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2015 Annual Report

MEMORANDUM

Feb 3, 2016

To: Nancy Floreen, County Council President
From: Ike Leggett, County Executive signature of Ike Leggett
Subject: FY15 COUNTY ANNUAL REPORT

  1. A responsive and accountable County government
  2. Safe streets and secure neighborhoods
  3. An effective and efficient transportation network
  4. A strong and vibrant economy
  5. Healthy and sustainable communities
  6. Affordable housing in an inclusive community
  7. Children prepared to live and learn
  8. Vital Living for all of our residents

In 2014 and 2015, Montgomery County continued its track record of significant accomplishments, all aimed at making a great Montgomery County even better.

In this annual report for FY 2015, I outline many ways in which we continue to work to deliver efficient and effective government for the residents of Montgomery County.

Despite financial hardships for many of our residents and fiscal constraints for County programs and services, we are moving forward in building a better government that is more responsive and accountable; offers affordable housing in an inclusive community; provides an effective and efficient transportation network; maintains a strong and vibrant economy; ensures that children are prepared to live and learn; supports healthy and sustainable communities; ensures safe streets and secure neighborhoods and provides vital living for all residents.

Together, we have made a number of difficult decisions to ensure financial sustainability in the future. Although there are some signs of an economic upturn, hard choices remain. We must continue the work to ensure that our financial house remains in order. Our focus must be on providing basic services and we must make strategic investments to broaden opportunities for County families and County businesses.

I very much appreciate the partnership between myself, the Council, and other County agencies toward this end.

I have worked to:

  • Ensure that County government is discharging its primary responsibilities more efficiently, effectively, and with greater accountability through programs such as CountyStat, spendingMontgomery, dataMontgomery, and 311.
  • Mitigate the damage to the County from State budget cuts and federal budget decisions and instability;
  • Protect critical County services in education, public safety, and assistance to the most vulnerable in our midst; Seek additional revenue when needed;  and
  • Continue my focus to make sure that the County emerges from the current downturn in a stronger fiscal condition through prudent stewardship and investment in critical areas to boost our future tax base.

The FY15 budget continued our efforts to make County government more efficient and effective, and to weather what remains of this economic downturn while laying the groundwork to meet the challenges of the future.

Over the last nine years, we have closed more than $3 billion in budget gaps while putting the County’s fiscal house back in order and making the investments necessary to build a better future.

This signals that our hard work of fiscal responsibility is not done. We see lower-than-expected income tax revenues, a still fragile national economic recovery and the prospect of less State funding. While the FY15 budget was, essentially, a ‘same-services’ budget, my staff and I strategically looked for opportunities in it to improve job growth and expand our tax base.

Although carefully constrained in some areas, the budget continues the County’s significant investments in our schools, the creation of good jobs, transportation, affordable housing, public safety, our Positive Youth Development Initiative, our seniors, and in help for the vulnerable in our midst.

We are increasing our investment in biotech, expanding our focus on cyber security business and making sure that job-creating projects that are ready to go will receive needed permits within 30 days. This new initiative will get our buildings built, more jobs created, and will make the County’s tax base larger far sooner than before.

Among the highlights for 2015 are the following:


1. A RESPONSIVE AND ACCOUNTABLE COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Making Government More Effective & Accountable

  • Continued the MC311 Call Center and Web portal, a one-stop shop for County government information and services. In five years of operations, 311 has received more than three million calls and the Web portal, nearly 500,000 visits, with satisfaction rates that continue to be around 80 percent.
  • Established CountyStat, which reports and analyzes real-time data to hold County departments and agencies responsible and accountable. CountyStat enables data-driven decision making to help ensure more effective delivery of County services and programs, increases government transparency to our residents, supports departments with sophisticated data analysis and other services while driving collaboration between them, and has saved the County tens of millions of dollars through its work.
  • Held more than 20 Town Hall Meetings – more than all previous County Executives combined -- plus dozens of budget forums for residents to share their needs and priorities.
  • Participated in regular Online Chats with residents.
  • Continued progress on dataMontgomery, which improves government transparency with open access to a growing array of County data and information available such as County spending and neighborhood crime, and provides a way for the public to engage in a data-driven conversation with government on issues that matter to them.
  • Comprehensively studied building permit fees and adopted new fee structure that matter to them has resulted in significant decreases in fees for many commercial and residential building permits.
  • Launched ePermits and ePlans in Permitting Services to enable businesses and residents to submit plans and receive permits electronically 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, saving significant amounts of time, money, fuel, and paper.
  • Brought WSSC satellite office to co-locate with the Department of Permitting Services.
  • Began project in Wheaton to co-locate offices of the County’s Park & Planning Commission Permitting Services and Environmental Protection to create a one-stop shop for developers and residents, move County agencies out of leased space, and save the County – and residents – money.
  • Completed transition to an enterprise electronic transaction, inventory control, and record-keeping system for the Department of Liquor Control Warehouse, and installed state-of-the-art WiFi to support inventory and operations.  These changes will enable DLC to better serve its thousands of licensees and to continue to earn over $25 million in annual revenue to support the County’s General Fund. 
  • Began shipping new, high demand materials directly to library branches.
  • Instituted a new model for fulfilling library customers’ holds that reduced transfers between branches and cut down on wait times.

