Friday, October 20, 2017

A Community Meeting on Small Cell Antennas is this Monday, October 23 from 7-9 p.m.

The County Executive is asking for the community's input regarding a proposed Zoning Text Amendment to revise the County’s zoning code for deployment of small antennas on neighborhood streetlights and lower-height buildings.  Here's the full press release:

The County Executive is requesting public input on a draft Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) to revise the County’s zoning code to address deployment of small antennas on neighborhood streetlights and lower-height buildings. A community meeting for this input is being held from 7-9 pm on Monday, October 23, 2017 at the Stella B Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, 3rd Floor Hearing Room Rockville, MD 20850 and will be carried live on County Cable Montgomery, Facebook, and YouTube.
Because wireless technology is evolving, Montgomery County has recently received an unprecedented number of applications to deploy small cell antennas in residential neighborhoods as well as commercial areas around the County. Federal law is clear that Montgomery County cannot pass zoning laws that would have the effect of prohibiting service throughout the County. Therefore, the proposed ZTA is intended to allow providers to provide service while protecting the character of both our residential neighborhoods and commercial areas by regulating how and where these antennas can be placed, and how they should be screened or camouflaged.
The ZTA, an interactive map, and links to submit public comments can be found at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/antennaZTA.
# # #

Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Mitsuko Herrara 240-777-2928

Thursday, October 19, 2017

County Council Proclamation Presented to For 3 Sisters for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Earlier this week, I presented a County Council Proclamation recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness month to For 3 Sisters. This grassroots organization is headquartered in Olney, MD and was founded by retired Montgomery County firefighter, Marshall Moneymaker, after he lost his three older sisters to breast cancer. You can watch the Proclamation presentation here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Council Unanimously Approves Legislation on Short-Term Rental Services

Yesterday, we voted unanimously to enact two pieces of legislation, Zoning Text Amendment 17-03, and Bill 2-16, which address the legal and regulatory status of short-term rentals in the county. Effective July 1, 2018, these two measures allow county residents to legally use short-term residential services like Airbnb and HomeAway, with some restrictions.

For example, each short-term rental must have a license, and that location must be the primary home of the person applying for the license. Furthermore, if the owner of the property, or the authorized representative of the owner, isn’t on the premises during the rental, then rentals are limited to 120 days a year. Also, online ads must include the County license number. Here’s the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., October 11, 2017—The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, October 10 to enact two legislative proposals that address the legal and regulatory status of short-term rentals in the County. The two measures, ZTA 17-03 and Bill 2-16, represent Council Vice President Riemer’s and the Montgomery County Planning Board’s recommendations to balance the substantial economic potential for County residents of short-term residential services like Airbnb with concerns about regulating these services. The measure was initially introduced by Council Vice President Riemer more than a year ago, and was sent to the Planning Board to gather public input and refine the approach. After a September 12 public hearing and two Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee meetings to review these measures, the Council voted unanimously (9-0) to adopt both measures.  
ZTA 17-03 makes bed and breakfasts limited uses in most residential and mixed-use zones. It limits the total number of adult overnight guests in a short-term rental to six, limits the total number of adult overnight guests per bedroom to two, and requires one off-street parking space for each rental contract. These measures put in place a regulatory framework that did not exist before, addressing concerns about the potential for residential housing to be used exclusively as a short-term rental service.  
ZTA 17-03 was approved with two revisions: (1) The dwelling unit used as a short-term rental must be the property owner’s or owner-authorized resident’s primary residence, which was an amendment recommended by the PHED Committee and (2) If the property owner or owner-authorized resident is not present in the residence, the property can be used as a short-term residential rental for a maximum of 120 days in a calendar year, which was an amendment recommended by Councilmember Katz. 
The Council also enacted Bill 2-16, which requires that several conditions be met to receive short-term residential licensing. Bill 2-16 was introduced by Council Vice President Riemer and cosponsored by Councilmember Rice.  
Council Vice President Riemer spoke about the importance of these measures which ensure that residents can benefit from short-term rental services while maintaining the security and character of neighborhoods.  
“By bringing all the stakeholders together, we were able to find a balance that works for us here in Montgomery County,” said Council Vice President Riemer. “This legislation will allow residents and visitors to get the value of home-sharing services, while preventing abuse and stopping investors from creating de facto hotels in residential neighborhoods and taking valuable housing stock off the market.”  
At the September 12 public hearing, the Council heard compelling testimony from County residents who use Airbnb and similar services to rent out rooms. Marcy Wolf-Hubbard described how, after her husband retired due to health issues, “the income we make from renting our room helps with the high cost of living here in Montgomery County.”  
Another resident, Elizabeth Wallace, described how short-term rentals help her age in place, which was a common theme among those testifying. “I’ll be 65 next month. I paid off my mortgage a decade ago; I’d like to stay in my home.”

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Councilmembers Ask State to Limit Toxic Coal Waste from Power Plants

The full Council sent a letter to Benjamin H. Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, asking him to reduce toxic coal waste from the Dickerson power plant and other coal-fired plants in the State. It’s imperative the State abide by current standards adopted by the federal EPA in 2015, to protect our water from the pollutants that coal plant waste produces. Here's the press release

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Georgetown Branch Trail - Detour Biking Routes

Looking for an alternate biking route for the Georgetown Branch Trail? You might want to try one of these detour routes suggested by the Montgomery Bicycle Advocates. Here's the official MCDOT bike detour route. And Here's suggested detour routes from The Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA).

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Council's T&E Committee Receives Purple Line Update Tomorrow, Thursday, September 28 at 10:30 a.m.

