November 22, 2019

County Executive Elrich’s Comments on Proposal to Rebuild American Legion Bridge

The governors of Maryland and Virginia recently announced a plan to rebuild the American Legion Bridge that connects the Beltway between Montgomery County and Fairfax County. The cost of the project over the Potomac River would be shared, with Maryland paying a significant majority.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich issued the following statement on the overall proposal:

“Last December, I called on Governor Hogan to start at worst choke point—the American Legion Bridge—get a deal with Virginia and start from there. I was pleased to hear the announcement that Maryland and Virginia will be working together to address the serious traffic challenges on the American Legion Bridge that also have an impact on I-270 and I-495. While I am encouraged by the step announced, I remain concerned about the potential impacts associated with widening these highways, particularly I-495, and believe that any traffic relief plan will require investment in public transit to provide a meaningful and equitable solution to the region’s transportation problems.”

Consumer Protection Uncovers Deceptive Telemarketing Regarding Alleged Donations to Local Volunteer Firefighters

Residents in Montgomery County have been receiving deceptive telemarketing solicitations from a fictitious business seeking donations to benefit local volunteer firefighters. The County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) has entered into a settlement agreement with the organization making the deceptive calls, but is still urging residents to be aware that the scam has occurred and could be duplicated by others. The settlement includes provisions for scammed residents to receive refunds.

Heroes United PAC, doing business as "Volunteer Firefighters Association," reported collecting $4.6 million nationwide during the 2018 election cycle, including $1.7 million in the current cycle. Heroes United PAC and its telemarketing network of vendors used three local maildrops and engaged in caller ID spoofing to mislead consumers into believing that donations would benefit local volunteer firefighters.

More than 160 County residents thus-far have been identified as victims of the scam.

Montgomery County's OCP has entered into a settlement agreement in which Heroes United PAC agreed to immediately cease and desist from soliciting consumers in Montgomery County. As part of the settlement, Heroes United PAC will write to all consumers in Montgomery County who made donations since 2017 to offer full refunds. The agreement was signed by Matthew Greenlee and Zachary Bass on behalf of Heroes United PAC. In 2018, the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office also entered into an agreement with Heroes United PAC regarding telemarketing violations of North Dakota’s “Robo-Caller” law.

According to OCP’s research, the fraudulent business model has been, and is currently being, duplicated by other political action committees and telemarketing businesses nationwide.

According to records maintained by the Federal Elections Commission, more than 90 percent of the donations Heroes United PAC received from consumers were retained by third-party vendors who were paid by the PAC to engage in the telemarketing and solicitation activities. Less than 10 percent of the contributions from consumers was used for any so-called political action.

More information about this scam is available here.

Holiday Schedule for Thanksgiving Day

The Montgomery County government, its services and programs will have numerous scheduled changes on the observation of Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, Nov. 28. The list of significant changes is available here.

Universities at Shady Grove Dedicate Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Building

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich joined education leaders and government officials from around Maryland recently to help dedicate the fourth academic building of The Universities at Shady Grove (USG)—a $175 million, state-of-the-art Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) education facility.

USG is a regional campus of the University System of Maryland that offers degree programs from nine different Maryland public universities. It offers approximately 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, all on one campus in Rockville. Students who attend USG pursue and earn their degrees directly from the partner universities that offer the programs on the campus.

The BSE is a six-level, 220,000-square-foot facility that doubles the footprint of the campus. It will enable USG to increase enrollment from its current 3,000-plus students to more than 7,500, over the next several years.

The new BSE building will provide USG with the opportunity to expand educational offerings and degrees in the STEM fields, including new programs from University of Maryland-Baltimore County in life sciences, cybersecurity and engineering; from the University of Maryland-College Park, including the Clark School of Engineering; and from the School of Dentistry at the University of Maryland-Baltimore.

One of the unique features of the BSE will be a community dental clinic operated by the School of Dentistry. Equipped with 24 operatory stations, the clinic will provide comprehensive dental care to community patients. Patient care will be provided by faculty-supervised dental students and dental hygiene students.

