Happy New Year: Highlights from 2019

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The Paperless Airplane

News and Information from the Montgomery County Office of Public Information

December 2019 | Judy Stiles, Editor

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happy new year 2020

As we come to the end of 2019, I want to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to serve as your County Executive and that I am proud of the things we have accomplished together during my first year.  My administration’s vision is to make Montgomery County a more equitable and inclusive place for those who live and work here; and to accomplish that goal, we’ve established seven priorities to guide us along the way.

We have made progress in these areas by working collaboratively with the Council and many partners, including civic organizations, businesses, nonprofits, advocates, faith-based organizations and more.  We chose this approach to improve the quality of life for all people here.  And I’m happy to report that, a 2019 resident survey indicated that most people enjoy living in Montgomery County.

Below are highlights of several of our accomplishments during the first year of my administration.  I could not have done it without the support of the thousands of Montgomery County Government employees as well as our external partners.  I thank them for their commitment and for embracing new and innovative ways to better serve you.

Montgomery County is a special place full of generous and caring people.  And although this County is considered to have a great deal of wealth, far too many people among us are in need of a helping hand.  I am so proud of our internal giving campaign: this year more employees than ever before participated and we raised more money than we ever have before. As we start a new year, I encourage all of us to continue to support those in need.  When we extend our hand and help our neighbors, it not only uplifts our spirits, it uplifts our communities.

I wish you a safe and prosperous new year.

Marc Elrich

County Executive Marc Elirch

Thriving Youth and Families

wheaton Library & Rec Center Grand Opening

Ribbon-cutting Opens Montgomery County’s First Combined Library and Community Recreation Center

Hundreds of residents turned out to celebrate the ribbon-cutting for the Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center and Wheaton Local Park. The 92,000-square foot building is the County’s first combined library, community recreation center and local park.

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A Growing Economy

economic vision

County Executive Marc Elrich’s Economic Vision

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich presented his vision for economic development to the County Council in June 2019.  His plan focuses on building a modern economy that encourages entrepreneurship, moves people and goods efficiently, develops today’s and tomorrow’s workforce, reduces burdensome regulations and promotes opportunity for all.

Five components of County Executive Elrich’s economic vision include:

  1. Creating a robust transportation system to move people, goods and data efficiently for doing business. Elrich’s transportation team is working to advance a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as quickly and efficiently as possible, and is supporting innovation, including the pilot FLEX microtransit program. Elrich is working to gain support for the addition of two reversible lanes on I-270, and he is working with State and regional partners to support Metro.
  2. Better development of our workforce. Education is an integral part of the County’s economic development infrastructure from early childhood development to lifelong learning to attracting young families and to matching jobs with available talent.
  3. Enhancing entrepreneurship. The Elrich administration is reviewing its overall entrepreneurial climate and strategy – including a look at its three existing incubators. They are also focused on branding the County better to promote the rich array of available assets and to connect local businesses with resources and services.
  4. Engaging cooperatively with business leaders and business owners around the County to identify what they need to thrive in Montgomery County.
  5. Tracking our progress: measuring the performance of the County, its Economic Development Corporation and WorkSource Montgomery for results.

During the first year of his administration, Elrich hosted six 4Business listening sessions; personally visited local companies; made procurement more user friendly; opened 3 Business Connect Resource Service Centers (with a fourth opening in early 2020); proposed new legislation to give preference to local businesses for County procurement; and drafted the Small Business Strategic Plan.


4Business Initiative: Listening to the Needs of the Business Community

County Executive Marc Elrich and Council Vice President Sidney Katz embarked on a multi-pronged joint initiative: 4Business – Benchmarking to Be the Best for Business to engage the local business community in a grassroots campaign to assist businesses to locate, grow and prosper in Montgomery County.  The 4Business listening tour crisscrossed the County as the elected officials encouraged business owners to share their experiences about opening and growing a business in Montgomery County. Their initiative, 4Business: Benchmarking to Be the Best for Business, included stops in Rockville, Bethesda, East County, Wheaton, Silver Spring and Germantown. There will be a final report issued in early 2019 along with an assessment benchmarking Montgomery County’s business practices with surrounding jurisdictions.

manufacturing event

Growing Manufacturing Businesses in Montgomery County

County Executive Elrich and the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI) co-hosted a first of its kind forum designed to connect local manufacturers with State and local government resources in November 2019. There are more than 400 manufacturing companies in Montgomery County and the event helped connect manufacturing executives from key industries, such as biotech, cybersecurity, defense, electronics, industrial, information technology and pharma with subject matter experts. It also provided information on how to access resources to address workplace needs, reduce energy expenses, find grant funding, access financing and tax credit programs and more. “It’s a new day for Montgomery County,” said County Executive Marc Elrich

A Greener County

Saving Climate Starts Here

Addressing the Climate Emergency

There is nothing more global—and more local—than the dire need to reverse the climate damage that is impacting our planet and our community. Fighting climate change is a major priority. 

