Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Holiday Schedule for Memorial Day

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Memorial Day Holiday, May 28:
County Offices – Closed
Libraries – Closed
County Liquor stores (DLC) – all stores will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Recreation – aquatics programs and facilities open; all other classes and programs canceled. Administrative office, senior centers and recreation centers are closed

Montgomery Parks - Montgomery Parks - for special programs, events and operating schedule, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks and tennis centers, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org
Ride On – Sunday Schedule 
Metrorail – Information available at www.wmata.com
Metrobus – Information available at www.wmata.com
TRiPS Commuter Store at Silver Spring Transit Center – Open
TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store – The Silver Spring TRiPS store will be open on Memorial Day but the Mobile Store will be closed
County Refuse/recycling pickup – no collection, all collections for the week will be made one day later than normal with Friday pickup on Saturday 
The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station –  closed 
Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – Free
State offices and courts – Closed

Friday, May 18, 2018

Council Reaches Budget Agreement

Yesterday we reached unanimous preliminary agreement on a $5.6 billion County budget for Fiscal Year 2019. The budget strongly supports Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and does not raise property taxes. You can view my comments hereWe will formally adopt the budget on Thursday, May 24, and it will go into effect on July 1. Here's what I said at yesterday's Council session: 

After 16 budgets, I’m reminded of how this process always reveals the dedication and hard work of all those involved in our budget process, and how difficult it is to choose among the many projects we review. There are many wonderful programs that come before us, and I wish we could fund all of them. But resources are finite.  We do our best to support what we can, while also delivering a balanced and responsible budget. As so immortally put by the Rolling Stones, “You can't always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you might find you get what you need.”

I want to thank our new Council Executive Director, Marlene Michaelson. I commend your stewardship during your first budget cycle. This isn’t an easy task. I couldn’t manage without our staff’s thorough analyses, innovative ideas and communication with our constituents, especially my Chief of Staff, Judy Jablow. I appreciate the significant input from the many stakeholders, including department and agency heads, business representatives, the County Executive and, most importantly, our residents.

As I reflect on the past 16 years, it’s noteworthy the amount of change and growth Montgomery County has experienced since my first year as a Councilmember. Back in 2003 our population was 936,000. We’ve grown 12.2% since then to 1,050,370. This year, we plan to approve the FY19 budget that totals $5.56 billion and supports 10,483 county employees. This is an 80.5% increase from my first budget in FY04 that was $3.08 billion, when we had 8,901 county employees. 

With this year’s budget, we continue our strong commitment to education by funding MCPS at $2.6 billion to support the current enrollment of 163,184 students and 22,452 employees. Back in FY04, we funded MCPS at $1.5 billion. Then, it had an enrollment of 139,203 students and 19,291 employees. Compared to FY04, we’ve increased MCPS’ budget by 73%. It is my hope that the next Council, and all future Montgomery County Councils will continue this strong support for education, while working purposefully to provide equity for all our students in all our schools. 
As always, we must keep a keen eye on the future.  Making these budget decisions is our most important responsibility, and we must be accountable to our residents to ensure we are prudent stewards of this County’s fiscal future. By maintaining a healthy financial reserve and our retirees’ health benefits, we safeguard our County’s AAA bond rating and our financial flexibility. I’m reminded of the difficult decisions that I and some of my colleagues on this Council faced during the great recession, and how we continue this struggle to restore funding while facing new challenges that that impact our revenue.

For example, Montgomery County residents are rightly proud of our parks and recreation facilities and programs.  These departments were hit hard during the recession, and we continue to try to bring their budgets back to pre-recession levels so we can expand and enhance some of the experiences and services residents enjoy most.

I believe we have a bright future ahead of us, and I’m encouraged by our economic development opportunities. Our unemployment rate when I started on the Council back in 2003 was 3.3% and has returned to this level since the great recession. The County’s rate is lower than both the state and national unemployment rate which at 4.1%. Our gross economic output is $89.9 billion, which is a measure of the total size of the county's economy. Overall, this figure grew 36.4% since 2003. If Montgomery County were an independent country, we would place 66th in the world for total annual economic output. This is pretty cool!

