montgomery in focus masthead
September 2010


PSC's Hearing on Pepco's Reliability and Communications - back to top

Floreen, O'Malley, Leggett with homeownerNow is your chance to make your views known to the Public Service Commission (PSC). You can write to the PSC with your experiences or to sign up to speak at the public hearing on August 30.  Your stories on the impacts continued power outages have on your life can make a difference as we call on the PSC to require a reliability plan from Pepco. I will testify based on letters I have received from residents and business owners, and I hope to see you there.

For background information on the Council's request that the PSC open an investigation and the results so far, visit my blog.

The PSC will continue its investigation into the reliability of Pepco's electric distribution system and the quality of service that Pepco is providing its customers by holding a public hearing in Rockville at 6 p.m. on Monday, August 30.

The public hearing will be held in the third floor hearing room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Avenue. According to the PSC, residents wishing to speak must sign in at the hearing room starting at 5:30 p.m.  Speakers will be limited to a maximum of five minutes. All attending must bring photo identification to enter the hearing room.

Written comments may be filed by August 31. Originally signed comments on paper may be submitted to Terry J. Romine, Executive Secretary, Maryland Public Service Commission, William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. Comments must reference "Case No. 9240—Public Comment." To ensure comments are entered into the PSC docket system, all comments must be mailed or hand-delivered. Comments sent via e-mail or fax will not be entered into the Commission's docket system.

The public hearing will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM--Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also can be viewed live on the County Web site.


More on Fillmore - back to top

fillmore renderingAs we approach the September 2 groundbreaking for the Fillmore music hall planned for downtown Silver Spring, we have learned that construction costs will exceed estimates by more than $3 million.  Although some variation is not unusual over the course of a long project, this amount came as a surprise.

The County Executive has advised us of his plans to fund the additional amount, which includes transfers from four canceled or under-budget capital improvements projects. He says that the transfers are permitted without a Council appropriation and should not affect the delivery of those projects. I will schedule a full briefing on the Executive's plans when the Council returns from its summer recess as I think it is important to have a public conversation about them.

You may recall that in a deal worked out nearly two years ago, the Lee Development Group agreed to donate land it owned in downtown Silver Spring to become the home of the Fillmore in exchange for special development considerations. 

Some have questioned what they consider to be a sweet deal for the developer, especially during tough economic times, but it is important to remember that this deal represents an investment in downtown Silver Spring.  It will spur development and generate tax revenue that ultimately will ease the burden on individual taxpayers.  The Fillmore is expected to open in September 2011.


Election Information - back to top

Here is some important information about the upcoming primary election on September 14:

  • Early voting is available September 3- September 9 (10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) including Labor Day but closed Sunday.  Early voting centers are Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center, Germantown Recreation Center, Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, Montgomery County Executive Office Building and Silver Spring Civic Building.
  • The deadline for receipt of your completed application for an absentee ballot by mail is September 7.  After that date, absentee ballots may be requested in person at the Board of Elections office.

For more information, visit the Board of Elections Web site.  The general election will be held on November 2.


Fast Fact - back to top

Stop by the Department of Recreation’s "Back to Recreation, Back to Fun" open houses at six of its community centers throughout the County. The open houses will be held on Sunday, September 12 from noon to 4 p.m. Visit any one of the centers to learn more about the many services offered through the County's Recreation Department. The open houses will feature a variety of exciting activities, demonstrations of upcoming fall programs and classes, facility tours, games, prizes and more.  You can also register for fall programs and activities currently offered in the 2010 Fall Guide.

The open houses will take place at the following centers:

  • Bauer Drive Community Center, 14625 Bauer Drive, Rockville;
  • Damascus Community Center, 25520 Oak Drive;
  • Germantown Community Center, 18905 Kingsview Road;
  • Long Branch Community Center, 8700 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring;
  • Marilyn Praisner Community Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville; and
  • Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road.


Green Tip of the Month - back to top

Get your reward for installing rain gardens, conservation landscaping, canopy trees, permeable pavers, green roofs, cisterns, rain barrels or dry wells.  New this year, pavement removal and replacement with vegetation is also a rebate eligible technique. The RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program is designed to reduce stormwater impacts on the County's streams and waterways, and residents, businesses, faith organizations and private schools are all eligible for rebates up to $1,200 for individuals or $5,000 for organizations.

The rebate program, which is funded in part by the County's Water Quality Protection Charge, has experienced growing popularity, so property owners are encouraged to get their applications in early before all rebate funds are allotted.


Let's Talk - back to top

Is your community organization hosting a public meeting?  Please let me know how I can help.  I am happy to assist residents in understanding pending bills or in finding ways to get involved in the political process.  Even more important, I want to hear about what matters to you.  Send your meeting notices to or call 240-777-7959 if you would like me to address a particular topic with your group.