know one another and build community spirit. Please check out the listing of locations that are coordinated with Montgomery County Police here.

Additional events have been coordinated with other law enforcement agencies that serve the County.

Montgomery County Recreation Fall Guide Registration Begins Aug. 13

The Fall Guide for Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks programs will be available online Friday, Aug. 3.

The Guide features hundreds of activities and programs for all ages and interests, including aquatics, arts, sports, therapeutic recreation, tours and trips.

Look for print copies at aquatic facilities, recreation centers, park facilities and public libraries beginning Monday, Aug. 6. Registration opens Monday, Aug. 13.

For more information, visit the Montgomery County Recreation website.

Montgomery County and Community Partners Hold Memorial Service to Remember the Lives of Homeless Who Died

County officials and nonprofit partners held a memorial service on July 18 to honor individuals who died homeless this past year. The event was held at the Executive Office Building Plaza located at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville.

Following the memorial service, officials launched a communitywide effort to end homelessness for families with children by 2020. Montgomery County partners with non-profit organizations, foundations, corporations, consumers, donors and the community toward the common goal to prevent and end homelessness in Montgomery County.

More information on the collaborative work, services for the homeless and data is available at

Important Safety Information for Buying and Selling Internet-Advertised Items; Montgomery County Police Offers Exchange Zones

Do you take advantage of internet-based marketplaces? When items purchased online are exchanged in person, it is important that it is done in a public and safe location. The Montgomery County Police Department has designated “Exchange Zones” for residents to complete transactions at each of its six police district-station parking lots and lobbies.

Those locations are:
This Exchange Zone program is implemented to help reduce and deter crimes such as theft, robbery, and fraud. If the seller or buyer refuses to conduct the transaction at a police station, take that as a red flag warning and avoid doing business with that individual.

Here are some safety tips to help you when planning a personal exchange with an unknown person:
  • Plan to meet during daylight hours
  • Never invite strangers to your home, or agree to meet at a stranger’s home
  • Always meet the buyer or seller at an exchange zone that is well-populated, well-lit, and preferably at a designated police exchange zone
  • Let friends or family know of your intention to meet to conduct a transaction and take someone with you
  • Inform the buyer or seller that you will not be alone
  • Bring a cell phone along in case of an emergency
  • Never give out any personal or financial information
Police personnel recommend that transactions are made on their premises, but they cannot act as official witnesses to the transaction, give legal advice about the transaction, and will not mediate or settle disputes related to transactions. Police are not trained, nor authorized, to validate the legitimacy of any transaction, item for sale, the integrity of any product or goods, or the legality of a sale.

Second Annual Summer RISE Provides MCPS Students with Purposeful Career Development Experiences

WorkSource Montgomery, Inc. (WSM) has completed this year’s Summer RISE (Real Interesting Summer Experience). This innovative initiative led by WSM in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), provided rising juniors and seniors career development experiences.

Summer RISE students participated in career opportunities (averaging 20 hours per week) which introduced them to the structure of organizations in local industries, workplace norms, and the importance of customer service. Students participated in professionalism training and earned stipends at the program’s end.

Montgomery County departments including Public Libraries (MCPL), Fire & Rescue, and Police Department, hosted students. Other participating hosts included MedImmune, CVS Health, Donohoe Construction Company, Holy Cross Health, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning, Henley Construction Company, Marriott International, and MCPS.

MCPL hosted 39 students. Read about the experience of two interns, Kendi and DT who worked at the MCPL Administrative Office here.

FREE SPACE on Display at the Kramer Gallery and It’s Free

There is a new art exhibit, FREE SPACE, on display through September 7, at the Betty
Mae Kramer Gallery in the Silver Spring Civic Building located at 1 Veterans Place.

Artists Akemi Maegawa and Jackie Hoysted have collaborated to create a series of installations intended for public activation. The display encourages visitors to play, create and experience a space where opposing realities converge. For more information about the exhibit, visit the gallery’s website.

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration to Begin Resurfacing Major Roads in Montgomery County

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is preparing to begin three safety and resurfacing projects in Montgomery County. The projects, which total $6.7 million, are expected to be completed in fall 2019. Motorists are urged to plan extra travel time during the construction.

All the resurfacing projects include milling (removal of the top layer of asphalt), paving and restriping. Other work includes repairing damaged concrete sidewalk, curbs and gutters and cleaning of drainage inlets and pipes.