More information about the new BSE building at USG is available here.

Montgomery County Pesticide Law Information Will Be Detailed in New Mailing from the Department of Environmental Protection

Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is mailing information to households and businesses throughout the County to explain the provisions of the County’s pesticide law. The pesticide law, which was approved by the County Council in 2015 and upheld by a ruling of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in May 2019, restricts the use of certain pesticides and herbicides on private lawns, playgrounds, mulched recreation areas and private childcare facilities.

The County’s pesticide law aims to protect families, pets and the environment from the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals in the air, water, and soil.

Homeowners, property managers and landscapers should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the law. The law affects property owners and professional landscapers equally, so future contracts for lawn care should only provisions that include the use of organic pesticides or herbicides.

If homeowners are still in possession of pesticides that are now banned, they may safely dispose of those pesticides at the household hazardous waste collection site of the Shady Grove Transfer Station in Derwood.

The DEP brochure detailing the provisions of the pesticides law will soon be getting to residents and businesses. The mailer is printed in English and Spanish. Translations are downloadable online in Amharic, Chinese, French and Korean.

The DEP website has additional information on the law, plus options on how to improve lawns using organic methods. The site is available at

Groundbreaking for Recreation/Aquatic Center and Affordable Senior Apartments in Silver Spring

County Executive Marc Elrich recently joined County Councilmembers Evan Glass, Will Jawando and Hans Riemer to break ground for a new recreation/aquatic center and affordable apartment building for seniors at Elizabeth Square in Downtown Silver Spring.

The project will include mixed-income housing for residents age 62 and over that will be adjacent to newly renovated family apartments. Elizabeth House III will include 267-units. Of those, 106 will be for people at the lowest incomes, with many additional units for people at 60 percent or 80 percent of average median income.

Elizabeth Square also will include a modern recreation and aquatic center with swimming pools, a full-size gymnasium, an exercise and weight room, dance studios, culinary arts kitchen, senior programs and public recreation space. The square is within walking distance of the Silver Spring Metrorail Station and is adjacent to a County parking garage.

Montgomery County provided loans and tax abatements to support the project.

“It’s a great investment for the County,” said County Executive Elrich. “It’s a real accomplishment to be able to put together a development like this with that mix of housing. I’m thrilled—it is in a great location . . . It is really going to be a magnet for Silver Spring,”

Stacy Spann, executive director of Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), joined the ceremonies. HOC, Acorn/Lee Development Group and the Montgomery County Government are working together to create the project.

Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Marilyn Praisner Branch Reopens

The Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Marilyn Praisner Branch in Burtonsville was reopened on Nov. 16 after being closed to be “refreshed” under the Library Refurbishment Level-of-Effort initiative in the County’s Capital Improvements Program.

County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by Congressman John Sarbanes, State Delegate Eric Luedtke; County Councilmembers Tom Hucker and Will Jawando; Alison Klumpp, daughter of Marilyn J. Praisner; Department of General Services Director David Dise; Director of Public Libraries Anita Vassallo; Friends of the Library-Marilyn Praisner Chapter President Betsey Matthews and members of the community.

“I am delighted that the Burtonsville community has its refurbished library back,” said County Executive Elrich. “Libraries are community hubs where our residents can participate in early literacy activities for children, educational programs for teens and adults, stay connected using the latest technology or relax with a great book.”

The refresh for the library includes redesigned service area with ergonomic sit/stand information and circulation desks; complete renovation of the public restrooms; Americans with Disability Act-accessibility upgrades; new sidewalk and parking lot improvements; color-coordinated accent painting, carpet and other floor finishes; LED lighting for retrofitted existing fixtures; new drinking fountain with bottle filling stations; sun filtering shades in collaboration rooms; additional shelves and new furniture in children’s room; new swinging and automatic sliding entrance doors; electric connectivity to most seating groups; and refinished exterior canopy.

