About Councilmember Navarro

I serve as the Council Vice-President and the Montgomery County Councilmember representing District 4. I am the chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and also serve on the Health and Human Services Committee.

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November 12, 2010

The African Youth Kaleidoscope: A Framework for Innovation

8th Annual Conference: November 19-20, 2010
The African Youth Kaleidoscope: A Framework for Innovation
Hosted by the African Immigrant & Refugee Foundation and Montgomery College

Silver Spring, MD – The African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation (AIRF) whose mission is to facilitate the effective transition of African immigrants to American society and to support the productive and sustainable integration into their new homeland, will host its 8th Annual Youth Conference in partnership with Montgomery College and University African Students Associations on Friday and Saturday, November 19-20. Mr. Bill Strassberger, Chief of the U.S. State Department Public Affairs Bureau of African Affairs, will be the keynote speaker.

This year’s conference is titled "The African Youth Kaleidoscope: A Framework for Innovation,” and will be held on the Silver Spring/Takoma Park Campus of Montgomery College, 7600 Takoma Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912 from 8:30 AM to 4 PM. Metered parking and a parking garage are available. The campus is accessible by Ride-On buses, and by Metro: Red Line to Silver Spring station, then transfer to Ride-On Bus Route 17 or 18.

A diverse group of speakers and presenters -- including high school and university students, educators, service providers, philanthropists, elected officials, other nonprofit leaders and shareholders in the African community -- will address the need for broader understanding of these newcomers. The conference goal is to challenge the youth to be innovative in creating solutions for eminent identity issues, social, economic and technical challenges facing them in their new home and in the global world, including their homes of origin. Two universities in Africa have been invited to share their innovations through skype to enrich the dialogue and collaboration. Elected officials will be on hand to educate, inform and encourage civic participation on issues important to the community.

Among the conference highlights will be a special guest, Ms Cora Weiss, who will tell the story of how she became a member of a group of Black and White Americans who understood that in post-colonial, independent Africa, there could be no government, no democracy and no justice without education. To realize this noble vision, an organization known as the African American Students Foundation (AASF) was established and Ms. Weiss volunteered to serve as its Executive Director. The AASF answered Tom Mboya's cry from Kenya and offered to raise funds to provide airlifts in 1959 for over 900 Kenyans to study in American colleges and universities in order to become leaders when their country became independent from Britain 1963. Barack Obama senior was in the first Airlift and Wanjiru Kamau, the founder and director of the African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation, was in the fourth Airlift.

Students from local high schools Blair, Spring Brook and Cardozo High School, alumni from the AIRF after-school programs and their mentors from Howard, Georgetown, American Universities and the University of North Carolina, will share their experiences of their new homeland.

Panel discussion topics during the two-day conference, November 19-20, include: Innovations in Science, Technology and the Arts; In Our Voices: Our Stories and Lived Experiences, featuring area high school and college student presentations; Scholarships and Financial Aid: Opportunities for Education; Policy Making and Advocacy, with several state and county elected officials; Public Health and Nutrition: Wellness Promotion and Disease Prevention; Violence Prevention: Bullying in Schools and Conflict Resolution; Community Collaborations and Resources; Entrepreneurs and Social Enterprise; Philanthropy, Leadership and Community Service Learning Opportunities: A Time to Give Back.

Tables will be made available for the distribution of resource materials and information regarding area health and human service programs, non-profit organizations offering community service learning hours for students, scholarships and educational opportunities, announcements of upcoming events, etc.

Following the Saturday panels and presentations, there will be a banquet in honor of AIRF’s volunteers, alumni, mentors/tutors and current African Club members. All participants and guests are invited to attend for a donation of $25. The Georgetown African Student Association will provide the music.

For more information and fees, and to register, please visit www.airfound.org. Registration include breakfasts, lunches and snack breaks. You can also call Desta Anywio at 202-234-AIRF (2473) or send an e-mail to info@airfound.org.


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November 8, 2010

Councilmember Nancy Navarro Hosts Snow Removal Presentation

Last winter, hundreds of residents contacted my office regarding snow removal in the County. Many believed that their streets were the last to be plowed, and others expressed concerns about coordination with utility companies. In anticipation of upcoming winter weather, I contacted the Department of Transportation's Division of Highway Services and requested a presentation to address questions and concerns raised by District 4 residents about the County's snow removal processes. Please join me for this presentation by Division of Highway Services Chief Keith Compton, followed by a question and answer period.

When: Wednesday, November 17, 7-9 p.m.

Where: Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, 3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904

What: Presentation on Snow Removal Processes in Montgomery County

Who: Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro and Department of Transportation Division of Highway Services Chief Keith Compton
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October 21, 2010

Montgomery Organizational Reform Commission to Hold Public Forum

FOR INFORMATION:  Justina Ferber 240-777-7938 / Neil H. Greenberger 240-777-7939

Montgomery Organizational Reform Commission
to Hold Public Forum
TONIGHT, Wed., Oct. 20, Residents Can Offer Suggestions
 On Consolidating / Reorganizing County Government

ROCKVILLE, Md., October 20, 2010—The Montgomery County Organizational Reform Commission, which was appointed by the Montgomery County Council and the County Executive, at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Wednesday, Oct. 20, will ask the public for its opinions on restructuring the current organization of County Government and County-funded agencies.

