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.

Get The Latest News

Sign up to receive latest news

February 26, 2010

Newsletter: 2009 Year in Review & 2010 Priorities

Councilmember Nancy Navarro: Community Newsletter

Councilmember Nancy Navarro:

2009 Year in Review & 2010 Priorities:
A Focus on Jobs and Investment for
East County Residents

Congratulations to Leisure World: Councilmember Nancy Navarro presents a proclamation to Leisure World's outgoing Legislation & Taxation Committee President, Abbott Roseman, for his 65 years of public service. Leaders from District 4's largest retirement community joined him in the ceremony.

"Standing Up for All of Us"

Dear Neighbor,

Nancy Navarro with the Good Counsel football team
Football Fever: Nancy Navarro Honors District 4's Good Counsel football team for being ranked #1 for the first time, by the Washington Post
First and foremost, I want to thank all of the residents of District 4 for banding together during one of the worst winters recorded in history. It was at times scary, and more often than not, frustrating -- but we all had to brave this natural disaster together. I was heartened that for many members of the community, the storm brought out the best in us.

County employees and contractors worked around the clock to plow streets and remove safety hazards, but where they could not get to streets quickly, I saw neighbors helping neighbors and residents joining together like never before. My staff fielded an unprecedented number of help requests during the storm, and we worked day and night to try and help families get their power back and ensure that our streets and sidewalks were plowed. We are still dealing with the last of the cleanup, especially on sidewalks, so if you have any lingering issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (240) 777-7986 orCouncilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov.

But even as the remnants of our last natural disaster melt away, we are still dealing with one of the greatest man-made disasters we've witnessed in ages: our economic crisis. Montgomery County residents are facing some of the greatest challenges we've witnessed in decades. I want you to know that I share your concerns and anger about the threats facing our communities and our livelihood. But beyond that, I hold a strong belief that Montgomery County is one of the best places for a family to plant roots. If we work together, we can turn this ship around.

To that end, I've spent my term in office fighting every day for jobs and investment in East County, all the while standing up for our most vulnerable residents during this recession.

District 4 Stimulus Funding: Governor Martin O'Malley set the tone on the importance of managing the economy, when he announced that repaving miles of New Hampshire Avenue in District 4 would be one of the nation's first stimulus projects. Since then, I've never let go of my focus on bringing jobs and investment to our communities. [Read O'Malley's Letter]

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Within a few weeks of taking office last year, I immediately sent the message to the world that District 4 and East County were ready for jobs and investment. As the County began to launch its proposal for an influx of biotech jobs in the Upcounty area and I-270 corridor, I once again wondered,what about East County? As a result, I wrote a letter with my colleague Councilmember Valerie Ervin, and we asked the County to explore ways to deliver a slice of the biotech jobs and investment to our often-ignored part of Montgomery. [Read the Letter].

Please read this 2009 year-in-review, as well as some of the plans we have for 2010, to see some of the exciting things I have begun working on -- and always remember that I will never stop standing up for all of us.

Thanks so much!

Nancy Navarro's Signature
Nancy Navarro

Bringing Jobs & Investment to East County

  • Creating East County Biotech Jobs in the Route 29 Corridor: With the growing focus on cultivating biotech job centers in Montgomery County, I have fought hard to make sure East County and District 4 get a fair share of any new jobs. With the federal government expanding its presence in White Oak at the FDA headquarters, now is the time to leverage the increasing life sciences footprint with complementary projects and facilities. That's why I began working with the County's Planning Department to expedite planning for the Route 29 corridor, and to examine the land use and transportation plans in the area. I hope that with adequate community input, we can create a consensus on how to incentivize the creation of high-quality jobs in East County.

