Montgomery in Focus Masthead
November 2009


Job Search Workshop and Information Fair - back to top

classified adsMontgomery County has lost 14,000 jobs since July of 2008, so getting our residents back to work is my top priority. Job hunters face real challenges in today's economy, but opportunities still exist, and we're here to help.

Congressman Chris Van Hollen and I will co-host a Job Search Workshop and Information Fair that features seminars starting every hour. The event is open to the public, but preregistration is requested. Join us:

Saturday, November 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Council Office Building, 2nd and 3rd Floors
100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville

The fair will feature County and federal agencies, non-profit organizations and private companies that will help attendees be better prepared when they set out to seek their next job, and beyond that, to have polished skills when they are closing in on potential jobs--such as, at the interview stage.

Seminars at the fair will include:

  • Interviewing Skills presented by Montgomery Works
  • Applying for a Federal Job by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • Effective Job Search Strategies presented by the Montgomery County Commission for Women Counseling and Career Center
  • Making the Most of Non-Working Time  presented by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center; Coffey Consulting and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Starting Your Own Business (in English and Spanish) presented by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and the Latino Economic Development Corporation.

Information booths at the fair will include:

  • Montgomery County Office of Human Resources 
  • Commission for Women Counseling and Career Center 
  • U.S. Census 
  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management 
  • Montgomery Works
  • Montgomery County Volunteer Center 
  • Montgomery County Department of Economic Development 
  • Latino Economic Development Corporation 
  • Montgomery County Department of Recreation

Free parking is available in the visitors' garage behind the building, or it is a short walk from the Rockville Metro. To pre-register, call 240-777-7959.


Appearing at the Literary Luncheon Series - back to top

When I got married 35 years ago, I never imagined that my husband, David Stewart, and I would appear together to discuss our lives as an author, an elected official and a couple.  But that’s just what we're going to do at the Friends of the Library's Literary Luncheon Series on November 19 at the Mansion at Strathmore.

David, a constitutional lawyer turned author, has published two books and is working on a third.  The Summer of 1787 traces the struggle at the Philadelphia Convention to create the world's first constitutional democracy, while Impeached explores the fiery story of the first presidential impeachment in 1868.  What's he working on now?  Come to the lecture to find out.

David says of our life together, “It probably helps that we fell in love long before she became a politician and I started writing books.”  Maybe he's right, but I like to think our demanding careers give us some really interesting things to talk about at the dinner table.  To register for the lecture, luncheon and book signing, visit the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County.


Property Tax Credit Deadline Extended--Apply Now - back to top

I get a lot of calls in my office about low-income and senior homeowner property tax credits, so I want to be sure everyone knows that the deadline to apply for the credits has been extended to November 2. Here's some more information about the County and State programs:

The State of Maryland has a program that gives a credit against the homeowner's property tax bill if the property taxes exceed a fixed percentage of the household income. In other words, it sets a limit on the amount of property taxes any homeowner must pay, based on his or her income. Montgomery County offers two supplemental tax credit programs. You can apply for all three programs with one application. The deadline to apply for credits has been extended to Monday, Nov. 2.

The tax credit programs available are:
• Maryland Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program
• Montgomery County Supplemental Property Tax Credit
• Montgomery County Senior Property Tax Credit

Who is Eligible?
Even if you have applied for a tax credit previously and been denied, you are encouraged to apply again since the tax credit programs have changed and been improved over the years.
You may be eligible for the Maryland Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit and the County Supplemental Property Tax Credit if:

• Your annual household income is about $64,000 or less
• You own and live in your home in Montgomery County
• You have lived in that home for at least six months, or will live in it for six of the next 12 months
• The combined net worth of everyone in your household must not exceed $200,000. This does not include the value of your principal residence or the cash value of any qualified retirement savings or individual retirement accounts. It does include any other real estate or investments you own.
• Only the first $300,000 of your home’s assessed value counts toward these credits
• The cities of Gaithersburg and Rockville provide additional tax credits to their homeowners under similar programs

If you are at least 70 years of age, you will automatically receive the Montgomery County Senior Property Tax Credit if you receive either or both of the Maryland and Montgomery County Tax Credits.

For more information, call the Tax Credits Telephone Service at 410-767-4433 or 1-800-944-7403 (toll free in Maryland).


Tunnel Talk With Jed Millard - back to top

Jed says:

Sometimes it seems like crime is everywhere, but it may not be as bad as you think. National research indicates that the public perceives a greater likelihood of crime on public transit than actually occurs. This October, the Public Safety Committee held a work session on a report conducted by Montgomery County's Office of Legislative Oversight on transit-related crime. Transit-related crime is defined as crimes that occur: on public transit vehicles; at public transit stops; and in public transit parking facilities.

The most reported transit-related crimes in the County are larceny and robbery, making up over 80 percent of serious reported crimes. Destruction of property and simple assault are the most commonly reported lesser crimes, and make up approximately 75 percent of total crimes reported throughout the entire transit system. Data was also broken down by location of where the crimes were committed with 41 percentat bus stops, 37 percent in Metro parking lots, 14 percentin Metro parking garages, seven percent in Metro stations, and less than one percent on Metro trains.

The four Montgomery County Metro stations with the highest number of reported crimes are: Shady Grove, 20 percent; Silver Spring, 15 percent; Wheaton, 13 percent; and Glenmont 12 percent. It is important to note that transit-related crimes comprise only a small fraction of the approximately 70,000 crimes reported in the County each year. Will this information affect your use of the transit system?


Fast Fact - back to top

We need to get a complete count of the Montgomery County's population in the 2010 Census.

Each year the federal government allocates more than $400 billion to states and communities based, in part, on census data. Census data is used to determine locations for schools, hospitals, new housing developments, schools and other community facilities. Census data determines boundaries for state and local legislative and congressional districts.

Census Day is April 1, 2010. By that time, every household will have received a short questionnaire that is easy to complete and return. Questions regarding those residing in each household will include name, relationship, gender, age, race and whether the respondent owns or rents the home. Answers are confidential, as the Census Bureau cannot share an individual's response with anyone, including welfare and immigration agencies. Census takers will visit households in May that did not return a questionnaire.


Note to Newsletter Editors - back to top

Did you find something useful in this e-newsletter? Some people have asked me if they can use the material from my newsletter in their own civic association or HOA newsletters. The answer is yes. I provide this information to help residents find what they need and participate in the legislative process, so feel free to use it.


Green Tip of the Month - back to top

Which is safer for protecting the information written on your discarded paper: recycling or trash disposal? Some people think the trash is better. In fact, neither method is secure for personal, or confidential information. Always shred personal, confidential or sensitive documents. Then, you may add them to your paper recycling.

We don't want shredded paper to blow around your neighborhood while awaiting collection or while being emptied into the collection truck, so place paper shreds into a paper bag and staple or tape it shut. Then, add this bag to your other paper recyclables.