Here is the Council President's statement on the process for filling the District 5 vacancy:
Councilmember Valerie Ervin announced on Dec. 10 that she will resign from the Council on Jan. 3, 2014 to become executive director of the Center for Working Families. We wish her the best in this new position.
Under Section 106 of the County Charter (shown below), the Council intends to appoint a new Councilmember for District 5 by Jan. 31, 2014 to complete Councilmember Ervin’s unexpired term, which ends on Dec. 1, 2014. The Council intends to select a person who has shown a clear understanding of the issues that are important to residents of District 5. To assure a level playing field for all persons interested in seeking election to the next full term from District 5, the Council intends to appoint a person who does not intend to run for election to that term.
Excerpt from Section 106 of the County Charter regarding a vacancy on the Council in the final year of a term:
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Here is the Council President's statement on the process for filling the District 5 vacancy:
Monday, December 9, 2013
Montgomery County is known for its affluence, so it is easy
to forget that we have many residents who do not have enough money to pay for
even their basic needs, let alone the extra expenses associated with the
holidays. To learn more about poverty in Montgomery County, take a look at the
award-winning program, The Unseen Montgomery, produced by our very own County Cable Montgomery.
In addition to highlighting the hidden poverty in the county, the show identifies nonprofits that provide help to those in need, including Manna, which serves as our local food bank; A Wider Circle, which collects used furniture and household items for those in need; and Interfaith Works, which offers a whole host of programs for our most vulnerable residents.
If you can afford to pick up extra canned or other non-perishable foods, or if you have clothing or furniture you can donate, your gift certainly can go to good use right here in our community. And of course, our nonprofits are also happy to accept money. If you aren’t sure which nonprofit to support, check out Neighbors in Need Montgomery, an umbrella charity campaign that supports many local organizations and enjoys a dollar for dollar match from a generous family.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Winter weather is expected this weekend, with the
possibility of ice and snow. Montgomery
County officials offer residents the following tips for surviving severe
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- Blankets or sleeping bags.
- Dry clothing, mittens, socks, and a wool cap.
- Newspapers for insulation.
- Plastic bags.
- Canned fruit, nuts, or high energy “munchies.”
- Bottles of water.
- A small shovel, a pocket knife, and small tools --pliers, a wrench and screwdriver.
- Jumper cables.
- First aid kit and necessary medications.
- Brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna.
On Monday the PHED Committee will hold its second worksession to address issues raised at the November public hearings on the Zoning Code Rewrite. The session begins at 1:00, and you can follow along on County Cable Montgomery. Also, check out the recently revised FAQ page. To have your comments on the rewrite included in the public record, e-mail email@example.com.
Car sales fraud costs U.S. consumers billions each year. To
help consumers fight back, the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) and the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC) invite you
to attend the Washington area’s first public screening of Driven to Defraud,
MCRC’s powerful documentary film on auto sales fraud, on Wednesday, December 18
at 7 p.m. in the Fenton Room of the Silver Spring Civic Center located at 1
Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring, MD. This event is free and open to
all. Please come early as space is
Driven to Defraud documents the scams some car dealers use to abuse Maryland car purchasers and shows you how to protect yourself when you buy a new or used car. The film explains how yo-yo sales, interest rate mark-ups, rebuilt wrecks, and other scams work through the eyes of car-buyers who have been victimized, consumer advocates, and honest auto dealers working to stop the fraud.
You will have an opportunity to ask Investigator Jim Parks, OCP’s auto expert and a Certified Master Automotive Technician, your car-repair questions. MCRC leaders will also be available to discuss what consumers and policymakers can do to stop auto fraud.
You can see a 90-second preview trailer for the film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Lti1UCNPg.