Here are some other encouraging statistics.  Since 2003, our assessable base has grown 115.7% and our weighted tax rate (property tax charge) has decreased by 2.3%. Let’s not forget the Income Tax Offset Credit, for owner-occupied residences, which began in FY06 at $116 and is now $692.

I am unequivocally optimistic about Montgomery County’s future and hopeful that the next Council will be wise and restrained in spending our residents’ money.  We never know what challenges we will face. Our fiscal strength is what makes it possible for us to weather them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Absentee Ballot Applications Are Now Available for the Gubernatorial Primary Election

If you plan to vote by absentee ballot, you'll need to get an application and submit the completed form to the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Here's the full press release from the Board of Elections:


Any registered voter who wants to vote by mail may now request an application for the Gubernatorial Primary Election.  If you request a vote by mail ballot, it will be your official ballot and you will not be able to vote on the paper based, digital image scan voting system at the polls on Election Day, June 26, or during Early Voting, June 14 - 21.

You may apply for a vote by mail ballot in one of three ways:
1.     Visit our website – www.777vote.org – and select Absentee.   Follow the instructions for completing the application which may be mailed, faxed (240-777-8560) or e-mailed absentee@montgomerycountymd.gov to the Board of Elections. 
2.     Visit https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/OnlineVoterRegistration/InstructionsStep1 to complete an online application.  You must have a valid Maryland Driver’s License or Motor Vehicle Administration issued ID and enter your name and date of birth exactly as reflected in the voter registration database in order to use this method.  Follow the prompts to complete and submit your application.
3.     You may apply in person at the Montgomery County Board of Elections – 18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Suite 210, Gaithersburg, MD  20879 – between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To obtain an application for another person, please call 240-777-8550 for detailed information.
The deadlines for receipt of your completed application are as follows:

  •  If you want your ballot mailed to you, your deadline is Tuesday, June 19, 2018. If you mail or deliver this form, your election office must have it by 8 pm. If you fax or email it, they must have it by 11:59 pm.
  • If you want to print your on-line delivery ballot from the State Board of Elections’ website, your deadline is Friday, June 22, 2018. If you mail or deliver this form, your election office must have it by 5 pm. If you fax or email it, they must have it by 11:59 pm.
After the aforementioned dates, absentee ballot applications need to be requested in person at our office – 18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Suite 210, in Gaithersburg.  The office is open: 
  • From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 
  • During Early Voting, June 14 - 21, from 8:30 a.m. through 8 p.m.
  • Saturdays, June 2 and 23, from Noon to 4 p.m.
  • June 9 from Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Sundays June 10 and 24 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Montgomery County Board of Elections wishes to remind voters that impersonating another voter or casting a ballot on behalf of another person is a crime. If you see or hear of any attempted vote fraud, contact the State Attorney’s Office at 410-576-6300 or 1-888-743-0023 toll free in Maryland or via TDD at 410-576-6372.

For more information on voting by mail call 240-777-VOTE, visit www.777vote.org, our mobile app at m.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections, the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website at https://elections.maryland.gov, or follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Facebook or Twitter.
Your Time, Your Voice, Your Vote!
Media Contact:  240-777-8625

Friday, May 4, 2018

The County's Economy -- How are we doing?

You may have heard talk lately about the overall health and welfare of Montgomery County's economic development. Did you know that our Gross Regional Product is $89.9 billion, which is a measure of the total size of the county's economy? Overall, we've grown 24% since 2010. If Montgomery County were an independent country, we would place 66th in the world for total annual economic output. Pretty cool!