2. SAFE STREETS AND SECURE NEIGHBORHOODS

Fighting Crime

  • Funding for the Police Department increased by 13.8; began FY09 to FY15 - despite the Great Recession.
  • Although crime began to creep back up in 2014, total Part I offenses (the serious crimes) were still 22% lower than total Part I offenses 10 years ago (2005). In fact, even with the overall increase, the County experienced its second-lowest crime rate in the past 10 years.  
  • Overall, the crime rate per capita – 1,816 offenses per 100,000 residents – is very low for a county this size. In 2014, the national average according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations was 2,962 offenses per 100,000 residents.
  •  A new County Animal Shelter & Adoption Center opened in 2014 to replace the old dilapidated, facility and a new 3rd District (greater Silver Spring area) station opened to replace the original station house which was over 50 years old. 
  • Established a Managed Search Operations Team (MSOT) to become the County's primary search, rescue and recovery unit. The unit was honored with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for distinguished work in endangered missing person's incidents.
  • Began implementation of school bus camera enforcement program in conjunction with MCPS.
  • Opened in 2014 a new County Animal Shelter & Adoption Center to replace the old dilapidated, obsolete facility.

Making Our County Safe & More “Walkable”

  • Continued work on future “Bus Rapid Transit” system along dedicated right-of-way to connect and enable job growth as well as the 16-mile Purple Line, which is critical to the economic growth of the region and the State of Maryland.
  • Improved accessibility of bus stops for all pedestrians. Through FY15, constructed 1,251 ADA ramps and improved accessibility and pedestrian safety at more than 3,025 bus stops, adding 16.21 miles of sidewalks and 166,777 square feet of bus stop pads.
  • Increased communications regarding clearing sidewalks of snow and checking on neighbors in need.
  • Launched “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) High School Pedestrian Safety Campaign, which included educational bike rodeos and other outreach. Additionally, MCDOT completed 9 comprehensive and 5 partial evaluations at selected schools, followed by infrastructure improvements. 
  • Continued award-winning campaign, working with mall and parking-lot owners, to address pedestrian safety in parking lots, which account for one in four pedestrian incidents.
  • Ride On implemented improvements on 25 routes; won the TAM Transit System of the Year Award for large bus systems; and, expanded Kids Ride Free program to 8 p.m.
  • Implemented electronic customer information systems by introducing transit screens with real-time digital displays for Ride On, Metrobus, Metrorail, MARC, Bikeshare and zip car – as well as parking space availability systems in Silver Spring garages.
  • Began installation of electric vehicle charging stations in County parking facilities, as part of creating a sustainable transportation system. 
  • Invested $30 million over five years in the County’s first Comprehensive Pedestrian Safety program – targeting High-Incident Areas, where collisions are down 45 percent over five years, reducing pedestrian collisions and severe collisions, and reducing collisions by 35 percent where traffic calming measures have been installed.
  • Collisions reduced by 72 percent within a quarter mile of County schools targeted for engineering, education and enforcement under the “Safe Routes to Schools” program, which has assessed all County schools.
  • Promoted the County’s new “Road Code,” which allows for the design of safer streets for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Help for the Most Vulnerable

  • Continued three “Neighborhood Opportunity Network” service centers in Silver Spring, Wheaton and Gaithersburg to meet increased needs by low-income and working families during the Great Recession, bringing services closer to those in need and serving more than 10,000 residents a year.
  • Met increasing demand for income support and for home energy assistance.
  • Took a leading role in signing residents up under the federal Affordable Care Act, enrolling thousands of County residents.
  • Supported critical technology modernization within the Department of Health & Human Services to achieve more efficiencies and more effective and coordinated delivery of services.9
  • Expanded the Linkages to Learning program which serves more than 5,400 individuals per year at 29 schools.  Over 3,700 of them receive comprehensive behavioral health or social wraparound services. 
  • Delivered mental-health-care services to 53 percent more County residents between 2007 and 2013.
  • Trained more than 2,000 childcare providers annually and gave technical assistance to more than 1,000 providers.
  • Increased the local Working Families Income Tax Credit by more than 80 percent over eight years, despite the fiscal challenges of the Great Recession.
  • Increased the County’s commitment to battling homelessness, increasing the number of permanent supportive housing beds by more than 40 percent and initiated the “100,000 Homes” campaign in the County to reach out to medically needy homeless and place them in housing.
  • Replaced reduced federal funding to continue to deliver pre-natal care to 1,600 low-income young women through the County’s Maternity Partnership Program with local hospitals.
  • Implemented “Housing First” strategy that has helped to reduce the County homelessness by 11 percent.

3. AN EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION NETWORK

Expanding Transportation Options for All

  • Increased spending on primary and arterial road resurfacing from $37 million to $67 million and increased residential and rural road resurfacing from $17 million to $117 million in eight years.
  • Continued work on a future 90-mile “Bus Rapid Transit” system along dedicated right-of-way to connect and enable job growth.
  • Initiated a County “Bikeshare” program with 53 stations and hundreds of bikes in Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Rockville, Bethesda, Friendship Heights, and Shady Grove.
  • Secured federal funding, working with our Members of Congress, to support transportation upgrades needed to serve the expansion of the Bethesda Naval Center, a result of its consolidation with the Walter Reed Medical Center. The consolidation involves 2,500 more jobs in the County and a doubling of visitors to the Bethesda center.
  • Completed a six-year, $35 million upgrade of the County’s traffic management system and signals; installed extended battery back-ups for several hundred key signals.
  • Began parking meter payment by cell-phone program.
  • Provided real-time, automated schedule information via mobile devices for Ride On bus arrivals and departures

4. A STRONG AND VIBRANT ECONOMY

Putting the County’s Fiscal House in Order

  • Closed more than $3.2 billion in budget gaps over 9 years while protecting education, public safety, and help for the most vulnerable and while investing in the future.
  • Protected the County’s Triple-A bond rating over the last nine years, despite federal government wage freezes and sequesters, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in borrowing costs.
  • Boosted County financial reserves to their highest level in the County’s history to better help the County weather future economic downturns.
  • Continued to set aside substantial financial resources to deal with storms and other emergencies.
  • Continued course to fully fund retiree health benefits.