OCP, the County’s consumer protection agency, investigates thousands of complaints each year involving automotive sales and repairs, new home purchases, home improvements, credit issues, retail sales, internet services and most other consumer transactions. OCP provides pre-purchase information to consumers, as well as speakers to the community on consumer issues.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
We’re taking applications for appointment to a three-year
term on the Merit System Protection Board. Generally, the board is expected to
oversee the Merit System and to protect employee and applicant rights
guaranteed under the County Merit System. Get your application in by the new extended deadline of January 15.
By law, no more than two of the three members of the Merit System Protection Board may be of the same political party. The appointee to this term may be a Democrat, a Republican or someone who declines to affiliate with a party. In addition, the appointee may be a member of another party officially recognized by the Board of Elections.
The County Merit System Protection Board's mission is to oversee the Merit System for the protection of employee's and applicant's rights guaranteed under the Merit System. There are two methods in which the board processes appeals:
- A written decision issued after a review and discussion of a written record
- A written decision issued after a pre-hearing conference and a formal hearing in cases involving a suspension, demotion or dismissal
Board members are restricted in political activity while serving. Section 403 of the County Charter states in part "... No member shall hold political office or participate in any campaign for any political or public office during the member's term of office." Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time.
Letters of application are made public as part of the appointment process. Letters expressing interest, including a resume listing professional and civic experience, should be addressed to: Council President Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Council, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850.
For more information on the Merit System Protection Board appointment, call 240-777-7979.
Congratulations to our new Council president, Craig Rice and our new Council vice president, George Leventhal. We have two very talented leaders at the helm this year, and I feel optimistic about our future. Best wishes, Craig and George!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Here's the full text of the press release:
Montgomery County Council Approves
- Require certain employers in the County to pay a minimum wage to employees for work performed in the County.
- Provide enforcement by the County’s Office of Human Rights and the Human Rights Commission.
- Apply the County minimum wage to tipped employees by requiring an employer to pay a base equal to 50 percent of the State minimum wage with an obligation to make up any shortfall in tips up to the County minimum wage.
- Delete the health care credit.
- Add an exemption for a person under the age of 19 who works 20 hours or less in a week.
- Add a provision requiring the County Executive to delegate enforcement to a State agency that enforces the State Wage and Hour Law and is authorized to enforce a County minimum wage law.
- Add an anti-retaliation clause.
- Amend the applicability to clarify that a worker must perform the work in the County.
- Apply the County minimum wage to County employees.
Here's the full text of the press release:
Completed System Would Cover 82 Miles, 110 Stations
- Corridor 2: Georgia Avenue South. A proposed 3.9-mile corridor that would run nearly entirely on Georgia Avenue between the Wheaton Metro Station and the District of Columbia line.
- Corridor 3: Maryland 355 North. A proposed 15.3-mile corridor that would run almost entirely on Maryland 355 between the Rockville Metro Station and Redgrave Place in Clarksburg, with two routes in Germantown East. The southern portion of the corridor lies within the City of Rockville and the center portion lies within the City of Gaithersburg.
- Corridor 4: Maryland 355 South. A proposed 7.8-mile corridor that would run entirely on Rockville Pike/Wisconsin Avenue (Maryland 355) between the Rockville and Bethesda Metro Stations. Despite the fact that it would run directly parallel to the Red Line, it is projected to carry more riders than any other proposed BRT route in this plan.
- Corridor 5: New Hampshire Avenue. A proposed 8.5-mile corridor that would run on New Hampshire Avenue (Maryland 650) from the Colesville park-and-ride lot south to Eastern Avenue at the District of Columbia line. This corridor is distinctive because it will require cooperation with Prince George's County and the District of Columbia.
- Corridor 6: North Bethesda Transitway. A proposed 2.7-mile corridor that would run from either the Grosvenor or White Flint Metro Station to Old Georgetown Road, south on Old Georgetown Road to Rock Spring Drive, and west on Rock Spring drive and Fernwood Road to Montgomery Mall. There would also be a new interchange connecting Fernwood Road to the HOV lane to and from the south on I-270. This is part of a planned transit/HOV lane that would connect to the HOT lanes in Virginia.
