September 25, 2020
September 23, 2020
The amended executive order includes additional measures to protect the public from the spread of the virus. One measure modifies the previous executive order to allow for larger religious gatherings. Montgomery County public health and emergency management staff have worked closely with members of the Faith Community Working Group to develop enhanced spacing allowances. They have also worked collaboratively to offset any increased risk of more congregants by including additional safety requirements and guidance for houses of worship.
The amended order also includes a new exception to the face covering mandate for children under the age of 18 while playing sports as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Updated executive order:
- Explicitly caps indoor food service at 50 percent;
- Changes gathering size calculations and spacing, screening, and cleaning requirements for religious facilities;
- Modifies the definition of face covering to remove plastic full face shields;
- Includes a face covering exception for children under 18 while playing sports; and
- Officials are continually reviewing designations and adjusting guidance based on data and science.
Voting by mail can make things easier, and safer. Here are a few things you want to remember to ensure that you can vote by mail in the Nov. 3 election. To receive a vote-by-mail ballot, the Board of Elections must receive your request by Tuesday, Oct. 20.To request a ballot:
- Text the letters VBM to 77788; or
- Use the following Mail-in Ballot Request link. Provide your complete information so your voter registration can be verified, and a ballot can be mailed.
- In Step 9, the “Mail-in Ballot Request”, select “I would like to receive a mail-in ballot.”
- Under delivery type, select “in the mail”. The other types are only recommended for overseas voters and voters with disabilities. They require a bipartisan team of poll workers, or Election Judges, to review your ballot and hand copy your choices before your votes can be counted.
- If you request a ballot, you want to vote as soon as possible using that ballot. Postage is prepaid, so you can return it by mail or to a Board of Elections drop box. Secure drop boxes will be located at all early voting sites beginning Oct. 1 and at all voting centers on Oct. 15. A list of all locations and installation dates is available here.
- You can also find the nearest USPS collection box or Post Office by texting the word BOX plus your zip code (example: BOX 20879) to 77788 or by using the website.
- You can also check the status of your mail-in ballot application and/or the status of your returned voted ballot by: texting the word CHECK to 77788; or using the Maryland Voter Lookup tool.
More than 45 sites are available for residents to get free COVID-19 testing, including County-operated and privately operated clinics. Testing at County clinics is free, does not require a doctor’s referral and is available by making advance appointments or on a walk-up basis. Reservations can be made online.
COVID-19 Testing Available at More than 45 Sites in County
The schedule for upcoming County-operated test clinics:
- Friday, Sept. 25. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Friday, Sept. 25. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. CDC Mobile Testing Trailer, Recreation Department Administration Building, 4010 Randolph Rd., Silver Spring.
- Monday, Sept. 28. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center 11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.
- Monday, Sept. 28. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Monday, Sept. 28. 1-7 p.m. Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring.
- Tuesday, Sept. 29. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. White Oak Community Recreation Center. 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring.
- Tuesday, Sept. 29. 8-11 a.m. Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Wednesday, Sept. 30. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center, 11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.
- Wednesday, Sept. 30. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Outdoor drive-up clinic--walk-ups welcome. CDC Mobile Trailer, Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg (parking lot near food court entrance, directly in front of Ride On transfer station).
- Thursday, Oct. 1. 8-11 a.m., Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Thursday, Oct. 1. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. White Oak Community Recreation Center. 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring.
- Thursday, Oct. 1. 1-7 p.m. Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring.
- Friday, Oct. 2, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- October 2. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., CDC Mobile Testing Trailer, Recreation Department Administration Building, 4010 Randolph Road., Silver Spring.
- More information about COVID-19 testing is available on the COVID-19 Information Portal.
County Executive Wants to Hear Your Priorities for the Fiscal Year 2022 Operating and Capital Improvements Program Budgets
- Wednesday, Sept. 30, FY22 County Operating Budget Forum.
- Thursday, Oct. 8, Citizens Advisory Board/CIP Forum, Mid County.
- Tuesday, Oct. 13, Citizens Advisory Board/CIP Forum, Bethesda.
- Monday, Oct. 26, Citizens Advisory Board/CIP Forum, Up County.