Tomorrow I join my colleagues, Council President Roger Berliner and Councilmember Tom Hucker at a Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) Committee meeting for a Purple Line Project update from officials at the Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA), and the Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP). Here's the press release:
ROCKVILLE, Md., September 27, 2017—The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 28 to receive an update from Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) and the Metro Transit Authority (MTA). PLTP and MTA will answer questions gathered by Council staff from civic groups and residents who live along the Purple Line right-of-way.
The T&E Committee, which is chaired by Council President Berliner and includes Councilmembers Floreen and Hucker, will meet in the Third Floor Council Hearing Room.
The main purpose of the meeting is to enable MTA and PLTP, the consortium responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining the Purple Line, to respond to the many questions raised by community organizations, the Planning Board, and Council staff, as well as any brought up by Councilmembers.
Council President Berliner, who also chairs the T&E Committee, asked the MTA and PLTP to introduce the key individuals who will direct the implementation of the Purple Line and related projects including the Capital Crescent Trail, the Silver Spring Green Trail, and the Bethesda Metro Station Southern Entrance. The T&E Committee also invited individuals with whom the public can be in direct communication during the construction period.
The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail line that will extend from Bethesda to New Carrollton. It will provide a direct connection to the Metrorail Red, Green and Orange Lines at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton. Twenty-one Purple Line stations are planned. The Purple Line will also connect to MARC, Amtrak and local bus services.

The staff report can be viewed at:
http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7419&meta_id=143545

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Apply For the Merit System Protection Board

Applications are due by Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., September 19, 2017 - The Montgomery County Council is accepting applications from qualified voters of the County for appointment to a three-year term on the Merit System Protection Board. The term of Charlotte Crutchfield (Democrat) will expire on Dec. 31. Ms. Crutchfield has indicated that she does not intend to apply for reappointment. Applications must be received in the Council office by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1.  

In addition to Ms. Crutchfield, current members of the board are Angela Franco (Republican) and Michael Kator (Democrat). 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 for this position may be a Democrat, Republican, a voter who declines to affiliate with a party, or a voter who is a member of another party officially recognized by the Board of Elections.

Generally, the board is expected to oversee the Merit System and to protect employee and applicant rights guaranteed under the County 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. 

The board, on a periodic basis, conducts special studies, audits or inquiries of the administration of the merit and retirement pay systems and, in this effort, may compel the attendance of witnesses. Written reports of its findings and recommendations are filed with the County Executive and the County Council. The board also provides comments on any proposed changes in Merit System law or regulations.

The board generally holds hearings during the day, which may take the full day, with any additional proceedings normally scheduled for subsequent days or evening(s). The board normally meets once per month during the day for approximately two hours. Additional time is also required for preparatory work. 

Members of the board currently receive $7,862.91 per year, which is adjusted annually to reflect 50 percent of the percentage change in the Washington Area Consumer Price Index. The chair receives $10,084.77 per year.

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 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 Roger Berliner, County Council Office, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850, or can be emailed to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov. Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 1. It is the Council’s policy not to consider applications received after the deadline. After the application closing date, Councilmembers will review the letters of application and may select applicants for interview.

Letters of application and resumes are made public as part of the appointment process. Any interviews held are open to the public and will be televised. A financial statement of assets, debts, income and family property interests will be required of all applicants. Only the appointed candidate will be required to make the financial statement available to the public.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Montgomery County Adopts the International Green Construction Code (IgCC)

Today we unanimously passed Executive Regulation 21-15 AMII, which adopts the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). We established green building code requirements that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Montgomery County. Here's today's press release:

Montgomery County is taking a major step forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate protection goals with today’s unanimous Council approval of Executive Regulation 21-15 AMII, which adopts the International Green Construction Code(IgCC) establishing green building code requirements.

“I commend the Department of Permitting Services for its persistence in pushing this code forward and I thank the County Council for its approval of the Executive Regulation,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.

With adoption of the IgCC, Montgomery County establishes a baseline requirement that new, non-residential construction and additions of 5,000 square feet or more must be designed and constructed to reduce building energy use by at least 50% over the average commercial building energy consumption in the base year of 2000. 

In addition to reducing energy consumption by 50%, projects must mitigate heat island impacts associated with development and divert at least 50% of construction and demolition waste material from landfills.  This green building code is a critical step in meeting the County’s commitment to implementation of the County’s Climate Protection Plan

“This green construction code will result in reduced energy spending for building users,” said Diane Schwartz Jones, director of the Department of Permitting Services. “It is essential to reduce environmental impacts from building-related greenhouse gases and places us on a path to leave a far better legacy for future generations.”

The requirements of the IgCC will take effect on Dec. 1, 2017 in Montgomery County. 

For more information, visit the Department of Permitting Services website.

Monday, September 18, 2017

FOX 5 Chooses Montgomery County for Their New Headquarters

I am pleased that WTTG Fox 5 and WDCA Fox 5 Plus will move its headquarters to Bethesda. This is great news as it will bring approximately 200 jobs to the County. You can read more about the relocation here.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Montgomery County Launches "Renters Have Rights" Campaign

Today I joined County Executive Ike Leggett, Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Hans Riemer, Tom Hucker; DHCA Director Snuggs, and HOC Executive Director Stacy Spann for a press release that  launched a “Renters Have Rights” campaign of stepped-up inspections and outreach to tenants. You can view my comments at today's event or read the full press release:

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett today launched a “Renters Have Rights” campaign of stepped-up inspections and outreach to tenants. The purpose of this campaign is to let renters know they have a voice and that the County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) is here to listen.