  • Increasing Transit and Transportation Options for District 4 Residents: One of the greatest barriers to locating jobs and amenities in District 4 is our woeful lack of transit options. Only one Metro station is located in District 4, and most residents are currently forced to drive long distances for work, shopping, and entertainment. As a result, I am supportive of Councilmember Marc Elrich's plan to promote a world-class transit network in Montgomery County. His proposal would create multiple transit lines servicing East County residents. These transit lines would not only spur jobs and investment in District 4, but they would also ease our traffic mess, reduce our carbon footprint, and shorten commutes for residents. In the last year, I also re-doubled my support for two new light rail, mass transit lines: the Purple Line (which would run from Bethesda to New Carrolton) and the Corridor Cities Transitway (which would service the I-270 corridor).

  • Standing with Our Workforce: With untold numbers of County residents being laid off, furloughed and losing their benefits, I stood with our workers to try and help them keep quality jobs and health benefits. Unfortunately, this story is becoming increasingly common as we adjust to the new economic realities, but I am firm in my belief that whenever possible, we should do as much as we can to help those who will be hardest hit by our growing unemployment crisis. [Read Article]

  • Stabilizing Burtonsville: Time and again, residents of Burtonsville have told me that they've felt ignored by the County for too many years. As a result, I've re-doubled efforts to help drive jobs and investment to the neighborhood, but in a manner that is sensitive to community concerns.

    • Burtonsville Town Square & Crossing: Many residents of Burtonsville have eagerly awaited the arrival of the new Burtonsville Town Square, which promises a newly renovated Giant, CVS, and new restaurants and stores. In collaboration with the County Executive, we are working to secure $4.2 million to beautify Burtonsville's retail zone with lighting improvements, facade improvements, and other measures to create a "village center" atmosphere for residents to enjoy.

    • Montgomery College Burtonsville: While I have been excited about the potential facelift in Burtonsville, I have also been mindful of the loss of the Dutch Market and potential deterioration of the adjacent strip mall. That is why I have begun discussions with Montgomery College to try and bring a satellite campus or other workforce training programs to the vacant retail and office spaces being abandoned by Giant and other businesses in Burtonsville. Doing so will bring jobs to East County, create new customers for Burtonsville's small businesses, and help stabilize an area that is in danger of decline. [Read Article]

    Maintaining Services and a Safety Net for
    Our Most Vulnerable Residents

  • Preventing Foreclosures: With the ongoing housing crisis impacting scores of County residents, I hosted a foreclosure seminar to help families in crisis keep their homes. [Read Article]

  • Protecting Our Libraries: In a sour economy, more and more residents use libraries for job searches, internet access, entertainment, and programming. For that reason, I stood with my colleagues to say "no" to a proposal to eliminate free parking for library patrons. I have also been adamantly opposed to moving Wheaton Library from its current location and asked the County Executive to reject this proposal. [Read Blog]

  • No Ambulance Fees: After listening to the concerns of many residents, particularly senior citizens, I voted against charging insurance companies for ambulance fees in Montgomery County. Too many feared that the costs would be passed on in the form of higher premiums, and that this could create a disincentive for residents to access critical care. [Read Press Release]

  • Public-Private Cooperation on Health Care: When Kaiser Permanente announced plans to eliminate after-hours urgent-care at its Kensington location, I called on them to reconsider their decision. Though the facility is not in District 4, it serves 125,000 people, including many District 4 residents. Along with Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Councilmembers George Leventhal, Duchy Trachtenberg and Marc Elrich, we succeeded in persuading Kaiser to re-instate after-hours care in Kensington. [Read Letter]

    Urging Fiscal Restraint During this Crisis

  • Saying "No" to Unnecessary Corporate Welfare: While I continue to lament some of the difficult budgetary decisions facing Montgomery County, I have attempted to balance the need for high quality services with the need for fiscal restraint during this recession. As a result, though I recently supported all of the elements of the County Executive's 2010 budget savings plan, I have declined to support a $4 million taxpayer subsidy to bring Costco to Wheaton Plaza. Though I make no comment on whether they should open a store in the area, I cannot in good conscience vote to authorize this expenditure at the same time that we're slashing critical County services. [Read Article]