- Corridor 7: Randolph Road. A proposed 10.l-mile corridor that would run in mixed traffic nearly entirely on Randolph Road between the White Flint Metro Station and the U.S. Route 29 corridor station at Tech Road. In the western segment of the corridor, an alternative would be to add a BRT lane on Montrose Parkway between Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike.
- Corridor 8: University Boulevard. A proposed 5.5-mile corridor that would run on University Boulevard (Maryland 193) between the Wheaton Metro Station and Langley Park. It would also connect to—and, for a short stretch, run concurrent with—the Purple Line, as well to five other proposed BRT corridors: Veirs Mill Road, Georgia Avenue North, Georgia Avenue South, U.S. 29 and New Hampshire Avenue.
- Corridor 9: U.S. Route 29. A proposed 12.3-mile corridor that generally would run along Colesville Road and Columbia Pike between the District of Columbia boundary and Burtonsville, with two routes in the White Oak area.
- Corridor 10: Veirs Mill Road. A proposed 6.2-mile corridor that would run almost entirely on Veirs Mill Road (Maryland 586) between the Wheaton and Rockville Metro Stations.
Monday, November 25, 2013
The Montgomery County Department of Recreation is offering a wide range of
community events for the whole family to enjoy this holiday season:
- Holiday Magic and Fun – December 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Good Hope Community Recreation Center, 14715 Good Hope Road, Silver Spring. Free. Celebrate the magic of the holidays with Speed, one of the east coast’s premiere magicians.
- Bauer Drive Craft Show – December 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center, 14625 Bauer Drive, Rockville. Free. The show features an assortment of vendors showcasing their artistic talents and creativity. Items for purchase include fiber arts, holiday items, jewelry, photography, pottery, woodwork and more.
- Clara Barton Holiday Craft Show – December 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Clara Barton Community Center, 7425 MacArthur Boulevard, Cabin John. Free. Sponsored by the Friends of Clara Barton Community Recreation Center, the show features local artists and crafters.
- Scuba Santa – December 8, noon to 4 p.m. Olney Swim Center, 16605 Georgia Avenue. Ages 10 and up may use provided scuba equipment after receiving instruction. Those nine and under can hold their breath and swim down for a quick shot with Santa. Or, Santa will go to the concrete steps leading into the pool’s shallow end. A suggested donation is any non-perishable food item of $5 or more. Cash donations are also accepted. All donations benefit Manna Food Bank.
- Clara Barton Senior Lunch – December 11, noon to 2 p.m. Irish Inn, 6119 Tulane Avenue, Glen Echo. For more information, call 240-777-4910.
- Workshop and Winter Wonderland – December 11, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Damascus Community Center, 25520 Oak Drive. Cookie Exchange – bring six dozen – four dozen to share, and two dozen to trade. Local craft vendors and music. Also, hot chocolate, caroling and a visit from Santa. Crafts, games, dreidels, etc. Bring two canned food items for the needy. Volunteer musicians, prop person (train conductor with train), toy builders or event helpers are needed. Student Service Learning (SSL) hours available.
- Potomac Community Center Senior Holiday Party – December 13, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Potomac Community Recreation Center, 11315 Falls Road. Live holiday music by “Rearview Mirror.” Refreshments served for a nominal fee. For more information, call 240-777-6960.
- Winter Bash Middle School Dance (Grades 6-8) – December 13, 8 to 10:30 p.m. Good Hope Community Recreation Center, 14715 Good Hope Road, Silver Spring. Bring a friend for games, music, food and fun. Dance contest and a door prize. $5 per person. Course #370931.
- Clara Barton Community Holiday Party – December 15, 5 to 7 p.m. Clara Barton Community Center, 7425 MacArthur Boulevard, Cabin John. Free. Holiday activities for the whole family.