The first project, which is underway, is in Chevy Chase on MD 185 (Connecticut Avenue) between north of MD 410 (East-West Highway) and Manor Road.

Later in August, MDOT SHA will begin two additional resurfacing projects. In Rockville, MDOT SHA will resurface 1.1 miles of MD 355 (Rockville Pike) between MD 28 (Veirs Mill Road) and Mannakee Street and in Gaithersburg on 1.7 miles of MD 124 (Montgomery Village Avenue) between the spur to Christopher Avenue and Mid-County Highway.

More information about the projects is available here.

David C. Anderson Confirmed New Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief

MCP Assistant Chief
David C. Anderson
Captain David C. Anderson, who was nominated for the position of Montgomery County Police (MCP) Assistant Chief by County Executive Isiah Leggett, was recently confirmed by the County Council. Anderson has served in an “Acting” capacity since May when former MCP Assistant Chief Darryl McSwain began his appointment as Chief of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police – Montgomery County Division.

Anderson, whose most recent prior assignment was Commander of the Montgomery County Police 1st District (Rockville), is an almost-29-year veteran of the department. During his MCP career, he has risen through the ranks holding a wide variety of positions throughout the department. Learn more about Anderson’s career here.

The Montgomery County Department of Police has four Assistant Chiefs serving under Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger. Each one is the Chief of one of four police bureaus. Assistant Chief Anderson is Chief of the Field Services Bureau. Assistant Chief Laura Lanham is Chief of the Patrol Services Bureau, Assistant Chief Marcus Jones is Chief of the Investigative Services Bureau and Assistant Chief Russ Hamill is Chief of the Management Services Bureau. Each has expressed his/her personal pride in leading the dedicated men and women of the MCP, and in choosing a career of public service to the residents of Montgomery County.

Capacity Crowd Turns Out for the ‘What’s Next for Wheaton’ Forum Hosted by Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

A capacity crowd turned out for the community forum entitled, “What’s Next for Wheaton” held on July 18. Hosted by the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC), the forum shared community insights and priorities from a panel of experts, elected officials and community members on their respective visions for Wheaton redevelopment in the coming years.

WUDAC collected information from the forum and gathered input from hundreds of residents who responded to a survey and thorough focus groups. The feedback will be reviewed at the next WUDAC meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11. The meeting will be held in the upstairs meeting room of the interim Wheaton Library located above the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad at 2400 Arcola Road. Everyone is invited to the meeting.

Much of the evening’s discussion centered on the desire of the thriving Wheaton community to have an arts and cultural facility. In addition, the evening addressed how to build a better link between the Westfield Wheaton Mall and the downtown district of small businesses that are located nearby. Improving transportation routes for vehicles and bicycles and sidewalks for pedestrians was a constant theme of the forum.

WUDAC consists of 11 residents and business representatives appointed by County Executive Ike Leggett and approved by the County Council. The committee provides guidance and advice on matters affecting the Wheaton Urban District and is closely the monitoring the Wheaton Revitalization Project.

Wheaton is a diverse, transit-accessible community currently undergoing significant changes as part of the Wheaton Revitalization Project. The County is building a 14-story government office building that is scheduled for completion in 2020. In addition to the construction of the office building, the project will provide 397 below ground parking spaces, first floor retail space and a new town square. Most significantly impacted during construction is the Wheaton Triangle area between Veirs Mill Road and Georgia Avenue. The local roads that form the Triangle area include Grandview Avenue, Reedie Drive and Triangle Lane.

The main occupant of the new building will be the relocated Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which is now in Downtown Silver Spring. The 308,000 square-foot, LEED platinum certified Wheaton office building also will be home to several County departments including Permitting Services, Environmental Protection, Health and Human Services, Recreation and Community Use of Public Facilities. In addition, relocating to the new building will be the Wheaton Urban District and the Mid-County Regional Services Center.

More information about the forum and the project is available here.

Community Bakeoff Scheduled for September 8

The Colesville Community Market will hold a community bakeoff on September 8. Councilmember George Leventhal will participate as one of the three judges for the event. The bakeoff judging will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The market, located at 52 Randolph Road in Silver Spring, will be open from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

More information is available here.

