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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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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).
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