The eight-member commission, which was named in July, was created at the urging of Councilmember Roger Berliner and County Executive Isiah Leggett. It is composed of County residents who are experienced in government, business and non-profit service delivery. The volunteer commission, which is scheduled to provide recommendations to the Council and the Executive by Jan. 31, has been gathering information in its initial phase in order to provide the County Council with a status report, which was delivered on Sept. 30. 

The commission will ask residents to help fulfill its mission by holding a public forum in the Third Floor Hearing Room of Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Residents can sign up in advance to speak by calling 240-777-7814 or 240-777-7938. If time allows, speakers who do not sign up in advance will also be able to offer suggestions. The commission said that items in writing will be most helpful.

Since starting its work, the commission has been soliciting ideas and suggestions for potential reorganization or consolidation from elected officials; residents; business and community leaders; County and agency employees; bargaining unit representatives; and other stakeholders. 

The commission will draft and adopt written criteria to evaluate which suggestions merit further consideration by the commission.  The criteria must include a minimum level of potential cost savings; a standard for ease of implementation; and a measure of acceptable service level impact.

The Council appointees to the commission are Scott Fosler of Chevy Chase, who has served as president of the National Academy of Public Administration and is a former County Councilmember; Daniel Hoffman of Rockville, who for the past nine years has experience managing organization transformation and business process re-engineering as a senior associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Washington Federal Practice; Vernon H. Ricks, Jr., of Potomac,  a former Takoma Park City Councilmember who has served on the boards of directors of Maryland Municipal League and the National League of Cities and a former executive with Xerox Corporation; and Len Simon of Bethesda, the president of the Edgemoor Citizens Association and an employee of the Washington-based firm Simon and Company that assists local governments in federal affairs.

County Executive Leggett’s appointees to the commission are M. Cristina Echavarren of Chevy Chase, an executive with a non-profit organization who is experienced in modernizing budget and accounting processes; Joan Fidler of Bethesda, the president of the Montgomery County Taxpayers League; Susan Heltemes of Silver Spring, who has led and managed teams for nationally recognized research firm Westat; and Richard Wegman of Bethesda, the former chief counsel and staff director of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Governmental Affairs and former chair of the County Executive’s Green Economy Task Force.

The commission was directed to submit a status/progress report to the Council and the Executive outlining its progress to date and its future work plan. The commission must submit its final report to the Executive and Council no later than Jan 31.

Many of the best ideas come from County residents, so I’m glad the Organizational Reform Commission is holding this public forum,” said Council President Nancy Floreen. “We are looking at a very constrained budget in the next year, and we expect the commission will provide us with smart alternatives to achieve efficiency while minimizing impacts to service.  I encourage anyone with a good idea to share it with the commission.

The final report must contain the commission’s recommendations to reorganize or consolidate functions performed by County government or County-funded agencies.  For each recommendation for reorganization or consolidation, the commission’s report must include the rationale and estimated cost savings associated with implementing the recommendation. Any organizational proposal for County government in the commission report must take the form of a reorganization plan that the Executive could submit to the Council under Charter §217.
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Halloween Safety Reminders

Halloween Safety Reminders from the Montgomery County Police Department: 

As families in Montgomery County are making their plans for Halloween observances, the Montgomery County Police Department would like to offer the following important safety reminders. Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger strongly recommends that each family take time to review basic safety tips with their children and encourage their use. Minimizing safety risks will help ensure a Happy Halloween for everyone.

1. The most important safety tip is to “trick-or-treat” only in neighborhoods and at homes known to your family. It is never advisable to take children to an unknown community, apartment complex, or townhouse development simply because there are not a lot of homes in your community and you want to provide a greater trick or treating experience for your child.

2. A parent, other familiar adult, or responsible older brother or sister should always accompany younger children.

3. Older children should plan out a trick-or-treating route with their parents, wear a watch, and return home at an agreed upon time. They could carry a mobile phone to stay in contact.

4. Children should never approach a home without lights, nor is it advisable to take candy that has been left in a container outside a home.

5. Children should not eat any collected candy until an adult has inspected it.

6. Any unwrapped or partially wrapped candy should be thrown away.

7. Make sure your yard is clear of items such as ladders, hoses, dog leashes, and flower pots that could trip young children.

8. Battery powered jack-o’-lantern candles are preferable to using a real flame.

9. If you do use candles, place the pumpkins well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.

10. Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won’t be blown into a burning candle.

Children should carry a flashlight when trick or treating. They should walk on sidewalks where available, and cross the street at the corner or in a crosswalk. Walk on the left side of the road facing traffic if there are no sidewalks. When crossing: look left, right, and left again before going out into the street.

Other general safety tips include wearing flame-retardant, brightly-colored, or reflective costumes of a length that won’t cause tripping. Face make-up is preferable to wearing a mask, but if a child is wearing a mask it should not impair the child’s vision.

Motorists are advised to drive slower and with extra caution through neighborhoods on Halloween. Watch for children in the street and on medians, and exit driveways and alleyways carefully.

Halloween falls on Sunday this year which means there may be more Halloween parties throughout the weekend. Any adults attending a party where alcohol is being served should utilize a designated driver, or take other measures to prevent drinking and driving. Parents of teens should take responsibility to make certain that alcohol is not available at teen Halloween parties.