The cost for the Marilyn Praisner refurbishment is $1.45M. CDCI, Inc. served as the contractor for the project. NOA Architecture, Planning Interiors was the architect. Partial funding for the project was provided by the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Library, as authorized by the Maryland General Assembly and supported by the Montgomery County Delegation.

For more information about the refresh, go to

Shop Small (Business) on Saturday, Nov. 30

In the midst of the Great Recession in 2010, American Express creatively launched the first “Small Business Saturday” to turn attention following the traditional Black Friday events toward the small businesses that are the heart of communities across the nation. Instead of being a one-time novelty, the idea has continued to grow and this year will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Like shoppers and small business owners in other parts of the nation, Montgomery County small business owners have embraced the concept and will be welcoming shoppers with special events and deals—and their typical enthusiasm on Saturday, Nov. 30. And that will carry that spirit throughout the holiday season.

4Business Charrette Set for Monday, Dec. 9

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council Vice President Sidney Katz are encouraging local business owners to attend and participate in the second of two 4Business charrettes as part of the “Benchmarking to Be the Best for Business” initiative.

The second charrette is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center located at 11701 Georgia Ave. in Wheaton. The first 4Business charrette was held Nov. 20 at the Upcounty Regional Services Center.

The charrettes follow six 4Business listening sessions, an online business climate survey of local businesses and options to submit feedback through the website by email and a digital form.

“The goal of these charrettes is to involve the business community - our stakeholders - in this process as we continue our work to improve the business climate in Montgomery County,” said County Executive Elrich. “We are committed to making changes as demonstrated during the 4Business listening sessions. After receiving input from business owners, we streamlined some of the paperwork in the procurement process and, also, introduced legislation for a Local Business Preference Program. We want business owners to locate, to grow and to thrive in Montgomery County, and we need their help in identifying areas for improvement.”

The charrettes are designed to engage the business community in developing a vision to make Montgomery County’s business climate the best it can be. The charrette format will include an overview of the 4Business initiative and results of the initiative to date. There are five theme areas: Business Support/Economic Development, Procurement, Permitting/Public Construction Impacts/Transportation, Government Access/Communications and Regulations/Taxes/Fees.

At the charrettes, participants will work in groups at the topic tables of their choosing to provide feedback on proposed improvements and develop additional ideas to be considered for implementation. At the end of the evening, each working group will make a presentation with its results.

“We want Montgomery County to be the best place to do business,” said Council Vice President Katz. “These charettes are being held so that we can hear directly from the business community as we continue our benchmarking processes. I like the charette process because it brings many stakeholders together to share ideas and concerns, and I encourage business owners to participate in the process.”

For more information about the 4Business charrettes, including transcripts from the listening sessions, visit

County Executive Adds Budget Forum on Monday, Dec. 9

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has added an additional date and location for his Fiscal Year 2021 budget forum tour. At 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, he will host a special forum with seniors about FY21 Operating Budget priorities. The forum will be held in the Maryland Room in Clubhouse One of at Leisure World, which is located at 3700 Rossmoor Boulevard in Silver Spring.

Brookside Gardens Opens ‘Garden of Lights’ for 22nd Year

Brookside Gardens in Wheaton has again transformed into a magical winter wonderland.

For the 22nd year, the “Garden of Lights” is now showing off twinkling lights and glimmering displays along the paths and flowerbeds throughout its 50 acres. More than one million dazzling and colorful LED lights are handwoven into original works depicting animals, flowers and other natural elements. New this year is the exhibit’s first computerized light display matching lights with music, fog bubbles and selfie stations.

Brookside Gardens is located at 1800 Glenallan Ave. in Wheaton. The Garden of Lights will be open every night through Dec. 31, except Nov. 25-28 and Dec. 24-25. The hours are Sunday – Thursday from 5:30-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The cost to view the exhibit is $25 per car or van off-peak (weekdays, Sunday-Thursday) and $30 per car or van peak (Friday and Saturday plus Friday, Dec. 20 – Tuesday, Dec. 31).