Building Our Future & Creating Good Jobs

  • In my inaugural speech on Dec. 1, 2014, I introduced his Six Point Economic Plan to position Montgomery County for greater economic success. Collectively, these six points represent some of the most pressing priorities to grow Montgomery County’s economy. The Six Point Economic Plan is part of a larger effort to plan for the County’s long-term economic success: the Comprehensive Economic Strategy.

One: MOVE/Build Incentives

Move
Move is a new business attraction tool available to companies who are leasing commercial office space in Montgomery County for the first time. Businesses new to the County’s office market receive a one-time grant of $8/square foot, up to a maximum of 10,000 square feet of Class A or B office space, or lab space. The goal of the program is to attract new companies to the County and reduce the office vacancy rate.

Build
Build is a new initiative under the Montgomery County Economic Development Fund designed to spur construction projects and turn vacant or old properties into tax revenues in the County. Build provides tax abatements for Class A office and hotel construction projects in Montgomery County for projects of at least 25,000 square feet (of either new or expansion space). Through this program, approved property owners receive an annual grant payment (lasting 10 years) equivalent to 25% to 50% of the additional real property taxes generated by the new development.

Two: MC Squared

MC Squared
MC Squared is a set of new and expanding programs to build the County’s innovation ecosystem and foster entrepreneurship through strategic public private partnerships.

Health IT Accelerator
Relevant Health is a new health IT Accelerator led by BioHealth Innovation with support from Montgomery County. It will provide early-stage companies focused on health IT with a product-focused curriculum to “accelerate” their business, while leveraging regional assets (the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Science and Technology, and the National CyberSecurity Center of Excellence).

Venture Mentoring Program
The Venture Mentoring program is a partnership between the Dept. of Economic Development (DED) and the Technology Council of Maryland modeled after MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service. It is a widely successful model that will provide the County’s burgeoning tech entrepreneurs with mentors who know how to make entrepreneurial ventures succeed.

1776 Partnership
1776 is one of the most exciting and strongest forces behind the DMV’s emerging tech scene. This energy is now being tapped to expand the range of services DED offers its entrepreneurs. DED, the County’s innovation lab (Thingstitute), and 1776 are partnering to establish test-beds for 1776 companies and will sponsor 1776’s global Challenge Festival.

Three: Montgomery County Transit Authority

Expanding transit in Montgomery County is critical to the County’s continued economic success. Creating the Montgomery County Transit Authority will enable the County to achieve this objective. Transit is vitally important for two reasons: (1) to reduce congestion on roads so residents, workers, visitors, and businesses can all efficiently move across the region; and (2) because several major master plan developments are tied to the existence of transit and cannot move forward without it. The County Executive reconvened the Transit Task Force to study the proposed Transit Authority and other considerations to build as much of the network as is financially and organizationally feasible.

Four: Streamlining Developments

Streamlining the development process has been a multi-year, multi-agency priority that is in direct response to feedback from the business community. The goal is to make County services more business friendly and spur economic growth by making it easier to navigate the development process and obtain building permits. Dozens of improvements have been achieved.  Two new streamlining efforts will augment the achievements the County has already made in modernizing the permitting process and eliminating duplicative steps.

30-Day Building Permit Review
The Department of Permitting Services is committing to completing its initial review and comment on properly prepared and electronically submitted commercial building plans within 30 calendar days. This commitment is made possible through the County’s investment in ePlans, which allows for concurrent reviews, and additional staff to assist with plan processing.

Development Ombudsperson
The Development Ombudsperson is a new position created to facilitate commercial and residential development projects through problem-solving and improved communication. This position will both shepherd high-priority projects through the development process, as well as identify systemic challenges in regulatory procedures and facilitate changes that bring about tangible improvements that save time and cost.

Five: ultraMontgomery

ultraMontgomery is the County’s plan to install super fast, 100 gigabit fiber infrastructure, connecting the County’s major economic assets and innovation communities. It will also expand free wireless access in public facilities. In the modern era, Internet connectivity and network infrastructure are fundamental to our economy, especially in a County that is pioneering rapidly evolving technological fronts in cyber security, IT, and biotech. Reliable, high-speed Internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for economic competitiveness.

  • Business roundtables and one-on-one meetings were conducted with business, broadband, and real estate stakeholders to assess the broadband needs of businesses in major commercial districts.
  • Planning work was performed to create public partnerships and deployment of three commercial fiber networks to connect Montgomery County with major data centers in Ashburn, Virginia via direct fiber routes under the Potomac River.  Ninety percent of all Internet traffic goes through Ashburn and shorter, direct fiber routes will support more cost-effective and robust ultra high speed networking. 

Six: Realigning the Workforce System

County Executive Leggett has convened a multi-stakeholder committee to define a new workforce system with a lead entity to coordinate all workforce programs in the County. This new entity will take the lead in ensuring that residents have access to opportunities and that businesses have access to the talent they need to thrive. The workforce lead organization will ensure that the County’s investments in workforce development are coordinated and that its programs are using innovative, high-quality approaches. This entity will also coordinate with the County’s economic development system and will be an integral part of the new Comprehensive Economic Strategy. www.mc6point.com . Montgomery County, Maryland

  • Continued work with the business, the community, the Planning Board, and the Council to craft the Great Seneca Science Corridor and White Flint master plans, which will grow life sciences, stimulate good jobs and commerce, and foster walk-able communities, connected by transit, where residents can live and work. These projects, together with the Smart Growth Initiative and the White Oak Science Gateway, are projected to create 100,000 new jobs in the County in the coming years – the largest single job boost in County history.
  • Continued to support BioHealth Innovation, a market-driven, public-private partnership to focus on assisting County companies with commercializing life sciences research developed locally, and helped win significant investment from China for the project.
  • Initiated an effort to boost the County’s nighttime economy in Silver Spring, Bethesda, Wheaton, Rockville, and Germantown to enhance lifestyle and entertainment offerings for “Millennials” -- young people looking to put down roots in communities with jobs and lifestyle options.
  • Continued the nation’s first local Biotechnology tax credit, designed to encourage investment in County biotechnology firms.
  • Moved Wheaton redevelopment forward with plans to locate the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission and County agencies on land near the Metro station, while investing in new housing nearby, and planning for a new combination library/recreation center, and working to incorporate Wheaton’s unique existing small businesses.