Following these common sense practices adds an extra measure of safety for those families who would like to allow their children to trick or treat, and for those teens and adults who may be enjoying Halloween parties.

There are also good safety tips provided by area Humane Societies/Animal Shelters for families with pets:

• Keep pets inside. Pets, especially cats, can be vulnerable targets for pranksters on Halloween night. Keep them safe indoors to avoid possible trouble.

• More chocolate is sold on Halloween than at any other time of year. Be sure to keep pets away from candy bowls to avoid accidental ingestion of chocolate, which is harmful to dogs and cats. Also beware of candy wrappers, which can be hazardous if swallowed.

• Beware of jack-o’-lanterns lighted with candles - a wagging tail can easily knock them over and cause a fire hazard. Or a curious kitty can get his paws or nose burned by the flame. Use a safety glowstick or flashlight instead.

• Keep your pet safe in his own room during trick or treat time. A quick dog or cat can dart out a door that is opening and closing often. Also, the sight of strangely dressed people at the door can be very stressful for pets.

• Only dress up your pet if he is receptive to it. Don't cause undue stress on your furry friend. Use treat training to help your pet get used to his costume, but if he doesn't seem happy, take it off.

• Masks are never a good idea for pets. Masks can cut off peripheral vision, making a dog or cat nervous about its surroundings. Even the best behaved dog or cat can get nippy when he can't see what's coming from the side.

• Make sure your pet's costume fits properly, and does not constrict breathing or movement. Just as with a collar, make sure you can fit two fingers in between the costume and your pet's neck.

• Inspect the costume and remove any small or dangling pieces that could become a choking hazard.

• Don't forget to ID your pet! Shelters are always busy around holidays with pets that have wandered away from home. An ID tag or microchip helps identify your pet so he can be returned home if he gets lost.

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August 30, 2010

Councilmember Navarro Joins Students at Wheaton Woods ES on their First Day of School

This morning, I attended an assembly at Wheaton Woods Elementary School in Aspen Hill. During the assembly, representatives from Discovery Communications unveiled brand new backpacks, filled with school supplies, for every student at the school. The students were thrilled to receive these gifts from the Silver Spring-based company.

I am excited for the students, parents, and faculty at Wheaton Woods, and wish them all the best for the 2010-2011 school year. And thanks to Discovery for making the start of the school year special for the students at Wheaton Woods!

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Montgomery County Police Begin SRO program for 2010-2011 School Year

Beginning with this new school year, Montgomery County Police are initiating a program utilizing nine “School Resource Officers” to serve as liaisons with high schools in their police districts. School Resource Officers (SROs) reflects the name that is more commonly used nationwide for officers who regularly work with schools.

In this new program, SROs are expected to handle the following responsibilities:

• Assist school staff members to enhance safety within their assigned schools and serve as liaisons between the department and the school staff for police-related concerns and incidents.

• Respond to incidents occurring in and around their assigned schools during their shift hours.

• Set up regular meetings with parents, teachers, principals, other school administrators, and students to discuss issues of concern within the school.

• Act as a resource for and assist with emergency preparedness, as well as safety awareness education geared to high school students.

• Serve as a point of contact to deliver police department programs on such topics as conflict resolution and mediation, drug and alcohol awareness, violence prevention, gang awareness, and crime prevention.

• Assist with traffic safety and enforcement activities in and around their assigned school areas.

School Resource Officers will work out of their district stations. The nine officers are being assigned as follows:

1st District - Officer Maureen Connelly

Churchill H.S.
Rockville H.S.
Quince Orchard H.S.
Richard Montgomery H.S.
Wootton H.S.

2nd District - Officer Arnold Aubrey

Walt Whitman H.S.
Walter Johnson H.S.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase H.S.

3rd District – Officer Roslyn Mills and Officer Rodney Barnes

Northwood H.S.
Paint Branch H.S.
Blair H.S.
Springbrook H.S.

4th District – Officer Anna Walker, Officer Diane Henderson, and Officer Brett Mavritte

Einstein H.S.
Blake H. S.
Kennedy H.S.
Sherwood H.S.
Magruder H.S.
Wheaton H.S.

5th District – Officer Russell Larson

Clarksburg H.S.
Damascus H. S.
Northwest H.S.
Seneca Valley H.S.
Poolesville H.S.

6th District – Officer John Witherspoon

Watkins Mill H.S.
Gaithersburg H.S. (Gaithersburg Police are the lead agency, MCPD provides support.)

These SRO’s will begin their new assignments on the first day of school for Montgomery County students, August 30. This program replaces the previous Educational Facilities Officers program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Media Services Division, 240-773-5030
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August 23, 2010

Announcement of ICC Public Meeting to Discuss Ongoing Environmental Projects

As you may know, the State Highway Administration’s (SHA) Intercounty Connector (ICC) project includes a comprehensive package of Environmental Stewardship/Compensatory Mitigation/Community Stewardship (ES/CM/CS) activities as part of the project. The ICC Project Team is holding a public meeting for the following ES/CM/CS projects.
  • PB-119: Upper Paint Branch stream restoration, located at Good Hope;
  • PB-109: Upper Paint Branch stream restoration, located at Good Hope Right Tributary;
  • PB-12A & B: Upper Paint Branch stream restoration, located at Hollywood Branch.
A public meeting is scheduled from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 8, 2010, at William Tyler Page Elementary School (All Purpose Room), located at 13400 Tamarack Road, Silver Spring, Maryland. This meeting will provide interested citizens with details about the proposed stream restoration projects listed above. There will be no formal presentations at this meeting. Members of the project team will be present to answer any questions. To view a map of where the stream restoration sites are located, please visit www.iccproject.com, and then click “Environmental Programs” on the left navigation bar. There you will find a link to an interactive map showing all of the ICC environmental projects.

