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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August 8, 2012

Wheaton Public Safety Memo






August 8, 2012
TO: Councilmembers
FROM: Council Vice President Nancy Navarro and Councilmember Hans Riemer
SUBJECT: Wheaton Public Safety Working Group

The Wheaton Public Safety Working Group is an element of the Montgomery County Council’s
efforts to revitalize Wheaton’s downtown core. While crime has reportedly decreased in
Wheaton, public perception of safety in the area remains mixed. Public safety is integral in the
overall revitalization effort and shaping attitudes concerning Wheaton’s future.
On Monday, July 9th we met with Montgomery County Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger, 4th
District Commander John Damskey, Mid-County Regional Services Center Director Ana Lopez
Van Balen and Wheaton Urban District Operations Manager Joe Callaway to discuss ways of
bringing community stakeholders together to discuss public safety in downtown Wheaton and
follow through on outstanding recommendations presented by the Wheaton Public Safety Audit
Task Force in October of 2004. The meeting started with an analysis of the 2004 Task Force
recommendations, many of which continue to be relevant today.
Scope of the Initiative:
The scope of the Wheaton Public Safety Working Group will be to study and implement ways of
improving public safety, quality of life, and perceptions of downtown Wheaton as it relates to
revitalization efforts. The Working Group will focus on the following areas:
• Review, evaluate and seek to implement outstanding recommendations from the 2004
Task Force report;
• Establish a community outreach mechanism similar to the Briggs Chaney/IDA Sector
Community Meeting model;
• Educate residents and business owners about Wheaton revitalization and redevelopment
• Identify gaps or possible areas of improvement in current public safety services in
• Develop strategies to improve perceptions about public safety in Wheaton;
• Provide recommendations, as necessary, to the County Executive and Council.
Participants for Proposed Initiative:
Membership of this Working Group will be comprised of government agencies, civic
associations, residents and business owners. Members will include:
• Representatives from the Offices of Councilmembers Navarro and Riemer;
• Mid-County Regional Services Center Director Ana Lopez van Balen;
• 4th District Police Commander John Damskey (or designee);
• A representative from the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board, the Wheaton Urban
District Advisory Board (WUDAC), and the Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory
Committee (WRAC);
• A representative from Westfield Mall;
• A representative from the Wheaton and Kensington Chamber of Commerce;
• A representative from Montgomery County Public Schools and Parent-Teacher
• Representatives from neighborhood civic associations; and
• Wheaton business owners and residents.
Staff Support:
The Working Group will receive staff support from the Executive Branch, including the Mid-
County Regional Services Center, Wheaton Urban District, and Montgomery County Police
Community oriented policing requires strong, collaborative partnerships among government,
business and residents. This initiative carries on the mission of the 2004 Public Safety Audit
Task Force to alter the existing perception that Wheaton is unsafe, while also taking into
consideration Wheaton’s ongoing revitalization—both through public and private investments.
As long-time supporters of its redevelopment effort, we believe the Public Safety Working
Group is one more way we can demonstrate Wheaton continues to be a top priority.
             CC: J. Thomas Manger, Chief, Montgomery County Police Department
                   John Damskey, Commander, 4th District Police Station
                  Ana Lopez van Balen, Mid-County Regional Services Center Director
                  Joe Callaway, Wheaton Urban District Operations Manager
                  Rob Klein, Wheaton Redevelopment Program Manager
                  Peter McGinnity, Manager, Business Development & Intergovernmental Program
»»  read more

August 3, 2012

August Newsletter

Dear Friends,

If you are watching the Olympics, you might see the London 2012 motto: "Inspire a Generation."

Seeing the greatest athletes in the world compete at the highest level is certainly an inspiration. Young people across the globe are dreaming of some day being on that podium receiving a gold medal. 

At the Council, we can do a little bit to give Montgomery County's youth a better chance to succeed--not just in the Olympics, but in life.

During this year's budget, I fought to pass the Families and Youth Support Enhancement Initiative because I believe all young people deserve to reach their full potential. We passed the Student/Teen Employment Program (STEP), providing young people with good jobs and important lessons during the summer. We quadrupled the number of Teen Escape Clubs in the County, giving youth an opportunity to develop their ownpositive activities in a safe setting.

