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Old 02-03-2012, 05:26 PM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Default Councilmember Nancy Navarro: Civic Leadership Conference, Small Business Support

Councilmember Navarro

The past few weeks have brought exciting developments at the County Council and in the community. I'm excited to share them with you in this e-newsletter.

 

If you want to get the latest news and updates in real-time, "like" me on Facebook or "follow" me on Twitter.

 

If you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to call my office at (240) 777-7968 or e-mail me.  

 

Thanks,

 

Nancy Navarro

Councilmember, District 4

Council Vice President

 

 

Latino Civic Leadership Conference

 

Last weekend, my office planned the first ever Latino Civic Leadership Conference, where more than 100 community leaders came together to create a countywide Latino civic organization. More than two-thirds (64) of the participants who attended said they would attend future meetings to help build the organization and serve as its core membership.

 

My Council office planned the day-long event in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools and the Collaboration Council. We were joined by Congressman Chris Van Hollen, County Executive Ike Leggett, and many of my fellow Councilmembers. Speakers included the Pew Hispanic Center's Mark Hugo Lopez and Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, the director of the Head Start program in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. It was funded by generous private donations and hosted by the Ana G. Mendez University in Wheaton.  

 

You can find pictures from the conference on my Facebook page and read a preview of the event here. I'll continue to update you on how the civic organization progresses and how you can get involved. 

Help for Small Businesses

 

Next week, I'll be introducing legislation to help protect small businesses during County redevelopment projects. The Small Business Assistance Program will provide much needed capital and opportunities for technical assistance to small businesses that are negatively impacted by redevelopment.

 

I believe our economic development strategy must include support for our small businesses so we can maintain the unique character of our communities. Needed redevelopment in neglected areas will revitalize the economic engine of our County, but may also put small, locally owned businesses at risk. My plan will create a program within the County's Department of Economic Development with the sole purpose of giving viable small businesses the resources they need to adapt to change and thrive in a new economic climate.

 

After the bill is formally introduced, I'll update you with the bill number and let you know the date of the public hearing so you can voice your support. 

County Executive Releases Recommended Capital Budget

  

On January 17th, the County Executive released his Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Recommended Capital Budget and Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The "capital budget" is a phonebook-sized list of projects around the county; many of which are eligible for funding through County bonds. While there are too many projects to describe in detail, I wanted to note a few that may be of interest to you.

 

First, the Wheaton Library and Recreation Center is in the plan, but not in the expedited timeframe I prefer. I will work with my colleagues to push this project forward because Wheaton residents have waited too long for a new library and recreation center. Similarly, I will push to move forward needed funding for the renovation of Wheaton High School, which needs significant modernization.

 

In Olney, the Ross Boddy Recreation Center is on track and should be completed in FY15. The Olney Library Renovation and Addition is also on track and scheduled to be finished by the end of FY13. The other project of note in Olney is the Gold Mine Road Bridge, which has been funded in the Executive's recommended budget and is scheduled to be completed in FY15.

 

As budget season continues, I will provide updates on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as my regular e-mail newsletters. 

Big Box Update

 

On Tuesday, three bills were introduced to limit the potentially negative impact of big box retail stores in Montgomery County. Two of the bills are Zoning Text Amendments (ZTA) that will limit the size of stores near Metro, require space for small retailers, set design guidelines, and require certain big box stores to go through the Special Exception process, which involves extensive community input. I strongly support both of these ZTAs (ZTA 12-01 & ZTA 12-02) because our County needs to begin developing a vision for how big box stores fit into our communities.

 

The third bill (Bill 4-12) introduced this week is legislation requiring an employer operating a big box store that receives support through the County Economic Development Fund to comply with Montgomery County's Living Wage Law and offer their employees quality health insurance. If a big box store is being offered government subsidies, they have a responsibility to provide their employees with wages and benefits that offer the opportunity for a good quality of life. I support this legislation because our workers deserve to earn enough to support their families and health insurance that provides security in difficult times.   

Ross Boddy's Proud History

 

My Council Office, in collaboration with the Ross Boddy Community Center, Montgomery College and Comcast have been working together to develop a documentary about senior citizens living in the historically African American and Quaker community of Sandy Spring.  The original idea was to record oral histories from the senior citizens to be shared with school children and all residents of Montgomery County.  The wealth of information to be shared includes the area's rich history, including African American residents' interactions with the Quaker community and their experience attending segregated schools. 

 

The documentary includes interviews with members of the Ross Boddy senior citizens program.  It focuses on their experiences and livelihoods in Sandy Spring.  The interviews were conducted by Montgomery College students with an interest in African American history.  Area school children were asked to be involved in the project as well.  The goal is to showcase this documentary film during African American History month in schools across Montgomery County. To date, the oral histories with community members have been filmed, as well as footage of the Sandy Spring area.  The release of the documentary is scheduled for late February.  

