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Schools Come First in Executive’s Recommended Capital Improvements Program

County Executive Ike Leggett, joined by (left to right) County PTA President Kay Romero, Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast and  Board of Education President Patricia O'Neill, has proposed a $3.9 billion fiscal year (FY) 2011-2016 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget that keeps an overall spending increase of 4.5 percent while significantly enhancing school construction, accelerating replacement of the County’s critical Traffic Management System and moving important public safety, affordable housing, infrastructure preservation, transportation, economic development and environmental protection projects forward. The proposed CIP mirrors the shared priorities of the Executive and the community.

Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said, “The need is there and the time is right to build. This is a solid investment in the future of Montgomery County and, on behalf of our students, staff and community, I thank the County Executive for his continued support of education.” 

Despite the difficult economic times, exceptionally low construction prices have allowed Leggett to take a long-term view on critically needed school infrastructure. By funding investments now, the County will save tens of millions of dollars in future construction costs as the economy recovers.

Leggett’s recommendation funds more than 99 percent of the Board of Education’s request, which in FY11 draws on about 58 percent of all general obligation bonds issued for that year. This represents a 16.8 percent increase for schools to nearly $1.5 billion. Education is Leggett’s highest priority, and he has reprioritized available resources to maximize support of public education. This CIP will add 118 classrooms for nine schools, build a new elementary and new middle school, and reopen two holding schools. The announcement was made at Paint Branch High School, where, in 2012, a new building will replace the current 1960s school.

Paint Branch principal Jeanette Dixon noted that Leggett’s support via the CIP will ensure that Leggett is remembered as the "Education County Executive."   

The Press Relase and recommended CIP are available on the County’s website.

POSTED: Friday, January 22, 2010 | 6:00:00 PM |

County Council Members Call Highway Services’ Work During December’s Blizzard “Terrific,” ”Exemplary”

At a January 12 County Council Transportation and Environment Committee meeting, Council members praised the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hard work in clearing December’s record 24-inch snowfall in record time.

 The National Weather Service declared that the December 19 blizzard dumped the most snow for a single storm ever recorded in Montgomery County.   Yet, within 55 hours of the end of the storm, every one of the County’s more than 5,000 lane miles of road that the Division of Highway Services (DHS) clears had been made passable. 

Council Vice President Valerie Ervin told DOT Director Art Holmes, Deputy Director Al Roshdieh and DHS Chief Keith Compton that she “never had such great removal on my street.”  DHS did “fantastic work, and we thank you for that.  ….. It was exemplary.”  

Council President Nancy Floreen echoed Ms. Ervin’s statement, saying “terrific job” and “We should all be very proud.”

Councilmember Roger Berliner told DOT staff, “Many of you didn’t stop for four days….. I know how hard you worked…. This was an unprecedented level of snow.”

Councilmember Nancy Navarro said she wanted to “express gratitude for the very hard work you did… in this unprecedented blizzard.  I appreciate the support you gave us.”

The last comparable snowfall that occurred was in 1996.  During that storm, DHS fielded more than 10,000 resident calls for service.   During December’s storm, DHS received about 1,000 calls.

Compton talked about the challenges that the December storm posed.  At times, more than 1.5 inches of snow fell each hour, requiring DHS to replow main roads and emergency routes more than five times.  Winds created snow drifts up to three feet and blew recently plowed snow back onto cleared roads.  Compton told Council members that his crews and contractors used more than 500 pieces of equipment, worked non-stop for four days, and drove more than 18,000 miles. 

Compton explained that many of the calls from residents originated because they expect neighborhood streets to be plowed to bare pavement.  Although emergency routes, main roads and arterial roads are cleared to bare pavement, DHS’s policy is to make neighborhood roads passable.  Even if it were possible to obtain more snow removal equipment, trying to clear neighborhood roads to bare pavement would cause much greater environmental damage from salt and abrasives, quadruple costs and significantly delay plowing of all neighborhoods.

See the powerpoint presentation (pdf) of procedures executed during the blizzard, and view video (wmv) of brief to Council.

