October 23, 2018

Montgomery County Again Among Best in Nation for Fiscal Responsibility with Triple-A Bond Rating for 2018

County Executive Ike Leggett recently announced that Montgomery County has maintained its Triple-A bond rating for 2018 from all three Wall Street bond rating agencies.

Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s all affirmed the “AAA” rating – the highest achievable -- for the County. They all termed Montgomery County’s outlook as “stable.”

The Triple-A bond rating enables Montgomery County to sell long-term bonds at the most favorable rates, saving County taxpayers millions of dollars over the life of the bonds. The rating also serves as a benchmark for numerous other financial transactions, ensuring the lowest possible costs in those areas as well.

Early Voting to Open on Oct. 25; Register to Vote During Early Voting

Montgomery County early voting is open through Thursday, Nov. 1. Early voting sites are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Early voting results are tallied on election night, just like votes cast on Election Day. If you vote early, you may not vote by mail or on Election Day.

Did you miss the deadline to vote?
Did you miss the October 16 deadline to register to vote? During early voting, you may register to vote the same day you vote. To register, you must have a valid identification or other proof of residency. Once you register, you will be issued a ballot. This opportunity is not available on Election Day.

More information is available on early voting here.

Microgrid Activates Energy Resilience, Sustainability at Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters and Correctional Facility

Montgomery County activated two advanced microgrids for its Public Safety Headquarters (PSHQ) in Gaithersburg and Correctional Facility in Boyds on Wednesday, Oct. 24. The activation ceremony took place at 100 Edison Park Drive in Gaithersburg. The microgrids are on-site clean power generation systems, which permit both facilities to operate independently from the power grid to ensure continuity of operations in the event of a catastrophic storm or major power outage.

The completed project is provided through an innovative public-private partnership with Schneider Electric and Duke Energy Renewables that required no upfront costs for the County. The on-site power generation at these two sites is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 1,400 cars from the road or planting 178,000 new trees.

The County ‘s PSHQ microgrid achieved Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) certification from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and is the first Maryland project and public safety headquarters to earn certification. PEER is the world’s first certification program that measures and improves power system performance and electricity infrastructure. Through certification, PEER recognizes industry leaders for improving efficiency and sustainability, day-to-day reliability and resilience in the face of severe events.

Given the Schneider Electric and Duke Energy Renewables public-private partnership made the project possible with no upfront capital costs, the County’s other budget priorities were not affected. As part of the agreement, Duke Energy Renewables will own and operate both microgrids with the assistance of Schneider Electric. The two advanced microgrids will produce over 11 million kWh per year with solar and combined heat and power.

The microgrids continue Montgomery County’s work of delivering superior government service with the smallest environmental footprint. Through energy efficiency, renewable energy investment and energy purchases, Montgomery County is a carbon-neutral government. The collective savings for county residents are expected to be $70 million over the next 20 years through energy efficiency improvements, negotiations with energy suppliers, and solar energy generation on County facilities.

Read more about the projects here.

Montgomery County’s Department of General Services 2018 Project Management Symposium

The Montgomery County Department of General Services and PMI, Montgomery County Chapter hosted a two-day Project Management Symposium on Oct. 17 and 18. The symposium is Maryland’s largest project management symposium. The conference included seminars and discussions on a variety of project management knowledgeable areas applicable across disciplines and industries.

The event featured Capital Region Counties, University of Maryland, University College and The Catholic Universities of American.

PMI presented a certificate of excellence to Montgomery County’s Director of General Service David E. Dise, in recognition of and appreciation for outstanding support and leadership for working to enhance collaboration across Montgomery County jurisdictions and instill best practices in project management.

Marriott International Headquarters Construction Underway

Construction for the Marriott International Headquarters is underway. The new headquarters will be located at 7750 Wisconsin Ave. at Norfolk Ave., a short distance from the Bethesda Metro. The complex is expected to open in mid-2022.