- Wednesday, Oct. 28, Citizens Advisory Board/CIP Forum, Silver Spring.
Montgomery County and Main Street Connect Offer Innovative Initiative to Help Close Digital Divide for Low-Income and Special Needs Residents of Main Street Apartments in Rockville
Founded in 2017 by Jillian and Scott Copeland, Main Street Connect was inspired by the Copelands’ son, Nicolas, who has developmental disabilities. Like many parents in similar situations, the Copelands’ search for long-term housing for Nicolas produced very few options in which he could thrive. Hoping to alleviate similar situations for other families, the Copelands started Main Street Connect with a mission to create affordable and inclusive housing that offers residents—of all abilities—the opportunity for dynamic opportunities and community engagement.
The project brings together Montgomery County and Main Street Connect with technology leaders Plume and Positron Access Solutions. Montgomery County will be providing symmetrical speeds of 50 Mbps+ (upload and download), as well as internet bandwidth to support Wi-Fi service in all public areas in the building. Plume, a leading smart home experience company, will provide an enhanced home Wi-Fi offering to residents free of charge. That service includes strong, consistent Wi-Fi coverage, online security, parental and access controls and 24/7 customer service. Positron, a leading enabler of high-speed internet services, is providing the broadband access equipment necessary for residents to connect to Montgomery County’s free internet.
The pilot project, which will impact 60 to 70 units in the building, aims to address digital equity within the Main Street Apartments community. Digital equity means everyone—no matter their socioeconomic background—has equal access to the technology necessary to participate in all aspects of society. For low-income households especially, access to the internet can be a burden when added to the costs of rent, childcare, food and other necessary expenses.
Montgomery County’s Department of Technology Services is looking to learn from the pilot project and develop additional opportunities to expand the availability of no-cost/low cost internet solutions soon.
Read more about this progressive enterprise in the press release.
Community Invited to Participate Virtually in Montgomery Planning’s 'I-270 Corridor Forward' Plan Kickoff on Sept. 30
RSVP for the September 30 Corridor Forward Virtual Kick Off Meeting.
The Corridor Forward Plan will evaluate transit options that could serve I-270 Corridor communities and employment centers between Frederick and Tysons, Virginia. The plan will assess different transit options to support existing communities and also position the County’s I-270 Corridor as a prime location for economic development.
Following the evaluation, Montgomery Planning will develop an implementation plan to ensure resources are directed to the most efficient and valuable transit projects.
The online kickoff event will take place on the Microsoft Teams Live platform. Montgomery Planning staff will provide an overview of the project purpose and describe the importance of planning for transit in the I-270 Corridor. Participants are invited to complete the Transit Values Questionnaire in advance of the meeting, as well as review a series of videos produced to explain transit planning considerations. The meeting will also include a moderated panel discussion with agency and transit partners as well as an opportunity for participants to engage in a live question and answer session.
Montgomery Planning welcomes questions in advance of the kickoff meeting. Questions can be submitted through the Transit Values Questionnaire.
The County values recycling and considers recycling a key initiative in protecting our land, air, and water, and preserving natural resources for the future.
We recycle acceptable materials collected in our County-provided curbside recycling program and send these materials to companies who will take them, further process them, and recycle them into new uses or products.
- mixed paper and cardboard
- glass bottles and jars
- metal steel/tin cans
- empty, non-hazardous aerosol cans
- aluminum cans
- foil and foil products
- plastic bottles, jars, containers, tubs, lids
- #1 clamshell containers
- bakery domes
- flowerpots, and much more!
What happens to the materials after we sort them at the Recycling Center?
The materials are sold to commodity brokers monthly. Once the materials leave our facility, virtually all of them are sold to domestic markets. As a rule, only mixed paper is sold to international markets, but that is via domestic commodity brokers.
Below are some ways you can help to keep recycling working in Montgomery County:
- Keep our recyclables “clean” – What does that mean? Keep items like plastic bags, hazardous materials, electronics, Styrofoam®, or home medical supplies out of your blue recycling bins. Learn more about how to keep your recycling clean here: https://mygreenmontgomery.org/2018/keep-recyclables-clean/
- Check our A-Z list of how to properly recycle or dispose of materials: Type the item you want to recycle or dispose of in our A-Z materials list. Don’t see your item on the list? Send us an email to AskDEP@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.