POSTED: Friday, January 22, 2010 | 5:00:00 PM |

Putting the County’s Fiscal House in Order

rate of growth

In his three years as County Executive, Ike Leggett has brought County government tax-supported spending down from unsustainable double-digit increases before he assumed office to nearly five percent less for the current year.


POSTED: Friday, January 22, 2010 | 4:00:00 PM |

Worth Noting

Public Forum on Proposed Ride On Service Changes

To help close the projected budget shortfall of $608 million for Fiscal Year 2011, the County is proposing to reduce and/or eliminate Ride On routes that have the fewest riders or those where other alternative service exists. Ride On delivers about 30 million trips per year. These program reductions would eliminate one million trips. They would also save $1.2 million in this fiscal year and about $4.3 million for FY11. 

Residents are invited to comment on proposed changes to Ride On’s bus service at a public forum on Monday, February 1 at 6:30 p.m., at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, Terrace Level, 101 Monroe St., Rockville.  In case of inclement weather, the forum will be held on Tuesday, February 2 at the same location.

Individuals and representatives of organizations wishing to speak must register by January 25. Get details on press release.

Council Creates Phone Message Line for Budget Input

To help solicit input from residents on the Fiscal Year 2011 Operating Budget, the County Council has opened a new dedicated phone line -- 240-777-7802 -- so residents can express their opinions and thoughts.

Over the next five months the Council and its committees will examine the budget requests from County departments, plus requests of County agencies, such as Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

“This line is open to any and all types of ideas,” said Council President Nancy Floreen. “We are expanding the number of methods available to seek fresh thoughts and reach people who may not be able to participate in the process through other channels.”

Maryland’s Public School System – At The Top of the Class, Again

For the second straight year, Maryland’s education system has been rated first in the country according to Education Week’s annual education report card.  Maryland earned a B+ grade overall, followed by New York and Massachusetts which received B grades.  Most states earned C grades or lower. 

Reports are based on Chance for Success, transitions and alignment; school finance; K-12 achievement; standards, assessments and accountability; and the teaching professions.

Montgomery County Public Schools have the largest student population of any system in Maryland.

FreshMarket Goes Year Round in Downtown Silver Spring

Congratulations to Downtown Silver Spring for being home to the latest year round farmers market in the area.

Operated by FreshFarm Markets, the market on Ellsworth Drive will be open for business each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until April 3 when the hours will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more on the Silver Spring year round market, go to www.silverspringdowntown.com/calendar.

On The Horizon: A New Wheaton

The County has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select development partners to develop and execute mixed-use, public-private projects for downtown Wheaton.

Partnering with Metro (the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority), the County will offer 11 acres of parking lots and Transit Station areas in 10 parcels for potential development sites. Selected development partners will work with all stakeholders in the community and seek to aggregate additional lands to plan and develop high-quality, transit-oriented, mixed-use projects that will create places to live, work and shop in downtown Wheaton. The deadline for responses to the RFQ by the private sector is March 19. The County and Metro will evaluate the responses and make a recommendation to the County Executive and the Metro Board by July. The aim would be to secure a partner by late summer. Press Release

To view or download the RFQ solicitation document and background materials, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/DGS/Dir/wheatonRFQ.asp

A Growing International Business Presence

In early December, the Department of Economic Development welcomed three foreign-headquartered companies that opening their U.S. offices in Montgomery County.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, PV Inova develops innovative technologies and software targeting fleet managers in the transportation industry. 

Daewoong America, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. of South Korea, is Korea’s second largest pharmaceutical company and the country’s top prescription drug seller.  

Both PV Inova and Daewoong are located in the Rockville Innovation Center, the County’s international business incubator.

YISHENG Biotech Development Co. Ltd.  is one of the largest privately owned vaccine manufacturers in China. Yisheng US BIOPHARMA INC will occupy 5,000 square feet of space in Gaithersburg and initially function as an R&D center.