Equipment and material deliveries, environmental and safety controls, excavation, hauling and drilling operations that include trucks entering and exiting the site along Woodmont Avenue are part of what is happening during the construction. Anyone interested in receiving development updates on the construction project can sign up here. 

 More information on the project is available here.

Dangers of Vaping that Parents and Students Should Know

The principal of Winston Churchill High School Brandice C. Heckert reached out to inform the school community on the dangers of vaping. Heckert indicated that vaping is on the rise and it is important to address the issue at both schools and at home.

Male Health Symposium Scheduled for Nov. 10

The Gaithersburg-Rockville Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. is partnering with the African American Health Program, and the Washington D.C. Chapter of Black Nurses Rock to present their 2018 Male Health Symposium. The free event is scheduled for Nov. 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the North Potomac Community Recreation Center located at 13840 Travilah Road in Rockville.

The symposium will include health and wellness topics affecting men. Free health screenings, fitness instruction, and healthy eating classes are included throughout the day. Refreshments will be served.

October 10, 2018

Leggett Legacy Forward Event

County Executive Ike Leggett will complete his term and leave elected office on December 3 after serving as County Executive for the past 12 years. Enjoy this video that overviews Leggett’s nearly 40 years as a Montgomery County public servant. The video premiered at a special event that celebrated Leggett and his wife Catherine Leggett. The event was held at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda on Sept. 23.

Leggett is the first African American elected to the Montgomery County Council and to hold the office of county executive. Prior to his three terms in the executive position, he served 16 years as an at-large county council member.

He served as professor of law at his alma mater, Howard University Law School from 1975 to 2006, and as assistant dean of the law school from 1979 to 1986. He is a decorated military veteran, having served as a captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict. After service, he became an administrative aide for Congressman Parren Mitchell (MD 7th congressional district), worked as a Social Security Administration claims examiner, and served as staff attorney for the Department of the Navy. In 1977, he was selected as a White House Fellow under President Jimmy Carter.

The full Leggett Legacy Forward event can be viewed here.

More video coverage from Montgomery Community Media:

Montgomery County Council Wants to Hear from Youth

The Montgomery County Council hopes to hear from community youth at a youth town hall scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Council’s third floor hearing room at the Council Office Building third-floor at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for a pre-meeting pizza reception for students and councilmembers in the building’s second-floor cafeteria.

More information is available here.

Ribbon-Cutting Celebration Opens the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center

Hundreds of residents turned out to celebrate the opening of the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center on Saturday, Oct. 6. The new facility is in the Good Hope Local Park located at 14715 Good Hope Road in Silver Spring.

The 14,000-square-foot center doubles the size of the previous facility. The building features a full-size gymnasium, social hall, kitchen, multipurpose room, fitness, and weight room and more. The park amenities include a playground, softball fields, a lighted baseball field, tennis and basketball courts.

Montgomery County Recreation and the Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc. are partnering to offer community arts programs.

The Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center is open Tuesday through Saturday. It is closed Sundays and Mondays. For the facility’s specific hours of operation and programming information, visit the Montgomery County Recreation website.

Maryland Voter Registration Deadline

Montgomery County citizens who wish to vote in the 2018 Gubernatorial General Election need to complete and submit their voter registration application by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, to vote in the Nov. 6 election.

Is your voter registration up to date? Is your political party affiliation correct? Do you wish to update your political party affiliation or address? Make sure you update your registration prior to October 16, so you are ready to vote. Registering to vote requires that you are a U.S. citizen, live in Montgomery County and be at least 18 years of age on or before Nov. 6.

The Montgomery County Board of Election has more information here.

League of Women Voters Presents Voters’ Guide Available for 2018 General Election

The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County publishes the Voters’ Guide that includes information on voting, candidates’ responses to questions on issues in their own words, and information to help you make sense of the Ballot Questions. The Voters’ Guide may assist you in your decision-making process as you prepare to vote in the General Election on Nov. 6 or at early voting locations from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1.