Montgomery County

                                              2010                            2017                            Change

Population                            976,253                        1,054,399                    8%

Jobs                                      441,890                         468,308                      6%

Gross Regional Product     $72,381,433,082           $89,928,963,921          24.2%    

Source: EMSI, BLS, BEA, and U.S. Census     

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Montgomery County Board of Education Distinguished Service to Public Education Award

I was honored tonight by the Montgomery County Board of Education with its Distinguished Service to Public Education Award for my efforts in support of public education in our county.  I am humbled and grateful to the Board, and congratulations to all awardees for their dedication and support of our students -- and being a part of why Montgomery County is a great place to live and raise a family!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Montgomery County Honors U.S. Women’s Hockey Team gold medal winner Haley Skarupa

Today we recognized Haley Skarupa, a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team, for her competitive efforts and for winning an Olympic gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.  See the video. Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 23, 2018—The Montgomery County Council will congratulate Haley Skarupa, a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team, for her competitive efforts and for winning an Olympic gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. At the beginning of the Council meeting, Councilmember Sidney Katz and County Executive Isiah Leggett will present Skarupa with a proclamation recognizing her outstanding achievements.  The meeting will take place in the Third Floor Council Hearing Room.   
The U.S. Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey team competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeong Chang, South Korea and earned their first gold medal in 20 years. The Americans defeated Canada 3-2 in an overtime shootout.
“It is quite an honor to recognize Haley Skarupa for her gold medal performance in Pyeong Chang during the Winter Olympics,” said Councilmember Katz. “We have so many talented residents in District 3 but this accomplishment really sets Haley apart!”
“I am so proud of Haley for accomplishing her dream to be on the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team and compete in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “Haley earned her gold medal through hard work and perseverance. It was not easy, but she refused to give up. Montgomery County is home to the brightest and most talented youth in the world and Haley is an inspiration to any young person who is working hard to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.”
In addition to Skarupa being an Olympic gold medal winner, she also has won three International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships and three Four Nations Cups.
Councilmember Katz, County Executive Leggett and the Council congratulate Haley Skarupa for her outstanding achievements as a member of the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team. Residents and leaders in Montgomery County, Maryland and across the country take great pride in her accomplishments.
The Council meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast, Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN and Channel 30 on Verizon.
The Council meeting also will be available live via streaming through the Council web site athttp://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 28 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Here's complete information regarding Montgomery County's participation in DEA's Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day:

On Saturday, April 28 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., community members can drop off unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs, as Montgomery County once again participates in the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Understanding the prevalence of opioid overdoses and abuse, this event is a particularly important means for the public to safely dispose of unused and unwanted opioid prescriptions and prevent their life-threatening abuse.

County law enforcement agencies and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Office are co-sponsoring the effort. This is a safe, free and anonymous opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs and is part of a national effort to prevent the increasing problems of prescription drug abuse and theft that continues to occur nationwide.

Drop-off locations will be open to the general public throughout Montgomery County. These locations will accept prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications only. Liquids, illicit drugs, needles, sharps and syringes cannot be accepted as part of this take-back program. Officers will staff collection boxes in the parking lots of the following facilities or in facility lobbies:

MCP 2nd District Police Station – 4823 Rugby Avenue

Chevy Chase:
Village of Friendship Heights Community Center – 4433 S. Park Avenue

Chevy Chase Village Police Station – 5906 Connecticut Avenue

MCP 6th District Station – 45A West Watkins Mill Rd.

Gaithersburg Police Station – 14 Fulks Corner Avenue

Asbury Methodist Village – Apartment Center Lobby  – 301 Odendhal Ave, Bldg. 405

Senior Living at Kentlands Manor – 217 Booth St., Kentlands

MCP 5th District Station – 20000 Aircraft Drive

Rockville City Police/Montgomery County Sheriffs – Rockville City Police Station 2 W. Montgomery Avenue (Lobby of Rockville City Police building)

Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack – 7915 Montrose Road

Bender Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Washington – 6125 Montrose Road

Silver Spring:
MCP 3rd District Station – 1001 Milestone Drive

Fire Station 1 – 8110 Georgia Avenue

Takoma Park:
Takoma Park Police at Takoma Park City Building Lobby – 7500 Maple Avenue

MCP 4th District Station – 2300 Randolph Road                                                             

Residents are encouraged to bring in medications containing controlled substances but will accept any medications brought for disposal. All sites will take pills and medication patches of all kinds. If possible, prescription labels should be removed or personal information should be blacked out; however, pill bottles will still be accepted if the labels are attached. No questions will be asked. This is an opportunity to safely empty out a medicine cabinet of drugs that are no longer needed.