We also provided funding for the Department of Recreation's Sports Academies at Wheaton, Paint Branch, Montgomery Blair and Springbrook High Schools, so we don't miss the next Michael Phelps or Hope Solo.

In next year's budget, we need to continue expanding our positive youth activities because these programs provide a chance for all of our kids to be inspired.

Thanks for reading my newsletter! As always, if my office can ever be of assistance, please call (240) 777-7968 or send us an email. You can also visit mywebsite and find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Nancy Navarro
Council Vice President
Councilmember, District 4
Since we passed the budget in May, the Council has had a full legislative agenda, with bills and zoning text amendments protecting workers' rights, the environment and public health.

Earlier this week, the Health and Human Services Committee voted 2-1 on the Displaced Worker Protection Act (Bill 19-12). The bill would make sure that when a building changes its cleaning and security contractors, the workers are given 90 days to look for a new job. This legislation will make sure working people living paycheck-to-paycheck have a chance to land on their feet when they are fired for no fault of their own. You can watch my remarks at a press conference about the Displaced Worker Protection Act here.

Last week, the Council unanimously passed Zoning Text Amendment 12-07, which will prohibit "mega gas stations" (those dispensing more than 3.6 million gallons per year) from locating within 300 feet of a school, swimming pool and other sensitive areas. This new law will keep dangerous fumes away from places our children play and protect the environment at the same time.

In the fall, the Council will consider whether to ban a dangerous substance called Coal Tar, which is used in some places to pave roads. The run-off from Coal Tar products pollutes water across the country. Bill 21-12 will stop all use of this dangerous chemical in Montgomery County. A similar measure has already been approved in the District of Columbia and the federal government is considering a nationwide ban.  

Following the June 29th derecho, the Council held a series of de-briefings about the performance of Pepco, as well as the county's emergency management response in the aftermath of the storm.

On August 7th, the Public Service Commission (the state entity responsible for regulating utilities) will hold a public hearing on the 3rd floor hearing room of the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave. Rockville 20850). You can find more information about the public hearing on the Public Service Commission website.

On October 8th, the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee (GO), which I chair, will hold a meeting to discuss the response of our cable companies to the storm. It is important to realize that cable does not just provide television service anymore. With phone and internet "bundle" packages, the loss of your cable service is not just an inconvenience--it is a public safety issue. Just as we needed answers from our power utilities, we also need to understand why our cable companies did not do more to communicate with customers during the storm.


In 2004, Montgomery County established a Wheaton Public Safety Taskforce to address a range of public safety issues in and around the Wheaton area. With the ongoing private development taking place and a $66 million public investment in Wheaton over the next few years, it is time to take another look at what we can do to make sure Wheaton continues to be a safe place to work and live.

In April, Councilmember Hans Riemer and I sent a letter to the County Executive and Police Chief Thomas Manger to start the conversation about reinstituting a similar group for Wheaton. We met with the Chief a couple of weeks ago and decided that we would develop a proposal to complete some of the unfinished work of the 2004 task force. I will provide an update on this initiative in the fall as we continue developing this proposal.


One of the Council's most important responsibilities is developing land-use policy for the County. In July, the Council approved an application for new development at the Privacy World property located across the street from the Glenmont Metro Station. This proposal is set to provide up to 1,550 new residential units and 90,000 square feet of retail. Having more density near Metro is in line with our smart-growth and transit-oriented development priorities. It will also provide much-needed amenities and job opportunities in the Glenmont area. I am looking forward to continuing to revitalize Glenmont as the Planning Board begins work on the Glenmont Master Plan, scheduled for Council consideration in 2013.

On another Glenmont-related note, the Council approved the County Executive's request to relocate Fire Station #18--also known as the Glenmont Fire Station. The new location will be the old Glenmont Elementary School site, located directly across the street from the current fire station. This move is necessary because of the State Highway Administration's project creating a grade-separated interchange at Georgia Ave. and Randolph Rd.

