Glass Gazette: January 25, 2024

The Glass Gazette

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January 25, 2024

Transparency in Our Schools

Last August we all learned from the Washington Post about sexual harassment allegations against the former Farquhar Middle School principal and the systemic gaps within MCPS' oversight process that ignored the pleas of educators. Upon learning of this situation, Councilmember Dawn Luedtke and I immediately called for the Montgomery County Inspector General to conduct an independent investigation.

The public still has unanswered questions about the promotion process of Dr. Joel Beidleman, questions that must be answered to have full accountability and transparency within our school system. The public’s trust has been eroded and the school board must commit itself to leading with transparency and accountability.

On Wednesday the Inspector General released a third report on this situation, detailing four instances since 2019 in which the school system was notified of deficiencies in these processes, received recommendations for improvement and failed to take corrective action.

It is time for the school board to take decisive action.

I respect the role of the duly elected school board and urge them to act swiftly to bring closure to this matter.

Councilmember Glass at a recent hearing on this issue

Councilmember Glass at a recent hearing.

EPA Appointment

I am honored to have been appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee.

As one of 37 nationwide appointees to the Committee, I look forward to working with leaders from across the country to develop climate policies that protect our communities and our planet. 

It is imperative that local leaders are engaged in the federal policymaking process as we work to address the climate emergency we are experiencing.

You can read more about the work of the committee here.

Councilmember Glass in front of solar panels with text saying "Councilmember Glass Appointed: EPA Local Government Advisory Committee"

Appointment announcement photo

Investing in Burtonsville

For the last ten years I've been working with residents to bring more stores, restaurants and amenities to East County -- which is why the grand opening of Sprouts Farmers Market is a really big deal.

It was wonderful to see the community come together at Burtonsville Crossing to enjoy this new grocery store and get excited about all the new businesses on the horizon.

This type of economic redevelopment is only possible when the county, state and private sector partner together. My appreciation to the County Executive, colleagues on the Council (past and present) and the District 14 delegation in Annapolis (Senator Craig Zucker and Delegates Anne Kaiser, Pam Queen, Bernice Mireku-North and former delegate Eric Luedtke).

Let's continue building a better Burtonsville!

Councilmember Glass with Burtonsville community members celebrating the Sprouts opening.

Councilmember Glass joins community leaders at the Sprouts grand opening.

Capital Improvements Budget

The County Executive has released his recommended Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget for fiscal years 2025-2030. Of the $5.8 billion proposed capital budget, which funds our buildings and infrastructure, nearly 40% would support Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College, including necessary repairs and renovations at schools across the county and a new East County campus for Montgomery College. One-third of the budget would go towards transportation, namely expanding the Bus Rapid Transit system, making road improvements and bridge repairs, and increasing pedestrian safety.

Other funding priorities include investments in housing affordability, stormwater management and flood planning, public safety facilities such as fire stations and a Diversion Center, and creating economic development opportunities. You can learn more about what is included in the CIP here.

I look forward to hearing from residents about how to best invest our taxpayer funds. The public hearings for the CIP begin on Tuesday, February 6 — you can sign up to testify here.

A pie chart detailing the categories of the County Executive's proposed capital budget

A preview of the County Executive's capital budget.

Constituent Corner

A resident recently contacted my office about a permitting fee that was deemed too high because of a paperwork discrepancy. When applying for a permit to do home renovations, the resident included the size of the work area and the house’s total square footage on the application. The permit was approved, but the fee issued was mistakenly based on the house’s size, rather than the size of the work area, resulting in a bill that was almost three times higher than what it should have been. My team contacted the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services on the resident’s behalf, and they were ultimately able to resolve the issue for the homeowner without revising construction plans.

The Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services logo

I always want to facilitate communication between residents and County government.

Did You Know?

Metro recently eliminated the $2 fee for Senior SmarTrip cards! The Senior SmarTrip program allows customers ages 65 and up to pay reduced fares on Metrorail, Metrobus, and regional buses that accept SmarTrip. 

Eliminating the $2 fee removes the need for a third-party payment collection, which is currently a barrier to social service agencies and other organizations distributing the card. With this change, Metro is now even more affordable and accessible for seniors.

Senior SmarTrip cards are available at all County libraries, TRiPS stores, and the County Treasury office in Rockville.

A picture of the gold senior SmarTrip card

Senior SmarTrip is one of many programs designed to make Metro more accessible for everyone.

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