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The President Comes to Wheaton

Against the backdrop of the Holiday Park Multipurpose Senior Center in Wheaton, President Obama hosted a nationwide Tele-Town Hall Meeting on June 8 (aired live on C-Span) focusing on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on Medicare benefits. The President, accompanied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, was welcomed by County Executive Ike Leggett, Recreation Director Gabriel Albornoz and Center Director Carol Fuentevilla. Also attending were Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Joining the seniors present were Council President Nancy Floreen and Councilmember George Leventhal.

To view the video of the Affordable Care Town Hall Meeting, visit the White House website.

CATEGORIES: Community Forum
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 11:00:00 AM |

Montgomery County at the Top of the Class in Graduation Rate…Again

For the second straight year, Montgomery County Public Schools' (MCPS) graduation rate is number one among the nation's 50 largest school districts, according to the Diplomas Count 2010 report, published by Education Week.

The MCPS graduation rate of 83.1 percent is significantly higher than the rate for the state of Maryland or for the nation and is up from last year’s top rating of 80.7 percent. Learn more, visit montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/publicinfo/graduationrates/

CATEGORIES: Education
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 10:00:00 AM |

Council to Host Town Hall Meeting at Leisure World

The Montgomery County Council will continue its efforts to find out what issues most concern residents when it hosts a Town Hall Meeting for the Leisure World / Northern Silver Spring area on Wednesday, June 16. The meeting at the Leisure World Social Hall will start at 2 p.m. > Press Release.

CATEGORIES: County Council , Community Forum
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 9:00:00 AM |

Approved County Budget Continues Leggett’s Four-Year Priority of Putting County

County Executive Ike Leggett knew before the current downturn that the County spending habits of the prior four years were unsustainable and from the start made putting the County’s fiscal house in order a priority for his administration

In his first year (FY08), Leggett brought County government tax-supported spending down from a 14.1 percent increase in the year before he took office to 6.7 percent. In FY09, he reduced it further to a 1.5 percent increase. In FY 10 he reduced it yet again to MINUS 2.2 percent and this year he proposed another minus 7 percent DECREASE below the previous year.

In the three years before Leggett took office, County government tax-supported spending increased by a total of 36 percent. By comparison, for his entire four years, the budget has decreased by 1 percent total. 

The County Executive has closed nearly $2.3 billion in budget gaps over the four years. He closed nearly a $1 billion gap this year alone -- 83 percent of gap closed with reductions and other actions -- only 17 percent was achieved with additional revenues. He has eliminated 1,100 positions (10 percent of the County government’s entire workforce) in just the last two years.

Last year, he prevented an additional $80 million in cuts to critical County services when he marshaled support from the County Council, the School Board and Superintendent, and ultimately, the state legislature for a waiver of the State’s Maintenance of Effort requirement. Working closely together with them again, Montgomery County has already won a similar waiver this year from the State Board of Education.

CATEGORIES: Budget
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 8:00:00 AM |

Executive Commends State Board of Education Decision on Maintenance of Effort

“I am grateful to the State Board of Education for their decision to approve Montgomery County’s local contribution to education of $1.415 billion, supporting our request to waive the county’s Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement for fiscal year 2011.

“I want to thank the Montgomery County Council for their support. I also especially want to thank our Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jerry Weast and Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill for standing shoulder to shoulder with us in support of the waiver.

“Montgomery County has a long history of funding our schools far in excess of State Maintenance of Effort requirements. But, this year, we were faced with serious challenges posed by the sharp economic downturn as a clear justification for a waiver.

“Despite being unable to meet our MOE target in fiscal year 2011, the County has made every effort to minimize the impact of this decline in revenue on K -12 education by taking proportionately steeper budget reductions in County government and other County funded agencies than the County has proposed for MCPS.

“I appreciate the State Board’s action. It recognizes that Montgomery County continues to support our world-class school system while sustaining critical programs in public safety, safety net services for our most vulnerable County residents, and initiatives to support our children and youth.”

CATEGORIES: Budget , Education
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

County’s Unemployment Rate Falls

The unemployment rate for Montgomery County fell to 5.1 percent in April, a decline of more than half a percent from the 5.7 percent rate posted in March. The number of unemployed County residents was 26,207 in April, a decrease of 2,900 from the prior month.

After peaking at 6.2 percent in January, the County’s unemployment rate has declined each month. The April unemployment rate is the lowest since the April 2009 rate of 4.8 percent, but remains roughly twice the 2.5 percent rate in April two years ago.