July 11, 2018

Montgomery County Earns First Place in Nation in the 2018 Digital Counties Survey

The  Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) declared Montgomery County as one of five first-place winners in their respective category of the 15th anniversary Digital Counties Survey. Montgomery County won under the “One Million or More Population” category. The County is the first four-time winner of this annual competition and is the only County to be ranked in the top 10 since the survey’s inception in 2003.

The survey, conducted by the CDG, in partnership with NACo, identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage open data, collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and contribute to disaster response and recovery efforts.

Live Discussion with County Executive Ike Leggett

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will hold a “virtual” town hall meeting on Thursday, July 19, from 1 to 2 p.m. County residents may submit questions to the County Executive before and during the chat at Live Discussion with Ike Leggett.

Free Immunizations for Incoming 7th Graders

Free Tdap and MCV4 vaccinations are available for incoming seventh-grade students at locations throughout the County during July and August. No appointment is necessary. A parent or designated adult must be present. Please bring a copy of the child’s immunization record to the clinic.

Datawatch Systems Expands Headquarters, Plans 50 New Jobs In Montgomery County

More than 50 new full-time jobs are coming to Montgomery County when Datawatch Systems relocates its headquarters in Montgomery County.

Datawatch Systems is one of the top commercial office security providers in the country. The company is moving its operations to a nearby space on East West Highway in Bethesda, where it will lease 25,000 square feet of space in the coming years. Datawatch Systems currently employs 200 workers in the county.

Formed in 1981, Datawatch Systems remotely monitors hundreds of thousands of doors in more than 4,000 buildings throughout North America. The company began by providing services to customers throughout Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area and has since expanded to various international clients. Today, its portfolio includes Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and more.

To assist with the expansion, the Maryland Department of Commerce is providing a $50,000 training grant through the Partnership for Workforce Quality (PWQ) program, and Montgomery County is providing an $80,000 conditional grant through its Economic Development Fund. The company is also eligible for various tax credits including the state’s Job Creation Tax Credit.

More information about the expansion is available here.
More information about opportunities at Datawatch is available here.

What You Need to Know About High Heat

Summer isn’t even half over and the National Weather Service (NWS) has already issued several heat advisories forecasting temperatures and/or a heat index of over 95 degrees Fahrenheit (F).

Most people know that means it’s going to be hot. But it also is the trigger for the County’s Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) to activate the high heat portion of the County’s Extreme Temperature Plan and issue a “Hyperthermia Alert.” When in effect, a Hyperthermia Alert provides special support for the homeless and activates enforcement/protection for animal/pet safety. The public is alerted through various County social media postings.

The County will issue a “Heat Emergency” warning, when the NWS forecasts “Excessive Heat” with a maximum temperature including heat index of 105 degrees F or higher AND includes one or more of these conditions: will last for at least two days, nighttime air temperatures will not drop below 75 degrees F, or other conditions provided by NWS or threats are determined by OEMHS (e.g., large-scale power outages). Along with County social media and website postings, OEMHS will send out a warning through the Alert Montgomery system.

We’ve got a lot of summer left with plenty of potential high heat and humidity days. Please take some time to review these “Surviving the Heat Tips” before the next round of high heat and humidity hits.

Show your Air Conditioner a Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Failed air conditioning on a scorching day can turn summer bliss into a sweaty nightmare. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning expert Al Crutcher, a Major Maintenance Project Manager with Montgomery County’s Department of General Services (DGS), Division of Facilities Management gives us these do-it-at-home tips that may help lower your utility bill, save energy and avoid costly repairs.

Replace dirty clogged filters - dirty filters block airflow and reduce your system’s efficiency. When your cooling system is fighting to pull air through a dirty filter, it makes the system run longer and can increase energy use by five to 15 percent. Running the system with a dirty filter also puts a lot of stress on the entire system and can cause a costly repair. A typical filter only costs a few dollars while a new motor can run $600 - $1,200.

Evaluate the area around the thermostat to ensure it registers correctly. Keep lamps, televisions, or other heat sources away from the thermostat to ensure it reads the accurate room temperature.

Set your thermostat at 78 degrees for energy savings. A lower temperature won’t cool things faster and may result in unnecessary expense. A programmable thermostat allows you to keep your home warmer when you are away and cool it down before you return.

Professional service technicians should check and maintain your system each spring. A certified professional can check your cooling system to clean the coils; check for the correct amount of refrigerant and make sure none is leaking; seal duct leakage in central air conditioning systems; maintain motors, and make sure the thermostat is working properly. This will help ensure your system doesn’t break down on a hot day. Most air conditioning equipment warranties require annual professional maintenance.