  • Deferring Expensive Purchases & New Programs: Unfortunately, our fiscal crisis has made it very difficult to launch new programs and to purchase new equipment. In keeping with the need to tighten our belts, I declined to support a proposal last year to launch a new helicopter program for Montgomery County. While the public safety benefits may exist to support such a program in the future, it is my opinion that this is not a priority for the County in this climate. [Read Press Release]

    Open Government & Transparency

  • Independent Monitoring: Last year I co-sponsored successful legislation to authorize our County's Inspector General to retain an independent attorney to investigate complaints about government misconduct. The current system of monitoring created the potential for conflicts of interest in investigations, and I felt this bill was necessary to instill public confidence in County Government. [Read Article]

  • Whistle Blower Protections: This year, I am also co-sponsoring legislation to protect County workers from retaliation, should they report wrongdoing. Bill 2-10 would provide the right to appeal for employees who allege that they have faced retaliation from whistleblowing, and it would also extend protections to employees of certain County contractors. [Read Article]

  • Preventing Pork Barrel Spending: Last year, the Council also passed legislation that would require any new bills to cover only a single subject. I was proud to co-sponsor this legislation, which was designed to ensure that members do not insert unrelated pork barrel projects into popular legislation. [Read Bill]

    Civil Rights & Equality

  • Equal Benefits for County Employees: With the help of Equality Maryland, I was thrilled to sponsor a bill to require equal benefits for same-sex employees of Montgomery County's government contractors. This landmark legislation would ensure non-discrimination in benefits for Montgomery County's workforce, and passed unanimously. [Read Article]

  • Expanding Job Opportunities for Disabled Residents: I am also pleased to announce that the County Council passed legislation to expand job opportunities for certain qualified persons with disabilities who apply for employment with Montgomery County. I was a co-sponsor of this legislation, and I hope to find more ways in the future to ensure meaningful opportunities for all residents of Montgomery County. [Read Article]

    Engaging Our Diverse Residents

  • Listening to Our Seniors: Given the large number of senior citizens residing in District 4, I have made a special effort to reach out to this unique population. Through my excellent staff, we are beginning the process of establishing a coalition of seniors representing a cross-section of various neighborhoods and retirement communities throughout District 4. We will continue to deliver information about county services and other important issues through this network, and we hope to expand its activities throughout the year.

  • Engaging Our Youths: In order to better understand the needs and goals of the many talented youths in District 4, I launched a Youth Advisory Group (YAG) composed of student leaders from high schools throughout our community. This amazing set of young people has begun reaching out to students in their schools to solicit input for my office on issues ranging from recreational programming to crime and neighborhood amenities.[Facebook Youth Advisory Group]

  • Spanish-Language Outreach: As part of my continued efforts to engage traditionally under-represented communities, I have begun regular guest appearances on Radio America - 1540 AM. You can catch me every Friday morning at 9:20 am, with host Alejandro Carrasco, as I discuss local government and ways for residents to get involved in their communities.[Radio America]

  • Encouraging Census Participation: As many residents may have already heard, the U.S. Census Bureau is launching the 2010 Census, and I have been asked to co-chair Montgomery County's effort. It is important that every resident stand up and be counted, as millions in dollars in federal funding are at stake. I recently stood with County Executive Ike Leggett at a press conference to publicize our outreach efforts and to make sure that everyone participates. [Read Article]
    Protecting Our Quality of Life

  • Preserving Our Green Space: One bright spot to the recession is that I persuaded the County to preserve delicate green space for Fairland Park in Burtonsville, only a mile or so from the ICC. But we were only able to do so because a developer sold their land to the County for well below market rate, given the downturn in the real estate market. The Washington Post created a nice tour of this ecological treasure [Watch Video] [Read Article]

  • Housing Code Enforcement: I am a strong supporter of preserving Montgomery County's quality of life. To help maintain our neighborhoods, I have pledged my support for the County Executive's package of housing code enforcement reforms. These proposals will implement a range of changes, including reforms to help eliminate commercial vehicles and multiple cars on single-family lots. [Read Summary of Recommendations]