First Tenant Survey Reflects Concerns About Rent Hikes and Affordability

The recently released results of the first-ever survey of tenants in Montgomery County included concerns by local renters about rent increases and affordability. There are approximately 80,000 rental units in the County, amounting to 25 percent of the County’s households.

The survey was conducted by the Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement of Salisbury University in conjunction with the County Tenants Work Group established last year by Leggett to analyze problems faced by county renters and make recommendations for possible actions and changes. The report, along with recommendations, is due in late January.

Among the findings of the “Montgomery County Rental Satisfaction Survey” were:

  • Nearly 20 percent of tenants reported average rent increases of eight percent or more. Another 52 percent said their rents increased in the four to seven percent range.
  • Forty-three percent of respondents did not expect that they could continue to afford to pay rent five years from now in their current rental.
  • Over 82 percent said that current rent affordability was their first or second most important concern, followed by safety/crime at 77 percent, and long-term rent affordability at 75 percent.
  • Over 80 percent of tenants felt comfortable in approaching their landlord or property manager with concerns. Seventy-one percent believed them to be responsive. Twenty percent said they had not raised concerns with their landlord for fear of retaliation.

For more information, visit Tenants Work Group Website.

Montgomery County Public Libraries Say, “Check Us Out!”

Storytimes, book clubs, Meet the Authors, classes and much more are available at Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL).

To keep up with all that is going on at your local public library – and at other branches around the county – you only need “Check Us Out!” the quarterly guide to the programs, classes and events offered at libraries throughout the county.

 Pick up the current December 2009-February 2010 issue at any MCPL branch or find it at MCPL homepage.

And The Hits Just Keep Coming 

For the sixth straight year, the number of visitors to Montgomery County’s website – www.montgomerycountymd.gov - increased, reflecting county residents’ continued demand for on-line services and information.

For the first time, the number of unique visitors to the website during a calendar year exceeded 10 million. This represents a six percent increase over 2008. The County’s website received more than 935 million hits in 2009, an increase of eight percent over last year. Each hit constitutes a single file requested by a website visitor. The number of website page views increased by 14 percent to more than 134 million.

Also in 2009, Montgomery County was recognized by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo) as the second ranked “Digital County” among jurisdictions with populations of 500,000 or more. Thousands of counties from across the nation competed with Montgomery County for the top award by participating in the 2009 Digital Counties Survey. County officials nationwide responded to a series of questions that included more than 100 measurements and data points about online service delivery, infrastructure, architecture and governance models.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, January 22, 2010 | 3:00:00 PM |

Making News

The County Executive Remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

County Executive Ike Leggett met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. twice as a young civil rights activist in Louisiana.  He spoke from the heart to more than 1,000 persons about Dr. King -- how Dr. King affected his life and changed America and Montgomery County -- at the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center. Click here to view the 21-minute video.

Help for Haiti

Responding to the news of the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti, County Executive Ike Leggett said, “Montgomery County’s hearts and prayers go out to all those in Haiti affected by the terribly destructive earthquake there. We empathize with the difficulties and challenges faced by Haitians who live in the County who are worried and concerned about their loved ones and their native land.

"I urge Montgomery County residents to support humanitarian efforts to save lives and help feed and shelter survivors by contributing to relief efforts."

Montgomery County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and Department of Correction and Rehabilitation have donated 1,700 pounds of food and water to relief efforts in Haiti. The County’s Volunteer Center provided volunteers who transported the provisions to Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Save the Children is transporting the donations to Haiti. 

In addition, the County's Urban Search and Rescue Team is on standby.

Information on how to donate to Haitian relief is on the Volunteer Center website.

