January Council Message by Vice Mayor Craig Margolis
The year 2019 has been a year of change, opportunity, and optimism for the City of Montgomery. Your Council and City staff are dedicated to improving the lives of all of our residents.
Our residents continue to show their love of the City by investing their time in our boards and commissions and volunteer events. We have a full roster of engaged citizens populating our boards and commissions.
The City continued to polish its image to keep it current. We learned the meaning of branding while working through the process in the Distinctly Montgomery Brand and Image Campaign. The exercise ensured our brand reflects the community and is an appropriate image to attract and retain businesses, visitors and residents.
The Public Works Department worked with several residents on Jolain Drive to improve a water runoff issue in their backyards.
In the spirit of working with our community neighbors, Montgomery partnered with Sycamore Township to further encourage walkability by adding a sidewalk on Kennedy Lane, thereby enhancing the livability of both communities.
Engineering and planning consulting company American Structure Point reviewed the City-owned infrastructure. Their report will be used to create a multiyear plan to repair, fix and improve the City buildings and by this plan at the lowest cost.
The Vintage Club is well on its way to being built out, with new condominiums and business buildings under construction or soon to be completed. The “community within a community” concept has proved to be very popular with residents living there and the larger community.
Montgomery staff, residents and City Council welcomed our new assistant city manager. Though she is no stranger to City Hall, Tracy Roblero will be a wonderful addition to a high performing team. When Tracy started in the Community Development Department, she showed early-on an ability to work with the many parties involved in solving building problems in Montgomery.
Investment in our community continues unabated with the newest addition to health care service delivery. The Thomas Comprehensive Care Center on the Bethesda North Hospital campus will open soon, keeping it convenient for the patients.
Our community welcomed its newest police officer, Ricky, to the team. As our first canine officer, he has provided tremendous support in solving cases and assisting officers in the few months he has been with the City. Additionally, after hiring two additional officers, the police force is now at full staff.
The Fire Department has embarked on building out its full-time employee roster. This year, six full-time firefighters were hired to staff these important posts, keeping us safe in times of a fire or medical emergency.
Our neighbors continue to be involved in creating the texture and look of our community. The Planning Commission received great feedback during the discussion of two neighborhood church expansions. The continued feedback is why we love the small-town feel.
October marked the groundbreaking for the Montgomery Quarter. This project is meant to complement the City’s historic core and add diverse and thoughtful businesses, from a boutique hotel to unique restaurants with added retail opportunities. Over time, new office space possibilities and apartment and condominium living will spring from the ground. These new offerings will enhance our Heritage District and attract new patrons, residents, and workers for years to come.
The hardworking volunteers of the Arts Commission closed out another successful year of performances of Live at the Uni, including the popular Holiday Live at the Uni performance in December.
I wish you a Happy New Year as we press forward into 2020.