This 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 of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization of women and men that promotes informed participation in government. The do not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

Three Ways to get the Voters’ Guide:
  • Online interactive guide for voting information and comparisons of all the candidates’ responses is available here.
  • Paper copy - at Montgomery County libraries, regional service, senior and community centers, etc. Contains all candidates on the ballot, but due to space limitations, a few offices have only some of the candidates’ responses that are available in vote411.org
  • The printable copy of the Voters’ Guides in a PDF format is available here.

Montgomery County Ranked 4th Biopharma Centers in the Nation

The BioHealth Capital Region, including Montgomery County, is ranked #4 on the list of top U.S. biopharma centers by Genertic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). GEN ranks regions based on National Institute of Health funding, venture capital investment, patents, lab space and jobs in biotech.

Learn more about the BioHealth Capital Region here.

Resources for Sexual Assault Victims and Survivors in Montgomery County

Recently, much of the nation’s attention has been focused on sexual assault, sexual harassment, reporting laws, and the impact sexual violence has on our society.

The Montgomery County Commission for Women encourages victims and survivors of sexual assault, who are ready, to reach out for assistance. Your fear is normal, your assault was not.

Montgomery County has excellent resources to help victims, including the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program. The Special Victims Investigations Division of the Montgomery County Police Department has a Sexual Assault Unit, which is highly trained, victim-centered, and also ready to assist as needed.

The Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP) assists victims of crimes such as rape/sexual assault and provides crisis and ongoing counseling, information and referral, advocacy and support and compensation for victims of crimes committed in Montgomery County or crime victims who live in Montgomery County.

More information is available here.

World of Montgomery Festival Celebrates the Cultural Heritages of Montgomery County

Montgomery County celebrates the global cultural heritages of Montgomery County at the annual World of Montgomery Festival. The festival will be held at Montgomery College (Rockville) on Sunday, October 21 from noon to 4 p.m.

The free festival includes ethnic foods, a Parade of Cultures, two performance stages of traditional dance and music and fun interactive activities for the whole family.

Montgomery County has become one of the most culturally diverse communities in the nation. Today, one-third of our one million-plus residents were born in other countries. Among the 156,000 students enrolled in our public schools,138 distinct languages from 157 different countries are spoken at home.

More information on the festival is available here.

Register for Youth Basketball Leagues

Registration is now underway for Montgomery County Recreation’s youth basketball leagues.

The recreation department offers instructional, recreational and competitive leagues for children in grades K - 12.

For more information, visit the Montgomery County Recreation website.

Call for Nominations for the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame

Nominations are open for the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame through Oct. 17. Nominations should be individuals – either living or deceased – whose ongoing work, service and contributions have positively impacted human and civil rights in the county.

A select number of nominees will be recommended for the Hall of Fame by a panel of current Human Rights Hall of Fame member judges. The inductees will be honored for the great personal sacrifices and contributions made to human and civil rights in Montgomery County at an induction ceremony scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 29 at the BlackRock Center located at 12901 Town Commons Drive in Germantown.

Nomination forms are available here, or by calling the Office of Human Rights at 240-777-8450.

Montgomery County Departments of Liquor Control and Police Relaunched the “I/We Take It Personally” Drunk-Driving Prevention Public Awareness Campaign

The fall season of celebrations has begun and quickly leads into the busy holiday winter season. The timing is right to renew public awareness about the importance of personal investment in preventing drunk driving.

Recently, County Executive Ike Leggett was joined by Department of Liquor Control (DLC) Director Robert Dorfman, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and other officials and members of law enforcement to relaunch the nationally-recognized “I/We Take It Personally” anti-drunk driving campaign.

The goals of this nationally-recognized campaign promote personal involvement to help prevent drunk driving, discourage patron over-consumption and confirm the personal commitment of public safety officers who are enforcing drunk driving laws.

The next public step of the campaign, originally introduced in the summer of 2017, features 30 DLC delivery trucks and two vans “wrapped” with a police anti-drunk driving message poster. The program encourages people who are going out and consuming alcohol to plan a safe ride home. This effort supports the County’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce severe and fatal collisions among vehicle occupants, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

We hope that every driver will say, “I Take It Personally,” and never drink and drive.