  • Milestone: Honoring Our Commitment to Good Neighbors: The residents of North White Oak have worked with the County for several years to relocate the 3rd District Police Station to the Milestone area of White Oak. However, they have now become concerned with the substantial loss of tree cover and buffers for the neighborhood. It is my firm belief that we must honor our commitment to those neighbors who have worked in good faith with the County to pave the way for new facilities in residential neighborhoods. In this instance, the residents were promised greater buffers and tree cover than are now being proposed, so I remain vigilant in asking the County Executive and Planning Board to incorporate their concerns into a more community friendly design. [Read Letter]

  • Lake Frank: Honoring Our Commitment to Good Neighbors: Some residents of the Manor Lake community have expressed concerns about the Park Department's routing of a connector trail between Lake Frank and the Rock Creek Trail. Originally, residents were promised ICC mitigation, in the form of removing abandoned parking lots and reforesting land in the immediate area. Without adequately notifying residents, the decision was made to instead pave a connector trail, so I have requested that the Parks Department go back to the drawing board and include the input of area residents. [Read Letter]

  • Character of the Neighborhood: Lastly, Burtonsville has for too long faced an ad hoc approach to development and land use, resulting in various eyesores and underutilized office space in the area. To combat this persistent problem, I sponsored a Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) to try to bring the permitted land uses in Burtonsville in line with residents' desires for the area. With the help of my colleague, Councilmember Marc Elrich, I co-sponsored a parallel ZTA to help protect the character of Sandy Spring's retail zone.

How to Contact Me:

Email: councilmember.navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov
Web: www.NancyNavarro.info
Blog: NancyNavarro.blogspot.com
Phone: (240) 777-7968

Councilmember Nancy Navarro
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850

A Commitment to Constituent Service:
Please Call Us for Help

Washington Post Newspaper Logo
I pride myself on the strong constituent services provided by my hard-working staff. The Washington Post last year profiled one of my aides, Alexis Reed, who works directly with constituents on issues affecting their communities. These cases have ranged from general neighborhood concerns, such as crime and pedestrian safety issues, to individual issues, ranging from deer and tick problems to cable television service problems. If you are having a problem in your community, please contact my office at: (240) 777-7986 orCouncilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov. [Read Article]
Helpful County Services

    Information on Services for Seniors [HERE]

    Information on Services for Small Business Owners [HERE]

    Information on County Services [HERE]

Get Plugged Into My Virtual Office

Blogspot Facebook Twitter


»»  read more

How to Report Potholes

For Immediate Release: February 25, 2010

Online System Makes It Easy to Report Potholes in Montgomery County

The aftermath of the recent record-breaking storms has produced more than mountains of snow. As anyone who has driven or ridden on area roads recently can attest -- pothole season is here. The conditions have been ideal for forming potholes – freezing temperatures at night, above freezing temperatures during the day and plenty of water from melting snow to seep into minute road surface cracks. As this daily freeze-thaw cycle expands and contracts pavement, the potholes are created.

Residents can report potholes either on the county’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/potholes or call Highway Services at 240-777-6000. It is helpful to provide as precise a location as possible, including the nearest street address or cross street.

Residents are reminded that numbered roads in the County, such as Rockville Pike, Route 355 or Georgia Avenue, Route 97, are maintained by the State Highway Administration (SHA). Report potholes to SHA at www.roads.maryland.gov, and then click on “Report Litter or Pothole.”

# # #

Media Contact: Esther Bowring, 240-777-6507
»»  read more

February 25, 2010

Let's Get It Started Youth Job Fair

»»  read more

February 23, 2010

Washington Gas Offering New Payment Method

»»  read more

Crime Solvers of Montgomery County Elect New Officers and Board Members

»»  read more

Councilmember Navarro Calls on the Parks Department to Revisit the Lake Frank Trail

»»  read more

February 17, 2010

Letter to Kaiser President: Please Reconsider Closing Kensington Urgent Care Facility

»»  read more

February 13, 2010

Snow Removal Update: What to Expect This Weekend in Montgomery County

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2010

Snow Removal Update:

What to Expect This Weekend in Montgomery County

The two back-to-back blizzards in Montgomery County this week buried our area in more than three-and-one-half feet of snow, and the extreme wind conditions on Wednesday produced snow drifts of up to 16 feet in the upper part of the County. Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has responded to this record storm by mobilizing an unprecedented 1,200 pieces of equipment for snow removal, and crews have been working non-stop for more than a week and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Here’s What DOT Has Done:

  • Cleared Primary and Secondary Roads Through Plowing and Snow Removal. Because of the historic amount of snow that must be cleared, DOT is conducting two different snow removal operations. In some areas, crews are plowing snow. In the more urbanized areas where there is inadequate space to pile up plowed snow, DOT is actually removing snow by loading it into dump trucks and hauling it away. This is an extremely time and resource intensive job that will take much longer than typical plowing operations.
  • Begun Clearing Neighborhood Streets. Many residents are understandably frustrated by the huge snowfalls and are eager to get out of their neighborhoods and resume their normal activities. Typically, it takes DOT 60 hours after a snowfall ends to clear the County’s roads of a 24-inch snowfall. Yet, just 24 hours after the end of Wednesday’s blizzard, DOT has brought primary and secondary roads to relatively good condition and is already clearing neighborhood streets.
  • Ensured Emergency Services are Able to Reach Residents. DOT snow plow operators continue to escort Police, Fire and Rescue and others to ensure they have access to residents who call with an emergency.
  • Aided in Getting Power Restored to Residents. DOT snow plows also accompanied PEPCO repair crews to make sure they could get to areas without power.

Here’s What to Expect This Weekend:

· Business District Snow Removal.

Crews will begin removing snow in the business districts in Silver Spring, Wheaton and Bethesda.

· Continue Operations on Neighborhood Streets.

Crews will continue to clear neighborhood streets.

· Return to Remove More Snow from All Roads.

Crews will go back to primary, secondary and neighborhood roads to remove additional snow.

Some Facts to Help Understand DOT’s Operations:

  • DOT clears more than 5,000 lane miles of road in Montgomery County.
  • The State Highway Administration clears all numbered roads in the County, which includes major arteries, such as Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike, Georgia Avenue, Connecticut Avenue, etc.
  • Major municipalities, such as Rockville and Gaithersburg, clear the roads within their jurisdictions.
  • DOT’s first priority in clearing roads is to remove snow from emergency routes and primary roads (main and divided highways such as Montrose Road or Norbeck Road).
  • Next, secondary roads are cleared, which are the main roads within neighborhoods. Residents may become understandably concerned that their street has been missed when secondary roads just a couple blocks away have been cleared and their road has not. However, all secondary roads must be cleared before any work on residential streets can begin because otherwise, residents driving out of their neighborhoods will have no access to main roads.
  • DOT’s policy about clearing roads is that primary and secondary roads are generally cleared to bare pavement. Neighborhood roads are not. Instead, they are made passable.

What Residents Can Do:

  • Be patient.
  • The county remains under a Snow Emergency Plan, which means there is no parking on roads designated by red and white snow emergency signs.
  • Give crews an opportunity to reach neighborhood streets over the next two days.
  • Residents may call 240-777-6000 or email highway@montgomerycountymd.gov if they believe their street has been missed.

# # #

Media Contact: Public Information Office, 240-777-6507

»»  read more

February 10, 2010

Councilmember Navarro Votes to Protect Ride On and Healthcare; Approves $70 million FY10 Savings Plan

During yesterday's Council session on the County Executive's proposed $70 million FY10 savings plan, I voted along with a majority of my colleagues to retain all Ride On service rather than make the reductions proposed by the Executive. Although I fully understand the seriousness of our current fiscal crisis, I believe that transit service must remain a top priority, especially in these economic conditions. Many of my constituents depend on Ride On to get to work, school or important community activities and the proposed reductions would have a serious negative impact on their lives. The Council may have to consider Ride On cuts again once we receive the County Executive's proposed FY11 operating budget. However, I remain committed to seeking out every possible alternative before making any reductions in this fundamental County service.

