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About Montgomery County

About headerAbout Montgomery County Montgomery County is Maryland's most populous jurisdiction and its most affluent. The County is located adjacent to the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and includes 497 square miles of land area. The topography is rolling with small hills. Elevations range from 52 feet above sea level near the District Line to 850 feet in the northern portion of the County near Damascus. To help orient people unfamiliar with the County, a simple map is included on this Web site. Demographics about the county are available from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission by calling 301-495-4600.

Established in 1779

Montgomery County, named after General Richard Montgomery, was established by the State Convention in 1776, functioned under the County Commission system until 1948, when voters adopted a charter giving the County home rule and a council-manager form of government. In 1968, the voters approved a new charter providing for separate legislative and executive branches of government, with the legislative power vested in an elected council and executive power in an elected county executive. The new charter was fully implemented in 1970 with the November election of an executive and a council. The County Council is currently composed of nine members, four of whom are nominated and elected by voters from the entire County, and five who are elected by voters in each of the County's five Councilmanic districts. Terms for the County Executive and County Council are 4 years.

For a more detailed history of the County and its Government, please see "Montgomery County Maryland -- Our History and Government." (pdf)

Current budget information is available at this site, including general information about the budget process and fiscal policy.

Elected Officials

The County Government is composed of the Executive and Legislative branches.

The Executive Branch implements and enforces Montgomery County's laws and provides executive direction to the government. Its chief executive officer is the County Executive.

The Legislative Branch consists of the County Council and related agencies. The Charter defines the Council's powers in three major areas: legislation, land use, and the budget.

Municipalities

The incorporated cities, towns, villages, and municipalities enact many of their own laws. The incorporated cities are Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Takoma Park. Other incorporated municipalities are Barnesville, Brookeville, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Garrett Park, Glen Echo, Kensington, Laytonsville, Poolesville, Somerset, and Washington Grove.