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gift outside of box

Montgomery County DEP Readies Annual ‘Gift Outside the Box’ Campaign

County Executive Marc Elrich and partnering agencies kicked off Montgomery County’s third consecutive year of the "Gift Outside the Box" campaign to provide residents with ways to green their holiday.

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Easier Commutes


Dynamic Ride On Flex On-Demand Service Reshaping How Residents Get Around

Montgomery County’s first public microtransit service, Ride On Flex launched in June. This dynamic on-demand service offers new and affordable transportation options in the Rockville and Glenmont/Wheaton service areas.

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american legion bridge

County Executive Elrich’s Comments on the proposal to widen 495/270, including the proposal to rebuild the American Legion Bridge

Governor Larry Hogan has proposed an expansive and expensive widening of the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270; residents and elected leaders have expressed serious concerns with the proposal, including the lack of collaboration with local planning and transportation officials.  Montgomery County Executive Elrich appreciates that the Governor wants to address the issues of congestion but urged him to rethink the plans so that they respect the residents and communities; County Executive Elrich, along with Councilmembers and other elected officials, has proposed an alternative within the current boundaries. (See the map of proposed solution) He continues to offer to work with the State on a solution that makes sense.

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An Affordable and Welcoming County for a Lifetime

racial equity and social justice act

County Executive Marc Elrich Signs First Racial Equity and Social Justice Act

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich signed the Racial Equity and Social Justice Act on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Montgomery County is the first jurisdiction in Maryland to sign racial equity legislation, which ensures all residents are welcome, treated with respect and have opportunities to succeed.

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Elrich Announces Record Year of Finance through Montgomery County’s Housing Initiative Fund

Montgomery County’s Housing Initiative Fund invested $103.7 million – the highest level of financing in its 30-year history – to generate 3,254 apartment units, including 1,982 units that are affordable to those with income up to 60 percent of the County average.

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Two-Year Apartment Building Inspection Initiative

Montgomery County Executive Elrich Announces Completion of Two-Year Apartment Building Inspection Initiative That is Area’s Most Aggressive for Large Jurisdictions

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced that Montgomery County had completed its two-year initiative to inspect 686 apartment buildings -– a new protocol that is the most aggressive among large jurisdictions in the Washington area. Over the two-year inspection surge, 96 percent of 31,000 violations found at 686 buildings were corrected. The County continues working to ensure housing safety.

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Safe Neighborhoods

be safe be seen

County Launches ‘Be Safe, Be Seen’ Campaign to Increase Safety During Decreased Daylight

Montgomery County Government departments and agencies combined resources in November to launch one of the most aggressive campaigns in County history to make drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists aware of the added perils that come with time changes, and decreased hours of afternoon daylight occurring with the switch to Standard Time.

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Marcus Jones

Marcus Jones Sworn in as New County Chief of Police

Marcus Jones, a 34-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department, was formally sworn in as the County’s new police chief on Nov. 8, in ceremonies at Gaithersburg High School. County Executive Marc Elrich, who nominated him as chief in October, was among those at the ceremonies.

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Effective, Sustainable Government

AAA bond rating

County Will Continue Its ‘Triple-A’ Bond Rating

Montgomery County maintained its “Triple-A” bond rating for 2019 from the three major Wall Street bond rating agencies. The analysis from Standard & Poor’s stated, “We view the county's management as very strong, with strong financial policies and practices under our FMA methodology, indicating financial practices are strong, well embedded and likely sustainable.”

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turn the curve meetings

Montgomery County Employees are "Turning the Curve"

Montgomery County employees are taking action to improve operations and efficiency of government through innovation.

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FY20 Budget

Elrich Budget Seeks Sustainability, Invests in Early Childhood Education

County Executive Marc Elrich's recommended Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget delivered on the promises he made to County residents.

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