The SHA hopes that you will be able to attend this meeting to learn more about the proposed stream restoration projects. If we may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. John Sales, Environmental Projects Community Liaison, Office of the ICC, toll-free at 866-462-0020 or via email at jsales@iccproject.com.
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August 20, 2010

Photo of the Week

Councilmember Navarro attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the official grand opening of Aunt Hattie's Place in Sandy Spring. Aunt Hattie's Place is a non-profit organization that provides housing for young boys in need.

From left: Maryland State Senator Rona Kramer, Maryland State Delegate Anne Kaiser, Maryland Secretary of Human Resources Brenda Donald, Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal, County Executive Isiah Leggett, President & Founder of Aunt Hattie's Place Dr. Hattie Washington, Maryland State Delegate Herman Taylor, Maryland State Delegate Karen Montgomery, Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, representative from the Office of Congressman Chris Van Hollen Ann Humphrey, and Director of Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Uma Ahluwalia.

Reminder: Submit your photos to councilmember.navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov for consideration. Names may be withheld upon request of the photographer. Please provide a brief description of the photo.
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Councilmember Navarro Requests Information on Coordination During Power Outages

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July 1, 2010


LAUREL – July 1, 2010: To ensure continued water supply for all WSSC customers and for fire protection and hospital/medical uses, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) General Manager Jerry N. Johnson today called for mandatory water restrictions for all WSSC customers.  The goal is to reduce water usage by about one-third.  The restrictions take effect immediately and are expected to last at least four days. 
The mandatory restrictions are necessary after monitoring technology indicated a failing section of a 96-inch water main located near the corner of Tuckerman Lane and Gainsborough Road in Potomac in Montgomery County.  “This technology, an acoustic fiber optic monitoring system, detected the problem, allowing us to take preventative measures now,” says Johnson.  “This proves the system works and helped us to prevent what could have been a much more serious situation. “  The fiber optics system was installed in the pipe three years ago and will eventually be installed in all of WSSC’s large water mains.  The process to repair the pipe has already begun and will continue around-the-clock until complete. Until that time it is imperative that customers:  
·         Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools 
·         Use water only as necessary  
·         Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)  
·         Limit using washing machines and dishwashers (wash full loads only)  
WSSC has been working with fire departments from both counties to make sure there is adequate fire protection, especially considering that this weekend is the 4th of July and there will likely be numerous fireworks displays.  “We know this is a burden, especially on this holiday weekend.  But if everyone can be vigilant and cut their water use by a third, we’ll be ok,” said Johnson.  "We appreciate everyone's understanding, patience and cooperation while we work through this."  
WSSC will notify customers once repairs are complete and mandatory restrictions are no longer necessary.  
For additional information log on to the WSSC website at www.wsscwater.com or call the WSSC Call Center at 301.206.4002.  
Jim Neustadt 
(301) 206-8100 
John C. White 
(301) 206-8100 
Intergovernmenal Relations Office 
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission 
14501 Sweitzer Lane 
Laurel, MD 20707 
Office: 301-206-8228 
Facsimile: 301-206-8229
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June 2, 2010

2010 DC Caribbean Filmfest

*Click image to zoom in.

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May 28, 2010

Announcement of ICC Public Meeting to Discuss Ongoing Environmental Projects

As you may know, the State Highway Administration’s (SHA) Intercounty Connector (ICC) project includes a comprehensive package of Environmental Stewardship and Compensatory Mitigation (ES/CM) activities as part of the project. The ES/CM program comprises not only an unprecedented level of mitigation to offset those environmental impacts associated with the ICC, but also includes numerous stewardship projects designed to reverse environmental degradation in the project area caused by development that occurred prior to the construction of the ICC. The ES/CM package contains a wide variety of projects, including stream and fish passage restoration, wetlands creation and enhancement, and Community Stewardship projects such as bicycle/pedestrian trails.

The ICC Project Team is holding a public meeting for the following ES/CM projects, which are proposed near your community:

  • NW-35: Northwest Branch stormwater management (SWM) retrofits, located at Naples Manor, approximately 31 acres;

  • NW-39: Northwest Branch SWM retrofits, located at Long Green Drive, approximately 26 acres;

  • NW-47: Northwest Branch SWM retrofits, located at Old Baltimore Road, approximately 28 acres;

  • REF-10: M-NCPPC reforestation, located at Reddy Branch and Manor Oaks, approximately nine acres.

A public meeting is scheduled from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at Argyle Middle School (cafeteria), located at 2400 Bel Pre Road in Silver Spring, Maryland. This meeting will provide interested citizens with details about the proposed projects listed above. There will be no formal presentations at this meeting. Members of the project team will be present to answer any questions.