A visit is not complete without experiencing the G-Scale model trains in the Gardens’ Conservatory. The Washington, Virginia and Maryland Garden Railway Society hosts the exhibit that kids of all ages love. Trains wind their way through seasonal greenery and miniature reproductions of local landmarks, such as the Red Door Store in Sandy Spring, the Kensington MARC railway station, Glen Echo Park, complete with Bumper Car Pavilion, 1921 Dentzel Carousel, and even Brookside Gardens’ Conservatories.

More information is available at Garden of Lights.

Rebuilt Park Valley Road Bridge Over Sligo Creek Dedicated

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich joined Silver Spring community members and Federal, State and local officials on Nov. 15 to dedicate the new Park Valley Road Bridge over Sligo Creek in Silver Spring. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) managed the project that includes realignment of the nearby Sligo Creek Hiker/Biker Trail.

The bridge is located on Park Valley Road over Sligo Creek—about two-tenths of a mile from Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring

County Executive Elrich and MCDOT Director Chris Conklin talked about the significant safety improvements that the new bridge will deliver, while preserving the character of the original bridge—including its stone design. The bridge and reconfigured trail project will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, access to the hiker/biker trail, will meet ADA standards and will improve traffic safety.

The 1931-vintage bridge was in poor condition. The new 34-foot, single-span bridge includes a 5-foot, 8-inch-wide sidewalk on the south side. An 85-foot approach roadway and an 85-foot sidewalk connector tie the bridge to the existing roadway and trail.

The project includes a 12-foot-wide, 65-foot-long, steel truss pedestrian bridge over Sligo Creek; a new, 10-foot-wide, 213-foot-long hard surface trail that links the new pedestrian bridge to the existing Sligo Creek Trail; a safer, reconfigured intersection at Park Valley Road/Sligo Creek Parkway with a new crosswalk and a six-foot-wide trail pedestrian/bicyclist refuge median on Park Valley Road; and a new, five-foot-wide, 190-foot-long natural surface pedestrian path along the existing hard surface trail.

The total project’s cost was $4.85 million. It was funded with approximately $3.5 million in federal funds and $1.3 million in local funds.

Learn more about the project here.

Bus Stop Location Changes Around Silver Spring Transit Center Delayed until January

Previously announced temporary bus stop location changes in and around the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center in Downtown Silver Spring to accommodate construction of the Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail have been delayed until January.

The construction will necessitate temporary bus route, impacting some Ride On passengers, but that construction will not begin on Dec. 1 as originally announced. Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation will provide detailed information on anticipated Ride On impacts when the start date of construction is confirmed.

For more information about planned road closures and general project information for the Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail, go to Construction updates are available directly at

These temporary modifications are necessary while the Purple Line construction team builds the Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail bridges across Colesville Road.

The Purple Line will provide a direct connection to the Metrorail Red, Green and Orange Lines. It also will connect to MARC, Amtrak and local bus services.

Office of Procurement Launches of Solicitation Innovative Tracker

The Montgomery County Office of Procurement has launched an innovative new online tool to find the status of a solicitation from issuance to contract execution. It is the first device of its kind being used by a local government in the Washington region.

The tracker increases transparency by providing the ability to view the solicitation process from beginning to end.

The tracker is located on the Procurement website at

The tracker includes the ability to contact people directly and find additional information such as bid tabulations. The tracker includes solicitations dating back seven years. The tracker was developed in-house by the County’s Department of Technology Services.

Input Sought for County’s Comprehensive Economic Strategy

Montgomery County’s Comprehensive Economic Strategy (CES) proposes a set of strategies to advance the County's future economic prosperity. As a comprehensive blueprint for the continued economic prosperity of the County, the CES addresses issues of business vitality (including target industries), talent, entrepreneurship, and placemaking. Each has the goal of increasing access to jobs, enhancing the success of the County's businesses and expanding the tax base.

The CES is important because it gives guidance and direction to the County’s economic development partner, the Economic Development Corporation, to execute the strategy through its annual plan and budget.

