ROCKVILLE, Md., July 15, 2015—Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who represents District 4, which includes Wheaton, released the following statement about the fatal shooting at the Wheaton Metro Garage that occurred last night:
My heart goes out to the family of the victim of last night’s homicide in Wheaton. Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) did a tremendous job responding to this incident and quickly bringing the suspects into custody. MCPD continues to investigate the circumstances that precipitated this incident.
Montgomery County is making a tremendous infrastructure investment over the next few years in Wheaton, which on the whole, continues to be an extremely safe place to live, work and raise a family. With Wheaton redevelopment kicking off in just a few short months, it is more important than ever that our residents are safe and secure in their community. I have tremendous confidence that our outstanding police force, working in partnership with the Metro Transit Police Department, will redouble their efforts to keep Wheaton safe. We will not let one violent incident deter us from making Wheaton—and all of mid- and east-Montgomery County the best it can be.
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Update: On July 28, 2015, the Council approved an FY16 Budget Savings Plan with significant differences from what was proposed by the County Executive. Click here to learn more.
When County Executive Isiah Leggett released his recommended Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) Operating Budget in March, he suggested that next year’s budget would be difficult. He said, “it’s almost unavoidable down the line that we’ll have a tax increase.” The FY16 Budget that he proposed was essentially a “same services budget,” with one of the few changes being salary increases for County employees.
In May, the Council approved a responsible and responsive budget that reflects Montgomery County’s progressive values. Throughout the budget process, we heard from our constituents about your priorities, and the budget we passed included many of those items:
- The Council funded recently-passed legislation to support child care and health insurance assistance for low-income workers.
- We included housing support for homeless veterans.
- We provided additional money for workers who serve the developmentally disabled.
On July 8, County Executive Leggett transmitted an FY16 Savings Plan to the Council that would eliminate these priorities. After the negative U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Wynne case and lower than expected income tax revenue distribution, budget reductions are certainly necessary; however, that doesn’t mean we should be cutting — and in some cases, gutting — programs that serve our most vulnerable residents.
Budgets are moral documents — and so are budget savings plans.
Council committees began reviewing the County Executive’s proposed savings plan on Monday and will continue to make recommendations through next week. On July 28, the full Council is scheduled to discuss and vote on the committee recommendations.
The Council has set up a special website to solicit your feedback on the proposed budget savings plan. You can share your views using the Council Budget Savings Plan Web Portal, or you can e-mail County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov to send a message to the entire Council. To keep up-to-date with the latest news about the budget savings plan and other issues, be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” my Facebook page.
As we move through this challenging budget process, I will continue fighting for our shared values and priorities.
Last week, the County Council voted 7 to 2 in favor of a resolution approving a Declaration of No Further Need (DNFN) for Site II in White Oak. Site II is a 115 acre property that was formerly a Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) waste composting facility. The County has partnered with a private developer to create a “vibrant, mixed-use, transit-oriented” life science village that is envisioned in the recently adopted White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan.
Under Bill 11-12, County Property Disposition, the Council is responsible for deciding when surplus County-owned property is no longer needed. In this case, the Site II property in White Oak was purchased by the County for the express purpose of partnering with a private developer to redevelop the site into a hub for the jobs, housing and high-quality amenities that are desperately needed in the East County.
When I was elected to the Council in 2009, one of my top priorities was accelerating the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan so this project could move forward. The County’s policy of keeping the East County in a development moratorium for decades before my election was and continues to be one of the policies I have sought to reverse since joining the Council. The Council’s vote last week was an important step towards revitalizing the East County by bringing the jobs and amenities that residents in our part of the county deserve.
You can watch a clip of my remarks before the Council’s action here: