Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, March 2016

Masthead that says Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus

Golden Shovel Awards Now Open

golden shovel lapel pin

Did someone you know make your neighborhood safer? Nominate them for a Golden Shovel.

I started the Golden Shovel awards in 2003 to honor residents who lace up their boots to help neighbors shovel out after a snowfall. The awards recognize individuals who go above and beyond in helping clear ice and snow from County sidewalks.

Our seniors, school children, people with disabilities and those who walk to work or use mass transit depend on snow-free sidewalks. This goes beyond convenience--it is a matter of public safety. I certainly hope that residents will nominate for a Golden Shovel those individuals who put the Golden Rule to work. The deadline for nominations is March 25, and awards will be presented at a County Council session on Tuesday, April 19. Get the nomination form.

Apply Now for Planning Board

We’re now taking applications for the Planning Board. 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.

The Planning Board meets all day every Thursday and often meets on one other evening a week. The entire Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission meets the third Wednesday of every month. On average, a Planning Board member can expect to spend at least two full days a week in scheduled and informational meetings. Additionally, substantial time is required for preparatory work and other activities related to Planning Board responsibilities.

The second term of Amy Presley (Republican) will expire on June 14, 2016, and she is not eligible for reappointment. Applications are due by April 20. See the full press release.

Snow Briefing Rescheduled

Capital Crescent Trail covered in snow

In response to community concerns, I had scheduled a briefing on the County's response to Winter Storm Jonas for February 9. Ironically, that date got snowed out, so now we plan to look at clean-up efforts for the winter weather season on March 8. You can watch this meeting live or on demand on County Cable Montgomery.

Town Hall Meeting for Clarksburg

Let us know what matters most to you at our Town Hall Meeting for the Clarksburg area on Wednesday, March 2. The meeting will be held at the Rocky Hill Middle School (22401 Brick Haven Way, just off Route 355) beginning at 8 p.m. with a pre-meeting reception at 7:30. You can voice your opinions on specific issues and ask questions of us in an organized, but informal, setting. This meeting had originally been scheduled for January 27 but was postponed because of snow.

The meeting will be taped for later broadcast on County Cable Montgomery. For more information about the Town Hall Meeting or about the broadcast times, call 240-777-7931.

Council Supports Drunk Driving Bills

Montgomery County Police cruiser

As we are all painfully aware, one of our Police Officers, Noah Leotta, was struck and killed by a drunk driver less than three months ago. What you may not know is that Officer Leotta was one of nine people killed in Montgomery County last year as the result of a drunk driver.

That's why the County Council is joining our Police Chief in supporting four bills currently under consideration by the Maryland General Assembly. They are:

  • HB 1342 (Noah's Law) requires mandatory participation in the ignition Interlock System Program for people convicted on certain drunk driving offenses.
  • SB 0564 (Alex and Calvin's Law) increases penalties for adults who furnishes alcohol to minors or willfully and knowingly allows minors to consume alcohol.
  • HB 735 increases maximum incarceration penalties for drunk driving that causes death.
  • HB 345 imposes civil penalties to businesses that serve underage drinkers and over-serve drunk individuals.

See the Council's letter of support. To follow the legislation, visit the Maryland General Assembly's website.

Green Tip of the Month

The new Silver Spring Library, which opened on June 20, has earned Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council--one of the highest ratings available.
The building features many energy-saving elements, including a design that introduces natural light throughout the interior space. The facility scored high marks for the convenient access to public transit and the provision of bicycle storage and alternative parking capacity. Interior office and conference room lighting automatically switches off when rooms are not occupied. Restrooms have water-efficient toilets and sinks. The library has a vegetated roof that works to heat and cool the building more efficiently and provides a natural absorption and irrigation system.
The library occupies about 63,000 gross square feet on the top three floors of the approximately 90,000 gross square foot structure. The first two levels will be leased for arts-related and street-level retail uses.

Fast Fact

Oakley Cabin

Check out the new online map that commemorates African American sites throughout the County, including those that are in the County’s formal register of architecturally and historically significant buildings and places. Each map site includes a photograph, a description of the site and links to foster an appreciation of each location.  

The planning staff mapped two dozen historic African American sites in the first phase of this project. The locations included are not an exhaustive compilation of all significant African American sites in the County. More locations will be added after community feedback is received and additional sites are identified and evaluated.

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.

March 2016

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