Disposing of prescription drugs through a drug take-back day is the safest option. If it is safe to dispose of a drug by flushing it down a toilet, the drug label or prescription information will indicate that option is an appropriate means of disposal. Otherwise unused drugs should not be poured down a sink or flushed for disposal.

Drugs should not be thrown in the trash unless specific safety precautions for safe disposal are followed. The County’s Division of Solid Waste Services offers these suggestions:

Place unwanted or expired medication into a plastic bag (with a seal) or other empty container with a lid to prevent liquid medications from leaking out.
Mix with kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust. (Liquid medications can be solidified using kitty litter or sawdust.)
Seal the bag and/or container.
Crush pills or tablets.
Put the container and/or bag containing the medication into your regular household trash.
Remove the label with the patient’s name from the original medicine vial or bottle.
Place the empty plastic vial or bottle into your blue County recycling bin. Empty aerosol inhalers can also be recycled in recycling bins.
Unused and/or expired medicines that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. According to the DEA, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

The returned medications on Drug Take-Back day will be incinerated according to federal and state environmental guidelines.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Recognizing Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalists

Congratulations to Montgomery Blair High School students Sarah Gao, Andrew Komo, David Wu, and Alice Zhang for being named among the 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search and competing for top honors at a high-profile event in Washington D.C. The Regeneron Science Talent Search was formerly known as the Intel Science Talent Search and the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. Despite the change in sponsors/names over the decades, it is still the nation's oldest and most prestigious science competition, having honored the nation's most promising young scientists since 1942. Each of the finalists received a $25,000 award and David Wu received an additional $90,000 award for fifth place. See the video of today's presentation.

In her project, Developing Phage Endolysins as Novel Therapeutics for Multi-drug Resistant Bacterial Infections, Sarah Gao identified enzymes that may contribute to improved therapeutics for antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infection.

In his project, Cryptographically Secure Proxy Bidding in Ascending Clock Auctions, Andrew Komo developed a coded system that can be used to protect large-scale online auctions from serious threats, such as cheating and fraud.

In his 5th place award project, Nonuniform Distributions of Patterns of Sequences of Primes in Prime Moduli, David Wu improved current methods for gathering data on prime number patterns, which could impact cryptography and cybersecurity, and potentially make future work on prime number patterns more productive.

In her project, A Dynamic Programming Algorithm for Minimizing Delays in Traffic Intersections, Alice Zhang created a traffic signal protocol to speed the flow of cars and trucks driving through intersections.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Will Hold Open Houses on I-270 and I-495 Managed Lanes Study

MDOT will hold public hearings this month on the I-495 and I-270  traffic congested projects. There are two hearings scheduled in Montgomery County. The first is Wednesday, April 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Clarksburg High School, 22500 Wims Road. The second is Thursday, April 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, 4301 East West Highway.

The state will provide the public with an introduction and overview of the study, welcome public comment on the study scope, and answer study-related questions.  You can also comment on-line at the study’s website, by email at 495-270-P3@sha.state.md.us, or by hard copy during the public workshops. Hard copy comments can also be mailed to the I-495 and I-270 P3 Project Office at the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, 707 North Calvert Street, Mail Stop P-601, Baltimore MD 21202.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Today, April 10, 2018 is Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day. It symbolizes how many extra days in 2018 women must work to equal what men earned in 2017.  In today's Council session, Nancy Navarro and I presented a Proclamation to Elissa Blattman, President Montgomery County NOW, in recognition of Equal Pay Day.