- The Plastics Recycling Factsheet has examples of plastics that can be recycled in Montgomery County, as well as items that need to be kept out of the recycling bin.
- Learn about Montgomery County’s Recycling Center: Learn how we sort and prepare materials for recycling markets at the Recycling Center. While in-person tours are temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 health emergency, check out our information on how we separate recyclable materials.
Highlights of the event include the “Go, Grow & Get Active” signature event, hosted by Montgomery Parks at Brookside Gardens. This event will be held virtually on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. View the event on County Cable Montgomery and follow along for Zumba Toning, Laughter Yoga and TaijiFit demonstrations. Physicians from “Walk with a Doc” will provide health tips and encourage everyone to celebrate “Walk Maryland Day!”, also held on Oct. 7.
Events are co-sponsored by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Recreation, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Montgomery Parks and the Montgomery Energy Connection - Department of Environmental Protection. Local nonprofit organizations and hospitals will also host events.
For a full schedule of free Active Aging Week events, visit the County’s seniors website and click on “senior calendar”. Activities include walks, fitness classes, book discussions, language conversation groups, games, technology skills classes, volunteer information, and more.
More information is available in the press release.
September 18, 2020
Even though at times, the pandemic seems all-consuming, we still have to think about what kind of future we want for Montgomery County. Your vote on the ballot questions in this upcoming general election is going to play an important part in determining the shape of our future. The first batch of mail-in ballots will begin arriving in as soon as ten days and there will be six ballot questions on your ballot this year – four county questions and two statewide questions. And as your County Executive, I will not hesitate to take a position on policies in the public interest.
The four countywide questions are lettered A, B, C and D. I am asking you to vote FOR A and C and AGAINST B and D. I am also asking that you vote FOR statewide Questions 1 and 2. Today I want to focus on Questions A and B.
Questions A and B address property tax collection. Once again, I urge you to vote FOR Question A and AGAINST Question B, and here is why.
Our County’s property tax structure is fundamentally flawed. The current structure purposely manufactures austerity and creates a system that is broken and broke intentionally. It caps our total property tax revenue to the amount collected in the previous year plus inflation (which most recently was only 1.27 percent); it does not limit individual tax bills to the rate of inflation. Every year this arcane system forces us to recalculate the property tax rate to fit within an overall number that is not tied to economic growth in the county. As a result, the county does not benefit from increased economic growth even as the county must pay the costs of that same growth.
Due to the economic disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic, if not fixed, this arcane system could bankrupt our county. Unlike residential properties, commercial property assessments are based on the income generated by the property, such as rent. As vacancies increase due to the pandemic, assessments may go down. When combined with an inflation rate that is likely to be zero or negative, Montgomery County could be collecting less revenue than last year – this would be crippling to our budget at a time our services are more important than ever before.
Our current charter simply redistributes who pays more or less. This is why we don’t have a revenue base that would support more robust school construction or the bond financing needed to build the transit we must have if we’re going to provide the infrastructure that new development requires. Here’s another way to think about it - our problem is not stagnant property values, it is our inability, under the current system, to realize the new value of property.
If you want to understand why we lag behind the other side of the river, you need look no further than counties in Virginia and their ability to produce revenue to build major infrastructure projects that our county’s tax structure makes impossible. This is not about raising taxes. It is about is realizing the benefits of growth for the entire community.
To add another level to the perversity of our system, the use of tax credits to stimulate development activity when combined with new construction winds up reducing property tax revenues, which in turn reduces the base against which inflation is applied. As a result, the County will never see the full tax benefit from major projects – like the new Marriott headquarters project - even after the tax credits expire.
Our neighbors (and competitors) in the region are focused on the future for their communities – they are investing in infrastructure that businesses and residents want and need. Our charter prevents us from tackling a range of issues like the opportunity gap in our schools, the need for transportation infrastructure, the lack of affordable housing, and more. It leaves our residents and our business community with the false perception that we cannot manage our resources when, in fact, our potential resources are severely limited by the existing property tax system.
