January 23, 2019

Montgomery County Cares

Montgomery County established a new web portal where federal employees and contractors who live in the County, and who are impacted by the partial federal government shutdown, can go to find assistance provided by various organizations throughout the County.

While it is too early to determine the full, economic impact of the shutdown, the immediate backlash is taking a toll on many families who must make ends meet without a paycheck.

By accessing the web portal, visitors can find information about various programs and opportunities that may ease some of the financial strain.

Montgomery County Seeks Your Input to Balance the Budget

The Montgomery County Office of Management and Budget invites you to participate in an interactive budget forum using “Balancing Act” – a new, online tool designed to increase public engagement during the FY20 budget process.

The Interactive Budget Development Forum will be held on Monday, Feb. 11, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Executive Office Building cafeteria – terrace level, located at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville.

Register for this free event here.

Free parking will be available at the:
  • Council Office Building parking garage (Fleet Street & Monroe Street entrances); 
  • Council Office Building Visitor parking garage (E. Jefferson Street); 
  • Juror Parking Lot (301 E. Jefferson Street); and 
  • Executive Office Building parking garage (G2-level only). 
Montgomery County will provide sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids or services upon request -- with as much advance notice as possible, preferably at least three (3) business days before the event. Contact the Office of Management and Budget at 240-777-2778 (voice) or send a request to crystal.sallee@montgomerycountymd.gov. Taking these steps will allow sufficient time to best meet your needs.

Elrich Holds Final Budget Forums

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich will hold his final, two budget forums to hear resident priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

The forums will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 31 – BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown. 
  • Monday, Feb. 4 – Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, 4301 East West Highway, Bethesda. 
Suggestions and ideas submitted will help Elrich prepare his FY20 budget, which he will submit to the County Council on March 15.

Free Summer Camp Fair Set for Saturday, Jan. 26, in North Potomac

Bring your kids to the Montgomery County Summer Camp Fair on Saturday, Jan. 26, from noon to 3 p.m. The event will be held at the North Potomac Community Recreation Center located at 13850 Travilah Road. If you plan to send your kids to summer camp, this is the event to attend!

At the Summer Camp Fair, you can meet one-on-one with Recreation staff and instructors, ask questions, participate in demonstrations, and, of course, register the kids for camp. Information on financial aid will be available. The fair is fun for the whole family. T-Rec, the Recreation mascot, will greet visitors, and there will be free raffles, giveaways, and snacks.

Montgomery County Recreation provides hundreds of quality summer camp programs at convenient locations throughout the County. Parents are encouraged to plan early for the summer months as many camps fill up quickly. Registration is already underway.

To view a copy of the Summer Camps Guide online, visit the Montgomery County Recreation website. Print copies of the Summer Camps Guide are available at aquatic and community recreation centers.

Families can register for camp online at www.ActiveMONTGOMERY.org. For more information, call Montgomery County Recreation at 240-777-6840.

New Ride On Route 63X Improves Transportation Service for Veterans

Ride On now offers Route 63X to provide transportation options to veterans who use the Community Based Outpatient Clinic on Gaither Drive in Gaithersburg. The service runs to and from the Shady Grove Metro Station and clinic. Service is available Monday through Friday, every 30 minutes from approximately 6:20 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.

This new route gives 45,000 veterans, in and around Montgomery County, increased access to vital health services.

A timetable for the Route 63 and 63X can be found here.

A Montgomery County Library Card Can Provide Access to Free Streaming of Acorn TV

Montgomery County Public Libraries’ (MCPL) cardholders now have free access to commercial-free programming and new shows with Acorn TV. This new service provides thousands of hours of international programming, Acorn TV originals and new shows such as mysteries, dramas and comedies added weekly.

Library cardholders can access Acorn TV by registering via the MCPL website. Customers can “checkout” the Acorn TV channel for seven days and have unlimited access to all content. Currently, there is no limit on the number of seven-day “checkouts” a library cardholder is permitted.

Civil Rights Movement Freedom Fighter Joan Mulholland Joins the Maryland Civil Right Education Freedom Experience

Registration has opened for the 2019 Maryland Civil Rights Educational Freedom Experience. The annual historic civil-rights bus tour retraces the Freedom Trail, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Greensboro sit-ins, voting rights, and other significant events of the Civil Rights Movement.

A tour highlight is that Joan Mulholland, a freedom rider from the Civil Rights Movement, plans to join the trip. She will share her story and provide personal accounts at the various stops along the journey. She will have copies of her book “She Stood for Freedom” available for participants.

The nine-day bus tour will leave Rockville on April 6 and return on April 14. The trip will include travel to Greensboro, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama; Memphis and Clinton, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas and Jackson, Mississippi to retrace the steps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and many other civil-rights heroes.

Tour highlights, itinerary and payment information is available here.

Department of Permitting Services Launches New Website

The Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) has launched a new website that provides better access to information and online services. From applying for permits to scheduling a design consultation to track construction activities, the streamlined design puts the user’s needs first.

At the front and center of the website is an intuitive search bar that asks, “How can we help you?” Other services that residents and business owners can access on the site include making an online payment, checking the status of a permit, uploading ePlans, requesting inspections and/or records, searching for data, making a property complaint and more.

Visit the DPS website at montgomerycountymd.gov/dps.