- Active Adults 55 + Jingle Bell Fun – December 16, noon. Longwood Community Recreation Center, 19300 Georgia Avenue, Brookeville. Catered lunch and performance by the Rearview Mirror Band. $12 per ticket or $20 per couple. For ticket information, call 240-777-6920.
- Annual Jingle Bell Breakfast – December 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Long Branch Senior Center, 8700 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring. Holiday music and a continental breakfast of bagels, juice, coffee and tea. No charge, but reservations must be made by December 16. Call 240-777-6975.
- Winter Wonderland – December 20, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike Burtonsville. Includes “Pigs at the Pole” presented by Blue Sky Puppet Theater, holiday crafts, cookies and punch, and visits with Santa. Course #370029.
- Breakfast with Santa – December 21, 9 to 11 a.m. East County Community Center, 3310 Gateshead Manor Way, Silver Spring. Kids will enjoy a hearty breakfast, have their picture taken with Santa and participate in fun activities. Cost is $3 for children ages 3-7 and $5 for ages 8 and up.
- Santa’s Workshop – December 21, 1 to 4 p.m. Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring. Family fun includes Rufus the Red-Nosed Raindog performed by the Blue Sky Puppet Theatre. Also, activities include crafts, games and a visit with Santa. Free, but pre-registration is requested. Course #365235.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Montgomery County government will observe the following
holiday schedule for Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 28:
- County Offices – closed
- Libraries – closed
- County liquor stores – closed
- Recreation – all programs and facilities are closed
- Montgomery Parks – all Parks facilities are closed on Thursday. For operating schedules on Friday, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, tennis centers, trains and carousels, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org.
- Ride On – Sunday schedule
- Metrobus – Sunday schedule
- Metrorail – Sunday schedule
- TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed
- Refuse/recycling pickup – no collection*
- Transfer Station – closed
- Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
- MCPS Administrative Offices – closed
- State offices & courts – closed
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
If you still have questions about the Zoning Code Rewrite,
check out the recently revised FAQ page. Here is just one example of what you
can find there:
Q: Why are non-residential buildings allowed in R-60 and R-90 if they will introduce non-residential uses into single-family neighborhoods?
A: Non-residential buildings do not introduce non-residential uses into single-family neighborhoods. The uses that are allowed in a zone are determined by the Use Table in Section 3.1.6. Currently, in single family zones, the code allows for uses such as churches, day care facilities, non-residential offices, libraries, schools, etc. The provisions for nonresidential buildings will establish standards that do not currently exist for the buildings that contain these uses. These buildings would only be permitted if they contain a use that is legal, as outlined in Section 3.1.6. The purpose of creating the nonresidential building is to protect residential neighborhoods from the impacts of non-residential uses. For example, there are currently no limits on density for non-residential uses in the R-90 or R-60 zones. The proposed draft represents a substantive change that limits the density of uses located in non-residential buildings and requires increased street frontage, setbacks for parking lots, larger side setbacks from neighboring residential properties, and screening.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Here's the holiday schedule for Veterans Day on Monday, November 11:
- County Offices -- closed
- Libraries -- closed
- County liquor stores -- open regular hours
- Recreation -- aquatic and community centers are open as scheduled. Aquatic classes and programs will meet as scheduled. All other classes, administrative offices, senior centers and all senior programs will be closed
- Montgomery Parks -- for holiday operating schedule on Parks' facilities, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, tennis centers, trains and carousels, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org
- Ride On -- special modified holiday schedule (www.rideonbus.com), click on "Holidays" to see specific schedules
- Metrobus -- Saturday schedule with supplemental service
- Metrorail -- Saturday holiday schedule
- TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) -- closed
- Refuse/recycling pickup --no collection*
- Transfer Station -- open
- Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters -- free
- MCPS Administrative Offices -- open
- State offices and courts -- closed
Monday, November 4, 2013
On Tuesday the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee will hold the sixth worksession on the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan. The agenda for this worksession is:
- Follow-up on North Bethesda Transitway
- Markup of the plan