Helping Small Business

  • Brought the National Cybersecurity Center for Excellence to Montgomery County with $17 million in federal and state funding to establish the County as a national center for civilian cybersecurity.
  • Initiated the Montgomery “Open for Business” initiative to streamline the development approval process to save time and money so projects can be finished sooner, creating jobs sooner and adding to the County’s tax base. Changes can save up to a year off the timeframe for selected projects.
  • Expanded the County’s Small Business Reserve Program that encourages County departments to spend with local businesses.
  • Expanded the Small Business Plus program – investing over $36 million in County deposits in County-based community banks to leverage at least $70 million more in those banks’ assets devoted to new lending to small businesses in the County – gaining a good rate of return on investment for the County and creating hundreds of new jobs.
  • Made it easier to do business with the County by eliminating bid request and subscription fees, lowering, increasing direct purchase and informal solicitation thresholds, and unbundling large contracts to give small and minority businesses a better chance.

5. HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

  • Re-opened the newly renovated Plum Gar Neighborhood Recreation Center and the Scotland Neighborhood Recreation Center.
  • Dedicated and renamed the former Ken Gar Center to the Leonard D. Jackson Ken Gar Center.
  • Initiated design on 23 storm-water management pond retrofits, 5 stream restoration projects, 2 green street neighborhoods and 9 LID projects.
  • Restored over 7,803 linear feet of stream in the Anacostia Watershed.
  • Constructed 37 LID practices along Dennis Avenue.
  • Inspected over 1,100 storm-water management facilities.
  • Maintained a high level of service during labor strikes.
  • Handled a 30% increase in requests for recycling containers
  • Continued the EOB food scrap recycling demonstration project; provided training and educational materials to businesses implementing food scrap recycling collection programs.
  • Conducted significant outreach campaign in Connecticut Avenue Estates community to increase recycling, improve neighborhood aesthetics and control vermin.
  • Completed the Glen Hills Sanitary Study and recommended a new policy for County
  • Executive approval and Council adoption.
  • Provided data and analysis regarding establishment of the Ten-Mile Creek Special Protection
  • Area and implementation of the Ten Mile Creek Limited Master Plan Amendment.
  • Prepared 18 Water and Sewer Category Change Request applications.
  • Establishing forest cover on approximately 45 acres at the closed Oaks Landfill to provide 17 acres of credit towards meeting the MS4 permit requirements.
  • Handled over 1,400 environmental complaints and requests related to air, water quality, illegal dumping and noise.
  • Initiated the Benchmarking workgroup required by the Commercial Benchmarking Law; collaborated with Finance on the commercial PACE program.
  • Expanded watershed outreach efforts, particularly to native Spanish speakers. Hosted or participated in 103 outreach events reaching approximately 12,500 people.
  • Processed applications for 165 “Rainscape” projects that provide for storm-water controls on individual properties.

Smart Growth Initiative

  • Continued the County’s Smart Growth Initiative, which will significantly strengthen the County’s tax base by creating new, high-quality jobs and fostering growth and expansion of the County’s biotechnology sector.
  • County-owned land in the life science triangle and around the Shady Grove Metro will be more efficiently used to expand biotechnology efforts and to build transit-oriented housing – 6,000 new units near the Shady Grove Metro site, alone. Revenues from the sale of that land are being used to upgrade obsolete County facilities, saving the County hundreds of millions of dollars that otherwise would have been invested in obsolete facilities in the wrong places. It was said the Shady Grove Sector Plan, approved by the Council years ago, could never be implemented. We did it.

Water and Wastewater Policy Group

  • Completed the Glen Hills Sanitary Study to review the sustainability of the more than 500 septic systems in this community. Developed a proposed policy that supports the area master plan and addresses future septic system problems and limited sewer service. This work has involved briefing with community groups/civic organizations, individuals, the County Executive, the Planning Board and County Council members. A County Water and Sewer Plan text amendment was proposed and will be the topic of public hearing and Council work sessions before a new sewer policy for Glen Hills is adopted by the County Council.
  • Participated in a six month sewer facility planning effort for the Ten Mile Creek development area as identified by the County Council in the Ten Mile Creek Limited Master Plan. This involved working with a Citizen Advisory Committee composed of community representatives, environmental communities, and area developers. Numerous sewer alignments/options were reviewed for environmental impacts and technical sufficiency.
  • Worked closely with a developer and WSSC in the White Flint area to address sewer capacity concerns that may result in a sewer moratorium, which would halt this significant project.   
  • Developed and submitted semi-annual groundwater monitoring reports to Maryland Department of the Environment for the closed Gude and Oaks Landfills.
  • Prepared 25 Water and Sewer Category Change Request applications for either Council approval or Administrative approval.