For more information, download pdf

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 6:00:00 AM |

Leggett, Federal, and State Housing Officials Highlight Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Vacant Foreclosed Homes

County Executive Ike Leggett recently joined County Council President Nancy Floreen, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Deputy Secretary Clarence Snuggs, and federal and local housing officials to tour a formerly vacant foreclosed property in Germantown that is now available for rental through the Housing Opportunities Commission.

The acquisition and renovation of this house, as well as 15 others in Germantown and Wheaton, is part of a $7.1 million effort made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Neighborhood Conservation Initiative and a HUD Community Development Block Grant.

The Housing Opportunities Commission provides the homes to eligible households with incomes less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or $51,750 for a family of four. Read more

CATEGORIES: County Executive , Economy
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |

Now Official: It’s Rockville Memorial Library

County Executive Ike Leggett (2nd from right) and approximately 100 others gathered in the Rockville Town Square Plaza on Friday of the Memorial Day weekend for the official ceremony marking the renaming of the Rockville Library to the Rockville Memorial Library.
Included among the attendees were Gayle Selkin-Gutman and Jacques Gelin, Friends of the Library, Rockville Chapter; County Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Duchy Trachtenberg; former Rockville City Councilmember Anne Robbins; Irwin Cohen, community activist and advocate for renaming the library to honor local service people who lost their lives in the line of duty; Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio; and Bill Gray, chairman of the Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs. See Press Release for more info.  

CATEGORIES: Library
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 4:00:00 AM |

WORTH NOTING

Aggressive Drivers Beware: “Smooth Operator” is Back

The Montgomery County Police Department is once again participating in the regional “Smooth Operator” campaign, which began Sunday, June 6, and will take place one week out of each of the summer months and two weeks in September.

The campaign targets aggressive drivers in Maryland, Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania.  Aggressive driving behaviors include: speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changing, failing to yield the right-of-way, and running red lights and stop signs. 

The 2010 campaign will take place during the following weeks:

  • July 4 – 10
  • August 1 – 7
  • September 5 – 18

During these waves, Montgomery County Police will be especially committed to enforcing aggressive driving laws and traffic violations.  Read tips on how to decrease the tendency toward aggressive driving.


Nominations for Landscaping, Photography Contests Still Accepted Through June 18

Applications are being accepted now through June 18 for the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) annual Keep Montgomery County Beautiful (KMCB) landscaping and photography competitions.

The landscaping contest is open to community groups, businesses, public institutions and other organizations undertaking landscaping projects that enhance the appearance of commonly owned sections of commercial or residential properties

Categories for the Annual Amateur Photography Contest include Montgomery County by day or by night, county landmarks, people and persons at work. There is also an optional youth category for kids under 18.

To see last year’s winning entries in both categories go to MCDOT’s Community Outreach website; also access the landscaping (pdf) and photography contest applications (pdf), including guidelines and judging criteria. 

For more information, call Community Outreach at 240-777-7155 or email mcdot.outreach@montgomerycountymd.gov to request a nomination form.


Monthly Rabies Clinics Offered

The Montgomery County Police Department’s Animal Services Division will be sponsoring six rabies vaccination clinics during the coming months at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter located at 14645 Rothgeb Dr., Rockville.  The clinics will operate from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on the following Sundays: June 20, September 19, July 18, August 15 and October 10.

 All dogs must be leashed, and cats and ferrets must be in carriers or otherwise contained. Vaccinations are free for dogs and cats owned by Montgomery County residents.

There will be a minimal $4 charge for ferrets and out-of-county pets. County residents, as well as residents of the City of Rockville and the City of Gaithersburg, will be required to purchase a pet license if their pet is not currently licensed.

For more information, contact the MCPD Animal Services Division at 240-773-5925.

Board of Elections Seeks 2,000 Student Election Aides to Work for 2010 Elections

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is seeking 2,000 school-age students, grades 6-12, to serve as Election Day student aides during the 2010 Gubernatorial Elections.

Students and their guardians must attend mandatory training. The aides will be placed in neighboring precincts according to their home addresses.This program is available to all students within a public, private, independent, religious or home-school setting located in Montgomery County.

Interested parents/guardians can register their student(s) online before the August 6 deadline by visiting the Montgomery County Board of Elections website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections.