In addition, I voted yesterday to restore $183,000 to Montgomery Cares, which provides critical healthcare services to uninsured County residents. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services will offset this amount with reductions elsewhere in its budget.

Although we were able to protect these services, the Council voted unanimously to approve an overall $70 million budget cut, for a total of $100 million in FY10 reductions.

Though these were difficult choices to make, I truly believe that my votes reaffirm my support for fiscal responsibility while minimizing the impact of cuts on our most vulnerable residents.

»»  read more

February 9, 2010

Storm Services Information Update

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation's Division of Highway Services is managing snow removal operations. Unfortunately, our office has been advised by the County Executivethat snow removal has been delayed and complicated by the extreme weight and volume of snow resulting from this weekend's storm. In some areas, crews are actually removing the snow rather than plowing it aside, because of space limitations.

In addition, we are aware that thousands of residents are still without power. PEPCO and BG&E have notified our office that they are working around the clock and have brought in emergency crews to restore power as soon as possible. In the meantime, the County has opened warming centers at the following locations:

  • Rockville High School, at 250 Richard Montgomery Drive
  • Schweinhaut Senior Center, at1000 Forest Glen Road inSilver Spring
  • The Longwood RecreationCenter, at 19300 Georgia Avenue in Brookeville/Olney

If you need to contact DOT directly, the number is 240-777-6000. If you have a medical emergency or need to report a downed, live wire please dial 9-1-1.

We apologize for the difficulties you are experiencing, and appreciate your patience during this emergency. Please let me know if I can be of additional assistance. You can email me at: Councilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov

»»  read more

Winter Storm Update from Montgomery County (Courtesy of Alert Montgomery)

Since early Monday, all Montgomery County efforts have been fully focused on 4,128 miles of neighborhood roads – divided into 140 plow routes – with workers and machinery laboring around-the-clock to clear the snow as soon as possible.
Thousands still remain without power and hundreds of trees are down. The County continues to work closely with PEPCO to provide them with the snowplows, tree crews, and other assistance they need to restore service.
The shelter at Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville, remains open. Transport to the center is being handled by County volunteers with 4-wheel-drive vehicles and by Maryland National Guard members. Medical emergency calls continue to be handled by Fire & Rescue.
Ride On buses will operate on an “S” schedule today. Parking enforcement in County garages and parking lots will remain suspended through Thursday. County liquor stores will be open. The Solid Waste Transfer Station will close at 5 PM today.
Given piles of plowed snow along streets and at intersections, County officials urge motorists and pedestrians to continue to exercise extreme caution. Residents should continue to check in on friends and neighbors to make sure they are all right.
If there is an emergency, County residents should call 911. Please do not call 911 with snow plowing questions, as that delays responses to emergency calls. For snow calls, call 240-777-6000 or email highway@montgomerycountymd.gov. To volunteer with a 4-wheel drive vehicle, call 240-777-2600.

Tell others about Alert Montgomery! Have them sign-up for this free county service at https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov
»»  read more

February 2, 2010

Councilmembers Navarro and Ervin Advocate for Biotech Jobs in the East County


July, 20, 2009

TO: Royce Hanson, Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board

FROM: Councilmember Nancy Navarro, District 4
Councilmember Valerie Ervin, District 5

RE: Gaithersburg West Master Plan

The Planning Board and staff are working on the Gaithersburg West Master Plan, and we are aware of the creative thinking going into the proposal for the high density “Science City”. This concept is very exciting for the County. However, as Councilmembers from the eastern side of the County, we have some serious concerns.

As you work through the Gaithersburg West Plan, it is important that you don’t lose site of the vision for a second bio-tech center on Route 29. There has been a long-standing commitment to attract biotech development as well as to address the jobs/housing imbalance in the Route 29 corridor. How to ensure that the potential for employment and development in the Route 29 corridor isn’t negatively impacted by everything that is planned for the “science city” should be part of your discussion.