“Due to our recently updated housing law, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs now has expanded responsibilities and resources to step up their housing inspections and tenant advocacy,” said Leggett. “I urge tenants to call 3-1-1 if they have any concerns so that our housing department can inspect and enforce fixes, if needed, or otherwise offer tenants the help they request.”

Leggett was joined by Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, Tom Hucker, and Hans Riemer, as well as Department of Housing and Community Affairs Director Clarence Snuggs, and the Executive Director of the Housing and Opportunities Commission, Stacy L. Spann.

The County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) will inspect every multifamily apartment building over the next two years. Renters can request their unit be inspected. Results of those inspections will be used to establish a list of problem properties that will be subject to at least an annual inspection, based on the responsiveness of the owner and tenants to address identified life and safety issues. The inspection process will begin with older properties, those that have received many tenant complaints, and those with a history of code violations – especially life and safety violations.

Increased inspections are a staple of the updated law, but this campaign is more than just announcing inspections. Renters are encouraged to contact DHCA to learn about their rights and DHCA is available to help mediate conflicts between renters and landlords.

The “Renters Have Rights” outreach campaign directs people to call 3-1-1 to learn how Montgomery County can provide free, confidential, anonymous help to ensure housing safety, mediate conflicts, and otherwise advocate for tenants. The updated law also includes funding for additional tenant advocacy staff.

“I am very happy to see both this public outreach campaign for renters and the stepped up inspection and enforcement actions taken by the Executive,” said County Councilmember Marc Elrich.  “This is the kind of pro-active approach that I hoped my tenant legislation would foster. I believe that this can make a meaningful difference for tenants, who account for one third of residents in our county.  I recently saw one of the signs on a Ride-On bus directing tenants to contact the county if they are having issues; in the past, tenants often did not know that the County could offer help. It is also worth noting that tenants can be anonymous even when interacting with the County.  This effort signifies a new prioritization for the safety and well-being of our County’s renters.”

“More than a third of residents in our county are renters and that number will continue to increase for the foreseeable future,” said Council President Roger Berliner. “Understanding your rights as a renter is an essential step to address issues of importance to your quality of life.  We must educate and empower our growing and diverse renter community and I am pleased that our county is playing a more proactive role in doing just that.”

“Renters Have Rights” Outreach Campaign Elements

·         Ads on interior (EnglishSpanish) and exterior Ride On buses, bus shelters and County facilities
·         Doorhangers regarding tenant rights and responsibilities to be distributed in multifamily apartment buildings
·         Online communications via social media (TwitterFacebook) and the County website, electronic boards (English,Spanish)

and the Paperless Airplane
·         Lobby signs posted in every multifamily apartment building, in six languages
·         Upcoming County-wide training sessions for landlords and tenants
·         Flyer to be distributed via elementary school backpacks in communities where renters are primarily located
The updated housing law also encourages the formation of tenant associations that can develop a voice and establish a relationship with property owners. And, it assures that landlords must offer a two-year lease at signing and renewal. Updated tenant responsibilities are included in the enacted legislation, as well.

For more information visit DHCA’s Tenant Rights website, which includes tenant rightsresponsibilitiesDHCA services, and more.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Council's Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Rescind DACA

We released the following statement today regarding President Trump's decision to rescind DACA:

The Montgomery County Council denounces President Trump's decision to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The temporary status provided through DACA empowered about 800,000 young people, who came to the United States as children and are often referred to as “Dreamers,” to establish roots in our community, earn college degrees and obtain the skills and training necessary to secure meaningful jobs.  DACA has provided a sense of safety and ladders of opportunity for these young people and enhanced America's economy.  

President Trump's decision on DACA will force these young people back into hiding and destroy their chances for full and productive lives.  His decision flies in the face of racial and social justice and will have an economic impact on our nation.  A December 2016 policy brief from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center estimates that 685,195 young immigrants will become unemployed if DACA is eliminated.  This could mean a $24.6 billion loss for Social Security over the next decade.  The Cato Institute reports that rescinding DACA will cost Maryland about $3 billion from 2018-2028.
     
The young people with temporary status provided through DACA have played by the rules and worked hard to establish their lives in America.  That is why the Montgomery County Council will continue to stand by our "Dreamers."  We will work with our representatives in Congress to stop this misguided and unjust decision. 


Regardless of what happens at the federal level, Montgomery County remains an open and welcoming community for all its residents who are working hard to achieve the American dream.  

Click here for the press release.



Friday, September 1, 2017

Georgetown Branch Trail Detour Routes

Here's additional detour options from the Washington Area Bicycle Association (WABA) for cyclists using the Georgetown Branch Trail, which is scheduled to close this Tuesday, September 5 for the duration of the construction of the Purple Line.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Purple Line Construction Begins - Georgetown Branch Trail Scheduled to Close Tuesday

The Purple Line construction has begun in Montgomery County. The Georgetown Branch Trail is scheduled to close this Tuesday, September 5 for four to five years between Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda and Talbot Avenue in Silver Spring. Visit here for a detailed map of the alternate route and click here for MTA construction updates and notices.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Purple Line Groundbreaking

Yesterday I joined Governor Larry Hogan, my Council colleagues, other elected officials, and community members at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Maryland Transit Administration's Purple Line. This 16.2-mile light rail line will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton and will provide a mobility option that has never existed before with connections to Metrorail, bus lines and a train station. Learn more about the Purple Line and watch highlights from the ceremony here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Labor Day Holiday Schedule

Here is our holiday schedule for Labor Day on Monday, September 4:
County Offices – closed

Refuse/recycling pickup – no collection.  Collection provided one day later for remainder of the week.  (Last collection is Saturday).  More information available at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/sws/holidays/

The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station - closed

Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
Libraries – closed

County Liquor stores – all stores will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Recreation – Bethesda, Germantown, Western County, Wheaton/Glenmont and MLK outdoor aquatic facilities will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Olney Indoor Swim Center will be open normal hours; all other indoor aquatic facilities, as well as the Long Branch and Upper County outdoor pools, will be closed. Administrative offices, senior centers and community centers are closed.