The SHA hopes that you will be able to attend this meeting to learn more about the proposed environmental projects. If we may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. John Sales, Environmental Projects Community Liaison, Office of the ICC, toll-free at 866-462-0020 or via email at jsales@iccproject.com.
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May 21, 2010

Statement by County Councilmember Nancy Navarro on Council’s FY 2011 Operating Budget and CIP Agreement

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 20, 2010—Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro made the following statement in regard to the Council’s tentative agreement today on the Fiscal Year 2011 Operating Budget and FY11-16 Capital Improvements Program:

Today I cast my vote on the County’s FY11 Operating Budget and the FY11-16 Capital Improvements Program. Although it was the worst budget year in Montgomery County’s history, we kept our pledge to maintain adequate reserves, treat our employees equitably, preserve our safety net as much as possible, and maintain the educational services that are the pride of our County.

But in order to create this budget, my colleagues and I had to make many difficult decisions and some important changes to the County Executive’s proposed budget. Rather than double the energy tax, we raised it by 85 percent. Make no mistake, this is a very large increase--however, many families will not see much impact due to scheduled rate reductions and this increase is scheduled to sunset in two years. I hope that as our fiscal condition improves, we can eliminate this increase.

We also had to eliminate hundreds of positions and all employee pay raises. Although the County Executive also proposed 10 days of furlough for all non-public safety employees in Montgomery County Government, I believed strongly along with my colleagues that imposing an almost 4 percent salary reduction on one-fifth of the combined agency workforce would be inequitable. Ultimately, after much discussion, we instituted 5 days of progressive furloughs for all Montgomery County employees.

While we avoided some of the very worst cuts, our residents and employees will certainly feel the impact of this budget in reduced services, an increased workload and lower pay. Some departments, including parks, libraries and transportation, took particularly large hits approaching 25 percent that will affect their ability to deliver the services our residents have rightfully come to expect. However, recognizing the importance of our public school system, we approved a final budget for Montgomery County Public Schools that amounted to only a 1.3 percent reduction from its FY10 budget, while increasing its capital budget by 10 percent. I am confident that our School Board and Superintendent Jerry Weast will institute any necessary reductions in a manner that minimizes any impact on schoolchildren. My two daughters are MCPS students and I served on the Board for five years, so I know that their education is in good hands.

Although our fiscal crisis is not yet over, I am pleased that the Council closed an almost $1 billion gap while preserving many core services including transit, public safety, health care for the uninsured poor, and education, without raising property taxes. In addition, we maintained a 6 percent reserve and approved a capital budget that funds many important road and school projects. However, rather than continue to rely on furloughs, service reductions, and tax increases, I believe we need to seriously address our structural deficit and reorganize our government so that we can efficiently deliver the services our County is known for. My priority going forward is to work to solve our long-term fiscal and structural challenges, so that Montgomery County can remain vibrant, diverse and prosperous.
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May 18, 2010

Francoise Carrier Named New Chair of Montgomery County Planning Board

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May 4, 2010

Considering Diverse Cultures – and How to Reach Them – at Next ReThink Montgomery Speaker Series



For immediate release:

May 3, 2010

For more information, contact:

Valerie Berton

Communications Manager

Montgomery County Planning Department

(301) 495-4600

Considering Diverse Cultures – and How to Reach Them – at Next ReThink Montgomery Speaker Series

SILVER SPRING, MD – Montgomery County is home to many diverse cultures. This week, the Planning Department’s Rethink Montgomery http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/rethink> Speaker Series will explore how members of cultural communities communicate and connect – both outside and within their communities.

On Thursday, Reemberto Rodriguez, director of the Silver Spring Regional Services Center, Megan Moriarty of IMPACT Silver Spring, Rassa Davoodpour, a leader in the Persian community, and Tebabu Assefa, an Ethiopian community leader and activist, will participate in a panel discussion on the communication norms within groups bound by a common culture.

At the fifth discussion of the ReThink Montgomery series, panelists will be asked to reflect about how people within their cultural circle think about community connections and county planning.

In his county-appointed position at the regional services center, Rodriguez oversees policy development and the delivery of public services for the Silver Spring area. Previously, he worked as a training manager for a community building program and coordinated curriculum for the Community Leadership Institutes, a group of residents, volunteers, and partners of NeighborWorks Network member organizations. His background includes community organizing, leadership development, civic participation, community design, urban planning, and teaching at the graduate level.

Moriarty of IMPACT leads a team of staff, residents and community partners responsible for building a network in the Wheaton area and supporting residents along a continuum of leadership development and community action. Prior to her job with IMPACT, she worked for the Montgomery County Community Foundation and at the Inter-American Foundation managing grassroots development projects in Central America.

Davoodpour is a manager with the Office of Special Projects in the county’s Department of General Services who focuses on moving and expanding existing uses to different sites from a macro perspective to provide long-term solutions for public facility needs.

Actively involved in Persian communities since her arrival in the U.S. in 1979, Davoodpour served on the board for the Iran Cultural and Educational Center, which preserves and promotes Iranian culture.

Ethiopian native Tebabu Assefa works in the fine arts and communication, including development of a marketing strategy to bridge 130,000 small coffee growers of Ethiopia, organized under a cooperative union, with the global fair trade market. He also supports enterprise in the local African-American and Caribbean markets with projects such as Africa Unbound, the Ethiopian Cultural Museum of Chicago, and Greener Ethiopia, a community based tree planting program. In 2008, Assefa was awarded the community activist award by the Takoma Foundation, where he now serves as a board member and is Governor O’Malley appointee to the Governor's Commission on African Affairs.

