Nancy Floreen's Montgomery in Focus, February 2017

Executive Vetoes Minimum Wage Bill

Ike Leggett and Nancy Floreen

The County Executive vetoed Bill 12-16 that would have gradually increased the County minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. The Council had passed the legislation in a 5-4 vote a week earlier. The bill would have made Montgomery County one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to approve a $15 per hour minimum wage.

Although I am in favor of raising the minimum wage nationally or even regionally, I voted against the bill because I worry that raising our minimum wage when surrounding jurisdictions do not raise theirs risks putting us at a competitive disadvantage for job creation. What people want most is a job, and we need to make sure we have an environment that supports job growth. The current minimum wage in Montgomery County is $10.75, and it will go up to $11.50 on July 1 as a part of a phased-in increase the Council approved unanimously in 2013. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

PHED Schedule for Bethesda Plan

Bethesda Downtown Plan book cover

The Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, which I chair, started working on the Bethesda Downtown Plan on January 23 with a comprehensive overview. We expect to work on this plan until mid-March, and we will add more worksessions if they are needed. I encourage you to check the committee calendar regularly as things do change sometimes, but here is the schedule we expect to follow for the next few weeks: 

  • February 6, 2:00, Bethesda Downtown Plan, schools and fiscal impact
  • February 13, 2:00, Bethesda Downtown Plan, continued
  • February 27, 2:00, Bethesda Downtown Plan, transportation
  • March 6, 2:00, Bethesda Downtown Plan, continued
  • March 13, 2:00, Bethesda Downtown Plan, ZTA 16-20--Overlay Zone

All of the committee meetings will be televised live and on demand, so tune in to County Cable Montgomery if you want to follow along. The Council held three public hearings on the Bethesda Downtown Plan on October 18, 19 and 20, but you can still send your comments to We want your input, and we give equal weight to written and oral testimony. You can get agendas and background information at the Council Meeting Portal.

We have not yet scheduled a date for the full Council to consider the Bethesda Downtown Plan.

Reaffirming Community Values

The Montgomery County Executive and the Montgomery County Council issued the following joint statement reaffirming community values:

Montgomery County is committed to building and maintaining a safe and inclusive community for our residents. Understanding, tolerance, and respect are hallmarks of the Montgomery County way. Social justice for all is what we strive to achieve in our County. 

We greatly regret the anxiety that has been stoked among many in our community as a result of the President’s Executive Orders. We issue this statement to assure all of our residents that those orders will not change the way that County police officers or County workers interact with the public and will not impact how we provide social services.  

It is longstanding County policy that County police do not enforce federal immigration law. Neither will they inquire about immigration status when individuals are stopped nor target individuals based on their ethnicity, race, or religious beliefs. 

The County’s law enforcement leaders are also committed to our values, and they will continue working to build trust in our community. Police Chief Tom Manger, Corrections and Rehabilitation Director Rob Green, Sheriff Darren Popkin, and State’s Attorney John McCarthy are sworn to protect the rights of all residents and to treat all individuals equally.  

Your County leaders stand ready to take the steps necessary to defend our values and maintain the integrity of our community. Executive orders are not self-executing. They require additional actions by federal agencies to be implemented.  In addition, executive orders are subject to public scrutiny and legal challenges.  

Montgomery County has a long history of working to promote community safety and trust among its residents regardless of their culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. In 2011 the Council passed a resolution to promote public trust in government and law enforcement to ensure that that the federal Secure Communities initiative was implemented consistent with its stated purpose. 

In November 2016, the Council approved a resolution reaffirming community safety and trust and denouncing anti-immigrant activity, racial bias, and discrimination. Also in November, the County Executive initiated solidarity with our friends and neighbors from all walks of life at the “Stand Up for the Montgomery Way” rally, which was a strong and broadly shared public declaration of our collective values.   

Montgomery County remains steadfast in its commitment to fairness, justice, and equal treatment under the law. We believe that no deportations should take place without ensuring that individuals to be deported receive adequate representation and due process of law under the Constitution.  Regardless of immigration status, we will uphold the Fourth Amendment rights of our residents.  

As your local leaders we will continue to speak out on behalf of all of our residents to promote the values that define our community. Montgomery County will remain an inclusive and welcoming place to live, work, and raise a family.       

Residents who are in need of legal resources or support services are encouraged to dial 311 for help or visit the MC311 web page at:

Fast Fact

Nancy Floreen and poster of interchange

Take a look at the County Executive's recommended FY18 Capital Budget and amendments to the six-year FY17-22 Capital Improvements Program and let us know what you think at the February 7 public hearing on the CIP. You can also send your comments to We give equal weight to oral and written testimony.

Green Tip of the Month

Do you know a college student looking for an internship or job in the environmental sector? If so, check out the eighth annual Fields of Green Internship Fair on February 9. The event will feature some of the leading environmental employers from the DC metro area and many more green employers looking for talented candidates to fulfill their internship needs. The event is free for students to participate, $25 dollars for non-profit organizations, and $125 for for-profit organizations.

Note to Newsletter Editors

Did you find something useful in this e-letter? Some people have asked me if they can use the material from my newsletter in their own civic association or HOA newsletters. The answer is yes. I provide this information to help residents find what they need and participate in the legislative process, so feel free to use it.

February 2017

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