Solid Waste Services

  • Increased recycling by everyone living and working in the County to over 60%, and continued efforts to further increase waste reduction and recycling and reach the 70% recycling goal by 2020 through: coordinating/participating in 334 outreach/educational events to interact with 41,270 residents directly; conducting seven community recycling events to collect 111 tons of confidential paper for shredding/recycling; continuing the education campaign to instill awareness of the recycling goal; and participating in radio interviews on several stations and networks in English and Spanish, to motivate everyone to recycle more.
  • Continued the EOB food scrap recycling demonstration project; provided training and educational materials to businesses implementing food scrap recycling collection programs.
  • Maintained ISO 14001 certification, upon annual independent audit of the Compost Facility’s Environmental Management System (EMS).  The auditor’s report stated, “This organization is strong in all of its processes beginning with the internal audits.  Nothing was found to even suggest they consider changing.  They take excellence to a new level. 
  • Earned from FM Global, the County’s insurance underwriter for the County’s Waste-to-Energy Facility, a $40,000 annual insurance premium reduction, as well as FM Global’s coveted designation of “Highly Protected Risk” status.  This was for implementing additional fire initiatives that protect the facility and its workers and minimize the probability of events that might disrupt the County’s integrated solid waste management system.
  • Increased rubble recycling at the Transfer Station through the addition of a soil screener, increased local recycling options for soil, created more options for managing clean asphalt and concrete and reduced trucking and disposal costs by an estimated $400,000 per year.

Environmental Policy and Compliance

  • Handled over 1,500 environmental complaints and requests related to air, water quality, illegal dumping, noise and other environmental compliance issues.
  • Led the Benchmarking Work Group, which provided recommendations to improve the County’s Commercial Benchmarking Law.  The Benchmarking Law requires buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to track energy usage, helping them identify potential opportunities for energy efficiency improvements and operating cost savings.
  • Collaborated on the development of the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which will allow commercial property owners to borrow money for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects, and repay the loan via their property tax bill.
  • Expanded the Green Business Certification Program to recognize other third party certification programs including B Lab, Green America, Green Restaurant Association, and Green Seal; 83 businesses and organizations are recognized by the program.
  • Over 700 people attended the first annual Montgomery County GreenFest, which featured a wide variety of environmentally themed activities, including for-profit and non-profit vendors, films as part of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, speakers including U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, and an electric vehicle car show.  Partners in the event included the cities of Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Takoma Park; Montgomery College; Montgomery Parks; WSSC; and Bethesda Green, Green Wheaton, Poolesville Green, and Silver Spring Green. 
  • Began tree planting activities funded by the Tree Canopy Law with the planting of 47 trees on residential and multi-family properties in spring 2015; anticipate planting more than 500 trees starting in fall 2015 as a result of program applications received to date.

Watershed Management

  • Completed third generation Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit with retrofit of 1,726 impervious acres completed and the remaining 2,162 acres in design or construction.
  • Completed construction projects, consisting of stormwater management pond retrofits, stream restorations, and Low Impact Development facilities, treating an impervious area of approximately 386 acres. 
  • Initiated design on 18 stormwater management pond retrofits, 2 stream restoration projects and 1 green street neighborhood. 
  • Restored over 3,244 linear feet of degraded stream channels and eroding stream banks in the Anacostia and Rock Creek Watersheds.
  • Inspected over 2,000 stormwater management facilities.
  • Completed over 1,800 work orders for repair and maintenance of private and publically maintained stormwater facilities.
  • Monitored over 100 stream sites across the County for water quality, biological communities, and habitat conditions.
  • Created the Watershed Restoration and Outreach grants, which resulted in the distribution of $371,000 to 13 community organizations for watershed improvement projects
  • Processed 285 RainScapes rebate applications that provide for stormwater controls on individual properties.

6. AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

Housing for Working Families

  • Continued my program to acquire and preserve affordable housing; so far nearly 15,000 units of affordable housing for working families over the past nine years, despite a severe reduction in non-County matching funds due to the recession.
  • Continued one of the most aggressive home foreclosure prevention campaigns in the nation, counseling more than 13,000 County residents.

7. CHILDREN PREPARED TO LIVE AND LEARN

  • Expanded positive youth development programs which address critical issues during out-of-school time such as social isolation, safety & supervision/ affordable care, wellness/ obesity, and food insecurity.
  • Established a formal partnership with the Alliance for A Healthier generation to implement Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards in Out-of-School Time programming; expanded Excel Beyond the Bell –now serving 7 schools; Expanded RecZone to Watkins Mill HS; introduced Fun, Food, Fitness in partnership with MCPS Food in Nutrition Services serving over 14,000 summer meals and 257,566 snacks and meals throughout the year in MCR programs. 
  • Expanded access to the National Association of Counties (NACo) award-winning self-guided STEM learning Go! Kits.  These kits for children that contain mini iPads, educational toys and books can now be borrowed at 11 library branches.
  • The Recreation Department’s financial assistance program provided 3,474 residents with demonstrated financial need, an opportunity to register for Recreation Department programs and services for a reduced rate.
  • Library staff was trained in the latest techniques for advancing early literacy and STEM learning.
  • Increased library story-time programs by 45% and story-time attendance by 164%.
  • Added Early Literacy computer stations with best-in-class learning software for children at all library branches.
  • Installed the County’s first Early Literacy Center in the new Silver Spring Library, creating a destination for families that is both fun and educational.
  • Developed self-guided STEM learning stations, which were featured in School Library Journal, in all library branches.
  • Introduced a new Readers’ Advisory service, Beanstack, to connect children and caregivers with book recommendations.
  • Piloted a new online Summer Reading program.
  • Began offering Tumblebooks, a new e-story book collection.

