A New Year's Message from Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich

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December 31, 2020 | Bookmark and Share
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A New Year's Message from Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich

Happy New Years

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Dear Friends:

As I write to you on this last day of 2020, I don’t think any of us is sorry to see this year end. At the beginning of this year, we were focused on some important plans and events. Beginning in January, I travelled to Annapolis frequently to support the work of our State elected officials to improve and increase education funding. We released our capital budget in January, and we were working on a variety of projects to address early education, climate change, and economic development. All of us began to hear rumblings about some sort of virus in China, and by the beginning of March, many of us were quite concerned. The day I sent the operating budget to the Council for their review was the day the Governor shut down restaurant dining and other businesses, and public school across the State was cancelled for two weeks for what we thought would be an early and extended spring break.

Given where we are right now, it is jolting to remember how quickly everything changed, and we began to divide life into “before COVID” and our present. As you may remember, back in March, no one realized the magnitude of what we were facing. We all scrambled to understand the spread of the coronavirus and its implications. We tried to plan for multiple weeks of closures.  Little did we know that this would continue for many months. However, relatively quickly, we realized that County government could not simply shut down; operations needed to continue.

Our County employees pivoted quickly to a new way of doing business – this year, we have made enormous changes in the way we work and deliver services. Our first responders and frontline employees continued to provide service to our residents even while most of us stayed at home and stayed distant. I am enormously proud and appreciative of everyone’s work. 

So many of our residents also stepped up to help. People made and purchased all kinds of personal protective equipment, students and others delivered food, and groups raised funds to help those who were struggling. We learned to communicate virtually and to keep physically distanced while maintaining social connection.

This has been a tremendous period of change for all of us, and it has been a really difficult year.  Everyone has been touched or affected in some way by this virus. As hard as it has been, there is finally some relief in sight – the vaccines have begun to arrive and be distributed. It will still be some time before enough of us have received the vaccine and can begin to think about resuming our lives more fully. Until then, I must repeat – please proceed with caution and care. Please do not celebrate the end of this year in gatherings – this year, please celebrate in your own home so that next year, we can all gather together.

For now, I invite you to join hands virtually and help usher 2020 out the door and welcome 2021 with open arms. We will continue to stay in touch, and as COVID becomes less primary, we look forward to sharing more of our initiatives and work in many other areas.

Until then, I send wishes for a peaceful, joyous, and safe New Year.


Marc Elrich

Marc Elrich
County Executive