POSTED: Friday, January 22, 2010 | 2:00:00 PM |

Mark Your Calendars: January

  • Wednesday, January 27 – County Budget Forum presented by County Executive Ike Leggett at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center,  4805 Edgemoor La., Bethesda. 7 to 8:30 p.m.   Open to residents from any part of the county. Staff and the County Executive will be available for questions. Televised live on County Cable 6 -- channel 6 for Comcast and RCN subscribers; channel 30 for Verizon customers. Watch the Germantown forum held earlier.
  • Saturday, January 30 – Library Lovers Month Kickoff at the Silver Spring Library, 8901 Colesville Rd. 11 a.m. Dress as your favorite literary character and come celebrate the contributions of Montgomery County Public Libraries in our lives at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Arts, crafts, refreshments for children accompanied by an adult. Sponsored by Friends of the Library Montgomery County. For more on LLM, visit www.folmc.org or “Check Us Out!” on the library’s homepage.
  • Tuesday, February 9 – Montgomery County Public Libraries Black History Month Keynote Program. A’Lelia Bundles, great-great granddaughter of philanthropist, social activist and pioneer of the black hair care and cosmetics industry, Madam C. J. Walker, will discuss “Black Economic Empowerment” at the Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Ave. 7:30 p.m. Call 240-777-0140.
  • February – Lunar New Year and Black History Month programs at Montgomery County Public Libraries. A variety of programs of interest to all ages will be held at branches throughout the county. Or “Check Us Out!” on the library’s homepage.
  • February dates remaining for H1N1 flu shots – check the H1N1 website for available times at local public libraries.
POSTED: Friday, January 22, 2010 | 1:00:00 PM |

And, the survey says….residents again rate county as “excellent” or “good” place to live

To help increase the responsiveness and accountability of County government, County Executive Ike Leggett and then-Council President Marilyn Praisner announced in 2007 that for the first time in 13 years, the County would survey residents to obtain feedback on how they viewed local government programs and services. The intent was for the survey to be repeated every two years.
The results from the 2009 survey are in, and in spite of feeling the impact of the nation’s economic downturn over the past two years, residents have again strongly endorsed the county as an “excellent” or “good” place to live and say they are generally happy with the quality of services the County offers.
 A first-time question found that 60 percent of respondents said their families were negatively impacted by the economic downturn. However, 88 percent of overall respondents rated Montgomery “as a good place to live” (compared to 86 percent in the 2007 survey); 86 percent said the County is “a good place to raise children” (compared to 81 percent in 2007); and 82 percent were happy with the overall quality of life in the County (compared to 79 percent in 2007).
Responding residents continued to give high marks to significant County services including educational opportunities (84 percent rated them “excellent” or “good” compared to 81 percent in 2007) and recreational opportunities (80 percent excellent or good compared to 81 percent in 2007). The quality of fire service, ambulance service, recycling service, parks and public libraries all received “excellent” or “good” ratings of 87 percent or higher—similar to their ratings in 2007.
Ratings given to traffic flow, affordable housing, population growth, pedestrian safety and the amount of public parking available improved compared to the 2007 survey, but respondents indicated that the County must continue to improve in those areas.
“As in 2007, respondents to the 2009 survey felt that crime, traffic and public schools were viewed as the most important issues the County should address,” said the report’s executive summary.
More information on the 2009 results (pdf), news release, and the 2007 results (pdf).
CATEGORIES: County Executive
POSTED: Thursday, January 07, 2010 | 2:19:00 PM |

The State of the County - Leggett: Weathering Tough Times, Investing in the Future

picture of ike leggett In his 2009 "State of the County" speech, delivered from the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett emphasized that, despite the current tough economic times, the County has made tremendous progress – but that more hard choices lay ahead.

“The challenge,” he said “is to weather the current downturn while protecting critical programs in education, public safety, and the most vulnerable among us. We must lay the groundwork now to ensure our County emerges from the downturn poised to move forward.”

Leggett made clear that County government must do more with less – and that he will further reduce County spending to bring it into line with available resources. He said he opposed any increase in property taxes above the County’s Charter limit, saying County taxpayers in this downturn are already “burdened enough.”

Over his first three years in office, Leggett has reduced budget shortfalls of $1.2 billion while maintaining essential services and programs and preserving the County’s coveted triple-A bond rating.