Business in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council President Nancy Navarro recently talked about their plans to make Montgomery County more business-friendly on the Small Business Network’s first session of the new year at the television studios of Montgomery Community Media.

During the 30-minute live show, the local leaders also answered questions from audience members.

Watch their conversation from YouTube.

January 9, 2019

Holiday Schedule for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 21.

County Executive Wants to Hear from You to Determine Priorities for the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich will host five budget forums to hear resident priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget.

Suggestions and ideas submitted will help Elrich prepare his FY20 budget, which he will submit to the County Council on March 15.

The forum schedule:

Elrich Launches Housing Enforcement Campaign

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has launched a housing code enforcement campaign to better promote tenant safety and well-being. The Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) is conducting more inspections of rental units as it continues to implement Bill 19-15, a tenant protection measure enacted in 2016.

During inspections of each multifamily apartment building, DHCA issues notices of violations or citations, as appropriate, and inspects again until corrected. As warranted, DHCA may inspect every unit at a property.

DHCA is creating an inventory of multifamily apartment buildings and the status of each to identify those that require extra attention to remain in compliance. A “Troubled Properties” list will be published as soon as County Council approves the regulation. That list will include multifamily apartment buildings with multiple housing code violations, which are required to develop a corrective action plan; such properties will be inspected annually.

Tenants with questions about their rights may call 3-1-1 for assistance: If callers choose, they can remain anonymous when communicating with the County. More information is available online – “Renters Have Rights”.

Montgomery County Ceremony Honors the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Montgomery County’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King through music, arts, dance and performance. “Women of the Dream” is the theme for this year’s event, which showcases the tireless efforts and struggle of Coretta Scott King; Fannie Lou Hamer; Willie Pearl Mackey King; Reverend Dr. Ruby Reese Moone and Joan Trumpauer Mulholland. The event will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21. at the Music Center at Strathmore located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda.

An event highlight will be a special performance by jazz violinist Chelsey Green.

A visual arts exhibit prepared by County youth interpreting the “Women of the Dream” theme will be displayed at the venue.

Admission is free, but tickets are required to attend and will be distributed onsite the day of the event beginning at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are first-come, first-served. Everyone in line will receive a general admission ticket until the venue is filled.

More information is available here.

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Serving Your Community

On Monday, Jan. 21, thousands of County residents will honor the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) by participating in the County Volunteer Center’s annual MLK Day of Service event. The event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bethesda North Marriott and Conference Center located at 5701 Marinelli Road in Rockville.

A wide variety of service projects appropriate for volunteers of all ages will be available. Students can earn Montgomery County Public Schools student-service learning hours. Activities will include packaging food for the hungry, making dog toys for animal shelters, creating scarves for hospice patients and crafting appreciation cards for military troops and much more. Additionally, the event will feature a volunteer fair with information about ways to serve with dozens of local nonprofits and government agencies throughout the year.

This event is free, but space is limited and advance registration is required.

There will also be multi-project service events that day in Olney, Rockville, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and Germantown. Visit the Volunteer Center’s MLK Day web page for details and registration links.

Free Comic Convention Comes to Montgomery County Public Libraries

Whether you leap from tall buildings (Don't), have superhuman strength (You don't) or are someone who never runs with scissors (Good job!), you will want to come to Montgomery County’s comic convention, MoComCon. The event is open and accessible to comic conventioneers, novices, Jedi, superheroes, wizards, and even muggles. This is the third year for this annual event, which will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Silver Spring library branch located at 900 Wayne Ave.

MoComCon will include a variety of workshops, programs, displays, exhibitors, and cosplay (costume play, dressing up as a character) opportunities – all free of charge. No weapons, including replica and costume pieces, will be allowed inside of the event.

Event highlights include:
  • Superhero Storytimes starting at 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. This pre-event activity is geared for preschool age children;
  • Instant 3D Prints (thermoforming) with FutureMakers;
  • Writing and Publishing Sci-Fi and Fantasy with author Don Sakers;
  • String quartet performance from Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra, the community ensemble devoted to performing video game music in the Montgomery County area;
  • Harry Potter themed Escape Room for 8-to 13-year-olds and 'Game of Thrones' themed Escape Room for ages 14 and older;
  • Comic Publishing 101 with Chuck Sellner; and
  • Cosplay contest with prizes for children, teens and adults.

More details about the event, including schedule, rules, and cosplay contest guidelines, is available at MoComCon website.

Registration for escape rooms and cosplay contest begin at 11 a.m. on the day of the event at the Silver Spring branch.

Summer Camps Registration Begins Jan. 22

Now that the holidays are over, it is time to start making plans for summer. Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks will host hundreds of fun and exciting camps that promote active and healthy lifestyles for children this summer. Many camps fill up quickly, so it is best to begin the registration process early.

Camp registration opens at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 22 via ActiveMONTGOMERY.org, the registration and facility reservation system shared by Montgomery Parks, Montgomery County Recreation and Community Use of Public Facilities.

County camps are convenient and tailored to a variety of interests. Take advantage of early bird registration through April 5 and receive $25 off select camps. Summer camps include aquatics, arts, cooking, nature exploration, sports and more.

To view the guide and register online, go to ActiveMONTGOMERY.org. Customers can search for summer camps by activity, date, age, location, and cost.