Montgomery Parks - For operating schedule, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org

Ride On – will operate on a Sunday schedule. Information is available at this link:   http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/holiday_schedules.html.
Metrorail – Information available at www.wmata.com
Metrobus – Information available at www.wmata.com
TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed
MCPS Schools and Administrative Offices – closed

State offices and courts – closed 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Council's Statement Regarding President Trump's Comments on Charlottesville

We released the following statement regarding the events surrounding Charlottesville:

Montgomery County Council Statement on President Trump’s Comments on
White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville

Montgomery County has a long history of cultivating a welcoming community filled with acceptance and tolerance for all residents.  We stand together to reject bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia.  We also stand with the people of Charlottesville, Virginia who reject hate in all forms and who were sickened by the August 12 rally of white nationalists who converged on their community.  

Our residents, like others throughout the country, look to our President in these challenging times to speak to and remind all Americans of our highest ideals and our most fundamental values–not to debase them.  It was unconscionable for the President’s first words regarding Charlottesville to emphasize that “many sides” were responsible for what took place there, as though there was a moral equivalency between those there solely to advance hate and division and those there to stand on behalf of our common humanity.  When the President then subsequently doubled down on that sentiment by blaming “both sides”, the President lost all moral authority.  It is unconscionable to equate white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members, neo-Nazis, and other alt-Right white nationalist groups with those who participated in counter-protests.  In so doing, the President has justifiably earned condemnation from most Americans and has only won the praise of the white extremists that he emboldened.  He owes the American people an apology.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Heather Heyer, those injured during the counter-protest, and Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who lost their lives serving the people of Virginia.

Total Eclipse in the Park

Experience the total eclipse at this fun event sponsored by Montgomery Parks.

Ready for the solar eclipse? Don’t be left in the dark. Join Montgomery Parks on August 21st for Total Eclipse in the Park – our free “watch” party. We’ve got your eyes covered with free solar eclipse sunglasses (while supplies last). Pack a picnic as well as blankets or chairs, and enjoy the afternoon in the park. There’ll be a dance party, games, giveaways and FUN!

Mon. August 21st, 2017 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park. Click here for more information.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Montgomery County Council Seeks Applicants for Council Administrator

After 26 years of service to seven County Councils as Council Administrator, Steve Farber is retiring in February, 2018. Applications are currently being accepted until September 12. Here's the complete press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., August 14, 2017—The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants for the position of Council Administrator.  On July 31, Council Administrator Steve Farber announced plans to leave his post in February 2018.  Mr. Farber was first appointed in October 1991 and has served seven Councils. 

The Council Administrator, the principal adviser to the Council, helps develop and implement the Council’s policies and work program, oversees the Council staff, and represents the Council on several County boards, including the investment boards of the County’s retirement plans.

“For the past 26 years, Steve Farber has served the Council and the community with the highest distinction,” said Council President Roger Berliner. “We look forward to appointing a worthy successor.”

Applications will close on September 12.  Details on the application process can be viewed here.
  
For further information, please contact Mary Jane Berry, Administrative Services Coordinator, at MaryJane.Berry@montgomerycountymd.gov.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Montgomery County Council Appeals Circuit Court Ruling Overturning Cosmetic Pesticides Ban

I was disappointed with the recent Circuit Court decision that overruled the ban on certain pesticides in the County, but I am pleased that the Council is appealing this ruling. Having battled breast cancer myself, I am particularly sensitive to the need to limit our exposure to toxic chemicals. I am concerned with the public’s health and welfare, and that all residents, particularly our children, stand to benefit from reduced exposure to pesticides. Here is the full press release on today's action:

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 16, 2017—Today the Montgomery County Council directed the Office of the County Attorney to appeal the Montgomery County Circuit Court ruling that overturned the County’s cosmetic pesticides ban.  The ruling stated, “Maryland’s comprehensive program of pesticide regulation occupies the field of pesticide use and thus impliedly preempts the ordinance.” The court also held that the County’s ban on the application of certain pesticides on private property conflicted with Maryland law.

In October 2015, the Council enacted Bill 52-14, Pesticides - Notice Requirements - Cosmetic Pesticide Use Restrictions, which would have prohibited the use of certain registered pesticides on private property starting on January 1, 2018.   The County is one of the few local jurisdictions to have such restrictions.  The Council enacted this legislation with a focus on pesticides that included chemicals linked to the risk of developing cancer.

Complete Lawn Care, Inc., et al. v. Montgomery County invalidated certain provisions of Bill 52-14 because the Circuit Court found that County regulation of the use of pesticides on private property is preempted by state law.

“Our Council’s legal team advised us that the County would have a reasonable chance of prevailing in an appeal of the Circuit Court’s decision,” said Council President Roger Berliner, who also serves as chair of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee.  “It is important that the Council is allowed to protect our community from the threat posed by pesticides on private lawns.  Moreover, the broad scope of the court’s decision threatens our existing regulatory regime and other efforts short of a ban, even if the ban itself is ultimately deemed in direct conflict with state law.  We have also been advised that an appeal will not carry significant costs, as the work involved can be absorbed as part of the Office of the County Attorney’s normal workload.  Accordingly, my colleagues and I agree that an appeal is in the public interest.” 