Excellence in Education

  • Won $4.1 billion in State operating dollars for schools over eight years, increasing from $396 million in 2007 to $624 million in 2014, with per-pupil spending increasing from $2,473 in 2007 to nearly $4,000 in 2014 -- a 63 percent increase.
  • Increased County capital funding to historic levels to meet support needed MCPS modernizations, renovations, additions and other projects.
  • Won over $300 million in State school construction funds for Montgomery County over eight years, $50 million more than the total in the eight years before he took office.
  • Increased funding for Montgomery College at a time of record enrollment increases.
  • Supported the growth of the Universities at Shady Grove, including a much-needed $20 million garage project that made possible a 2014 State appropriation of $4.3 million to construct a new biosciences and engineering building.
  • Montgomery College awarded nearly 3,000 degrees and certificates in FY 15, the highest number ever.
  • The Montgomery College Foundation raised a record $1.8 million for scholarship awards in FY15, the largest amount in its 33 year history.
  • Montgomery College became the first community college in the country to earn Green Seal certification for cleaning services.
  • Montgomery College opened state-of-the-art Cybersecurity Lab, funded in part by the federal TAAACCT grant, and launched two-semester CyberAdvantage career program.
  • Montgomery College was awarded more than $4 million for the creation of two nursing education programs from the Maryland Higher Education Commission in conjunction with the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission.
  • Montgomery College formed a seminal partnership with the Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, the first-ever hospital on a community college campus.
  • Montgomery College opened the state of the art Bioscience Education Center to support the mission of providing educational excellence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
  • Montgomery College received statewide and national recognition for excellence in student scholarship and teaching: KenYatta Rogers was named Maryland Professor of the Year; College President DeRionne P. Pollard was given the American Association of Community Colleges Emerging Leader Award; and 2015 graduates Fidelis Militante and Daniel Albuquerque awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF) Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, selected from among 2,061 applications, representing 540 community colleges.

8. VITAL LIVING FOR ALL OF OUR RESIDENTS

  • Thousands of people joined us to open the new Silver Spring Library in downtown Silver Spring.  Located along the route of the future Purple Line, the new Silver Spring Library has state of the art WiFi, a computer lab, meeting rooms and plenty of electronic and printed books and audio materials. 
  • Complete overhaul of the Library’s network infrastructure to make it more reliable and secure, remove bottleneck, and enable deployment of robust enterprise WiFi.
  • Awarded a NACo award for MCPL’s partnership model, “Libraries and Communities:  Collaborative Partnerships for Success.” 
  • Received Honorable Mention Innovation Award from the Urban Libraries Council for MCPL’s “Service Beyond Our Walls” model.
  • Kicked off the Library Refurbishment and 21st Century Library Enhancements refresh cycle at Twinbrook Library.
  • Increased library branch hours at 16 locations.
  • Opened new, state of the art Silver Spring Library on June 20, 2015.
  • Opened KID Museum location at the Davis Library.  There have been more than 15,000 visitors to date.
  • Installed Smart technologies in the meeting room at Silver Spring Library.
  • Received $800K in state capital grant funds to refresh Davis and Little Falls libraries in FY16.
  • Provided meeting space for groups such as the Richard Montgomery High School’s Robotics Club that has used the space to build award-winning robots.
  • Hosted more than 4,000 hours of library meeting room use by 440 groups.
  • Held 8,000+ programs at library branches across the County including: 41 different health programs (smoking cessation, cooking for diabetes, meditation and yoga); 191 SCORE events to provide Small Business guidance.
  • Increased Libraries Outreach visits by 184%.
  • Increased Libraries staff visits to schools by 26%.
  • Coordinated library marketing efforts in branches and neighborhoods, as well as across social media platforms.
  • Expanded Libraries e-magazine collection by introducing Flipster, an e-magazine resource.
  • Upgraded the Library system’s catalog and account services to a robust cloud-based system.
  • Added NoveList Select, a readers’ advisory database, to help library customers find readalikes.
  • Introduced new email readers’ advisory service, “What Do I Check Out Next?” to provide reading recommendations to library customers.
  • Held more than 1,000 conversation club programs in library branches for attendees to practice language skills.
  • Created or expanded:
    • Vietnamese collections at Gaithersburg and Silver Spring libraries.
    • Amharic collections (including DVDs) at Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and White Oak libraries.
  • Worked with communities to expand Libraries’ Chinese collections and Korean Children’s collections.
  • Accepted a donation of Farsi language children’s materials from members of the Persian community.
  • Provided 66,048 hours of English language instruction through Libraries’ partners at the Gilchrist Center.
  • Launched the Senior Center Transportation Service, in partnership with the Jewish Council on Aging, which makes available curb-to-curb, fixed route transportation to and from Senior Centers for county residents 55 and older.
  • Expanded senior travel options by restoring the senior mini-trip program to provide every Active Adult 55+ program with four trips per year.
  • I and Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) collaborated with County Police, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, the Department of Natural Resources and the police departments of neighboring jurisdictions to crack down on unlicensed home improvement contractors by sharing information and working together to file criminal charges against individuals who have victimized homeowners.
  • In FY14, OCP launched a comprehensive outreach campaign that included advertisements on buses, direct mail, and “Sticky” advertising labels on local newspapers to help ensure that underserved residents in Montgomery County are aware of the unique services and assistance provided by OCP.
  • OCP embarked upon its new role as Patient Advocate regarding the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Insurance Reimbursement program that included developing and implementing a program of high-level customer service to both county and non-county residents and serving as liaison with Fire Rescue Service’s 3rd party vendor.
  • OCP collaborated with the County Police, State’s Attorney’s Office, and the MVA to investigate and initiate criminal prosecution of illegal car sellers, commonly referred to as “curbstoners.”
  • Design for Life – launched the Design for Life Tax Credit program to help offset the costs of making homes accessible for all.
  • Tree Canopy/Roadside Tree – launched programs to protect Montgomery County’s tree canopy and roadside trees to reduce impacts of construction on natural resources – During the fiscal year 191 trees were planted under the Tree Canopy program and $423,000 offset fees was collected. Under the Roadside Tree Protection law 147 Roadside Tree Protection Plans were approved and $83,250 was collected for trees that were not able to be saved.
  • Recipes for Success – helping the food service industry to locate and expand in Montgomery by creating a multi-agency review panel to go over plans and single portal for all agency applications through the DPS website.