Just as the location of NIH in Bethesda has been the outstanding asset for the 270 corridor, the relocation of FDA to White Oak should result in a similar enhancement to Route 29 and surrounding areas. That is why it is critical that you keep the Route 29 corridor in mind as you finalize your recommendations for Germantown West. Our residents want reassurance there will also be the ability to attract future bio-science development and the capacity to grow it along the Route 29 corridor.
»»  read more

Leggett Seeks Applicants for East County Citizens Advisory Board

County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill seven vacancies on the East County Citizens Advisory Board. The deadline for application is February 5, 2010. Please share this notice with anyone who may be interested. You may access vacancy announcements for boards, committees, and commissions by clicking here

The 18-member Citizens Advisory Board serves as a liaison between the Eastern County community, and the County Executive, County Council, and County government departments by identifying community concerns and recommending possible solutions. It also advises the Director of the Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center on transportation, economic development, housing, education, human services, environment, recreation, public safety, and other issues of importance to the area. The group reviews and comments on the County’s capital and operating budgets and master plans; assists with strategies to tailor services to regional needs; and conducts workshops and forums, as well as acts on other ad hoc issues.

The advisory board is representative of more than 110,000 residents in eastern Montgomery County. This area includes the neighborhoods of Burtonsville, Fairland, White Oak, Cloverly and Colesville. The service area is bordered on the north by Howard County, on the east by Prince George’s County, on the south by Interstate 495 and on the west along Northwest Branch stream to Ednor Road.

For more information about the East County Citizens Advisory Board click here
»»  read more

Councilmember Navarro Advocates for Community Regarding Milestone Project

October 9, 2009

The Honorable Isiah Leggett
Montgomery County Executive
Executive Office Building
101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor
Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Mr. Leggett,

Since taking office this June, I have been in discussions with numerous members of the community regarding the proposed relocation of the 3rd District Police station to Milestone Drive. While I support this move, I have several concerns and suggestions regarding this project and the corrresponding housing that is currently under discussion.

As you know, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) has presented two visions for housing at the Milestone site: garden style apartments or townhomes. After having reviewed the contours of both proposals, I strongly urge you to move forward with the townhome concept rather than the apartments, with the following amendments:

1. Density & Tree Buffering: First and foremost, the current townhome proposal anticipates 77 units, with minimal tree buffering. However, by reducing the number of homes at the northern end of the site, the County can plan for additional buffering to minimize the visual and construction impacts on the surrounding community. The residents of the neighborhoods adjacent to the site were originally promised large buffers before supporting the Milestone site for a police station, but since the subsequent addition of housing to the police station project, that buffering has been both dramatically reduced and moved offsite. It would be only fair to those residents who participated in good faith in the site selection process to honor the County's original vision for the project. This means creating additional buffering between the new housing construction and the adjacent neighborhood, but it also means seeking opportunities to increase buffers and sound control devices between the police station and adjacent homes. To the maximum extent possible, I urge you to engage in onsite forest conservation.

2. Housing Type: Alongside the selection of townhomes, I firmly believe that workforce housing is the most appropriate type of housing at the Milestone site. With the expansion of government, biotech, medical and other life sciences jobs at the neighboring Food and Drug Administration campus, it will be critical for Montgomery County to accommodate the anticipated growth of the East County workforce. Doing so is critical not just to the vitality of our neighborhoods, but also to reduce the carbon emissions and vehicle miles traveled for employees
who currently sit in traffic while traveling on lengthy East-West or North-South commuter corridors. Thanks to your leadership, Montgomery County was able to launch its first workforce housing project at the Village at King Farm in Rockville, but we would like to see a similar commitment to workforce housing emerge in the White Oak area.

I know that by working together in a collaborative process, we can show residents of White Oak that Montgomery County can be a good neighbor and honor its commitment to vibrant workforce housing, economic growth, exceptional public safety facilities and environmentally sensitive County development.

We would appreciate a response by the close of business on Friday,
October 16th.