Even though the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passed more than five decades ago, women continue to suffer the consequences of inequitable pay differentials. In fact, year-round, full-time working women earn only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men.  The pay gap exists in every occupation, including those dominated by women. The pay gap is worse for women of color. Over a working lifetime, this wage disparity costs the average American woman and her family an estimated $700,000 to $2 million in lost wages, impacting Social Security benefits and pensions.

You can watch today's proclamation presentation here.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Council Reviewed the County's Employee Training and Policies Related to Preventing Workplace Harassment

On Tuesday, April 3, the Council reviewed the County's employee training and policies related to preventing workplace harassment.  As part of our oversight responsibilities, the Council  requested a review of workplace harassment policies across County government departments, County agencies and bi-county agencies. Representatives from Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) and other agencies participated in the discussion.

We were updated on the policies, procedures and training requirements that provide harassment-free workplaces.  The Council staff report includes a complete list of participants, and you can watch a taped version of the complete discussion.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Test of the National Wireless Emergency Alerts System - Thursday, April 5, 10-11 a.m.

Montgomery County will participate in a planned regional test of the national Wireless Emergency Alerts System (WEA) on Thursday, April 5; 10 – 11 a.m. Expect your WEA-enabled cell phone to vibrate and produce a loud warning signal twice before receiving a text message: "A test of Montgomery County Emergency Wireless Alerts System. No Action is required." Here's the complete media advisory:

On Thursday, April 5 between 10 and 11 a.m., 20 Washington metropolitan-area jurisdictions, which include all of Montgomery County, will simultaneously issue a test message to the public through the national Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system. This will be the first live regional test using WEA’s geo-target capabilities and is expected to reach 5.2 million people.

The WEA system should not be confused with the local “Alert Montgomery” or other emergency alert programs in jurisdictions within Montgomery County, or used in other metro-area jurisdictions. The local programs are separate from this national system. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched WEA nationally in 2012. It has been used more than 33,000 times across the country to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations – all through alerts on WEA-enabled cell phones and other enabled wireless devices. Most types of phones are WEA-enabled, an older “Flip Phone” might not be. The public does not sign up or register for WEA, and there is no fee for the service.

On April 5, individuals in the participating jurisdictions will receive a message customized to their area. Within Montgomery County the message will be: “A test of the Montgomery County Wireless Emergency Alerts System. No action required.” The alert will trigger a loud (somewhat annoying) noise and will cause the receiving device to vibrate. Both the loud audio signal and vibration will be repeated twice, while displaying the text-like message on cell phones and mobile devices.

Again, individuals do not sign up to receive a WEA message, they come automatically. Therefore, the test alert may come as a surprise to people who have not previously received a WEA message.

If a real-world event impacts the planned WEA test on Thursday, April 5, the back-up test date is Monday, April 9, between 10 and 11 a.m. 

The WEA system allows government and public safety officials to target emergency public safety information and imminent threats to safety to a specific geographic area. It uses a loud warning sound and text-like messages on an individual’s WEA-enabled cell phone or other enabled mobile device. The WEA system allows the messaging to be more targeted and efficient, which is critical during an emergency. 

Periodic testing of public alerts and warning systems helps local governments assess the system and identify any needed improvements. The test ensures that Public safety officials have reliable methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public during an emergency or disaster. 

Jurisdictions participating in the exercise will draw a geo-targeted map in their WEA system. Cell phones or mobile devices located outside, but near, the participating jurisdictions may receive the WEA test because this technology uses carrier towers. Individuals who are travelling through several jurisdictions during the testing period will receive alerts from each jurisdiction they enter. Individuals visiting the Washington metropolitan-area during testing will also receive the alerts.

The jurisdictions participating in the WEA testing include: City of Alexandria, City of Bowie, City of College Park, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, City of Gaithersburg, City of Greenbelt, City of Takoma Park, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, City of Rockville, District of Columbia, Arlington County, Charles County, Fairfax County, Frederick County (MD), Loudoun County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County and Prince William County. People in these jurisdictions during the WEA test will receive an alert on their cell phone or other mobile device(s).