He described his efforts to make housing more affordable, noted significant progress on his Smart Growth Initiative and cited some encouraging signs toward his priority to protect, create, and attract jobs, including Microsoft bringing 500 new jobs to the county, the State's location of their biotechnology and green technology centers in the county and Silver Spring’s new Fillmore Music Hall that will generate an estimated $1.7 million annual net public benefit.

To learn more, you can read or watch the entire State of the County. 

CATEGORIES: County Executive
POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010 | 3:00:00 PM |

A Bold New Bioscience Strategy

“We can’t afford to rest on our laurels” was the message County Executive Ike Leggett delivered as he received a bold new bioscience strategy designed to position Montgomery County as a “globally recognized leader in advancing bioscience research and development, and in translating scientific discoveries into commercially available products that benefit human health.” The strategy was developed by the Biosciences Task Force, formed by Leggett in October 2008.

Joining the Executive in the announcement were Montgomery County Biosciences Task Force Chair David Mott, members of the County Council, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development Director Steve Silverman, members of the Task Force, and public and private sector stakeholders from the local biotech community.

The report includes the following five key objectives in addition to some of the priority strategies for each.

  1. Enhance the environment for entrepreneurship and the creation of new life science companies;
  2. Catalyze greater technology transfer and commercialization and leverage Montgomery County’s federal and academic assets more effectively;
  3. Foster a more enabling financial, regulatory and business environment;
  4. Enhance bioscience educational opportunities in Montgomery County and expand the higher education presence in Montgomery County to build a robust biosciences workforce; and
  5. Market Montgomery County’s bioscience sector nationally and internationally.

In 2008, the county’s biosciences industry generated combined revenues of $2.36 billion. It directly employed more than 9,200 workers in the private sector and an estimated 49,000 in federal government agencies. The average private sector biotech salary was $92,945 -- double the countywide average.

More details are in the news release, the full report and on YouTube video.

POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010 | 2:01:00 PM |

Christmas came early to Montgomery County this year - $300 million for BRAC needs in Montgomery County and Virginia

Christmas came early -- four days to be exact -- to Montgomery County this year with the announcement that $300 million in Base Realingment and Closure Commission (BRAC) money will be shared between Ft. Belvoir, VA and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda for BRAC-related transportation infrastructure.  Walter Reed Hospital will relocate operations to Bethesda Naval starting in 2011.

U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski and Congressman Chris Van Hollen (all D-Md.) gathered recently at the edge of MD-355 and steps away from the Medical Center Metro Station with Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett to announce the unprecedented federal investment in BRAC-related transportation projects outside the gate of what will be the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Projects include improvements to the surrounding roads, including MD-355 and upgrades to the Metro station.

“I want to thank the folks who really made this possible. Our Congressman, Chris Van Hollen, and our Senators, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin,” said Leggett. “This new medical center is designed to provide world-class care to our nation’s bravest men and women, but that mission will fail unless doctors, nurses, patients, family and friends can gain timely access to the facility. This announcement represents a huge leap forward.”

For more local BRAC information, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/brac or read article from Washington Post.
POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010 | 1:45:00 PM |

County Council elects officers

County Councilmember Nancy Floreen, left, was elected by the Council on Dec. 1 to a one-year term as Council president. Councilmember Valerie Ervin, right, was elected to a one-year term as Council vice president. The Montgomery County Council has elected Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) to a one-year term as Council president and Councilmember Valerie Ervin (D-District 5) to a one-year term as vice president. They combine to give Montgomery’s Council two female officers for the first time since the 1995-96 term.

The new president identified the economy as the top priority for her term.

“This County is facing a reality check,” she said. “Anybody who balances a checkbook knows that we must make sacrifices and tighten our belts. Our challenges are big this year, but they aren’t bigger than our commitment and our ability to solve them.”

In his remarks as outgoing president, Phil Andrews recapped some of the accomplishments of the Council during the past year under his leadership. During an extremely difficult budget cycle, the Council protected essential services and safety net services for the most vulnerable and protected taxpayers by not raising taxes. He also spoke of work done in the areas transportation, planning and government reform and cited initiatives relating to pedestrian and vehicular safety and public health.