Economic planning helps identify deficiencies in the economy and the social structure that needs the maximum attention from the standpoint of economic growth.

Residents can review and respond to the proposed pathway forward at

Tax-Aide Program Returns for Tax Season

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is returning its Senior Corps RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program. The program offers free tax-preparation assistance for low-to-moderate-income Montgomery County taxpayers—with special attention to senior—and relies exclusively on volunteers who are trained and certified.

Tax counselors will help taxpayers prepare their federal and Maryland tax returns at one of the more than 20 sites throughout Montgomery County. Client Facilitators welcome taxpayers at each site, help organize their paperwork, and manage the service flow.

Schedulers answer calls and arrange appointments at the Tax-Aide Scheduling Office in the Holiday Park Senior Center located at 3950 Ferrara Drive in Wheaton.

The program’s impact is noteworthy; in 2019, 4,780 returns were filed, generating $4.4 million in refunds and saving $1.3 million in tax preparation fees.

For more information about the County’s Tax-Aide Program, visit Information about the program also is available by email at or by calling 240-777-2612.

Census Seeks Employees

The 2020 U.S. Census continues seeking employees to work as enumerators next year. The hiring and training process is currently taking place.

The Census Bureau is looking to employ an estimated 600 people in Montgomery County. Fulltime and parttime positions are available. Salaries start at $21 per hour and a background check is required.

Interested candidates can apply online at

November 12, 2019

Marcus Jones Sworn in as New County Chief of Police

Marcus Jones, a 34-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department, was formally sworn in as the County’s new police chief today, Nov. 8, in ceremonies at Gaithersburg High School. County Executive Marc Elrich, who nominated him as chief in October, was among those at the ceremonies.

The appointment of Chief Jones was unanimously confirmed by the County Council on Nov. 5.

“This is an important day for our new police chief, the Montgomery County Police Department and our County,” said County Executive Elrich. “Chief Jones has lived in, and served, this County for more than 30 years. He is well respected and has my full support as well as that of County Council. Over the last few months, he has demonstrated the capacity to lead this department and his strong community ties will be critical as we work to make a good department better. I want to thank the men and women of our police department for their focus and commitment to the people of this County as we have worked to identify a new police chief. I am confident that under Chief Jones’s leadership, we will improve the department’s relationship with all communities within the County and ensure that we remain one of the safest places to live and work in the region.”

Chief Jones was named as an assistant police chief in April 2018 after serving for four years as captain of the Third District station in Silver Spring. He has served as interim police chief since earlier this year.

Chief Jones previously served as captain of the department’s major crimes division, where he oversaw the homicide, robbery, cold case and fugitive sections.

In 2011, Chief Jones received the “Montgomery’s Best Award” for directing the Damascus Gardens Drug Market Initiative to eliminate an open-air drug market.

He has a business administration degree from the University of Maryland and has attended the FBI National Academy.

Montgomery County Executive Elrich Announces More Sustainable Winter Storm Initiatives

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has announced that the County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) would be using new environmental controls to ensure that snow removal operations are more sustainable. County Executive Elrich discussed the new approach during the County’s annual “Snow Summit” at which preparations for the 2019-20 winter storm season were reviewed and equipment was rolled out by MCDOT’s Highway Services Division.

The Snow Summit this year was held at the MCDOT Gaithersburg Depot. Among those joining County Executive Elrich were MCDOT Director Chris Conklin, Highway Services Division Chief Richard Dorsey and representatives of Montgomery Parks, which also has snow removal responsibilities on its properties. Among the innovations they talked about were MCDOT’s experimentation using rubber-tipped blades on snowplows. Metal-tipped blades damage the roadway if they are used before there is three inches of snow on the ground. Rubber-tipped blades may allow trucks to begin plowing sooner, without using salt.

One of the challenges MCDOT faces during snowstorms is finding the right balance for use of salt—applying enough to make roads safe and protect the lives of travelers while also minimizing water quality and other environmental impacts.