The Annual County Health Rankings for Maryland has recognized Montgomery County as the “Healthiest County in Maryland” for the last four years.  The County is often at the forefront of initiatives that enhance public health like the cosmetic pesticides ban.


“I am delighted that the Council is appealing the Circuit Court ruling on the pesticides ban,” said Councilmember George Leventhal, who was the lead sponsor of Bill 52-14 and serves as chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee.  “Studies have linked numerous chemicals found in lawn pesticides to cancer and other serious health conditions. The Council sits as the Board of Health, but the court has ruled that we are preempted from protecting our residents from this health threat.  This sets a worrisome precedent that should be overturned.”   

County law provides that the Council is, and may act as, the County Board of Health.  In this capacity, the Council may adopt any regulation which a local board of health is authorized to adopt. “With Trump’s EPA protecting the interests of chemical companies instead of our residents, it is more important than ever that local communities take action to ensure that our children are not exposed to hazardous chemicals,” said Council Vice P
resident Hans Riemer.  “This decision takes that right away from us and should be overturned.”

“Too many people believe that because a pesticide is allowed for use by the federal government and by the state, then it must be safe,” said Councilmember Marc Elrich.  “Yet scientists, medical researchers and physicians advocate for great caution when using pesticides.  Pesticide use simply is not necessary on lawns - it is not good for the environment, our children or even our pets. It is important that we appeal this decision.”


“I was disappointed with the recent Circuit Court decision that overruled the ban on certain pesticides in the County, but I am pleased that the Council is appealing this ruling,” said Councilmember Nancy Floreen. “Having battled breast cancer myself, I am particularly sensitive to the need to limit our exposure to toxic chemicals. I am concerned with the public’s health and welfare, and that all residents, particularly our children, stand to benefit from reduced exposure to pesticides.”


“While I was disappointed with the Circuit Court’s ruling, I am pleased that the Council will be appealing this decision,” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro. “I have received hundreds of emails from constituents in just the last few days, and there is nearly unanimous support for an appeal. The County’s leadership with regard to local health and environmental policies has been a great source of pride for our residents. It is important that the Council be able to act in the best interest of County residents by ensuring we maintain our high standards for quality of life.”
 

Enacted
Bill 52-14 can be viewed here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Minimum Wage Impact Study

Hot off the press: here’s the Montgomery County, Maryland Minimum Wage Increase Impact Study.  The report addresses the impact on the county economy and labor market; the impact on the county government; the impact on county businesses; and the socioeconomic impacts. When the Council reconvenes in the fall we will take up Bill 28-17 that would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2020 for many workers in Montgomery County. The current minimum wage is $11.50 per hour, and there are no requirements in law for further increases. In January the Council enacted a minimum wage bill in a vote of 5-4 that was subsequently vetoed by the County Executive. If you would like to weigh in on Bill 28-17, sign up to testify later this month at the public hearing to be held in late September; or send your written comments to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Council Urges Stronger Carbon Emissions Standards

Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 26, 2017—Today the Montgomery County Council sent a letter to Governor Larry Hogan urging him to take a stand against climate change by supporting stronger carbon emissions reduction standards in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  

Maryland is one of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that are part of RGGI, a regional cap-and-trade system on power plant carbon emissions established in 2009.  Last year RGGI began a review to determine whether to adopt a lower cap and stricter standards.  All nine Councilmembers signed a letter to Gov. Hogan asking the state to back increasing RGGI’s annual emissions reduction target to five percent.

“The urgency with which more aggressive emission reduction goals are needed has only increased in recent months given our federal government’s shortsighted and negligent decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement,” wrote the Councilmembers.  “It is more important than ever that state and local governments do their part.  And it has become increasingly clear that doing so will not hurt our economy.  Power generators under existing RGGI standards have successfully adapted to current standards while continuing to provide a reliable supply of electricity.”

RGGI is expected to announce the results of its review this summer.  Maryland is represented on the Board of Directors of RGGI, Inc., by Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Benjamin Grumbles and Maryland Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin Hughes.

“The regional cap-and-trade system established by RGGI in 2009 has proven to be a success, with 2015 power plant emissions in the participating states falling 6.3 percent below the cap and electricity prices across the region decreasing by 3.4 percent on average compared to a 7.2 percent increase in other states,” wrote the councilmembers.  “During this time, the nine RGGI states reduced carbon emissions by 16 percent more than other states while experiencing 3.6 percent more economic growth, according to a 2016 study by the Acadia Center.  Even stronger standards will bring stronger results.”

The complete letter can be viewed at:
https://tinyurl.com/yb7p79pb.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Rental Housing Study Briefing

In response to concerns raised about affordable housing, and particularly market-rate affordable housing, during discussions of the Long Branch and Glenmont Sector Plans, Park and Planning proposed and the Council funded a county-wide Rental Housing Study. The Planning Department provides this background on the purpose of the study.

The economic trends of Montgomery County and the Metropolitan DC region have exacerbated a rental housing shortage. And providing the appropriate housing stock to meet the demand for affordable housing is a challenge. The purpose of the study is to identify Montgomery County's rental housing issues and needs, and offer holistic and sustainable approaches to meeting them. A goal of the study is to help guarantee long term affordability of rental housing for a diverse range of households. The study will provide recommendations for increasing the availability of affordable rental housing by determining factors that contribute to increased housing costs, identifying best practices that could be implemented to preserve and add to the affordable rental stock, and recommending potential changes to current policies and programs. 

