Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, November 2015

Council Approves Pesticide Restrictions

caution pesticide application

After much debate and significant public input, the Council approved Bill 52-14 that bans the use of certain pesticides on County-owned and private lawns, becoming one of the few jurisdictions in the nation to have such restrictions. The ban takes effect on County property on July 1, 2016, and on private property on January 1, 2018. We exempted agriculture, control of noxious weeds and invasive species, golf courses, situations requiring the protection of human health and the prevention of significant economic damage.

Having dealt with breast cancer myself, I'm particularly sensitive to the need to limit our exposure to toxic chemicals. I'm glad we are taking the lead in protecting public health and welfare in this way. All residents, and particularly our children, stand to benefit from reduced exposure to pesticides.  Learn more.

Unemployment Rate Drops

According to the Department of Labor, Montgomery County's unemployment rate in August was only 3.8 percent--down from 4.6 percent last August. Almost 10,000 more County residents had jobs compared to the year before.

CEASE Policy Advocacy Award

glass CEASE award

I'm honored to have received the 2015 Policy Advocacy Award from Communities Engaged in Advocating for Smoke-free Environments (CEASE) for my work to ban electronic cigarette use in places where traditional tobacco smoking is prohibited. Council President George Leventhal, who chairs the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, also received the award.

I sponsored Bill 54-14 prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes in public places where traditional tobacco smoking is prohibited. The bill also requires child-resistant packaging for nicotine containers. The Council unanimously approved it last March.

Perhaps swayed by the belief that electronic cigarettes are safe, or emboldened by the fact that e-cigarettes have little odor that parents could detect, teens who have never tried traditional cigarettes are using e-cigs, putting themselves at risk for nicotine addiction, nicotine poisoning or exposure to harmful chemicals. I am not willing to gamble with the health of our current generation of young people. The Council did the right thing by putting these protections in place.

Apply Now to Grants Advisory Group

Nancy Floreen at Council dais.

Apply by November 9 for the Grants Advisory Group. The Council will appoint the volunteer community panel to review grant applications and advise us on proposals received from the non-profit community.

We believe that a strong partnership with non-profit organizations is critical in meeting the County’s needs. We will accept applications for grant awards--usually in January--and have them reviewed by the Advisory Group. We will make funding decisions during our spring budget deliberations. 

We anticipate that we will appoint the Grants Advisory Group in December and will have them report to the Council by the end of April 2016. The Council will designate the chair of the advisory group. Learn more.

Green Tip of the Month

The Department of Transportation has installed electric vehicle charging stations in five more County-owned parking garages-- the new Woodmont Corner Garage (accessible from Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues and known as Garage 11) and Waverly Garage(Garage 47) in Bethesda; the Cameron/Second Street Garage (Garage 7) and Kennett Street Garage (Garage 9) in Silver Spring; and the Amherst Garage (Garage 45) in Wheaton. The five locations each have one station providing service to two parking spaces.

These stations, along with the three that were installed in April, are connected to the nationwide ChargePoint Network of searchable charging stations and accept payment using a ChargePoint Network card or RFID enabled credit card. More stations will be installed in additional garages later this year.

Fast Fact

As a part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Council held a special event on “The Current State of the Latino Community in Montgomery County,” which included a panel discussion with Hispanic and Latino leaders in the County whose work on social justice issues have helped shape the community. Check out the video presentation featuring Hispanic and Latino residents who shared their life experiences and expressed their views on issues that will shape the future.

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.

November 2015

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