Saving Lives and Protecting Our Property

  • We broke ground on the relocated Public Safety Training Academy & Glenmont Fire/Rescue Station, as well as relocated & consolidated our Logistics warehouse, self-contained breathing apparatus maintenance shop with the MCFRS Central (Fleet) Maintenance Facility some other public safety entities on Southlawn Dr.
  • We’ve improved fire and rescue services by building 5 fire-rescue stations and adding a firefighter/paramedic to 28 fire engines. By investing in operations, personnel and equipment, we’ve improved emergency response times for ALL County residents in the last four years. And, quicker response times translate into lives saved.
  • Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services also initiated weekly visits to the homes of elderly residents to address fire safety risks and tripping hazards, while also ensuring they have a home escape plan.
  • These and other Fire Safety Task Force recommendations have contributed to a reduction in fire deaths among seniors to less than half the number we had when we began the effort several years ago.

Seniors

  • Supported the Senior Agenda, a blueprint for the future initiated by the County Commission on Aging.
  • Supported the development of neighborhood Villages in Montgomery County, growing the number of Villages from four active villages in 2009 to fourteen active villages plus nine in development, by 2015.
  • Increased communication, education and outreach regarding County senior services through updates to the Seniors website, County Cable TV, advertisements and other informational channels and programs.
  • Continued intergenerational programs by JCA Heyman Inter-ages Center and OASIS, in addition to RSVP program that engaged nearly 500 volunteers in supporting 33 nonprofits and agencies.
  • Continued and expanded engaging programming at five Senior Centers and 11 Active Adult Recreation programs for County residents, age 55+. 
  • Acquired or preserved more than 9,000 units of affordable housing. Future senior housing projects include nearly 400 new units at Park View at Aspen Hill, White Flint firehouse and Churchill Senior Living II (Germantown).
  • Licensed 60 accessory apartments and continue to consider 28 applications in the pipeline to expand affordable housing for seniors.
  • Reinvested savings from Call-n-Ride technology upgrades to expand income eligibility for subsidized taxi program for low-income persons over age 67. Also maintained free and reduced bus fares, transportation to senior centers and groceries for those in need and Connect-A-Ride information and referral service for those age 50+ and/or disabled.
  • Improved “walkability” and accessibility by constructing, repairing and improving sidewalks and bus stops across the County while continuing to improve pedestrian safety through education, enforcement and engineering.
  • Increased Adult Day Care subsidies in FY15 to expand the number of clients able to attend Adult Day program twice/week for socialization and medical supervision. At the same time, maintained home care for frail elders in need of chore services, mental health care, etc.
  • Maintained and expanded protections against abuse and neglect by expanding staff capacity of Long Term Care Ombudsman program to protect more than 7,700 County residents in 190 assisted living facilities and 34 nursing homes; and, by expanding staff capacity of Adult Protective Services to address increasing number of investigations.
  • Continued and strengthened MCFRS and MCPD outreach to seniors regarding safety issues, including a new MCPD initiative to help seniors who may be missing or unsure of their location.
  • Opened the White Oak Center with a senior wing, including a nutrition lunch program, which will enable additional participation by seniors in recreation programs.
  • Initiated a senior transportation service, in partnership with the Jewish Council on Aging, which provides door-to-door transportation to County senior centers for seniors in need.
  • Initiated the Senior Transportation Partnership with the Jewish Council on Aging for door-to-door transport to senior centers
  • Increased resources for Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Adult Day Care and in-home nurse monitoring services.
  • Expanded income eligibility for Call-N-Ride program.

Diversity

  • 9,115 residents gained English as a Second Language (ESOL), Spanish or computer skills in volunteer-taught Gilchrist Center classes.
  • 8,490 residents were referred to services by phone or in person.
  • 849 agencies have received 41,242 referrals from 10,267 volunteers through Volunteer Center website between July 2014 and June 2015.
  • 4,237 residents were served through partner agencies’ classes at Gilchrist Centers
  • 118 classes were offered in FY2015.
  • 143 volunteers taught classes and/or provided program support at the Center, contributing a total of 6,485 hours and leveraging $149,609.
  • The Gilchrist Center opened its office at East County Regional Services Center.
  • The Center expanded its partnership with Montgomery College Community Engagement Center in East County.
  • The Center strengthened its partnership with MCPS International Admissions Office and conducted extended outreach during the summer.
  • Through the outreach, the Center assisted 794 minors and their families.
  • The Center connected 220 families directly to programs and services offered by government and NGOs
  • MLK Day: 4,578 volunteers participated in 101 different projects throughout the County. Our signature event at the Marriott Conference Center hosted a volunteer fair and service projects for 2,200 volunteers. Our partner sites in Silver Spring and Gaithersburg hosted an additional 1,280 volunteers. And we helped recruit for more community organizations hosting their own MLK Day service projects.
  • Montgomery Serves Awards event recognized community leaders and volunteers at annual event in April.
  • Community Service Week in October: 3,124 volunteers contributed 8,782 hours across 162 service projects.
  • Workshops for nonprofits: In addition to our monthly orientations for nonprofits where we trained 450 agency staff in FY15, the Volunteer Center hosted a number of trainings as capacity building sessions for nonprofits.
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program American Association of Retired Persons (RSVP/AARP) volunteers made 1,310 knitted items for shelters and other nonprofits.
  • Tax Aide Program: 120 volunteers served over 16,000 hours at 25 locations throughout Montgomery County, filing 4,541 tax returns resulting in over $4.3 million in refunds.
  • Pro Bono Consulting Program: Matched 34 professional consultants as pro bono service providers to nonprofits.
  • Received the Volunteer Generation Fund Grant of $25,000 for November 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.
  • 9,115 residents gained English as a Second Language (ESOL), Spanish or computer skills in volunteer-taught Gilchrist Center classes.
  • 8,490 residents were referred to services by phone or in person.
  • 4,237 residents served through partner agencies’ classes at Gilchrist Centers.
  • 118 classes were offered in FY2015. 143 volunteers taught classes and/or provided program support at the Center, contributing a total of 6,485 hours and leveraging $149,609.
  • Opened its office at East County Regional Services Center.
  • Expanded its partnership with Montgomery College Community Engagement Center in East County.
  • Strengthened its partnership with MCPS International Admissions Office and conducted extended outreach during the summer.
  • Through the outreach, the Center assisted 794 minors and their families.
  • The Center connected 220 families directly to programs and services offered by government and NGOs