Continuing education credits (AICP certification maintenance credits) are pending for planning professionals. Learn more at www.montgomeryplanning.org/rethink


Reemberto Rodriguez, director, Silver Spring Regional Services Center

Megan Moriarty, community organizer, IMPACT Silver Spring

Rassa Davoodpour, a leader in the Iranian community

Tebabu Assefa, an Ethiopian community leader and activist


ReThink Montgomery Speaker Series – Culture


7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6


Park and Planning Headquarters auditorium

8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring
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April 29, 2010

Community Alert!!

The 3rd District Station wants to alert community members that since Friday, April 16th there have been ten residential burglaries to apartments in the Briggs Chaney Area. Most burglaries are occurring during the daytime hours, involve forced entry into the apartment and where known, laptop computers have been most frequently targeted.

Please be aware of these incidents and report all suspicious activity to the Police Non-Emergency Line at 301-279-8000.

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April 21, 2010

2010 Summer Computer Camps for Girls

A special computer camp program, designed for girls in grades 6-8, is offered by Montgomery College in partnership with the Montgomery County Commission for Women. The lucky girls who attend will explore information technology and learn how technology is being used in new and exciting ways.

Studies have found that fewer than 20% of the students taking computer programming courses are girls, and women are vastly under-represented in information technology careers. In fact, in our own school system, computer programming classes often have just one girl or even no girls enrolled. Yet, computer programming is one of the fastest growing fields and provides some of the best paying career opportunities.

Our hope is that through these camps, girls will see the importance of technology in their lives, and their interest in pursuing a technology career may be sparked. These camps are staffed with MCPS faculty, and are offered on all three of the college’s campuses (Takoma Park/Silver Spring, Germantown, and Rockville).

Girls interested in the camp, who do not need financial assistance, may apply directly to the college. Those seeking need-based scholarships should apply through the County’s Commission for Women. A limited number of full scholarships for these camps are available for girls who qualify for the Free and Reduced Price Meal (FARM) program.

Please share this information with the faculty and students in your school and we encourage you to identify eligible girls who might be interested. Copies of all materials and forms may be found at the Commission’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cfw or call (240) 777-8330. The materials and forms may be duplicated as needed.
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April 19, 2010

Montgomery to Implement Accessory Apartment Disclaimer Following Councilmember Nancy Navarro’s Request

Disclaimer Will Help Prevent Violation of HOA Covenants
ROCKVILLE, Md., April 16, 2010—Applications for special exceptions for accessory apartments in Montgomery County will now include disclaimers that Homeowners Association (HOA) covenants may not allow the apartments, following a request by County Councilmember Nancy Navarro (District 4) to clarify a situation that has been a source of problems for HOAs.

In a March 26 letter to Katherine Freeman, executive director of the County’s Board of Appeals, Councilmember Navarro outlined why the County needed to address the issue.

“It has come to my attention that applicants may receive special exceptions for accessory apartments even where their Homeowners Association (HOA) specifically prohibits them,” Councilmember Navarro wrote. “In these circumstances, HOAs are often forced to incur costly legal fees to defend their covenants in court. I believe that a simple disclaimer on the special exception application for accessory apartments, stating that a resident’s HOA covenant may prohibit accessory apartments even if a special exception is granted, would prevent many of the difficulties and expense HOAs and residents have encountered due to the confusion surrounding this issue.”

Councilmember Navarro then asked that the Board of Appeals include such a disclaimer on its accessory apartment applications.

“This modest and inexpensive change may go a long way toward preventing future problems,” she wrote.
Earlier this week, Ms. Freeman notified Councilmember Navarro that the members of the Board of Appeals concurred that adding a disclaimer would be a valuable addition to the applications.

The Board of Appeals approved the following language for the disclaimer: “Please note: Approval of a special exception is separate from Homeowner Association (HOA) and Condominium agreements and covenants, which may prohibit accessory apartments. Homeowners should consult their Condominium or HOA documents. The Board of Appeals cannot enforce HOA or Condominium covenants, which are private contractual agreements.”

Councilmember Navarro said today that the disclaimer could make a significant difference for HOAs and for applicants.
“Providing this information to applicants will go a long way toward preventing neighborhood conflicts,” said Councilmember Navarro. “I thank the Board of Appeals for listening to community concerns and acting upon my request.”

Letter to the Board of Appeals

Montgomery County Board of Appeals Response to Councilmember Navarro's Letter
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April 14, 2010

Leggett Seeks Applicants for Commission for Women

Contact: Beth Gochrach, 240-777-2528
For Immediate Release: April 9, 2010

Leggett Seeks Applicants for Commission for Women

County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill five vacancies on the Montgomery County Commission for Women. Three of the vacancies are for applicants who have been nominated and recommended by organizations within the County whose interests relate to the status of women, and two of the vacancies are for individuals applying on their own behalf. Three of the current incumbents are eligible to seek reappointment, and one has indicated an intention of doing so.

The primary responsibility of the 15-member Commission is to advise and counsel the County government on issues of concern to women. While the commissioners work to ensure that women attain legal and economic equity, the office also administers programs for women, including a counseling and career center.