Energy savings is good for the environment and for your wallet. According to PEPCO, properly installed high-efficiency heat pumps, furnaces and air conditioning units can help you save on heating and cooling costs year-round and provide more consistent temperatures and humidity control.

Condensers should be maintained to minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit and keep it clear of bushes to allow adequate airflow. Also take care when using lawn maintenance equipment close to the wires – you don’t want to accidentally cut one.

Turn off your air conditioner when you don’t need it. On days when temperatures are not sweltering, you may be able to stay comfortable by using ceiling fans or opening windows. This helps your wallet and saves energy.

More information about how DGS keeps our County’s 400-plus facilities comfortable and energy efficient are available here.

More home energy saving tips are available here.

MC311 Wants to Hear from You!

MC311, Montgomery County’s Customer Service Center works to ensure residents have information about non-emergency government information and services. To ensure MC311 provides the highest quality customer services, MC311 is conducting a customer service survey.

Click here to participate in the customer service satisfaction survey.

You can reach MC311 by calling 311 in the County or 240-777-0311, 711 for MD Relay TTY, from anywhere, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Montgomery County Recreation Launches Redesigned Website

 visit website

Montgomery County Recreation has a new online look and a new web address,

The new web address gives residents easier and quicker reference to reaching Montgomery County Recreation online. The redesigned website provides visitors improved access to information about the recreation department’s centers, events, programs, and services.

Visit the new website here.

MCDOT Hosts Open House on “NextGen TDM” Proposals to Support Multi-Modal Options

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) wants to hear from you about the proposed changes to requirements in the County Code and accompanying Executive Regulations for implementation of multi-modal programs in new development projects and for employers of certain sizes.

The open house will be held Monday, July 16, from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Lobby Auditorium of the Executive Office Building located at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville. Brief presentations summarizing the proposed changes will be provided at 5:30, 6:15 and 7 p.m. Explanatory materials will be on display and staff will be available to discuss the proposed revisions.

MCDOT has worked with other County agencies, County Council staff and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to draft revisions to Chapter 42A, Article II, “Transportation Demand Management” of the County Code. These existing Transportation Demand Management (TDM) provisions establish the authority for Transportation Management Districts (TMDs) and describe actions required of new developments and employers in those districts to help reduce traffic impacts and promote multi-modal options.

The proposed changes will be included in a bill to revise Code provisions planned for introduction at County Council, along with draft Executive Regulations. Proposed revisions and related materials are posted on MCDOT’s Commuter Services webpage at Feedback forms will be available for those attending the open house. Comments can also be emailed to Additional opportunities for input will be provided at a public hearing on the bill to be scheduled in the fall and through the Executive Regulation process.

For more information and copies of the materials go to

Summer of Safety A to Z

Hopefully everyone is taking advantage of the online safety tips resource, “Summer of Safety A to Z,” located on the County’s website at:

The County’s Public Information Office created this one-stop resource that offers all kinds of great information, in an easy to find, alphabetical format. Throughout the summer we’ll highligh tips from the site through tweets with #MoCoSafety and post them on the County’s Facebook page. We may also tweet out additional important safety-related information using that hashtag.

This is all good information that our community members can benefit from knowing, so please continue to follow the #MoCoSafety tweets.

Most importantly, if you haven’t already signed up to receive Alert Montgomery emergency messages. Check out the very first Summer of Safety tip and click here to sign up for this critical service.

Celebrate Park and Recreation Month in July

Celebrate Park and Recreation Month during the month of July in Montgomery County.

This year’s theme, A Lifetime of Discovery, encourages you to explore area parks and discover new activities.

To get you started, Montgomery Parks has an online calendar with suggestions for daily activities.

The month-long celebration concludes on Tuesday, July 31 with a free popsicle social hosted by Montgomery Parks and Montgomery County Recreation from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Plum Gar Neighborhood Recreation Center located at 19561 Scenery Drive in Germantown. The event is open to the public.

For more information about Park and Recreation Month, visit the Montgomery Parks website.

Chautauqua 2018 at Montgomery College Celebrates “Seeking Justice”

Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, and Eleanor Roosevelt come alive this summer at Montgomery College’s annual Chautauqua celebration. Actors/scholars will portray the historical figures, bringing to life this year’s theme of “Seeking Justice,” at the three-night, family-friendly event.