Link for: Answers to Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s) about the testing.

Link for: Additional information on WEA.

# # #

Media Contact: Lucille Baur, Lucille.Baur@montgomerycountymd.gov

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Montgomery County's Winter Storm Information Portal

Visit the County's website  at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/snow for winter advisory information. Updates are listed on snow delays, closures, and additional details that may be helpful during a winter storm event.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Apply Now To The Planning Board

Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 9, 2018—The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy on the Montgomery County Planning Board. The first term of Natali Fani-Gonzalez (Democrat) will expire on June 14, 2018, and she has indicated that she will apply for reappointment.

Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28.

Members serve four-year terms and are limited to two full terms. No more than three members of the Planning Board may be from the same political party, and each member must be a resident and registered voter of Montgomery County when appointed. This position may be filled by a Democrat, Republican, a voter who declines to affiliate with a party, or a member of another party officially recognized by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

In addition to Ms. Fani-Gonzalez (Dem), current board members are Chair Casey Anderson (Dem), Vice Chair Norman Dreyfuss (Rep), Gerald Cichy (Rep) and Tina Patterson (Unaffiliated). Annual compensation for Board members is currently $30,000, and the chair currently earns $204,371.

The Planning Board serves as the Council’s principal adviser on land use planning and community planning. Planning Board members also serve as commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The Planning Board’s responsibilities with regard to planning include preparation and amendment of the County General Plan; preparation and amendment of master plans and functional plans; formulation of subdivision regulations; preparation of or recommendations on text amendments to the County Zoning Code; implementation of the subdivision process by reviewing and approving all preliminary plans, site plans and other plans for development; advice on the planning implications of capital facilities and programs of the County government, Montgomery College, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and Montgomery County Public Schools; commenting, under its mandatory referral authority, on plans for public facilities of local, state and federal agencies; and approval of the work program and the annual operating budget for the Planning Department and the Commission’s bi-county offices.

The Planning Board sits as the Park Commission and approves the annual Parks Department operating budget and Capital Improvements Program (CIP); land acquisition contracts and major development contracts for parks; development plans for individual park facilities; policies for park operations; and park user fees.

The Planning Board meets all day, including into the evening, every Thursday and will schedule other meetings, as needed. The entire Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission meets the third Wednesday of every month. On average, a Planning Board member may spend two full days a week in scheduled and informal meetings. Additionally, substantial time is required for preparatory work and other activities related to Planning Board responsibilities.

Application Process and Deadline

Letters of application expressing interest, including a resume listing professional and civic experience, political party affiliation, home and office telephone numbers and an email address, should be addressed to: Council President Hans Riemer, County Council Office, Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Applications can also be submitted via email to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov

Letters of application and resumes are made public as part of the appointment process, and are available for public review. The interviews are conducted in public and will be televised.

Letters with resumes must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28. It is the Council’s policy not to consider applications received after the deadline. After the closing date, Councilmembers will review the letters of application and select applicants for interviews to be held soon thereafter.

Financial Disclosure

A financial disclosure statement of assets, debts, income and family property interests will be required to be filed by each applicant. The financial disclosure form will be sent to you after we receive your letter of application. Only the financial disclosure statement of the ultimate appointee will be made available to the public; all others will be returned to the applicants.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The County Executive Transmits the Operating Budget to the Council

The County Executive has transmitted his Fiscal Year 2019 recommended operating budget to the Council. The recommended budget provides a good starting point for the Council’s work on the final County budget for the upcoming year. We appreciate the hard work by the Executive and his staff to begin the process.

The Council’s public hearings on the operating budget are scheduled for April 10-12. You can sign up online to testify at one of the five public hearings.

You can also send your comments in writing online; by emailing county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov; by regular mail to: County Council, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850.

If you would like to follow along, visit the Council's Web site, and remember to check back regularly as information will change as we make our way through our work.