Members of the Commission for Women serve three year terms without compensation, but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of each month. Since members are active on committees and projects, it is required that they must be available for meetings every Wednesday evening. County law specifies attendance requirements for members of officially appointed boards, committees, and commissions. A member of this commission may miss no more than three meetings in a 12-month period.

County Executive Isiah Leggett is committed to representation on all of the County’s boards, committees, and commissions that is reflective of, and responsive to, our County’s residents. Public participation contributes to the work of County government and provides an important service to the community when a variety of issues, concerns, and viewpoints are presented. Currently, there is a valuable opportunity to serve on the Commission for Women.

The deadline for application is April 30, 2010.

Please share this notice with anyone who may be interested. Applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, gender, geography, disability and ethnicity are encouraged to apply. An application, consisting of a brief cover letter and resume, should be sent by mail to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD 20850, or by email to countyexecutive.boards@montgomerycountymd.gov. Home and employment addresses, as well as contact phone numbers and email addresses should be included. Applicants should indicate the position for which they are applying.

Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time. Members of these boards are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Leggett’s appointments are subject to confirmation by the County Council. Applications of those selected for appointment are made public as part of the confirmation process.
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April 7, 2010

In Remembrance: Officer Hector I. Ayala

The Montgomery County Police Department is deeply saddened to announce the death of one of our officers. Officer Hector Ismael Ayala died in the line of duty at 3:19 a.m. on Sunday, April 4. He was responding to a call to provide officer assistance for a fight in progress at a restaurant/bar at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Randolph Road in Wheaton. For reasons still under investigation, Officer Ayala’s police cruiser left the roadway and struck a tree in the 3000 block of Randolph Road. He was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to the injuries he received in the crash.

In the department’s history, he is the 16th Montgomery County Police Officer, and first Hispanic officer to die in the line of duty.

Officer Ayala was a seven-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department and was assigned to the Montgomery County Police 4th District in Wheaton. He worked the midnight shift whose officers serve from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. He was fluent in Spanish and frequently served as a translator for the department and the many Hispanic community members we serve, particularly in the greater Wheaton neighborhoods.

Officer Ayala was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in January of 1979. He attended Passaic County Community College in Paterson, New Jersey, and graduated with honors from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. There he majored in Political Science and Sociology and received a Bachelor of Arts degree.

He became a member of Police Officer Training Session 42 on February 3, 2003, and graduated from the Montgomery County Police Academy Entrance Level Training Program on July 27, 2003. He spent his entire career working in the Montgomery County Police 4th District. He attended a Basic Investigator School and served as a Field Training Officer to newly graduated officers. In his spare time he enjoyed working on cars and collecting tiny toy cars and trucks for his son. He was generous in offering his time to help baby sit for other officers’ children when they had a special need. He also enjoyed boxing and had taught many of his fellow recruits how to box. During his career he was nominated for several awards and commended for many examples of his excellent police work. Promoting traffic safety was very important to him. In one year he wrote 800 traffic citations, and only one person complained about receiving a ticket. He was always polite and explained what the driver had done wrong. In 2005, he was particularly instrumental in helping to save the life of a man who was attempting to commit suicide by jumping from the roof of the Glenmont Metro Station. It was Officer Ayala and two back-up officers who were able to physically subdue the victim and prevent him from jumping.

Officer Ayala was devoted to his wife Melissa, their 14-month-old son Hector, Jr., and was proudly looking forward to the birth of triplets this coming June. He is also survived by his parents, Hector and Luz, a 20-year-old brother Geovani, and a 12-year-old sister Jenny Marie.

His District Commander Nancy Demme said, “The department has lost a true asset. Officer Ayala was always helpful to his fellow officers and devoted to serving the Hispanic community. He will be deeply missed.” Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said, “Officer Ayala gave his life doing what he loved--being a police officer serving the people of Montgomery County. A select few raise their right hand and take the oath of service, an oath that puts their life second to those they protect. Officer Ayala took his oath and served proudly since his first day at the academy. I ask all of you to join me in praying for his family.”

Viewings for Officer Ayala will take place on Thursday, April 8 between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church located at 2900 Olney-Sandy Spring Road in Olney, Maryland. The Funeral Mass for Officer Ayala will take place on Friday, April 9 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Immediately following the service he will be laid to rest at the Delaney Valley Memorial Gardens located at 200 East Padomia Road in Timonium, Maryland. The viewing, funeral, and burial are only open to members of the family and the public safety family.

Donations to the Ayala Family may be made to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Officers Relief Fund (MCLEORF). Checks should be made payable to MCLEORF. Please list “Ayala Family” in the memo line of the check. Send to:

c/o: FOP Lodge 35

18512 Office Park Drive

Montgomery Village, MD 20886



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April 5, 2010

Photo of the Week

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro (front, third from left) attended the
Korean American Senior Citizens Association's 30th Anniversary celebration.

Reminder: Submit your photos to councilmember.navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov for consideration. Names may be withheld upon request of the photographer. Please provide a brief description of the photo.