The event will be held at the Germantown Campus located at 20200 Observation Drive in Globe Hall in the High Technology and Science Center. Performances will be held July 11 through 13 beginning at 7 p.m.

Performances are free and open to the public. The events open with live local musical and theatrical acts. The living history performances are followed by question and answer sessions.

More information and a complete schedule is available here.

Public Invited to Rate New Benches and Trash Receptacles for Future Installation in Downtown Silver Spring

Trash Receptacles
Samples of proposed designs are in Royce Hanson Park outside Planning Department for the public to experience and rank online through the Montgomery Planning website

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is updating the Silver Spring Streetscape Standards, which were first issued in 1979.

The Standards guide the design of sidewalk elements between the street curbs and buildings in downtown Silver Spring. These components include paving, planting, lighting and streetscape furnishings, such as benches, trash receptacles, recycling bins and bike racks.

The Planning Department installed several benches and trash receptacles in Royce Hanson Park, which is located next to the Montgomery County Planning Department located at 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. They will remain in the park through July 31.

Residents are invited to use the furniture and provide feedback. These rankings will help planners determine the furnishings to specify in the updated Silver Spring Streetscape Standards.

More information about how to participate in the survey is available here.

June 21, 2018

Holiday Schedule for Independence Day, July 4

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Independence Day holiday, July 4:

Montgomery County Host Fireworks Shows in Germantown and Kensington

Montgomery County Recreation is hosting two fireworks displays on Wednesday, July 4.

The Independence Day celebrations will take place at the following locations:

Germantown Glory at South Germantown Recreational Park located at 18041 Central Park Circle in Germantown (Boyds); Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School located at 11135 Newport Road in Kensington.

Germantown Glory kicks off at 7 p.m. with a concert by Gringo Jingo performing the best of Santana. Follow the signs for free on-site parking. Mid-County Sparkles begins at 7:30 p.m. with a concert by Quiet Fire, a soul, rhythm and blues, a rock band that covers hits from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

Parking for individuals with disabilities will be available on-site at Einstein High School. Free parking and shuttle service will be provided from Westfield Wheaton, which is located at 11160 Veirs Mill Road. Parking at Westfield Wheaton opens at 6 p.m. Event-goers who park at Westfield Wheaton prior to 6 p.m. may be subject to towing by the property owner. Shuttle service will begin at 6:15 p.m.

The firework displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. at both celebrations. The rain date for the fireworks display only is July 5.

For more information, call MC311 at 311 or 240-777-0311 or visit the Montgomery County Recreation website.

Preliminary Primary Election Returns Will be Available on County Website the Evening of Primary Election Day

Up-to-the moment Election Day results for the June 26 Primary Election will be available on the County’s Board of Elections website after the polls close on June 26.

Votes cast during early voting are counted on Election Day and released shortly after 8 p.m. Known, unofficial, results from Election Day are scheduled to be available beginning at 9:20 p.m. and are updated every 25 minutes. Absentee and provisional ballots will be counted beginning June 28 with complete, unofficial results expected by July 10.

Statement by County Executive Ike Leggett on Stormwater Management Capital Projects

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett made the following statement on the County Council’s intent to reform the stormwater management program.

“I am pleased that the County Council signaled its intent to approve the reform of our stormwater management construction program, which will enhance our ability to meet important environmental goals and will support projects designed to meet our State-mandated MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permit.

Upon final approval by the Council, it will keep Montgomery County as the leader in protecting the environment, giving us the most efficient and cost-effective method to meet our MS4 permit requirements with minimal delays and without an increased burden on our taxpayers.”

Montgomery County Minimum Wage Increases on July 1

Minimum wage is set to rise in Montgomery County on July 1. The size of the increase is determined by the number of workers employed by the business. The bill states that County businesses with 51 or more employees must pay workers $12.25 hourly. Employers with 50 or fewer workers must pay employees $12 hourly.

County Executive Ike Leggett signed Bill 28-17, concerning Human Rights and Civil Liberties – County Minimum Wage, on November 17, 2017.