More information about the innovative preparations the County is making as it readies for the upcoming storm season can be found here.

County Executive Adds Another Budget Forum

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has added an additional date and location for his Fiscal Year 2021 budget forum tour.

At 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, he will host a special forum with seniors about FY21 Operating Budget priorities. The forum will be held in the Maryland Room in Clubhouse One of at Leisure World, which is located at 3700 Rossmoor Boulevard in Silver Spring.

Purple Line Construction to Necessitate Temporary Bus Stop Changes in Silver Spring

The Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail are on their way, but construction of the 16-mile east-west light rail line that will connect the Bethesda and New Carrollton metro stations will necessitate temporary bus route modifications in response to construction in and around the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center in Downtown Silver Spring. Starting Sunday, Dec. 1, those temporary changes will impact some Ride On passengers.

The Ride On bus stops on the first floor of the transit center will be temporarily relocated to the street to safely accommodate Purple Linework. Ride On routes on the second floor of the transit center will not be relocated.

Temporary bus stop locations will be along northbound Colesville Road (between Wayne Avenue and Georgia Avenue), on the second floor of the transit center and on East-West Highway and Colesville Road.

Ride On routes that will be affected by the changes includes 1, 2, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 28 and 129.

For more information about planned road closures and general project information for the Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail, go to Construction updates are available directly at

County Launches ‘Be Safe, Be Seen’ Campaign to Increase Safety During Decreased Daylight

Montgomery County Government departments and agencies are combining their resources in November to launch one of the most aggressive campaigns in County history to make drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists aware of the added perils that come with time changes, and decreased hours of afternoon daylight occurring with the switch to Standard Time. The approximately 20 planned “Be Safe, Be Seen” events will form the most comprehensive one-month safety campaign that the County has ever undertaken.

A 2016 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 26 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurred between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. Because peak evening commuting times in fall and winter occur during periods of increased darkness, danger is increased. The adjustment to Standard Time began the shift for this season.

This new campaign is evidence of the value of collaboration facilitated by the County’s Vision Zero Initiative, which is committed to reducing and eventually eliminating all traffic-related deaths. The concept was initiated by the County’s Police Department during targeted Vision Zero collaboration and subsequently brought in cooperative action by the County’s Department of Transportation. The Be Safe, Be Seen campaign also will involve the combined efforts of the Fire and Rescue Service, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the CountyStat program and the Office of Public Information.

Learn more about the campaign and the scheduled events to promote safety.

4Business Charrettes Set for Nov. 20 and Dec. 9

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council Vice President Sidney Katz are inviting local business owners to attend and participate in two 4Business charrettes as part of the Benchmarking to Be the Best for Business initiative.

The first 4Business charrette will take place at the Upcounty Regional Services Center, located at 12900 Middlebrook Avenue in Germantown, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20. A second charrette is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, a at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center, located at 11701 Georgia Avenue.

The charrettes follow six 4Business listening sessions, an online business climate survey of local businesses and options to submit feedback through the website by email and a digital form.

For more information, visit the 4Business webpage.

Marilyn J. Praisner Library Branch to Reopen on Nov. 16

The newly refreshed Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Marilyn J. Praisner branch will reopen on Saturday, Nov. 16. County Executive Marc Elrich will lead ceremonies starting at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate the grand reopening. The library is located at 14910 Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville.

The refresh for the library includes new ergonomic sit-stand circulation, information and self-checkout desks; renovation of the public restrooms; new painting and flooring; replacement of ceiling tiles; rearrangement of shelving and seating within the library; upgraded lighting with improved energy-efficient, and brighter, LED lamps; new furniture; a drinking fountain with a bottle-filling station; and new window shades in the meeting rooms.

The Friends of the Library, Marilyn J. Praisner chapter, will provide refreshments immediately following the ceremonies.

Partial funding for the project was provided by the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Library, as authorized by the Maryland General Assembly and supported by the Montgomery County delegation to the General Assembly.

