Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, July edition

Fourth of July Events

Dog wearing flag bandana.

Montgomery County will again host two fireworks displays on July 4--Germantown Glory at the SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park, 18041 Central Park Circle, Boyds and Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Road, Kensington. Both fireworks displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

In addition to these two displays, several municipalities are hosting celebrations and fireworks. Check out Visit Montgomery for a full list of fireworks and other activities.

To find out what's open and what’s closed as well as parking and trash pick-up information for the County, see the holiday schedule for the Fourth of July on my blog.

Reorganization of Economic Development

Nancy Floreen in front of office building

I'm so pleased to report that the Council has approved the reorganization of the County's Department of Economic Development into a new non-profit organization that would have more flexibility in many aspects--including retaining current businesses and attracting new ones to the County. We are truly elevating the status of economic development and business growth in Montgomery County.

We’ve always been committed to ensuring our county is a major player in the region, and now we are doubling down on that commitment. Today’s decision builds on the important work the Council started five years ago with the creation of the Montgomery Business Development Corporation, which I sponsored. We’re delighted with the progress MBDC has made over the years, and I believe this is the natural next step. Learn more.

Apply Now to the Board of Appeals

Apply by July 22 for a position on the Board of Appeals. Duties 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 decisions of the hearing examiner on conditional uses. Members work approximately 15-25 hours a week and are compensated. Learn more.

Police Chief Talks with Council

Montgomery County Police cruiser

Police Chief Tom Manger and his leadership team met with us to discuss the long-term strategies that the department hopes will help the County avoid incidents that have turned into community violence in other jurisdictions around the nation. This was an insightful conversation, and I encourage you to take a look at the complete discussion (1 hr, 51 min) or the shorter summary (6 min, 18 sec). Chief Manger reminded us that the department is always willing to meet with community members, so feel free to invite them to your next community meeting. The chief also talked about the roll-out of the new body camera program.

Council Authorizes Green Bank

More good news: we just passed a bill to create the Montgomery County Green Bank. A green bank is an innovative approach to providing low–cost financing to increase residential and commercial solar, support energy efficiency improvements, and kick-start new green technologies.

The bill authorizes County government to designate a green bank to promote investment in clean energy technologies. It also specifies the processes to designate a nonprofit corporation to function as a green bank, establishes a Green Bank Work Group and generally defines the nature and powers of a green bank.

Montgomery’s bank will be funded initially by revenue from the merger settlement with Pepco-Exelon to the tune of $20 million.

While several states have implemented green banks, Montgomery County is the first local jurisdiction to create such an entity. The Montgomery County Green Bank is modeled after the successful Connecticut Green Bank.

Green Tip of the Month

Stop by one of Montgomery County’s farmers’ markets for fresh, healthful produce and specialty products at locations across the CountyThe markets offer traditional items like fruits, heirloom tomatoes, cut flowers and preserves as well as many items that may be new to you. To ensure access to healthful products, many Montgomery County farmers’ market vendors accept SNAP, WIC and senior farmers market nutrition program benefits.

Fast Fact

Montgomery County's unemployment rate has dropped to below 4 percent for the first time since the recession. The unemployment rate for April (the most recent data available) is 3.7 percent. The last time we had a rate this low was November 2008.

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.

July 2015

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