At yesterday's briefing on the study, we learned that 33 percent of all residential housing units are rental units; that 74 percent of renter households earn less than 100 percent of area median income; and that only 19 percent of rental units are affordable to households earning less than 50 percent of area median income.

The Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee will start looking at these issues and recommendations on October 2. Read the full study or watch the briefing.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Council Opposes New Potomac River Crossing

This morning the Council passed a resolution reaffirming our opposition to a new Potomac River bridge. We took the action at this time because the Long-Range Plan Task Force of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board recommended further study of a northern crossing. Montgomery County has long opposed a second crossing as a part of our commitment to protecting the Agricultural Reserve, to conserving farmland and to protecting established residential neighborhoods. We also believe our scarce transportation dollars would be better spent on other projects, including solutions on I-270. See the resolution.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Watch Out for Telephone Scam

The County is asking for your help with this scam. Here's the full press release:

Montgomery County Government wants to inform residents about a telephone spoofing scam that is taking place in our area. Several County residents have reported receiving calls from scammers who are fraudulently using County telephone numbers (240-773-xxxx and 240-777-xxxx). While we don't yet know the objectives of the perpetrators, there have been no reports of loss of money, nor personally identifiable information, to date.

Many calls are left without a message, which has prompted affected residents to call back. When the resident calls back the County number, the County employee answering the call is unaware that anyone is using their telephone number. County officials are investigating and would like to hear from residents who have received these calls to assist our efforts in addressing this problem. 

If you receive a call from a County government telephone number that is suspicious, please report it by calling MC311 or by visiting MC311.com to answer the following questions:

  1. When did you receive the call or message (date/time)?
  2. If you received a message or spoke to someone, what did they say?
  3. What number did the caller ID indicate that the call originated from? (What County number was used in the spoof call?) 
Residents can reach MC311 in the County by dialing 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311 from anywhere, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The MC311 website, www.mc311.com, is available 24/7.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Take the Transportation Survey

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board is working on a new kind of long-range transportation plan for the region, and they are calling it Visualize 2045. The plan will will highlight hundreds of regionally significant highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects being planned throughout the region in the coming decades. It also will serve as a tool for visualizing the future—to help us understand where today’s planning and funding decisions will get us. Learn more about Visualize 2045 or take the public input survey.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Independence Day

Here's our holiday schedule for Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4:

  • County Offices – closed
  • Libraries – closed
  • County Liquor stores – all stores will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Recreation – Indoor and outdoor pools open, Germantown Indoor Pool closes at 3 p.m. all other pools close at 6 p.m.; Administrative offices, senior centers and recreation centers will be closed.
  • Montgomery Parks - Information available at http://www.montgomeryparks.org/
  • Ride On – will operate on a Saturday schedule. Information is available at this link: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/holiday_schedules.html.
  • Metrorail – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • Metrobus – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – no July 4 collection. Collection will slide by one day. For information on slide schedule go to https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/sws/holidays/
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station - closed
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
  • MCPS Schools and Administrative Offices – closed
  • State offices and courts – closed

Monday, June 19, 2017

Apply Now to Airpark Liaison Committee

Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 16, 2017--The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants to fill positions on the Montgomery County Airpark Liaison Committee. The Council authorized the re-establishment of the committee on June 13.
The committee was established to provide a forum for increased communication among interested groups and individuals concerned with the operations of the Montgomery County Airpark.
Applicants are being sought for the following seats on the committee:

  • Seven residential neighborhood representatives: two from Montgomery Village East and five from other neighborhoods surrounding the Airpark.
  • Two business representatives: one from inside the Airpark and one from outside the Airpark.
  • One Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board representative.
  • Two Airpark users.
In addition, the Council will appoint two Montgomery County Revenue Authority representatives, including the designated Airpark manager, and one representative from each of the following: the Montgomery County Executive, the County Council, the County Planning Department and an Airpark lease holder.

Letters of application expressing interest, including a resume listing professional and civic experience, should be addressed to: Council President Roger Berliner, County Council Office, Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Applications also can be submitted via email to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19. It is the Council’s policy not to consider applications received after the deadline. The Council will review the letters of application and resumes, and anticipates making the appointments in July.

Letters of application and resumes are made public as part of the appointment process, and are available for public review.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Apply Now for Board of Appeals

Get your application in by July 19. Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 16, 2017— The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants for a four-year term on the County Board of Appeals. The term of Carolyn Shawaker (Democrat) will expire in September 2017. She also serves as chair of the board. Ms. Shawaker has served on the board since October 2008 and is not eligible for reappointment to another term. Applications for the position must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19.

County law provides that the Council may designate a member of the Board for the position of chair. The Council will select a new chair from among the current or new members of the board in conjunction with this appointment process.

By law, no more than three members of the board shall be from the same political party. This position can be filled by a Democrat, a Republican, a voter who is unaffiliated with a party or a voter who is a member of another party officially recognized by the Board of Elections.
In addition to Ms. Shawaker (Democrat), current members of the board include John Pentecost (Democrat), Stan Boyd (Democrat), Edwin Rosado (unaffiliated), and Bruce Goldensohn (Republican). Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time.

Members of the board receive $15,272 annually, with the Chair receiving $21,584. Salaries are adjusted annually each December to reflect 50 percent of the change in the Washington Area Consumer Price Index.