Effective date
Large employer
Mid-sized employer
Small employer
July 1, 2018
July 1, 2019
July 1, 2020
July 1, 2021
July 1, 2022
$15+ CPI-W

CPI-W = Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers

An employer who provides "home health services" or "home or community-based services" and receives at least 75 percent of gross revenues through state and federal Medicaid programs, may apply to the Office of Human Rights for designation as an eligible services provider subject to an adjusted implementation schedule.

The minimum wage does not apply to employees younger than 19 years old who work fewer than 20 hours per week. However, an employer may pay a wage equal to 85 percent to employees under the age of 20 years for the first six months that the employee is employed.

More information about Bill 28-17, visit County website.

Enforcement of the law is handled through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Free Foreign Film Series Comes to Montgomery College

Montgomery College has a full lineup of entertaining foreign films as part of its Monday evening film series. All films begin at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. The films are shown at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center located at 51 Mannakee Street in Rockville.

Visit the website to see the summer schedule, which continues through August 27.

Free Concerts Available All Summer

Summer concerts are a perfect way to end a long day or get a jump start on the weekend. Pack a picnic and take advantage of the many concerts located throughout the County.

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County has put together a comprehensive listing of concerts to ensure that you don’t miss a show.

Online Form Available for Employers Required to File Minimum Wage Report for Tipped Employees

minimum wage increase effective July 1st, 2018.
The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights has announced an online form is available for all employers who are required to file quarterly wage reports for tipped employees.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council passed Montgomery County Code, Chapter 27-Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Section 27-69 to establish a base pay for tipped employees in 2015. The law requires that each qualifying tipped employee is paid the minimum Tipped Credit Wage of $4 an hour and must be paid an additional amount to equal, in total, the current minimum wage during each quarter. Employers are required to file a wage report within 30 days after the end of each quarter.

The online form is available at the Office of Human Rights website. More information is available on Montgomery County’s minimum wage and overtime law, or see the minimum wage transition table.

Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Accepting Nominations for County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

If you know an exceptional person, team, or organization who has strengthened our community through arts and humanities, here is a way to get them the recognition they deserve. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County is accepting nominations for the 2018 County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.

To nominate a deserving artist or organization for these awards, visit the online nomination site and submit your nomination by Sunday, July 15.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the following awards:
  • Education Award
  • Community Award
  • Volunteer Award
  • Outstanding Artist or Scholar Award
  • Business or Individual Patron Award
  • Emerging Leader Award
This is the 17th year for this special ceremony, which will be presented on Monday, October 29, at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center located on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. More information is available here.

Montgomery Parks’ Host Free FIFA World Cup Watch Party on Saturday, June 23

Montgomery Parks will host a FIFA World Cup Watch Party on Saturday, June 23. The free event is located at the at the Wheaton Sports Pavilion located at 11751 Orebaugh Avenue. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. with kick-off slated for 11 a.m. This matchup, between Mexico and South Korea, will be shown on a blow-up big-screen in a family-friendly atmosphere.

The Open House offers visitors an up-close look at the facility and provides an opportunity to meet representatives from the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, Shadow of The Almighty (S.O.T.A.M.) Futbal Academy, and Play It Again Sports.

Food trucks will be on-site, and there will be children’s games to keep the young ones happy.

More information, visit

Calling all Painters, Potters, Poets and Photographers; Beacon Newspaper Art Contest for Amateur Artists 50 and Older

In whatever arts you shine, you are invited to enter your works in the Beacon's online Celebration of the Arts — a competition for amateur artists 50 and older.

Winners will receive awards, cash prizes (up to $100), as well as the opportunity to exhibit in one or more area galleries. In addition, photos of all artists and their works will be published in a special “Celebration of the Arts” section to be printed in an upcoming issue of the Beacon.

For complete rules and to enter the competition, go to Beacon Arts Celebration. This online competition is open through June 29.

Gaithersburg Ranked Among Top 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers

Based on data collected by, a website that explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities ideal places to live, the City of Gaithersburg ranked in the top 10 of a 2018 listing of Best Cities for STEM Workers, coming in at No. 6. The site analyzed data from 2,000 cities and towns across the country, looking at such factors as the share of total jobs that fall into the STEM category, the median income for those jobs, and the median income for STEM jobs in relation to overall median income within each city. Number one on the list was Huntsville, Alabama.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 8.6 million STEM jobs in 2015, with that number expected to grow by 13 percent through 2025. The national average salary for STEM jobs is $87,570.