For more about the election, visit the Council News.
CATEGORIES: County Council
POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010 | 1:30:00 PM |

Three code enforcement measures to protect quality of life in our neighborhoods still awaiting Council approval

Because he had heard from many residents who were concerned about code enforcement issues in their neighborhoods, County Executive Ike Leggett appointed the Code Enforcement Work Group to study such issues and make recommendations. The 74-page report recommended sweeping changes that will ultimately result in a better quality of life for residents and  safer streets and neighborhoods.

Earlier in the year, another bill supported by Leggett was passed that prohibits parking heavy commercial and recreational vehicles on public roads in residential areas.

Four measures from the County Executive were introduced last May at the County Council.

One measure, Bill 23-09, which limits the storage of inoperable, unused and unregistered vehicles in residential neighborhoods to 30 days, was enacted by the Council on October 6.

The remaining three measures awaiting Council approval are:

  • Bill 22-09 -- gives an enforcement agency the authority to issue a notice of violation that cannot be appealed to the Board of Appeals.
  • Bill 24-09 -- requires certain detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses to obtain an approved final inspection within 18 months after the Department of Permitting Services issues the initial building permit.
  • Zoning Text Amendment 09-03 restricts the encroachment and expansion of home occupations into residential neighborhoods, as well as limits the paving of front yards and limits heavy commercial vehicles in residential zones.

Read the final report of the Code Enforcement Work Group, as well as information about the four legislative proposals and the commercial and recreational vehicle brochure (pdf).


CATEGORIES: Code Enforcement
POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010 | 12:30:00 PM |

FY 2011 Operating Budget: Resident input invited

County Executive Ike Leggett will sponsor five budget forums in January to seek input from residents about the challenges facing the County in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2011 Operating Budget.

The sessions are hosted by the Regional Services Center Directors and the Regional Services Center Citizen Advisory Boards. Residents from any part of the county may attend. Staff from the County’s Office of Management and Budget will make presentations and be available to answer questions.

 The forums will begin on January 11 in Germantown.  The first forum will be broadcast live on County Cable Montgomery (channel 6 for Comcast and RCN customers and channel 30 for Verizon subscribers). Take a look at the complete schedule.


CATEGORIES: Budget , Community Forum
POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010 | 12:30:00 PM |

Crime down again in county

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger has announced a 4.1 percent decrease in total crime within Montgomery County for the third quarter of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008. Click here to see the news release. 
CATEGORIES: Public Safety
POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010 | 11:00:00 AM |

Making News: January 2010

County Attorney steps down and moves up

Montgomery County Attorney Leon Rodriguez has notified County Executive Ike Leggett that, effective January 19, he will step down from his current post to accept a position as Chief of Staff/ Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the federal Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Rodriguez was nominated by Leggett in April 2007 to serve as County Attorney. In his new job, he will be working under former County Council member Tom Perez who is Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.
Accepting Rodriguez’ resignation with regret, Leggett noted that “Leon has ably served the residents of Montgomery County with his considerable legal expertise, strong work ethic, creativity, and integrity. Though I will miss his counsel, I know he will continue his dedicated service to ‘justice for all’ in his new post.”

Assistant County Attorney Marc Hansen will serve as Acting County Attorney.

County's Chief Informtion Officer makes the cover of Government Technology's "Public CIO Magazine"

Montgomery County’s Chief Information Officer, E. Steven Emanuel, is featured on the cover and in a feature article – entitled "From Obscurity to Overdrive" -- in the October/November 2009 edition of Government Technology’s “Public CIO Magazine.” The piece features Emanuel and other CIO’s from around the country discussing new leadership challenges that are moving public Chief Information Officers out of obscurity and how the field of technology is changing. Check out the article at http://digitalmag.govtech.com/PCIO/PCIO_Mag_Oct09.pdf

"And the award goes to..." The Public Information Office's pedestrian safety video receives an award from the International Academy of the Visual Arts

