Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, September 2015

Town Hall Meeting for Faith Leaders

all nine members of the County Council

Did you know that there are more than 3,000 faith community leaders representing many different religions throughout the County?

Following our tradition of regular town hall meetings, we will hold a special meeting for leaders of the County’s faith community on Wednesday, September 16, at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The meeting, in the Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room, will start at 7:30 p.m. A pre-meeting reception will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the second-floor cafeteria. The meeting is open to all.

Please RSVP by calling 240-777-7931. County Cable Montgomery will broadcast the meeting live and will rebroadcast it at various times in the weeks following the meeting.

This is your chance to let us know how you feel about specific issues and to ask questions in an organized but informal setting.

New Restaurant Week in Silver Spring

downtown silver spring

More than 20 of Silver Spring’s top restaurants will be joining efforts September 8-13 to start a new Silver Spring Restaurant Week tradition. Participating restaurants will offer special lunch and dinner fixed-price menus throughout the week to encourage residents from around the County to discover some of the area’s best dining establishments. My hat is off to Councilmember Tom Hucker for spearheading this effort.

During Silver Spring Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will offer two-course lunches for $12 and three-course lunches for $17. Two-course dinners will be available for $17 and three-course dinners will be offered for $27.

Restaurants thus far committed to participate in restaurant week include 8407 Kitchen Bar (8407 Ramsey Ave.); All Set Restaurant & Bar (8630 Fenton St.); A.G. Kitchen (931 Ellsworth Drive); Abyssinia (8221 Georgia Ave.); Austin Grill (919 Ellsworth Drive); Bete Ethiopian Cuisine & Café (811 Roeder Rd.); Fuddrucker’s (819 Ellsworth Dr.); Jackie’s Restaurant (8081 Georgia Ave.); Kin Da (6923 Laurel Ave. in Takoma Park); La Malinche (8622 Colesville Rd.); McGinty’s Public House (911 Ellsworth Drive); Middle Eastern Cuisine (7006 Carroll Ave. in Takoma Park); Mix Bar and Grille (8241 Georgia Ave.); Mrs. K’s Restaurant & Barrel Bar (9201 Colesville Rd.); Mulu Ethiopian Restaurant (7833 Eastern Ave.); Olazzo (8235 Georgia Ave.); Pacci’s Neopolitan Pizzeria (8113 Georgia Ave.); Pacci’s Trattoria & Pasticceria (6 Post Office Rd.); Republic (6939 Laurel Ave. in Takoma Park); Roscoe’s Neopolitan Pizzeria (7040 Carroll Ave. in Takoma Park); Scion Restaurant (1200 East-West Highway); Sligo Café (923 Sligo Ave.); The Society Restaurant & Lounge (8229 Georgia Ave.) and The Urban Winery (949 Bonifant St.).

Sign Up for Public Hearings Online

Starting this fall, you can sign up for public hearings online. The Sign Up to Testify feature appears in two places--within the header and under the Council Activities tab. Of course, you can still sign up by calling 240-777-7803. Also new, you can get the speakers list online about three hours before the public hearing begins.

Tips on Testifying

When the Council returns in September, we will take up some important topics ranging from budgeting to land use to our local economy. We have public hearings on a variety of issues scheduled nearly every week, and we want to know your views. For newcomers as well as seasoned veterans, here are a few tips to make the most of your testimony:

  • Keep it simple. Put your request or main point at the beginning of your testimony. Use plain language and put technical points at the end.
  • Keep it short. The Council adheres to the three-minute limit, so make sure your points come across in that time frame. You don't have to use the entire allotted time, though. Sometimes good things come in small packages.
  • Bring 15 copies of your testimony with your name, contact information and main points clearly identified.
  • Let your personality shine through. Levity or a personal anecdote can help you stand out in the crowd.
  • Relax. Don't be afraid of the formal setting or the television cameras. Just be yourself.

I understand public speaking isn't for everyone, so you can also call or e-mail. To have your written correspondence included in the public record, send it to or Council President, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850. To sign up to speak at a public hearing, call 240-777-7803 or visit our Web site.

Respect the Bus

school bus

Everyone knows you have to stop behind a school bus with its lights flashing. But do you have to stop if you approach the bus from the front? What if there is a median strip? And what's the fine for those who fail to stop?

Every driver should know that when approaching a stopped school bus with activated stop sign and flashing red lights, Maryland law requires that all traffic from both directions must stop and remain stopped until the stop sign and lights are de-activated. That includes when driving on a two-lane roadway, a two-lane roadway with a center turning lane and a four-lane roadway without a median separation. The only exception is for a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation. The lanes of traffic separated by the median and going in the opposite direction from the bus do not have to stop. Traffic going in the same direction of the bus, does of course, have to stop.

The automated school bus camera enforcement program continues to expand and is designed to allow the cameras to be moved throughout the county as needed. These violations are reviewed by the police department’s Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit and citations are mailed to the registered owner. The fine from the automated enforcement is $125.00. No points are associated with a citation issued through this program. If a driver is stopped by a police officer for passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights, the fine is $570 and 3 points.

Green Tip of the Month

Row of townhouses

The Department of Environmental Protection will host a free information session on the legislation we recently passed to create a green bank in Montgomery County. The meeting is scheduled for September 9, 9:00-11:30, at the Fitzgerald Theater in Rockville. We created the green bank with the idea that it will partner with the private sector to increase investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the county. The session will provide an overview of the legislation and look at similar initiatives in other states in jurisdictions. Learn more.

Fast Fact

The Department of Permitting Services is hosting a series of open house sessions in an effort to familiarize the construction industry with the new building codes adopted to implement the 2015 code cycle The sessions, scheduled for September 4 and 11, will focus on new executive regulations adopting the 2015 International Building Code changes from previous editions, affected policies and procedures, and related code interpretations. Learn more.

Let's Talk

Is your community organization hosting a public meeting? Please let me know how I can help. I am happy to assist residents in understanding pending bills or in finding ways to get involved in the political process. Even more important, I want to hear about what matters to you. Send your meeting notices to or call 240-777-7959 if you would like me to address a particular topic with your group.

September 2015

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