Montgomery Manufacturing Event

“It’s a new day for Montgomery County,” said County Executive Marc Elrich at the Montgomery Manufacturing Business Connect forum on Nov. 8 at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville. The first of its kind forum, which was co-hosted by the County Executive and the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI), connected local manufacturers with state and local government resources.

There are more than 400 manufacturing companies in Montgomery County and the event helped connect manufacturing executives from key industries, such as biotech, cybersecurity, defense, electronics, industrial, information technology and pharma with subject matter experts. It also provided information on how to access resources to address workplace needs, reduce energy expenses, find grant funding, access financing and tax credit programs and more.

Manufacturers also were able to connect with federal laboratories regarding technology transfer and partnering to make operations more efficient, profitable and uniquely competitive.

Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz highlighted the importance of manufacturing in Montgomery County and across the state.

Xometry CEO Randy Altschuler was the keynote speaker, and he told the crowd that his company is based here because he loves living in Montgomery County.

Registration Begins for Winter Rec and Parks Programs

The Montgomery County guide for the Department of Recreation and Montgomery Parks winter classes and programs for all ages is now available. Registration is now open.
The guide also includes information about many summer camp programs.

The guide can be viewed online.

Survey on Compensation for Board of Education Members

The Montgomery County Board of Education Compensation Commission is going to study the salary structure for members of the County Board of Education and would like the public’s input via a survey that is now available.

The commission will issue a report to the members of the Montgomery County Delegation to the General Assembly regarding its recommendations for the appropriate compensation for members of the County Board, including any additional stipend for the president of the County Board. The study also will look at a scholarship amount to be awarded to a student member Board of Education member who completes a full term. That scholarship would be applied toward the student’s higher education costs.

The survey for the public can be found at The survey closes on Sunday, Nov. 24.

County to Host Early Care and Education Initiative Community Forum

Residents are invited to join community leaders for a conversation about the Montgomery County Early Care and Education Initiative (ECEI) from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25, at the Department of Health and Human Services at 1401 Rockville Pike in Rockville. Attendees will learn about the County’s early care and education priorities and be invited to share their thoughts.

The free forum will provide opportunities to learn about accomplishments and to voice opinions about priorities moving forward. Free childcare will be provided for children six weeks to age eight. Language interpretation will also be available.

The Montgomery County Early Care and Education Initiative was established to coordinate early childhood services and ensure that children are getting what they need to thrive in the early years and to succeed at other stages in life. Research shows access to early learning opportunities for children from birth to five years old is the key to improving school readiness and later school success.

Learn more about the program from the website.

New Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) Dedicated in Burtonsville

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich recently helped dedicate the newest Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) in Burtonsville. CASE has been in Montgomery County for more than 20 years as a partner with the County’s Child Welfare Services group within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The expansion reflects the need and growth of the work of CASE. It offers mental health services and educational resources for all members of the adoption and foster community

Montgomery County DEP Readies Annual ‘Gift Outside the Box’ Campaign

Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is partnering with County agencies and organizations for the third consecutive year to provide residents with ways to green their holiday giving with “Gift Outside the Box.”

County Executive Marc Elrich and partner agencies will help kick off the campaign on Friday, Nov.15, at an event from noon-3 p.m. at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 1029 East Gude Dr. in Rockville. Formal ceremonies for the launch are scheduled for 1 p.m. The date also is celebrated nationally as “America Recycles Day.”

Gift Outside the Box focuses on five areas where residents can learn ways to gift in a more environmentally responsible way.
  • Buy local: Support County businesses and purchase locally made products. Look for the “MoCo Made” label.
  • Gift experiences: No need for a box when the gift features event tickets, Montgomery Recreation classes, music lessons and time in nature and parks.
  • Gift greener: New items still are the choice of many gift givers, but they are encouraged to think green, with gifts such as reusable water bottles or smart thermostats.
  • Give back: Among the most appreciated gifts are donations to a local charity or setting aside time to spend with friends and family by volunteering together.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle: Reduce waste by buying gifts made from recycled or reused materials. For all gifts, minimize wrapping.
More information about the most sustainable ways to give for the holidays is available at the Gift Outside the Box website at

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade Set for Saturday, Nov. 23

The reverberating drums of the marching bands will herald the coming of the Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade even before you catch sight of the first glittering float or giant inflatable turkey gliding through the streets of downtown Silver Spring. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, stepping off from Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street and moves south on Georgia Avenue, ending at Silver Spring Avenue.