Montgomery County Sister Cities

  • Montgomery College attended the University of Gondar's 60th year anniversary in Ethiopia. The College presented a proclamation from the County Executive to the University as a gesture of our Sister City relationship. 
  • Northwestern Chinese American Association of Greater Washington celebrated the signing of the Sister City Agreement with Xi’an at the Rockville Library on August 12. About 100 community members attended along with the County Executive.
  • September 13 the Sister Cities Montgomery/ Morazán, El Salvador Committee held its annual Fiesta at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The fiesta was well attended as more than 200 people demonstrated their support to the Sister Cities program. All the funds collected from the Fiesta will go toward the Sister City projects in Morazán, El Salvador. 
  • 12-day mission trip to India and Taiwan broadened Montgomery County’s reach in education, biotech and other high-tech areas and helped local businesses and Montgomery College extend their markets in India. 
  • The delegation opened doors for county businesses, established a “Sister City” relationship with Hyderabad, a major IT hub in India dubbed “cyberabad,” and furthered the study of languages, cultures and the humanities through the signing of a collaboration agreement between the Global Institute of Humanities at Montgomery College and Jindal Global University. 
  • Nine Montgomery County companies participated in the trip including seven that are headquartered in the County and two Indian companies that have a significant presence in the County.
  • Some of the highlights of business development and educational activity include:
    • A “Sister City” pact with the Indian city of Hyderabad that was inked by Leggett to deepen economic, cultural and civic ties under the nonprofit Montgomery Sister Cities program established in 2008. Previous Sister City partners include Morazán, El Salvador; Gondar, Ethiopia; and Xi’an, China. 
    • MOU between Montgomery College officials and O.P. Jindal Global University located in Raipur will allow 15 faculty members to study and teach in India. 
    • Throughout the trip, Montgomery College promoted its newly constructed Hercules Pinkney Life Sciences Park, located on the Germantown Campus, to more than 30 prospective Indian companies interested in establishing a U.S. presence.         
    • In addition to providing job creation and experiential learning opportunities, the Hercules Pinkney Life Sciences Park resident partner tenant, Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, is the only hospital located on the campus of a community college and offers hands-on, practical learning in the most advanced medical technology to the College’s Health Sciences students. 

Community Partnerships, Festivals, and Celebrations

  • The County’s Children Fleeing Violence Workgroup participated in the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs meeting hosted by Prince George’s Public Schools at High Point HS. 
  • The County kicked off African Heritage Month at the Silver Spring Civic Building during a reception hosted by members of County Executive’s African Affairs Advisory Group.
  • The Second Annual Friendship Picnic drew 1,000 people to Wheaton Regional Park to celebrate the richness of our cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity.
  • The Second Annual Montgomery County Executive Hispanic Gala was held at the Fillmore in Downtown Silver Spring. Sixty students each received $2,000 scholarships.
  • Faith Community Working Group and World Organization for Resource Development and Education co-hosted “Understanding the ISIS Threat to The Homeland.”
  • World of Montgomery Festival was attended by 5,000 at Westfield Wheaton.
  • 703 employees and retirees donated $249,825 in the Annual Employee Giving Campaign to community nonprofits, an increase of about $10,000 above 2013 giving.
  • Recruited local attorneys to take cases of the children fleeing violence in Central America. 
  • Assisted Montgomery County Bar Foundation in hiring the Legal Services Coordinator under community grant. Montgomery County Legal Interpreter Network Coordinator is gathering information on legal service providers in Montgomery County to create a comprehensive resource document for both service providers and residents.
  • MLK Commemorative Committee hosted Montgomery County’s 21st Annual Birthday Tribute and Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at The Music Center at Strathmore with funding from the Fund for Montgomery.
  • Montgomery County was the only local government invited to participate in Migration Policy Institute’s conference on Unaccompanied Child and Family Migration April 30-May 1 in Washington, DC.
  • Asian Pacific American (APA) Advisory Group held an APA Heritage Month Celebration on May 14 at the Rockville Library.
  • Caribbean American Advisory Group co-sponsored Strathmore’s June 7 free, family-friendly festival Discover Strathmore – “Colors of the Caribbean.”
  • World Refugee Day was a success with more than 200 volunteers, guests, and clients.

 

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