Duties of the Board of Appeals include hearing and deciding requests for variances from development standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance; hearing appeals from certain administrative decisions rendered by County government agencies; and hearing oral argument on and deciding appeals from decisions of the Hearing Examiner on conditional uses. The board also considers and decides requests for modifications of special exceptions.

The board normally holds weekly hearings all day Wednesday and worksessions every other week. If necessary to accommodate an extended caseload or continued hearings, the board schedules hearings on other weekdays. Members are expected to prepare for the hearings by reading the cases to be heard and to share the workload of drafting and editing opinions or to follow-up on investigations on specific cases. Members work approximately 15-25 hours a week.

The principal jurisdiction of the Board of Appeals (concerning variances, special exceptions and conditional uses under the Zoning Ordinance) does not include the municipalities of Barnesville, Brookeville, Gaithersburg, Laytonsville, Poolesville, Rockville and Washington Grove. The normal Council practice is not to appoint residents of those municipalities to the board, however, exceptions to this practice may occur.

Letters 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 Roger Berliner, County Council Office, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850 or can be emailed to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov. Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on July 19. It is the Council’s policy not to consider applications received after the deadline. After the application closing date, Councilmembers will review the letters of application and may select applicants for interview.

Letters of application and resumes are made public as part of the appointment process. Any interviews held are open to the public and will be televised. A financial statement of assets, debts, income and family property interests will be required of all applicants. Only the appointed candidate will be required to make the financial statement available to the public.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Security Changes at Council Office Building

You will want to make note of these security changes for the next time you visit the Council Office Building. Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 12, 2017—To enhance the safety of all who visit and work at the Council Office Building in Rockville, starting on or about July 5, visitors will use two entrances with security screening measures.

All visitors to 100 Maryland Ave. will enter at one of two designated, ADA-accessible public entrances. One is in front of the building near the second-floor cafeteria. The other is adjacent to the first-floor auditorium near the parking garage adjacent to the building. No other entrances will be open to the public. Signs will be posted that identify the two public entrances.

All visitors will pass through a metal detector. Hand-held items, including but not limited to bags, briefcases, cell phones, containers, laptop computers and purses, will pass through an X-ray machine. Individuals who are unable to go through a metal detector will be screened by security personnel using a hand-held electronic wand. Individuals who have health-related issues that prevent them from passing through a metal detector or coming in close contact with an X-ray machine can request special accommodations from security personnel.

At the screening stations, security personnel will ask visitors to place all metal objects, such as coins, cell phones and keys, into a small basket. Visitors will not be asked to remove belts, coats, jackets, shoes or watches.

Items that are prohibited in the Council Office Building include, but are not limited to, explosives, guns, knives, pocket knives, box cutters, pepper spray, Mace, tasers, batons, and scissors.
Screening stations will be in operation from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Public access to the Council Office Building will not be available outside of these hours.

For public hearings and meetings attended by many visitors, those coming to the building may experience a line to enter and are asked to plan accordingly. For Council public hearings, visitors may want to base their arrival time on the order of the speakers’ list, which is available online the day of the hearing by 11 a.m. for afternoon hearings and by 3 p.m. for evening hearings. The speakers’ list can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/PHSignUp.html.

For questions or concerns regarding visits to the Council Office Building, email County.Council@montgomerycountymd.gov or call 240-777-7910.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New -- Montgomery Arts Infusion

Check out Montgomery Arts Infusion, a new monthly 15-minute television show focusing on the arts and entertainment of Montgomery County.

The first edition of MAI includes a feature on artist Steven Luu, a Vietnamese refugee who joined the U.S. Air Force and left the military with post-traumatic stress syndrome after assignments most people would find unthinkable. He went on to become an artist working in mixed media and recently displayed his works at the Park View Gallery at Glen Echo Park.

Another segment is on Kensington-based Arts on the Block, which offers youth of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to learn first-hand about the intersection of art, design and business by engaging in real-world projects.

You will also find links to venues and events on the show's Web site. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to get this exciting new resource off the ground.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Council Appoints Tina Patterson to Planning Board

I'm very pleased to say we appointed Tina Patterson of Germantown, whose background includes extensive experience in dispute resolution, to the Planning Board. She will replace Marye Wells-Harley, whose second term on the board will expire on June 14. She was not eligible for reappointment.

Ms. Patterson is the principal at Jade Solutions, LLC of Germantown. She is not affiliated with a political party.

Ms. Patterson’s business, Jade Solutions, provides consulting services including product management, proposal development, alternative dispute resolution and facilitation services. She is a member of Committee for Montgomery and Leadership Montgomery. She is a volunteer with the Montgomery County Interfaith Advisory Board. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown.

Council Approves Bethesda Downtown Plan

Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 25, 2017—The Montgomery County Council today approved the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan that will guide commercial and residential redevelopment in the County’s central business area over the next two decades. The plan is unique in recommending increased heights while requiring that increases in density be allocated through a process prescribed in the Bethesda Overlay Zone. The plan also seeks to protect nearby existing residential neighborhoods from being overwhelmed by tall structures. It also provides opportunities for new parks and open space and expands the County’s affordable housing inventory.

The plan was approved by a vote of 8-1. Council President Roger Berliner, Vice President Hans Riemer and Councilmembers Nancy Floreen, Tom Hucker, Sidney Katz, George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro and Craig Rice voted to approve the plan. Councilmember Marc Elrich was opposed.

The approved sector plan amends the approved 1994 Bethesda Central Business District Sector Plan and the 2006 Woodmont Triangle Amendment to that sector plan.

Details of the plan can be found at http://tinyurl.com/mq2vat7 .