Earlier this week, the Council established the work plan for the Planning Department, which includes an important new project that was not previously on the schedule. I moved and the Council approved a "minor master plan" for Sandy Spring, which will allow the Planning Department to develop recommendations to follow through on the Vision for Sandy Spring report that was completed in 2010. This limited master plan will implement the recommendations of the Sandy Spring Master Plan, help existing small businesses, improve transitions to existing neighborhoods, increase pedestrian connections and expand open space in the community.  

As you may know, the Council's district boundaries shifted back in February. However, there are two important master plans coming up for what used to be District 4, but are now in District 5, represented by Councilmember Valerie Ervin. The Council is set to take up theBurtonsville Crossroads Neighborhood Plan this fall and the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan next year. These two plans are vital to enhancing the quality of life in East County by providing much-needed job opportunities and amenities. While these areas are not in my district, I continue to have a very strong interest in seeing this part of our county succeed. I will work closely with Councilmember Ervin to follow through on our vision for revitalizing this area.
The MCPL Express @ Olney housed at the Longwood Community Center will be temporarily closed from August 12th until August 26th because of scheduled building maintenance and cleaning. Normal operations will resume on August 27th

Construction of the Olney Library is underway and is on schedule to open in early Fall 2013. You can get the latest information about this renovation project by subscribing to the Olney Library Renovation Blog and checking out these construction photos.  

Salvadoran Festival
Governor O'Malley proclaimed August 5th as "Salvadoran-American Heritage Day in Maryland." Come celebrate at the Salvadoran-American Festival this Sunday, August 5th from noon to 6 p.m. at Wheaton Triangle (2424 Reedie Dr.). Enjoy performances by Salvadoran musical groups, crafts and delicious food.

The event will also include a Health Fair, where more than 20 health care organizations will provide free screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, osteoporosis, HIV, body mass, as well as vision and dental services. Health information about nutrition, fitness, healthy cooking, family planning and smoking cessation will also be available. You can find more information about the festival here.

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair
The 64th Annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair will take place at the Montgomery County Fair Grounds in Gaithersburg from August 10th to 18th. This is a wonderful annual event that is fun for the whole family. Find more information on the official website.

Child Safety Seat Inspection
On Thursday, August 16th from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Fitzgerald's Auto Mall (5501 Nicholson Lane, Rockville) is offering a free check of the condition and proper installation of child safety seats by specially-trained Fitzgerald staff, Fire & Rescue personnel, and Police. Every child under eight years old must be secured in a federally-approved and correctly used child restraint system (child safety seat or booster seat) when riding in a motor vehicle, unless the child is 4' 9" or taller, or weighs more than 65 pounds. All vehicle passengers under the age of 16 must be restrained by a seat belt.

Board and Commission Vacancies
The County Executive is seeking applications to fill several County Board and Commission vacancies. There is a vacancy on the Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee, which helps advise the Executive and Council on matters related to the revitalization of Wheaton. You can find more information about Executive-appointed vacancies here.

There is also a new vacancy for the County's Charter Review Commission, which is appointed by the County Council. You can learn more about the Charter Review Commission here and find out how to apply by calling Linda Lauer, Clerk of the Council, at 240-777-7979.

Spanish-speaking Election Judges Needed
The Montgomery County Board of Elections needs 12 individuals who are fluent in Spanish to serve as election judges at polling places on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012. These persons also be able to speak, read,and write English, be registered to vote in the State of Maryland, 18 years of age or older and US citizens. Montgomery County residency is not a pre-requisite to serve. All election judges are compensated for training and election day service.   

Anyone interested in becoming an election judge should contact the Montgomery County Board of Elections at 240-777-8532, download an election judge questionnaire fromwww.777vote.org or e-mail Dr. Gilberto Zelaya.
»»  read more

May 17, 2012

FY13 Budget Remarks

This week, the Maryland General Assembly passed an income tax increase that will disproportionately hit Montgomery County residents. At the same time, our County Council approved a budget that will keep property tax revenue level and cut the energy tax.
While the State is passing off its obligations to local government and tying our hands with mandates, we are investing in our children, our community and our future.