June 6, 2018

Montgomery County Council Approves County’s $5.6 billion Operating Budget and $4.5 billion six-year Capital Budget; Prioritizes Education and Public Safety

The Montgomery County Council has approved the County’s $5.6 billion Fiscal Year(FY) 2019 Operating Budget, the FY19 Capital Budget, and the FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The Council approved a $4.5 billion FY19-24 CIP to fund school construction, infrastructure improvements and community projects.

The operating budget funds Montgomery County Public Schools and supports Montgomery College, the County’s Police Department, the Fire and Rescue Service and essential health and human services programs. The Council agreed to add nearly $6.7 million to the operating budget to maintain existing service levels and to minimize call response times for residents during emergencies. The budget also sets aside funding for the County’s FY19 revenue goal of 9.4 percent of adjusted governmental revenues. Funding for this financial obligation helps the County retain its AAA bond rating.

See the full approved FY 19 budget.

County Executive Ike Leggett Vetoes Line-Item in the Capital Improvement Budget

For the first time in his nearly 12 years as County Executive, Ike Leggett has vetoed a line-item appropriation of the Capital Improvement Program approved by County Council. Leggett vetoed appropriations for the Montgomery County’s Clean Water and Permit Compliance Program.

In his recommended FY19 Capital Budget, Leggett recommended a Design/Build/Maintain approach for future stormwater management projects.

The proposed method is a contracting approach, which procures a single contractor to design, build and maintain projects. Currently, the County uses separate contracts for design, construction, and maintenance and tasks the work on a project-by-project basis. Leggett stated that contracting reform is necessary to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of the County’s construction of stormwater management projects and to hold down increases for the taxpayer. Council voted 5-4 against Leggett’s proposal.

On June 1, Leggett submitted a memorandum to County Council President Hans Riemer which outlined why he exercised the veto. The authority for Leggett’s veto is in accordance with the provisions of the County Charter.

Leggett stated in the memorandum “I regret that you and the Council majority have made this veto necessary. Playing politics with a critical environmental issue, doubling down on a costly and inefficient status quo, and kicking the proverbial can down the road will never be confused with effective governance.”

League of Women Voters Presents Voters’ Guide 2018 Primary Election

The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County publishes the Voters’ Guide that includes information on voting, as well as candidates’ responses, in their own words, to questions on a variety of issues. The Voters’ Guide can assist you in your decision-making process as you prepare to vote in the Primary Election on June 26 or at early voting locations from June 14 to June 21. This primary election includes voting for candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Governor, State Senate and House of Delegates, County Executive, County Council and Board of Education.

The League, a non-partisan organization of women and men who promote informed participation in government, does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

There are three ways to get the Voters’ Guide:
  1. Online at - an interactive guide for voting information and comparisons of all the candidates’ responses. 
  2. A print copy is available throughout Montgomery County at locations such as libraries, service, senior and community recreation centers. This Guide contains fewer responses of candidates in competitive races, than in online versions.
  3. Two printable Voters' Guides in PDF format - one contains all candidates’ responses and the other is the same as the paper copy is available online at

Senior Safety Forum in Recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Did you know that in Montgomery County age 60-and-over senior population is increasing faster than the County’s total population?

On Thursday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the County will hold its 8th annual Senior Safety Forum in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It takes place at the Holiday Park Senior Center located at 3950 Ferrara Drive in Silver Spring. Over 50 exhibitors will provide resources for Montgomery County seniors. There will be presentations on topics such as personal safety, financial safety and safe driving tips for seniors. There will also be live musical entertainment, lots of raffle prizes, blood pressure checks and FREE box lunches while supplies last.

This is the perfect opportunity to build senior safety connections that are both importantly factual and fun. Here is more senior safety information.

Heritage Days Return to Montgomery County

Heritage Days is a countywide festival featuring programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. The event takes place on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 from noon to 4 p.m. Programs will feature Civil War and agricultural history, the stories of local railroads and trolleys, historic African American communities and more.

Local arts and culture as well as outdoor recreation, including biking, hiking, and walking tours, are also highlighted. Many venues offer musical entertainment, children’s activities and refreshments.

This is Heritage Montgomery’s 21st year for hosting this celebration. For a complete list of all the locations and scheduled events, download brochure.

NOTE: The Heritage Days program at the Red Brick Courthouse in Rockville has been canceled due to unexpected construction at the courthouse.