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ESOL for Building Trades Jobs Orientation

*Click on the image to zoom in.
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 ESOL for Healthcare Jobs Orientation

*Click image to zoom in
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Customer Service Training for ESOL Learners

*Click the image to zoom in.
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Congressman Van Hollen's Service Academy Forum


Announces his
with representatives from the:

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
U.S. COAST GUARD ACADEMY (New London, Connecticut)
U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY (West Point, New York)
U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY (Annapolis, Maryland)


All interested 9th, 10th and 11th grade students and their parents are invited to attend to learn about the academies and their admission requirements.

April 15, 2010
7:30 – 9:00 pm

Montgomery County Executive Office Building
101 Monroe Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850

For information, please contact Representative Van Hollen’s district office at (301) 424-3501.
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March 12, 2010

Tax Credits Available for Snowstorm-Affected Historic Homes



For immediate release:

February 22, 2010

For more information, contact:

Valerie Berton

Communications Manager

Montgomery County Planning Department


Tax Credits Available for Snowstorm-Affected Historic Homes

SILVER SPRING, MD – Owners of historic buildings in Montgomery County are eligible for local tax credits for repairs needed for snowstorm-related damage, historic preservation planners said Monday.

Owners of buildings listed in the county Master Plan for Historic Preservation may apply for the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Tax Credit for repairs to roofs, gutters and the like as long as the work does not alter the look of a building’s exterior features.

To qualify, the cost of the repair work must exceed $1,000. The tax credit, applied toward county property taxes, will equal 10 percent of expenses.

The County Council created the historic preservation tax credit program in 1984. The Historic Preservation Commission reviews tax credit applications, certifies that project work is eligible for tax credits and forwards recommendations to the county Department of Finance for approval. Any unused portion of the tax credit may be carried forward for as many as five years.

For a list of eligible activities, criteria and to download an application form, visit
www.montgomeryplanning.org/historic/instructions/taxcredit.shtm or call 301-563-3400.

# # #

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Police Search for Critically Missing Teen from Silver Spring

For Immediate Release

For More Information:

February 25, 2010

Media Services Division, 240-773-5030

Police Search for Critically Missing

Teen from Silver Spring

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Family Crimes Division are seeking the public’s help in locating a critically missing teen from Silver Spring.

Brittany Nicole Blanken, age 16, of the 4100 block of Havard Street in Silver Spring, was last seen at her home on February 16, 2010. She is described as a white female, 5’5” tall, 130 pounds, with long brown wavy hair. She has a pierced tongue and a tattoo of the word “Toi” with a line design on her left calf. She was last seen wearing a black or purple jacket, blue jeans, and tan Timberland-brand boots.

She suffers from a medical condition and does not have her medication with her. Police and family are very concerned for her welfare.

If anyone has information about Brittany Blanken’s whereabouts, they are asked to immediately contact the Montgomery County Police Family Crimes Division at 240-773-5400 or the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000. Callers may remain anonymous.


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March 10, 2010

Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Chris Van Hollen





Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-08) will convene a town hall meeting for residents of the Eighth Congressional District. The Congressman will report to residents about the activities of the 111th Congress and the important issues facing the nation. Van Hollen will answer questions and respond to comments from the audience. All residents of the 8th Congressional District are invited to participate.

WHEN: Monday, April 12, 2010

7:30-9:00 PM

WHERE: Montgomery CollegeGermantown Campus

Globe Hall – High Technology & Science Center

20200 Observation DriveGermantown, MD

Certified housing counselors will be available.

A sign language interpreter will be provided. Parking is available on campus and there is a drop-off entrance in the rear of the building with several handicapped parking spaces.

DIRECTIONS: By car: Take I-270 to Exit 15A (Route 118-North). Continue to the second traffic light at Observation Drive; turn right onto campus. By Metro: From Red Line Shady Grove station, transfer to Ride On Bus Route 55 to on-campus stop. By Bus: The campus is served by Ride On Bus with connections to Metrorail.

QUESTIONS: Please call (301) 424-3501.

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March 4, 2010

Councilmember Navarro Requests Strategy to Engage County’s Residents with Limited English Proficiency

March 2, 2010

Council President Nancy Floreen

Montgomery County Council

100 Maryland Avenue, 6th Floor

Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Council President Floreen:

Since taking office this June, I have made a commitment to engaging the increasingly diverse residents of Montgomery County in local government. As we are all aware, our community is on the cusp of becoming a majority-minority jurisdiction, with 47.7% of the residents being people of color as of 2008. As of 2000, 26.7% of our population was foreign born and 31.6% spoke a language other than English at home. These numbers are only growing.

For that reason, I respectfully request that the County Council take prompt action to develop a proactive strategy to engage the County’s limited English proficiency (LEP) population in opportunities to provide input to the Council. Some possibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Recording bilingual or multilingual messages for Council voicemail greetings.
  2. Distributing hearing and town hall notices translated into common languages spoken in Montgomery County and through networks that are likely to actually reach LEP residents.
  3. Making translation assistance available for LEP residents who choose to testify or attend County Council hearings and events.
  4. Working with the Executive branch on ensuring County agencies are able to provide translated notices and documents, such as code enforcement violation notices and rental application forms.

My hope is that over time, these practices can be established as part of an ongoing process to ensure that Montgomery County government remains open and accessible to all of our residents.

I look forward to working with you and the rest of our colleagues on making this a successful endeavor.


Nancy Navarro
County Councilmember District 4

cc: Councilmembers Phil Andrews, Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Mike Knapp, George Leventhal, and Duchy Trachtenberg
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