Absentee Ballot Applications Available

Voters who are unable to cast their ballot for the Gubernatorial Primary Election on Election Day (September 14) or during Early Voting (September 3 – 9), may now request an application to vote by absentee ballot.

To obtain the application electronically visit the Board of Elections website at montgomerycountymd.gov/elections and select Absentee Voting. The application may be mailed or, if the person applying is already a registered voter, faxed (240-777-8560) or e-mailed (absentee@montgomerycountymd.gov) to the Board of Elections.

To obtain an application for another person, call 240-777-8553 for detailed information.


Commission for Women Moving to New Location

Due to the move of the Montgomery County Commission for Women to its new location at 401 Hungerford Dr. (first floor), the office will be closed from June 21 to 25 and will reopen On June 28. The commission is moving into the space formerly occupied by the Volunteer Center on the first floor of the building just a couple blocks from the Rockville Metro Station.


Linkages to Learning Seeks Donations to Send Kids to Summer Camp

Residents can help send a child to camp this summer by supporting Linkages to Learning’s summer camp campaign. With more than 40,000 school age children living in poverty in Montgomery County, Linkages to Learning works to provide funding so all children can enjoy the summer camp experience.

There are two ways to help -- either sponsor a child for a full or partial camp scholarship by making a tax-deductible donation or check with your company or local organization to see if a matching donation program can be established.  The deadline for donations is July 1.

Send contributions to Linkages to Learning, 51 Monroe Street, 17th floor, Rockville, MD 20850.

For more information, call Haifa Peter at 240-777-1291 or email Haifa.Peter@montgomerycountymd.gov.


Spring Paving and Concrete Repair Projects Continue

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s pavement preservation program is using long-term strategies to preserve and enhance the County’s transportation infrastructure

Work on the following residential neighborhoods is scheduled to begin this spring: Wildwood Hills, Bethesda; Olney Mill, Olney; Kemp Mill Estates, Silver Spring; and Maplewood, Bethesda.

While DOT is in the neighborhood, residents can take advantage of the competitive price offered by the County to replace driveway aprons (the portion of the driveway that is within the public right-of-way) and lead walks (the sidewalk from the edge of the road to a homeowners property line).

Get details on arterial roads to be paved and neighborhood sidewalk work. For more information, visit Highway Services' website or call MCDOT's Customer Service Center at 240.777.6000. 

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 3:00:00 AM |

MAKING NEWS

County Receives Two Awards from Alliance for Workplace Excellence

Montgomery County government has earned the Workplace Excellence Award and the Health & Wellness Trailblazer Award from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE) for its exemplary commitment to the workforce by creating a culture that allows employees to be successful in the workplace, at home and in the community.

The awards honor organizations that promote professional fulfillment and personal wellness for their employees. Montgomery County was among 67 employers, representing more than one million employees, that met stringent standards regarding the benefits and work environments that they provide. Organizations were judged on supportive corporate culture and management practices, family and employee friendly practices, health and wellness initiatives, growth and learning opportunities, and commitment to social responsibility and employee volunteerism.

AWE is a public/private, nonprofit coalition committed to empowering employers to create and become recognized as “excellent places to work.”


County’s Approach to Curbing Alcohol Sales to Underage Youth Receives National Attention

Montgomery County’s program geared to preventing the sale of alcohol to underage youth has been featured in STOP Underage Drinking, a national prevention newsletter supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The article states that: “Montgomery Country (MC), MD, has effectively employed an environmental approach that uses compliance checks, among other measures, to ensure that every venue in the county that sells alcohol adheres to both State law and alcohol beverage control (ABC) regulations.”

See the entire article at http://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/TownHallMeetings/CurbsAlcoholSales.aspx.

CATEGORIES: Making News
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 2:00:00 AM |

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Saturday, June 26 – Special Civil Rights History Programs at Glen Echo Park, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Part of the 13th Annual Montgomery County Heritage Days program.  Featured will be a panel discussion from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on “Summer of Change: 50th Anniversary of the Integration of Glen Echo Park,” including County Executive Ike Leggett as a panelist. There will also be a book signing, a reading of an original play and a Civil Rights Tour. An exhibit entitiled “A Summer of Change: Civil Rights at Glen Echo Park may be viewed in the Glen Echo Park Partnership Office Gallery from noon to 6 p.m.  Get more details at www.glenechopark.org, click on Calendar.
CATEGORIES: Calendar
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 1:00:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010