The charter amendment currently in place, which has created this revenue straitjacket, was proposed by the Council 30 years ago – 1990. Since then our school population has grown by 65 percent and overall population by 40 percent. In the last 30 years, we have increased our services and we have more challenges – from traffic congestion to climate change to greater economic disparity. Over the same time period, the tax rate has declined 35 percent.
Don’t be deceived! Our current County Charter limits the growth of property tax revenue – not property tax rates, and resident property taxes are NOT capped at inflation – they are tied to property assessments.
To explain this point, when we looked at actual property taxes bills for a few properties from 2018 and 2019, we found surprising differences in tax increases and decreases that were random. A home in Silver Spring assessed around $600,000 had their property taxes increase significantly; a home in Potomac valued at more than $2 million had a slight tax decrease, and property taxes for a commercial property in Rockville valued at around $370 million saw a tax decrease even though their assessment increased.
I also want to make a point that both the status quo and Question A require a unanimous vote by the Council to raise the limit – for the revenue cap (status quo) or the tax rate cap (Question A). Passing Question A will not raise taxes. Question A would – without raising the tax rate – allow us to capture some of the revenue we need to reinvest in our community to move us forward as an economic leader in the region.
Question A allows us to focus on the tax rate rather than the total revenues collected. And the rate cannot be raised unless all Councilmembers vote to raise it. It is simple, and it enables us to capture the economic growth in our county. Additionally, I would note that if Question A passes, our tax rate will still be lower than that of Howard, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel and Frederick counties.
Question B by contrast would take us in the wrong direction. It would keep the current revenue cap and not allow it to ever go above the rate of inflation – even with a unanimous vote by all members of the Council. Put simply, Question B deprives you of your democratic right to representation. Question B could bankrupt our county. In times of emergency or great need, we will not be able to raise revenue beyond the inflation rate. It threatens our AAA bond rating. If we are downgraded, borrowing will be more expensive and will mean we will be unable to provide needed services and amenities. Question B denies us our ability to meet the needs of our residents and businesses – no matter how much we grow the tax base. Question B makes a bad situation worse.
Please educate yourself on these ballot questions. I respectfully ask you to vote FOR Question A and AGAINST Question B.
PPS And to those who celebrate Rosh Hashannah – Happy New Year!
September 17, 2020
Election day—Tuesday, Nov. 3—is less than two months away, and for those who have ordered mail-in ballots (it is not too late to do that), they will begin arriving in just a few weeks.
In Montgomery County, there will be only about 40 polling places open throughout the County on Election Day (usually there are 255 voting locations).
Some important election information:
- Voter registration is available until Tuesday, Oct. 13, and also at early voting centers and on Election Day. More information on how to register is available at Maryland Board of Elections website. Online registration is recommended if possible.
- There are three ways to vote: by mail, in-person early voting (Monday, Oct. 26, through Monday, Nov. 2) and in-person on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3).
- Voting by mail is the best way to avoid lines and crowds. Apply for a ballot either with the application you should have received in the mail or online.
- If applying for a mail-in ballot, request a ballot in the mail—not through an email link (unless you have to).
- The email link/internet ballot requires two people to hand copy the results onto a ballot that can be scanned. That is a lot of work and will slow the final vote count.
- Check the status of your ballot application online.
- Paper ballots will begin to arrive in the mail in late September or at the beginning of October. They come with a postage pre-paid envelope to mail back.
- Vote by mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day. Mail early or put your mail-in ballot in a voting drop box.
- Secure drop boxes will be located at all early voting sites beginning Oct. 1 and at all voting centers on Oct. 15. A list of all locations will be included with your ballot.
- When voting by mail, be sure to sign the affidavit printed on the envelope that holds the ballot. Do not sign the ballot.
- Early voting from Oct. 26 through Nov 2 will be available at 11 sites around the County. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All voters can vote at any early center, regardless of where you live in the County.
- Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There are more than 45 sites in Montgomery County where residents can get tested for COVID-19, including County-operated and privately operated sites. There will be County-operated testing at 14 clinics on the upcoming schedule,
Testing at County clinic is free, does not require a doctor’s referral and is available by making advance appointments or on a walk-up basis. Reservations can be made online at www.MoCoCOVIDtesting.org.
There may be a fee at privately operated sites. Residents should check in advance on any possible cost and available times at privately operated sites.
The schedule for upcoming County-operated test clinics:
- Friday, Sept. 18. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Friday, Sept. 18. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. CDC Mobile Testing Trailer, Recreation Department Administration Building, 4010 Randolph Rd., Silver Spring.
- Monday, Sept. 21. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center 11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.
- Monday, Sept. 21. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Monday, Sept. 21. 1- 7 p.m. Silver Spring Civic Building. One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring.
- Tuesday, Sept. 22. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. White Oak Community Recreation Center. 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring.
- Tuesday, Sept. 22. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Wednesday, Sept. 23. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center. 11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.
- Wednesday, Sept. 23. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Outdoor drive-up clinic--walk-ups welcome. CDC Mobile Trailer. Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg (parking lot near food court entrance, directly in front of Ride On transfer station).
- Thursday, Sept. 24. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. White Oak Community Recreation Center. 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring.
- Thursday, Sept. 24. 1-7 p.m. Silver Spring Civic Building. One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring.
- Thursday, Sept. 24. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Friday, Sept. 25. Germantown outdoor drive-up clinic (parking garage behind Regal Cinema), 20002 Century Blvd., Germantown.
- Friday, Sept. 25. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. CDC Mobile Testing Trailer, Recreation Department Administration Building, 4010 Randolph Rd., Silver Spring.
The $20 million in funding from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES act expands rental assistance and homelessness prevention to low-income households that have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The County program was introduced by County Executive Marc Elrich and approved by the County Council in July.
More than $1 million in financial assistance was given to eligible households in the initial phase of the program. DHHS has continued to maintain an active waitlist and the process for requesting assistance has been streamlined since the first phase was introduced.
Eligible renters must certify that they have income under 60 percent of the average median income, which is $65,529 for a family of three; that they lost income due to COVID-19; that they are rent-burdened and behind on rent; and that they have been a resident of Montgomery County since February 2020. Households may have formal or informal lease arrangements.
Approved households may receive up to $4,000 for rent arrears and a rent credit for future months paid directly to the landlord when a formal lease agreement exists.
The Bethesda, Germantown and Martin Luther King, Jr. outdoor pools will remain open through Oct. 4. The Glenmont Wheaton Outdoor Pool will remain open on a modified schedule beginning Sept. 21. The Long Branch, Upper County and Western outdoor pools will close for the season on Sunday, Sept. 20.
In addition to two-hour recreational swim sessions, 45-minute early morning lap swimming sessions also are available at the Bethesda, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Wheaton Glenmont outdoor pools. Reservations may be made online up to seven days in advance. While reservations are not required, they are highly encouraged.
Outdoor pools are open to current pool pass holders. Daily admission also is available for Montgomery County residents only. Residents should be prepared to show proof of residency prior to entry into any pool.
Outdoor Summer Pool Passes, originally scheduled to expire on Sept. 7, have been extended through Oct. 4 at no cost and will continue to be accepted for admission to any outdoor pool.
Pool Information: pool information page
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich is holding a series of virtual forums about priorities for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Operating Budget. The next forum will start at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21 and the following forum will be on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Each of the forums will be hosted via Microsoft Teams.
“I am hopeful that our virtual format will allow more residents to participate in these forums,” said County Executive Elrich. “Even though we cannot be together, this new format should enable us to discuss with residents the County’s budget process for Fiscal Year 2022. COVID-19 has changed how the government delivers services, and this virtual forum may make it easier for more residents to participate and engage with the process. We hope you will join us to listen, learn, ask questions, and let us know what is important to you.”
The schedule for upcoming budget forums:
- Monday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m. FY22 County Operating Budget Forum.
- Wednesday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. FY22 County Operating Budget Forum.
- Thursday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m. Citizens Advisory Board/CIP Forum, Mid County.