In considering a plan recommended by the Montgomery County Planning Board, the Council reduced the recommended height limits near existing neighborhoods, particularly on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue. The plan allows for the new world headquarters of Marriott International, which will be relocating to Downtown Bethesda from its long-time presence in an office park in another area of Bethesda. The plan requires new development to include at least 15 percent Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs).

The Council sought to concentrate increased building heights near the Bethesda Metro Station. It also wanted to ensure that the park and open space elements of the plan are implemented through the recommendation that a park impact fund possibly be created. The plan recommends that four County-owned surface parking lots be converted to parkland or neighborhood greens. To attain this goal, the plan recommends exploration and alternative financing mechanisms. It also states that the parking needs of neighborhood businesses that currently rely on those lots be addressed and parking be replaced where necessary.

The plan recommends the creation of a Bethesda Overlay Zone that will require increased affordable housing, provide new incentives to retain existing affordable housing, require additional design reviews and provide for contributions to fund the acquisition and development of new parks.

The plan sets a cap on development to ensure that the total density in the plan area—including existing buildings and approved and new development—does not exceed 32.4 million square feet of gross floor area. The heights recommended by the plan would allow significantly more development than 32.4 million square feet, meaning some properties will be unable to develop to the full amount that may have been allowed by their assigned maximum heights.

The plan recommends a new strategy to encourage the preservation of market-rate affordable housing units by offering “public benefit points” to developers in exchange for a specified amount of preservation of rent-restricted units in existing and/or replacement units within the sector plan.

The plan recommends incentives to developers to provide 25 percent or more MPDUs. It increases the minimum MPDU requirement from 12.5 percent of units in new development to 15 percent MPDUs for all residential optional method projects. In the South Bethesda and Battery Lane districts, preservation of market-rate affordable housing and/or additional MPDUs beyond 15 percent is the top priority for public benefit points.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Council Reaches Budget Agreement

This morning we reached unanimous preliminary agreement on a $5.4 billion County operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018, a 2.7 percent increase over the approved budget for FY 2017. The budget strongly supports Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the County’s public safety programs and the safety net services provided by the County and non-profit organizations. See the full press release, including highlights by departments, a link to the approved list of community grants and a link to the final list of approved reconciliation items. We will formally adopt the budget on May 25, and it will go into effect on July 1.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Memorial Day

Here's our holiday schedule for Memorial Day, Monday, May 29:

  • County Offices – closed
  • Libraries - closed
  • County Liquor stores – all stores will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Recreation –all indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities will close at 6 p.m.; administrative offices, senior centers and community recreation centers will be closed
  • Montgomery Parks - Information available at http://www.montgomeryparks.org/
  • Ride On – will operate on a Sunday schedule. Information is available at this link:   http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/holiday_schedules.html.
  • Metrorail – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • Metrobus – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – no collection, all collections scheduled on or after the holiday will be made one day later in the week
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station - closed Memorial Day; will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30. The Public Unloading Facility at the Route 355 (Frederick Road) entrance will operate normal operating hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
  • MCPS Schools and Administrative Offices – closed

Monday, May 15, 2017

Gaithersburg Book Festival

I'm looking forward to the Gaithersburg Book Festival this Saturday, where I'll have the pleasure of introducing my husband and favorite author, David O. Stewart.

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an annual celebration of great books and great writing that has made its mark as one of the nation’s top literary events. On May 20 more than 100 featured best-selling and award-winning authors—including Laura Lippman, David Swinson, J. Courtney Sullivan, Jami Attenberg, Dominic Smith, Sidney Blumenthal, Kay Redfield Jamison, Doreen Cronin, Tom Lichtenheld, Dave Roman, Sheila Turnage, Meg Medina, Michelle Knudsen, Carol Weston and more—will participate in panel discussions and book signings at the festival, taking place on the grounds of City Hall (31 S. Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877).

Other activities include free, interactive writing workshops for all ages, a Children’s Village, literary exhibitors, food and drink, the Brew and Vine Cafe featuring live entertainment, and on-site book sales by Politics & Prose. Admission, parking and accessible shuttle buses from Shady Grove Metro and Lakeforest Mall are free.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Recognizing Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalists

Congratulations to Walt Whitman High School student David Rekhtman and Montgomery Blair High School students Sambuddha Chattopadhyay and Rohan Dalvi 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 $25,000 scholarships. See the video of today's presentation.

In his project, A Study of the Induction of Immunogenic Cell Death in Response to Local Ablative Therapies of Cancer, David Rekhtman experimented with heating cancer cells using a laser to prompt an immune response. In his project, On T-Reflection via Analytic Continuation in Quantum Mechanics, Sambuddha Chattopadhyay explored dark energy, looking for ways to understand and quantify it. In his project, Kinetic Trapping and Structural Determination of Native-State Biomolecules in the Gas Phase, Rohan Dalvi aided Georgetown University researchers in developing a faster and more efficient technique for gauging the size and structure of biomolecules.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Four to Interview for Planning Board

We will interview four applicants for the Planning Board on May 11 at 9:30 a.m. The applicants selected for interviews are Peter Myo Khin of Silver Spring, Tina Patterson of Germantown, Dan Reed of Silver Spring and Bruce Romer of Bethesda. This is an important position as the Planning Board serves as the Council’s principal adviser on land use planning and community planning. This means the board is responsible for preparation and amendment of the County General Plan; preparation and amendment of master plans and functional plans; implementation of the subdivision process and a whole lot more. You can watch these interviews live or on demand 24 hours later.