The Public Information Office’s pedestrian safety video recently won a Silver Davey Award in the social issues category from the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA).  “Drive Safe!®: Keeping Pedestrians Safe When You’re Behind the Wheel” is part of an education effort launched by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett in July 2009 to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths by targeting new teen and adult drivers about their role in keeping pedestrians safe. The video is in two versions, one aimed at teen drivers and the other at new adult drivers, including non-native English speakers.  Check the video at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/walk

POSTED: Sunday, January 03, 2010 | 2:01:00 PM |

Worth Noting: January 2010

Register Online for H1N1 Vaccinations—It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate
Residents can now make an appointment for a free H1N1 vaccination online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/h1n1flu.  The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services will offer H1N1 clinics by appointment for all residents at library locations throughout the county.  Both nasal spray and injectable vaccine will be available, and vaccinations are free.
If you prefer to make an appointment by telephone, please call the Flu Appointment Line on Mondays (January 11 and 25) from 1 to 4 p.m. at 240-777-4040.
H1N1 vaccinations are also available at many local pharmacies and from many local physicians.

Feedback invited on local substance abuse and addiction services
The public is invited to attend a community forum on Thursday, January 14 to give feedback about the County’s substance abuse and addiction services.  The forum will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, located at 608 North Horner’s Lane in Rockville. Members of the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council of Montgomery County (AODAAC) will be on hand to hear from residents about their suggestions, concerns, criticisms and kudos of the County’s efforts in the area of substance abuse and addiction services. Speakers may include residents in recovery from addiction, families confronting substance abuse problems, non-profit organizations struggling with community needs and parents, educational organizations or student groups.
For more information, email aodaac@gmail.com or call Tracey Speelmans at 240-777-4392.
Language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible, but no less than five business days prior to the event.  If other aids or services are needed to participate in this activity, call Tracey Speelmans at 240-777-4392; Tracey.Speelmans@montgomerycountymd.gov

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy – get involved, get inspired
Montgomery County will celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a weekend of events and activities.
While most of the events will take place on Monday, January 18, a food collection drive will be held January 16 and 17 at 20 Giant Food Stores around the county from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It’s easy to participate, just shop that day at your neighborhood Giant and buy extra food to donate. 
Partners for the food drive include Montgomery County Government, Census 2010, Fund of the Community Foundation for Montgomery County, Manna Food Center, Jewish Community Relations Council and Giant Food Stores.
Food donations will also be collected at the Day of Service volunteer sites and the Tribute and Musical Celebration at Strathmore on the 18th.
For specific Giant store locations, dates of collections and information on the Day of Service activities and sites, plus the Tribute celebration, go to 1-800-volunteer.org

“What’s the County building in my neighborhood?” There’s an easy way to find out
How many times have you seen County construction equipment in your community and wondered, “What’s that going to be?” Now, there’s an easy online way to find out. Go to
www.montgomerycountymd.gov/neighborhoodprojects. You’ll be connected to the interactive map that shows County construction projects in a particular area or select from the list of Regional Projects that appears below the map.

Census 2010: Take part and be counted
The U.S. Census Bureau has opened a new office in Rockville -- at 2400 Research Blvd., Suite 100 -- to support all field operations in Montgomery County for the 2010 Census Survey.  Households will begin receiving their census questionnaires March 15.
Approximately 1,000 people will be employed in various positions to support field operations in Montgomery County.  The Census Bureau is now recruiting for census takers, who will visit households that did not return a questionnaire.  Interested applicants should call 1-866-861-2010 or go to www.2010census.gov.
For more information about the 2010 census, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/census.

Be on the ALERT this winter - Sign Up for Alert Montgomery
Like it or not, winter’s here, with its ever-changing weather and other potential hazards. Keep up with the latest information on approaching weather, traffic hangups and local natural disasters affecting travel and daily life on a year-round basis. Sign up for Alert Montgomery. It’s your personal connection to updates, instructions on where to go, what to do, or what not to do, who to contact and other important information. 
Nearly 100,000 county residents have already signed on to Alert Montgomery. Join us!
For more details and to sign up, click here.