- Tuesday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m. Citizens Advisory Board/CIP Forum, Bethesda.
- Monday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m. Citizens Advisory Board/CIP Forum, Up County.
- Wednesday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m. Citizens Advisory Board/CIP Forum, Silver Spring.
Sign language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible, but no less than 72 hours prior to the event. If these or other services or aids are needed to participate in this activity, call 240-777-6507, Maryland Relay 711 or email a request to Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sept. 21 and 30 meetings will be streamed live on the County’s website and Facebook page and on the YouTube channel. County residents can view the meeting live with closed captioning on County Cable Montgomery (cable channel CCM) by tuning to Comcast Channel 6 or 996 HD; RCN Channel 6 or 1056 HD; or Verizon Channel 30. Residents also can join on social media and help raise awareness by using #MoCoBudget22.
The traditional one-day celebration will become a two-week event, starting Sunday, Sept. 20. This year’s event will have art installations placed around the downtown area so visitors can experience the works of local artists day or night. The arts presentations also can be viewed virtually. At noon on opening day, County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council President Sidney Katz will kick off the festival by unveiling an eight-foot pyramid in the first event on the new Marian Fryer Town Plaza. The plaza, on Reedie Drive, is adjacent to the recently opened 14-story County office building.
The “Path of Pyramids” and “Yarn Bomb” themed event will have eight-foot and four-foot-high artwork painted and sculpted by local artists installed around Downtown Wheaton from the town plaza to the Westfield Wheaton mall. The path also will extend north on Georgia Avenue to the Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center complex.
Among the art on display will be a pyramid created in collaboration with One Montgomery Green using non-recyclable plastics. Another pyramid is a mosaic created by families from Wheaton’s Latino community as a tribute to their Salvadoran heritage. Linking the pyramids will be the “Yarn Bomb,” color hangings from lampposts that were crocheted by Wheaton area residents.
The Path of Pyramids will be on display through Sunday, Oct. 4.
Festival Details: www.wheatonartsparade.org
The Montgomery County Department of Finance is encouraging property owners to pay their tax bills online this year because of the COVID-19 health crisis.
Bills were mailed out to property owners earlier this summer and property tax payments are due Sept. 30 and Dec. 31. The County’s cashier window is currently closed to the public.
Payments can be made online with an electronic check (no extra charge) or by credit/debit card (a convenience fee of approximately 2.3 percent of the payment amount is charged by the payment processing company). To make an online payment, visit the County’s website to look up your account and to make an online payment.
Tax payment website at montgomerycountymd.gov/propertytax.
For more information about property tax bills, including a questions and answers section, visit the Department of Finance website. If you have additional questions, call 311 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday – Friday.
Since the latter part of 2015, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) has hosted, developed and managed Maryland DCDL on behalf of the Maryland State Library. MCPL has managed DCDL due to MCPL’s long history of providing library services to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. These services include communication access, deaf resources, collections of materials for, by and about people who are deaf and hard of hearing and programs featuring deaf authors and speakers on topics related to deaf culture and coping with hearing level changes due to aging. These services are nationally and State renowned.
Among those that helped with the event were the Montgomery County Government and the East County Regional Services Office; the County’s Housing Initiative Fund; the American Diversity Group; the Capital Area Food Bank; the Greater Washington Community Foundation; the Immigrant Community Services, Inc.; the Manna Food Center; and the Mid-Atlantic Food Resilience and Access Coalition.
Pastor, Dr. Abdul Sesay and the City of Light community also were helped by numerous volunteers in the major food distribution effort. Among the volunteers were Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando and East County Regional Services Director Jewru Bandeh.
Compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, demand for food assistance in Montgomery County, as reported by food providers, has increased by 500 percent. County employees have worked in cooperation with more than 100 nonprofit partners to help feed families across the County.
Over the past week, food distribution organizations provided more than 5,000 families with rice, beans and lentils.
Information on food resources is available on the website.