New Council District Boundaries Coming in March

 

 

 

On March 7th, the new Council district boundaries officially take effect. In December, the County Executive signed Bill 31-11 into law after it was unanimously passed by the County C ouncil. The "new" District 4 moves west, covering much of mid-county, including Wheaton, Glenmont and Olney. You can find the new District 4 map and the Redistricting Commission's recommendations on the County website.    

Council Explores County's Changing Demographics

 

At Tuesday's Council session, we had the first installment of an ongoing series called, "Shaping Our Future: Adapting to Change." This series of presentations by leading experts will explore our County's demographics, economic condition and how we provide services to emerging communities.

 

Our first presenter, Planning Department director Rollin Stanley, provided some context for ongoing discussions with his presentation, "Change/Coordination/Adaptation." Montgomery County Public School Superintendent Joshua Starr and Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard provided some of their own thoughts about how demographic change impacts the County's educational needs. Next, we will hear from economists at the Brookings Institution who will discuss how changing demographics impact our local economy. 

Comcast Reaches Agreement with County for Fees on Customers

 

Last month, our County's outstanding Office of Consumer Protection reached an agreement with Comcast for charging customers a service fee without proper disclosure. Under the agreement, Comcast will provide two forms of disclosure when charging their "trip-truck fee" and has agreed to pay the Office of Consumer Protection $25,000 for consumer education. You can read more about this agreement in this article and press release.

 

From developing the next generation of community leaders to helping our small businesses adapt to change, I am working every day to strengthen Montgomery County.

 

Although our County will continue facing difficult budget decisions, I look forward to fighting for programs that help those most in need in our community. I will continue advocating for smart development and increased resources for areas in Montgomery County that have been neglected or ignored for far too long. 

Community Bulletin Board  

 

A New Vision for Glenmont

 

This Saturday, Montgomery County's Planning Department will hold a visioning workshop for Glenmont residents and business owners to discuss the future of Glenmont Shopping Center and the surrounding area.

 

The workshop is the first major community outreach activity for the Glenmont Sector Plan , which will evaluate the potential of the Glenmont Shopping Center and its immediate surroundings to become a mixed retail-residential focal point in the community. Planners also want to identify better pedestrian connections to the center and nearby Glenmont Metro station. The Planning Department will summarize the results of the workshop and present future development scenarios at a follow-up meeting in late February.

 

Planners develop master and sector plans to create a framework for each community designed to last 15 to 20 years. Those visions help planners and policy-makers - such as the Planning Board and County Council - develop land use strategies and decide on proposed development.

 

Spanish interpreters will be available at the meeting.

 

WHO: Montgomery County Planning Department

 

WHAT:  Glenmont Sector Plan community visioning workshop

 

WHEN:  Saturday, February 4, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

 

WHERE: Maryland-National Capital Park Police Headquarters/Saddlebrook
                12751 Layhill Road Silver Spring, MD 20906

 

LEARN MORE:  www.montgomeryplanning.org/community/glenmont

 

Spanish Speaking Election Judges Needed this April

 

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is seeking individuals with Spanish speaking fluency to serve as election judges at polling places on Primary Election Day, Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

 

Election Judges must be registered to vote in the State of Maryland, 18 years of age or older, and a U.S. citizen. Judges must also be able to speak, read, and write in English. Montgomery County residency is not a pre-requisite to serve.

 

All judges will be compensated for training and for Election Day service.

 

If you are interested in taking a leadership position in your community on Election Day, please contact the Montgomery County Board of Elections at

240-777-8532, download an election judge questionnaire or e-mail Dr. Gilberto Zelaya.

 

Get Help to Avoid Home Foreclosures

 

If you're facing foreclosure of are having trouble staying current on your mortgage, you are not alone. The Capital Area Foreclosure Network (CAFN) - a partnership between the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington - can help.

 

Text 'HOME' or 'CASA' to 877-877 or call the regional foreclosure hotline at (888) 794-8830 (English and Spanish) to connect to a free housing counselor in your area. Services are available in both English and Spanish. Find more information at www.cafn.org.

 

Go Green!

 

In these tough economic times, it is difficult to stomach making improvements to your home. But what if those improvements could pay for themselves and help the environment? Find incentives, programs and local resources to help you save money and "green" your lifestyle in one place: MyGreenMontgomery.org.

Contact Me:

Office of Councilmember Nancy Navarro
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
(240) 777 - 7968



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In This Issue
Latino Civic Leadership Conference
Help for Small Businesses
County Executive Releases Recommended Capital Budget
Big Box Update
Ross Boddy's Proud History
New Council District Boundaries Coming in March
Council Explores County's Changing Demographics
Comcast Reaches Agreement with County for Fees on Customers
Community Bulletin Board
Contact Me
Social Media
Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Visit my blog
Important County Links


Healthy Montgomery



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