Green Business Certification Program launched
The first 11 businesses and organizations to be certified under the County’s new Green Business Certification Program that recognizes voluntary efforts to protect, preserve and improve the environment have been announced.  To be certified as a green business, a company must demonstrate its commitment to environmental stewardship, conservation of energy and water, carbon footprint reduction, and waste reduction and recycling.
The County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery College are program partners. 
To view the online certification application and other information about the program, go to http://mcgreenbiz.org/
For a list of upcoming courses at Montgomery College, go to http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce/bits/goinggreen.html

New video phone service at two Montgomery County Public Libraries
Deaf and hard of hearing customers of Montgomery County Public Libraries now have an additional way of communicating with hearing individuals, thanks to the new video phone service at the Rockville and Germantown branches. Using the video phone equipment provided by Sorenson Communications, deaf and hard of hearing individuals can conduct telephone calls with hearing individuals via a high-speed Internet connection, television monitor and a qualified American Sign Language interpreter.
For more information, or to schedule a demonstration of the equipment at either branch during library hours, contact: Library Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community at Rockville Library at drcinfo@montgomerycountymd.gov, voice 240-777-0001 or TTY 240-777-0902. 

Skaters welcome at new Germantown Skate Spot
The new Germantown Town Center Skate Spot, located at the 5th District Police Station at 20000 Aircraft Dr., resulted from recommendations County Executive Ike Leggett received from local teens who participated in the Germantown Community-Based Collaboration (CBC). The CBC is a group of local community residents, nonprofits, faith leaders, and business and government representatives established by the Executive, as part of his countywide Positive Youth Development Initiative, to identify existing and missing resources for Germantown’s youths

New online newsletter for business community
e-Biz Update, the Department of Economic Development’s new online bi-weekly newsletter, features items, upcoming events and lots of links to news “for and about Montgomery County’s Business Community.” See it and subscribe at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/ded (click on the e-Biz Update icon).

Welcome Microsoft
Economic Development Director Steve Silverman recently had the honor of welcoming Microsoft Corporation to its first Montgomery County location – a new 134,000 square-foot showcase office in the heart of Chevy Chase at 5404 Wisconsin Avenue. The company’s new office houses a portion of their U.S. Public Sector, including federal, state, local and educational divisions and their Health Solutions Group, which is focused on health IT products and services. Over the next five years, the new facility will house some 500 new and relocated employees.
CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Sunday, January 03, 2010 | 12:00:00 PM |

Mark Your Calendars: January 2010


  • Tuesday, January 12County Council returns from holiday recess.
  • Friday, January 15 – County Executive releases his recommended six-year Capital Improvements Program.
  • Monday, January 18 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute and Celebration. A day of community service projects throughout the county and a tribute and celebration with musical entertainment at the Musical Center at Strathmore. For volunteer project information, contact the MC Volunteer Center at 240-777-2600 or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteer. For tribute information, call 240-777-2570.
  • Wednesday, January 20 – Online Chat with County Executive Ike Leggett. Noon to 1 p.m. 
    Montgomery County residents have the chance to send questions directly to the County Executive. Submit questions anytime. Answered questions will be available at the beginning of the live session and selected questions will be answered during the scheduled discussion time.
  • Sunday, January 31County's 30th Annual Women’s Legislative Briefing. Keynote speaker: Lilly Ledbetter, pay equity advocate. Contact MC Commission for Women, 240-777-8330 or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cfw.
  • Wednesday, February 3 – County Council Youth Town Hall Meeting for MontgomeryCounty middle and high school students.  Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. 6:30 reception; 7 to 8 p.m., Town Hall Meeting. Aired live on County Cable Montgomery. Ch. 6 for Comcast and RCN subscribers and Ch. 30 for Verizon customers. For information, call 240-777-7931.
  •  Monday, March 15 – County Executive releases his recommended Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2011.
POSTED: Sunday, January 03, 2010 | 11:00:00 AM |
News and Information from Montgomery County Government, Public Information Office.
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Last edited: 11/8/2010