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Montgomery County Council committee highlights for Monday, July 17

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 14, 2017

Montgomery Council committee to
discuss crime and gang activity
Also on Monday, July 17: Head Start program expansion

and Rock Spring Master Plan

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 14, 2017—The Montgomery County Council’s Public Safety Committee will meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 17, to get an update on County crime statistics and gang activity. The Planning, Housing and Economic (PHED) Development Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to continue its review of the Rock Spring Master Plan. Also at 2 p.m., the Education Committee will meet to discuss a $2.1 million supplemental appropriation to expand Head Start programs.

The Public Safety Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Marc Elrich and includes Councilmembers Tom Hucker and Sidney Katz, will meet in the Third Floor Council Conference Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

The meeting will be will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon. The session also will be available live via streaming through the Council web site at .

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and his officers will brief the Public Safety Committee on the types of crimes occurring in the County. In 2016 the County saw a 5.6 percent reduction in serious crimes. This is the second year that serious crimes have decreased.

The Police Department reports that 2016 crime rates are almost identical to those of 2013, which marked the lowest crime rates in the County in more than a decade. The Police Department will provide detailed statistics on crimes in the County, as well as closure rates, firearms recovery, mental health calls for service, and bias incidents. The full staff report can be viewed at: .

Recently there have been several high-profile crimes that involve gang-related activity. The Police Department advises that gang activity constitutes a relatively small percentage of reported crime in the County; however, gang homicides have seen a significant increase. The State’s Attorney’s Office indicates that since mid-2015, half of the County’s homicides have been gang-related. The Police Department reports that gang-related robberies also spiked last year. Other gang-related crimes have remained fairly level since 2011. The staff report can be viewed at: .

The Education Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Craig Rice and includes Councilmembers Elrich and Nancy Navarro, will meet at 2 p.m. in the Third Floor Council Conference Room to review a special appropriation to the Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget that is required to implement Head Start program expansion. The Board of Education requested this appropriation on June 29. The Board’s request would not require the appropriation of any new dollars; instead, but it would allow Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to receive and spend the additional Head Start dollars.

As part of its final action on the FY18 budget, the Council supported the Executive’s recommended appropriation for early childhood education services in both the County Government and MCPS budgets and took action to expand these services by appropriating an additional:
• $2,186,180 to the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget to expand 10 MCPS Head Start classrooms from half-day to full-day programming.
• $342,000 for community-based Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) services delivered by Centro Nia to accommodate an additional 40 three- and four-year-old students.
• $50,000 for higher education scholarships for child care providers to build a quality workforce to expand Pre-K services.

Also on July 17, the PHED Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers George Leventhal and Hans Riemer, will meet at 2 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Council Hearing Room to continue its review of the Rock Spring Master Plan. This meeting will address property-specific recommendations for three clusters: the Rock Spring East/Village Center, Rock Spring Central/Mixed-Use Business Campus, and Rock Spring West/Mixed-Use Regional Marketplace.

Overall, the Rock Spring Master Plan seeks to build on the goals of the previous plan and leverage the inherent strengths of the Rock Spring area by establishing a redevelopment framework that provides greater community amenities and a mix of uses for companies and their employees, as well as residents, in the short- and long-term. The recommended plan also seeks to enhance connectivity between the Rock Spring Plan area and surrounding residential neighborhoods, adjacent parks, and nearby community facilities. The staff report can be viewed at: .

The Rock Spring Master Plan, as submitted by the Montgomery County Planning Board, can be viewed at: .

# # # # Release ID: 17-231
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926