The parade will feature live performances by the Akhmedova Ballet Academy, Princess Mhoon Dance Institute and Maryland Youth Ballet. In addition to the excerpts of Tchaikowsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” and Broadway-style numbers, there will be performances by 14 marching bands including those from colleges, local high schools, honor guard bands and internationally themed bands. Performances will take place at the intersection of Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street.

Residents can enter a raffle to win tickets for their family to sit in the grandstand by visiting: Parade visitors can also enjoy holiday selfie taking and activities on Veterans Plaza before and immediately following the parade.

The parade begins with a harvest and Thanksgiving theme and ends with holiday music, a Hanukkah bear, reindeer, elves and Santa Claus. The emcees ABC7/WJLA meteorologist Brian Van De Graaff and ABC7/WJLA’s Julie Wright, from Good Morning Washington, and Let’s Talk Live.

The parade will be held rain or shine. For more information, call 240.777.0311 or visit the website.

Residents participate in Annual County H2O Summit

County residents and local watershed groups turned out in big numbers on Nov. 2 for the annual Montgomery County H2O Summit, which this year was held at the Rockville Senior Center. The summit addressed protecting precious water resources and focused on programs in place to improve water quality. The summit also offered opportunities to participate in topic-specific roundtable discussions such as road salt management, controlling pet waste and climate change initiatives.

Joseph Galella of the University of Maryland spoke to attendees on recent research concerning the impact of salt in waterways. Ana Arriaza and Adriana Hochberg, both from Montgomery County Government, spoke on the County’s pet waste management program and climate change initiatives, respectively.

Local resident and stream health advocate, Tracy Rouleau, received a community volunteer award for her leadership in water quality improvement.

The H2O Summit is planned collaboratively with the County Department of Environmental Protection, Montgomery Parks, the cities of Gaithersburg and Rockville, the University of Maryland and WSSC Water.

Warning: ‘Porch Pirates’ and ‘Mock Mailers’ Active During the Holidays

The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection is warning residents about two scams that increase in volume during the holiday season. One involves “porch pirates” targeting deliveries for theft. The other comes through the Postal Service in the form of “mock mail” that gets holiday-distracted residents concerned about their vehicles or the status of their mortgages.

“Porch pirates really are shoplifters who are moving their thefts from the store to your door,” said Eric Friedman, the County’s Director of the Office of Consumer Protection. “They may be stealing items that you ordered—or they may be stealing items that they ordered in your name by stealing your identity and having items mailed to your home. These criminals sometimes follow UPS, FedEx, and Amazon trucks and scoop up packages as they are dropped off. But people can take action to help avoid being victims.”

Another issue at this time of year comes with the increased volume of mail and the feeling that certain things must be addressed before the end of the year. Mock mailers are ready to take advantage of those conditions.

Learn more about how to avoid these scams at the press release.

Montgomery County DEP to Host Two More ‘Energy Roadshows’ in November

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host the final two “Energy Roadshows” in November, with the next one scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Germantown Library. Energy Roadshows are open-house-style events to learn about all things energy, including how to make homes more comfortable year-round, various options for switching to renewable energy and how to spot energy scams. Information at the shows will help residents keep more money in their pockets by reducing the amount of energy they use in their homes.

The Germantown Library is located at 19840 Century Blvd. in Germantown.

At the roadshows, there will be experts providing brief presentations on energy-saving programs of various scales, including efficient appliances, electric vehicles, home energy audits, solar installations and energy assistance opportunities. Information also will be available on energy-related scams that have had an increasing presence in the Washington area.

More information on Energy Roadshows is available at