March 4, 2020
As federal officials continue to monitor the outbreak of respiratory illnesses caused by a new form of coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China, County Executive Marc Elrich and County health and emergency management officials are coordinating efforts across agencies as well as with state officials and healthcare providers to ensure we are prepared for the situation as it evolves.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises state and local health departments to prepare for community spread of COVID-19. The County’s Department of Health and Human Services is working with partners, including the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, public safety agencies, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and hospitals to plan for a response should there be cases in Montgomery County.
Here is how the County has prepared:
- Launched an internal emergency management group for coordination, enhanced monitoring and planning with partners and other local agencies.
- Developed an action plan for incident management and surveillance for individuals at risk of infection.
- Communicated with hospitals and healthcare providers to provide the latest information and guidance from the CDC.
- Communicated and coordinated with MCPS to provide guidance to parents, teachers and staff.
- Launched a COVID-19 website to update Montgomery County residents on the current situation. The website is updated regularly.
- Stay informed by using trusted sources for up-to-date information. The County’s website includes information on prevention techniques as well as links to the CDC and other resources.
- Wash hands frequently throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Keep surfaces (especially bathroom surfaces and children’s toys) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
It is Women’s History Month! The Montgomery County Commission for Women invites residents to participate in its fourth annual Girl Power Contest. County residents ages 5 to 105 (or older) are encouraged to submit a short story, poem, or drawing that addresses the following question: As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, what barriers do you think still exist for women and girls and how can you help break them?
For more information and to submit contest entries, visit the Commission for Women website.
The invitations to respond to the 2020 Census will begin arriving to households March 12. Here is some information you need to know about the census.
What is the Census?
Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States.
Why is the Census important?
- Every year, the federal government allocates more than $675 Billion in funding based on census data.
- Every Marylander not counted costs the state approximately $18,250 over 10 years.
- Census data is used to plan schools, new homes and businesses, and improve neighborhoods.
The census counts every household and person living in the U.S., this includes both citizens and non-citizens. The U.S. Census Bureau must keep all information confidential.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, County Council Vice President Tom Hucker and Councilmember Even Glass joined community members for a recent “Climate Action Plan Town Hall and Open House.” The event held at the United Therapeutics Corporate Headquarters in Silver Spring featured presentations—and 850 recommendations—from five County workgroups who have been studying issues and actions the County can take to reach its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals.
The workgroups were formed from a combination of volunteers with backgrounds and strong interests in energy and climate change and County staff that work on those issues. The workgroups focused on buildings; clean energy; transportation; public engagement and education and climate adaptation and sequestration.
Residents can review the recommendations and contribute comments at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/climate.
The workgroup recommendations and the public feedback will help the County prioritize the actions for inclusion in a Climate Action and Resilience Plan to be issued in 2021.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Will Jawando participated in National Education Association’s Read Across America Day, which is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. The Greater Washington Community Foundation organized Montgomery County’s celebration, which was held at the Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center located at 11701 Georgia Ave.
Young County readers joined Elrich, Albornoz and more than 45 million readers, both young and old, from across the country to pick up a book and read. The event featured the children’s books “Should I Share My Ice Cream?” by New York Times best-selling author Mo Willems and Book Fiesta!,” which is the bilingual story of Children’s Day written by Pat Mora.
The Presidential Primary Election Day will take place on Tuesday, April 28. To ensure you are ready to vote, you must register with a political party. The Maryland Board of Elections (BOE) website is the place to go, if you are looking to:
- Register to vote in federal, state, county, and city elections in Maryland.
- Request an absentee ballot.
- Update your registration, if your name has changed or your address has changed.
- Register from your phone, by texting ‘vote’ to 77788. Visit 777vote.org for more information.
It is hard to believe that daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8. As we are rolling the clock forward, it is important to be extra vigilant when driving or walking on the streets.
According to the Center for Disease Control it takes about one week for the body to adjust the new times for sleeping, eating, and activity. Until people are adjusted, people can have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up at the right time. This can lead to tired drivers and weary pedestrians and may lead to an increase in vehicle accidents.
If you're commuting in the early hours, note that your walk may now be darker. Stay alert! When crossing the street, you're in the danger zone. Motorists are also encouraged to be vigilant for pedestrians, particularly when light is limited.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue also reminds residents that when the time changes it is time to check the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Your home’s smoke alarms are the best way of notifying you and your family of a fire. State law requires that battery-operated smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years from the date of manufacture. The devices should also be tested at least once a month.
