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MoCo Mojo: National Regifting Day

There's nothing wrong with regifting. It's akin to recycling. We do it in the news business every December. It's called a year-ender, or "best of."

 

If you've ever taken an item that was given to you and put it in your "gift bin" to pass on to someone else, it's okay to admit it.

In fact, this year, there's a day to celebrate such frugality. According to one web site, Dec. 20 is unofficially regifting day. Another has given prizes for the best regifting story and a third offers a “Gift Giver’s Guide to Gracious Regifting.”

In the spirit of regifting, MoCo Mojo gives you some of the best of what Montgomery County had to offer last week, including a new face of the county council, a cutting-edge county web site and a veiled admission that Montgomery County may need to catch up to Virginia when it comes to development and attracting business.

No more: Please Hold for the Next Available Representative?

Montgomery County has pushed to the forefront of the digital age with the launch of a four-platform website that officials say means you will be able to interact, request services and pose questions via the Web or mobile phone. The launch of OpenMontgomery coincides with legislation that the County Council says lays out a "digital roadmap" that will eventually give residents and businesses nearly unfettered access to online services and shared data.

Goodbye Berliner

Roger Berliner looked back on his year as president of the Montgomery County Council, noting fiscal reforms, scuffles over Pepco's performance and steps the county took to stimulate small business and large-scale economic development. Referencing the other side of the Potomac River, he said, "We need to move beyond the old Montgomery County way. We have serious work to do." Let us know how you think the county did under Berliner in this Rockville Patch Speak Out.

Hello Navarro

Council member Nancy Navarro will lead the County Council as president for the next year, setting the agenda and steering the council on broad policy initiatives. In taking the reins, Navarro said that the county's diversity as well as its unity well be key to keeping the state's "economic engine" revving next year.

Watch Me Now!

If you eschew Gangnam style for the Mashed Potato and the Twist, check out the flash mob birthday tribute to State Sen. Jamie Raskin that occurred "spontaneously" in downtown Silver Spring. Raskin said it was ironic that the classic Contours song used has the lyrics, "Do you love me/now that I can dance," because he can't--dance, that is.

Homes

Montgomery County police are warning Bethesda and Potomac residents about a rash of recent burglaries. Police say there's been a spike in daytime burglaries--eight since September--in neighborhoods near River Road and Massachusetts Avenue. Police say that at least five recent burglaries in Potomac could be related. “They don’t care if there’s an alarm,” Police Chief Tom Manger said. “They’re going in and ransacking the houses and stealing high priced jewelry.”

Hometown Civil Servant Does Good

Longtime Gaithersburg employee Tony Tomasello was sworn in by Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz to his new role as city manager. "This is a very exciting time to become city manager of Gaithersburg," he said. Tomasello has worked for the city of Gaithersburg since 1996. His starting salary will be $165,000.

New Chevy Chase Pavilion Shows its Colors

Chevy Chase Pavilion is back. The upscale shopping center—located on the Maryland-Washington, DC, border at 5355 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC—was under wraps (with many of its businesses closed) for much of the past year so that a $32-million renovation could take place. The new look includes sleek, curving white walls enlivened by neon lighting that changes colors.

 

Still not enough Montgomery County news? Check out weekly headlines here.

Interested in the best burgers and cuisine trends in Montgomery County, check out our popular foodie news here.

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