Nancy Navarro
County Councilmember District 4
»»  read more

Councilmember Navarro Requests Greater Forest Conservation for the Third District Police Station

January 29, 2010

Royce Hanson, Chairman
Montgomery County Planning Board
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Dear Chairman Hanson:

I am writing to you regarding the plan for the Third District Police Station that was recently submitted to the Planning Board for mandatory referral. While I support relocation of the station, I have concerns regarding the current plans for this project.

First, neighbors in the surrounding area are concerned with the seemingly inadequate levels of buffering between the police station and the surrounding neighborhood. The adjacent communities were originally promised large buffers before supporting the Milestone site for a police station, but since the subsequent consideration of housing adjacent to the police station project, that buffering was both dramatically reduced and moved offsite. If the station is relocated to a more central point on the site, a greater buffer can be provided between the existing homes and the new facility. This and other measures should be considered to minimize the project’s visual and construction impacts.

In addition, I believe that the plans for the Third District Police Station should provide for 100% on-site forest conservation, in order to minimize the environmental impact on the surrounding community and the nearby Paint Branch Special Protection Area.

I would appreciate your consideration of these points as you review this plan. I believe the Third District Police Station can be designed and built consistent with a commitment to exceptional public safety facilities and environmentally sensitive County development.


Nancy Navarro
County Councilmember District 4
»»  read more

Montgomery Council Unanimously Approves Bill Providing Equal Benefits to Same Sex Domestic Partners of Employees of County Contractors

ROCKVILLE, Md., February 2, 2010—The Montgomery County Council today unanimously approved an “equal benefits” bill that will extend to employees of many contractors and subcontractors performing work for the County a benefit already granted to County employees. District 4 Councilmember Nancy Navarro was the chief sponsor of Bill 37-09.

The bill was co-sponsored by Council President Nancy Floreen, Vice President Valerie Ervin and Councilmembers Phil Andrews, Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, George Leventhal and Duchy Trachtenberg. The equal benefits bill also had the support of County Executive Isiah Leggett.

The County has a longstanding policy, in law and practice, against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Montgomery County already grants equal benefits to a same sex domestic partner of a County employee that are offered to an employee’s spouse, through Bill 29-99, effective March 3, 2000. Navarro’s bill would simply extend this law to many employees of County contractors and subcontractors.

The legislation will extend equal benefits to a same-sex domestic partner of a covered employee recognized under a marriage license, domestic partnership or civil union granted out of state or to a same-sex domestic partner as defined in the new law. The legislation only covers employees who perform work for the County on a contract that is currently covered by either the County’s Wage Requirements Law or the recently enacted Prevailing Wage Law.

Benefits that may be extended under the legislation could include bereavement leave, family medical leave, sick leave, health benefits, dental benefits, disability insurance, life insurance and retirement benefits.

“When it comes to civil rights, it is critical that we treat contract employees with the same respect as County employees when it comes to something as important as same-sex benefits for their domestic partners. This is a matter of basic fairness,” said Councilmember Navarro. “Because we are a large County with a diversity of employment situations, we have people who provide services and do outstanding work over long periods of time, but who do it working as contractors instead of as County employees. This should not stop them from receiving the same benefits as their opposite-sex counterparts.”

Some of the important exclusions from the bill are:
· Non-construction services contracts for less than $50,000
· Contractors with less than 10 employees
· Contracts with government agencies or non-profit organizations
· Contracts for public utility services
· Emergency contracts
· Bridge contracts based upon a contract awarded by another government agency
Construction contracts valued at less than $500,000 or financed by State or Federal grants

Maryland currently grants limited rights to same sex couples through legislation passed in 2008 to establish “domestic partnerships” in the state. According to Equality Maryland, the 2008 State laws included 11 protections for domestic partners, including hospital visitation and the making of funeral arrangements for each other. The organization said the State laws also make allowance for a domestic partner's name to be added or removed from the deed of a residence, without incurring a tax liability, as with married spouses.

Montgomery County’s law granting equal benefits to County employees was upheld by the Maryland Court of Appeals in the case Tyma v. Montgomery County, 369 Md. 497 (Md. 2002).
»»  read more