Montgomery County may have gotten a whole new political season for Christmas, considering what looked like an unofficial announcement last week. Below are the details, as well as the rest of the week's highlights in our continuing investigation into life in these 500 square miles.
You'd think we would have gotten a call back considering the newsworthiness of the information, but we'll stick with the evidence we did get. According to an email sent to supporters, former county executive Doug Duncan is set to vie for that office again, after a six-year hiatus.
“I am not seeking to return to the County Executive office simply because it is winnable—I am returning because I have so much energy for the job and know that Montgomery County is ready to again see real progress,” he wrote in the email, which was obtained by Patch.
Tell us what you think of how the county executive race is shaping up in this Patch Speak Out.
Perhaps you, yourself, have thought of entering the political realm. The Montgomery County Council is looking for applicants to fill a partial term on the Montgomery County Board of Appeals. Board members work approximately 15-25 hours per week, and are compensated $14,510 annually. The deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 5, so go here for more information.
In Other News:
—Whooping Cough has tripled this year in Montgomery County, while tuberculosis is continuing a steady climb that is twice as high as rates seen across the state and the rest of the country.
—The Wheaton Redevelopment Committee has chosen an architect for the Wheaton Library and Recreation Center project, which would combine the two facilities on Georgia Avenue into a combined complex.
—The Wheaton Redevelopment Program has released results from a survey of small businesses in Wheaton that shows there is a sense of urgency about the need for parking now that the county council has approved construction of an office building on top of a central parking lot used by customers of many of the small businesses in the heart of Wheaton.
—If Pepco's most recent rate increase request is approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission, typical residential customers could pay $7.13 more a month in electricity bills. The 4.98 percent increase would happen only if the PSC approves Pepco's request—made on Friday—for a $60.8 million increase in base distribution rates, according to a Pepco statement.
—Plainclothed officers from Gaithersburg and Montgomery County police departments arrested 13 people during a two day "Holiday Safety" intitative at Lakeforest Mall, police announced last week.
—Social & Scientific Systems, a public health research business, will receive $1 million in loan and grant funds to keep its headquarters in Silver Spring, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development has announced. “Retaining an industry-leading company like Social and Scientific Systems in Montgomery County, MD, is a vital component to ensuring the continued growth and success of our local business community,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett.
—The Chevy Chase Library, part of theMontgomery County Public Libraries system, will reportedly close Dec. 10 for repairs to be made to its heating system. The library—located at 8005 Connecticut Ave.—is expected to reopen the first week of January.
—Gaithersburg's more than five-month search for a City Manager is over. The Gaithersburg mayor and City Council announced the appointment of Deputy City Manager Tony Tomasello as City Manager. Tomasello has served as Acting City Manager since the June 15 resignation of former City Manager Angel Jones.
—Montgomery County Public Schools students took a record number of Advanced Placement exams in 2012, according to an MCPS statement. The percentage of exams earning a score of 3 or higher—a "college-ready score"—also increased, the statement added. "These results show that our efforts to provide students with access to rigorous classes are making a difference and that our students are prepared for this work," Board of Education President Shirley Brandman said.
—Photographs taken by Woody Woodroof, an organic vegetable farmer in Germantown, will be part of an exhibit in Silver Spring and will include banner-size prints of plant silhouettes—all created without the aid of a dark room. The exhibit, “Fragility,” is printed on hemp, the delicate images appear on both sides of the fabric, creating ghost-like forms. It will be on view at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and Music Room in the Silver Spring Civic Center from Dec. 3 through Jan. 28.
Still need more Montgomery County news? Check out Top Patch Headlines.
Or explore our Montgomery County Holiday Shopping Guide to help you sail through the holidays.