Registration is open for the seventh annual Montgomery County Energy Summit, which this year will expand to a two-day event on Wednesday, April 1, and Thursday, April 2, at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The Energy Summit, which previously focused solely on promoting commercial energy efficiency and the use of clean energy in the County and the rest of the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region, will use the expanded schedule to explore energy efficiency for both commercial buildings and residences.
The Summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.
New for 2020 will be a second day of exploring energy in the residential sector. Topics will address energy needs for single-family and multifamily developers, building operators and Montgomery County residents.
Early bird tickets are $75 for entry to both days. Single-day tickets are $50 for Day 1 (commercial); $35 for Day 2 (residential). Early bird ticket sales end March 6 (or March 31 if the attendee is a government employee). Regular online ticket prices are available after March 6. For entry on both days, regular tickets are $100. Regular single-day tickets are $70 for Day 1 (commercial) and $50 for Day 2 (residential).
To register and for additional information, visit the event’s website at www.MCEnergySummit.org.
Montgomery County’s rich cultural diversity is recognized by a 2020 WalletHub study, which ranked Gaithersburg as the nation’s second most culturally diverse city in the U.S. Germantown is ranked as the third, Silver Spring as the fifth and Rockville ranked seventh.
WalletHub took a snapshot of America’s current cultural profile, comparing more than 500 of the largest U.S. cities across three key metrics of ethnic diversity.
To view the WalletHub study, go to 2020's Most & Least Ethnically Diverse Cities in the U.S.
Montgomery County Government (MCG) employs more than 10,000 people with more than 30 departments and agencies. Recruiters are always looking for applicants who are committed to innovation, integrity, and inclusiveness.
If you are looking for employment, you will want to check out the dozens of open positions in categories such as clerical/administrative, professional, management, health and human services and more. There are full-time and temporary/seasonal positions.
Visit the human resources website to view the open positions and get more information about learn how to apply.
February 14, 2020
County Executive Elrich, State and County Leaders Say They Are Committed to Building a 21st Century Economy at Launch of Business Connect in Bethesda
|Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by local and state officials for the official launch of Business Connect at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. Elrich said he is focused on building a 21st century economy that will help the County maintain its leadership position in the State, while being more competitive in the Washington D.C. metropolitan region.|
February 12, 2020
County Police have officially unveiled the Community Opioid Prevention Education (COPE) Trailer. The new trailer can help loved ones identify red flags typically associated with drug abuse.
The inside of the trailer is built to resemble a bedroom and bathroom that you would typically see in homes in the County. The trailer has items that will be considered minor (yellow) and major (red) indicators that the person living in the bedroom may have a problem with opioids or other controlled dangerous substances.
A tour guide will point out the items and explain what they are, how they are used, and why they are concerning. There will be examples of different types of controlled dangerous substances such as heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana. At the conclusion of the trailer tour, participants can ask questions and get information about the County programs that assist with addiction and other drug-related illnesses.
The COPE Trailer, part of the County’s Police Department’s Community Engagement Division, which will travel to community events throughout the County. COPE is a partnership with the Opioid Intervention Team that consists of participants from the County’s Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, Fire & Rescue Services, Public Schools (MCPS) and Department of Health and Human Services.
An MCPS grant, with additional funding by the Montgomery County Police Foundation, funded the trailer purchase.
This video provides more information and gives a look inside.
|Wheaton revitalization project|
The project, which is overseen by the County’s Department of Transportation, is 90 percent complete and is on schedule to be close to completion in May 2020. Construction of the town square is 75 percent complete and construction of the amphitheater terracing has started.
The main occupant of the new building will be the relocated M-NCPPC. The 308,000 square-foot building seeks LEED platinum certification. Several departments including Permitting Services, Environmental Protection, Health and Human Services, Recreation and Community Use of Public Facilities will call the new facility home. In addition, relocating to the new building will be the Wheaton Urban District and the Mid-County Regional Services office.
More information about the Small Business Assistance Program and the Wheaton Revitalization Project is available at here.