This budget is an important step toward restoring many of the services that have been cut since the Great Recession. The FY13 Operating Budget was our first opportunity since the economic downturn to strengthen our social safety net by supporting programs that help our most vulnerable residents. We restored the Working Families Income Supplement and added an energy assistance program for low income residents.

We kept our promise to enhance positive youth development programming by funding the Families and Youth Enhancement Initiative, a key step towards strengthening our communities. We are increasing staff levels for our gang prevention specialists in the Street Outreach Network and expanding the successful East County Teen Escape Club model to 4 more sites Countywide. We are also providing job opportunities and indispensable learning experiences to youth this summer through the Student/Teen Employment Program (STEP).

As chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, I have worked side-by-side with my colleagues to maintain our County’s pristine credit rating by making fiscally responsible decisions. This budget continues to adhere to the most rigorous fiscal policies and responsible Spending Affordability Guidelines that our County has ever adopted. We were able to fully fund all negotiated agreements by our public employee unions and give our hard-working County Employees a one-time lump sum payment after years of cuts and furloughs.

In the Capital Budget, I was proud that my colleagues came together to invest more than $66 million in Wheaton’s downtown over the next six years. We accelerated the construction of Wheaton Library and Recreation Center and kept on track the renovation of Wheaton High School and Thomas Edison Technical High School. We continued essential funding for the Olney Library, which is scheduled to be completed on time. This Council has always been fully committed to our transportation priorities, which is why we added funding for key Purple Line and infrastructure projects.

I want to thank our County Executive for sending a responsible budget, Council President Berliner for his leadership, and my colleagues for their diligent work in enhancing our priorities.  Finally and most importantly, I want to thank our constituents for their feedback and contributions to our great County.

»»  read more

March 13, 2012

Montgomery County Council Statement on Pending Deportation of Acuña Family

Council Seeks Intervention in Situation Involving
Montgomery College Student from Germantown and His Parents
ROCKVILLE, Md., March 12, 2012—All nine members of the Montgomery County Council today signed a statement expressing their concern about the Department of Homeland Security’s detention and pending deportation of Germantown resident Jorge Steven Acuña (age 19), his mother, Blanca, and his father, Jorge.
“We urge the White House and the Department of Homeland Security to intervene in this terrible situation,” the statement reads. “We also call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to finally fix this broken system.”
The complete Montgomery County Council statement on the detention and pending deportation of the Acuña Family:
We are deeply concerned by the Department of Homeland Security’s detention and pending deportation of Germantown resident Jorge Steven Acuña (age 19) and his mother, Blanca Susana Acuña and father, Jorge Acuña.
This issue was brought to our attention because of the incredible outpouring of support and activism by students at Montgomery College. More than 4,000 people have signed a petition and joined a Facebook group in an effort to stop this unjust action by the federal government.
Jorge’s parents brought him to the United States from Colombia when he was 8 years old. He grew up in Montgomery County, was an honor student at Northwest High School, and is only a semester away from graduating from Montgomery College. His parents, in an effort to do the right thing and seek legal asylum status, were caught up in our nation’s broken immigration system and now face the prospect of deportation. The entire family is currently being held in an ICE facility on the Eastern Shore.
In a similar situation earlier this month in Florida, ICE used its prosecutorial discretion and decided to defer deportation of an 18-year-old high school valedictorian who was born in Colombia and came to the United States at 4 years old. We encourage ICE to use the same good judgment again, this time in the case of the Acuña Family.
We stand committed to working with Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski to help the Acuña Family avoid deportation. The Acuña Family’s attorney has prepared an emergency stay application and the Montgomery County Council is strongly supportive of this request.
We urge the White House and the Department of Homeland Security to intervene in this terrible situation. We also call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to finally fix this broken system.
For additional information:
Twitter Hashtag: #JSA

»»  read more

January 12, 2012


Have you ever been unsure about where to go to find all of the incentives, information and programs to help you green your lifestyle and save money? Now there is one site for Montgomery County residents to get this information and learn from others in the community: MyGreenMontgomery.org! Check out: http://www.mygreenmontgomery.org Access resources available to you and find out how to save money and decrease your impact on the environment. Visit MyGreenMontgomery.org to learn more!
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