Learn more about the program here.

Montgomery County Department of Police Community Outreach Program Receives Federal and State Recognitions; Vice and Intelligence Unit also Honored by State

Recently the Montgomery County Police Department’s Autism, Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities, and Alzheimer’s (AIDDA) Outreach Program was recognized for its outstanding contributions to community policing. The Department’s Vice and Intelligence Unit was also honored for its investigative work into human trafficking at the same state recognition ceremony.

Officer Laurie Reyes, who leads and originated the AIDDA program, accepted the awards on behalf of all the officers in the department who take special training to better understand the needs of and better serve individuals with these challenges.

Officer Reyes was one of 25 law enforcement officers and deputies from 12 jurisdictions across the country to be recognized by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Justice Department leadership as recipients of the Second Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing.

The Montgomery County Police Special Investigations Division’s Vice and Intelligence Unit with assistance from the Rockville City Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit, received a Governor’s Citation from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for their seven-month investigation into specifically-reported massage spas acting as “houses of prostitution.” The originally targeted spas were in Rockville, but related spas were found in Derwood and Gaithersburg. Through the investigation, it was learned that approximately 30 Asian female workers were rotated through the spas and that they were brought into the Rockville area from Flushing, New York, a nationally-known Asian human trafficking hub. All the investigated spas have now been permanently closed for business.

Officer Reyes also received a Governor’s Citation for creating the program, training police officers and community members on how best to support those with Autism, Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities and Alzheimer’s, especially when they go missing. She was honored for her positive contributions on behalf of the safety of our Maryland citizens.

If your family could benefit from support from the AIDDA Unit, or if you know someone who could learn more about the program at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/lifesaver.

Consider a Career in Public Safety; Application Process Open Now for Public Safety Emergency Communications Specialists

The very first emergency responders are the men and women who answer the emergency calls to 9-1-1 and then expertly dispatch them to police officers and/or fire rescue personnel. It is a career that is challenging and rewarding and affords the opportunity to provide a vital service to the community. It is a unique responsibility in a fast-paced environment requiring careful attention to detail, multi-tasking, and good communications skills.

If you have a heart for service and a head that stays calm under pressure, see if you have what it takes to join this caring and a highly competent team of public safety professionals. The application process is open through Friday, November 14. Learn more about the requirements and benefits and apply here online.

County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) will host the 2018 County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities on Monday, Oct. 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center.

These annual awards honor community leaders whose work in the arts and humanities has positively impacted Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and First Lady Catherine Leggett will present the awards during the special ceremony, which will also feature performances by several AHCMC grantees.

For information about the nine award winners, see the AHCMC news release. For tickets to attend this free event, click here.

Heritage Harvest Festival Scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20

The Heritage Montgomery’s Harvest festival is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 from noon to 4 p.m. The event will take place at farms located throughout the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve.

For a list of participating farms and more information about the event go to www.heritagemontgomery.org/heritage-harvest/

Beacon 50+ Expo Returns to Silver Spring

The Beacon's 19th Annual 50+Expo will take place on Sunday, Oct. 14 from noon to 4 p.m. The fair will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at One Veterans Place in downtown Silver Spring. Montgomery County Aging and Disabilities Services is a key sponsor.

The free event includes exhibitors and resources, health screenings, entertainment, flu shots, giveaways, and door prizes.

The Primary Care Coalition Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Primary Care Coalition is celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a special symposium on Wednesday, Nov. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event takes place at the University of Maryland in the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center located at 7801 Alumni Drive in College Park.

County Executive Ike Leggett will join Primary Care Coalition President and CEO Leslie Graham for remarks.

Registration and event details can be found here.

Eugene Meyer Will Speak at the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable

Former Washington Post reporter Eugene Meyer will speak on his new book “Five for Freedom” about John Brown’s 1859 Harpers Ferry raid at the October meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable. The meeting will be held on Thursday, October 11 at 8 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Hilton located at 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested.