Spring 2018 newsletter

Welcome to the Spring 2018 newsletter!

As you will read in this edition, over the past few months, the council worked on the county executive’s proposed budget savings plan.  Ultimately the council recommended $53.3 million in operating budget savings and $9.3 million in current revenue capital budget savings to address a shortfall caused by lower than expected income tax revenues.

Feeding a lion at the CCACC Lunar New Year Celebration

You will also read about two of our outstanding Wootton High School graduates who helped their teams achieve greatness in national and international arenas.  As a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Mack Hollins helped his team to victory in Super Bowl LIII.  As a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic ice hockey team, Haley Skarupa won a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.  Congratulations to our District 3 Champions!

Black History MonthCouncil commemoration of Black History Month

I want to offer sincere thanks to County Council Administrator Steve Farber and County Council Chief Clerk Linda Lauer for their many decades of service to the county and to the council.  Congratulations to both of them on their well-deserved retirements.

As always, thanks for reading.  It is my pleasure to serve as your Councilmember.



Sidney A. Katz

Councilmember, District 3


About District 3

District 3 map

Located in central Montgomery County, District 3 includes Gaithersburg, Rockville, Washington Grove, Leisure World and parts of Aspen Hill, Derwood, North Potomac and Potomac.


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Connect with Councilmember Katz

Phone:  240-777-7906

Email:  councilmember.katz@montgomerycountymd.gov

Website:  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/katz/index.html

If you or a friend would like to sign up for Katz Corner, please visit http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Katz/ and click on the “Sign Up to Receive My Newsletter” button at the bottom of the page.



We Want to Hear From You

Public participation is vital to government.  The Montgomery County Council regularly holds public hearings on proposed legislation and policy changes. We invite you to be part of that process.

The Council conducts its public hearings in the hearing room on the third floor of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.  Anyone wishing to testify may sign up online.  If you have any questions, please call 240-777-7803.

To see the full calendar of upcoming hearings and to sign up to testify, please visit the Council’s website at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/PHSignUp.html


Savings Plan Update

The FY18 Savings Plan is based on Department of Finance estimates that indicate lower than expected income tax revenue. Savings plans are not unprecedented. In FY16 the county executive proposed a $50.8 million savings plan, and the council approved $54.2 million in savings. The Executive’s FY18 savings plan called for $58.7 million in operating budget savings and $13.5 million in current revenue capital budget savings to reduce costs in the current year. The council’s six committees spent January reviewing the county executive’s savings plan recommendations. The committees recommended $53.3 million in operating budget savings and $9.3 million in current revenue capital budget savings.  The council took into consideration many factors as it considered these cuts.  Funding was preserved for specific mental health, child care and dental programs that are offered to our neediest residents.  Additionally, some proposed cuts to the Department of Fire and Rescue Services were not agreed to by the council.  As budget discussions continue, the council will begin to deliberate on the county executive’s proposed FY19 Operating Budget, which was transmitted to the council on March 15.


Flu Prevention

The flu hit Montgomery County residents hard in 2018. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs.  Anyone can get the flu and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age.  Flu symptoms are different from cold symptoms.  Please take a moment to read about the symptoms of flu so that, if necessary, you can identify them and seek prompt treatment.  Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/symptoms.htm



foster parent banner 7x3

Montgomery County children of all ages need foster homes.  Become a foster parent. Nurture a child and strengthen the community.  Information meetings are held monthly in Rockville.

Visit the website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/fosterparent for more information.


District 3 History

By Gordon Brown, Research Volunteer, Montgomery History’s Jane C. Sween Research Library and Special Collections

The community of Washington Grove, just east of bustling Gaithersburg and surrounded by recent residential developments, has steadfastly retained its unique 19th century character and peaceful, wooded atmosphere.  Once described as a “rustic jewel,” the community’s special history stems from the camp meeting tradition of the Methodist Church.

Camp meetings were very popular in 19th century rural areas. Arising from the Methodist-led religious revival movement called the Great Awakening, camp meetings gave scattered residents of rural areas deep social and religious experiences. By the post-Civil War period, they had evolved from temporary revivalist occasions, dependent upon the arrival of a circuit-riding preacher, to more permanent camps that were frequented by area residents and their families who were as interested in a summer break for the family as they were in a religious experience.

Methodists of Montgomery County, looking for a permanent site for such a camp, found the Washington Grove site in early 1873. To buy the property, they organized into a joint stock association called the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association, selling $20 shares to members in return for the right to occupy a tent site during the summer season. The first camp was held that summer at the hastily-prepared site. Tent sites surrounded the meeting area. In spite of heavy rain during the first part of the ten-day meeting, the camp was a success, 100 new converts were recorded and plans were made for a more permanent establishment.

sacred circle

The sacred circle where the tabernacle would have stood. Date unknown. Photo courtesy Montgomery History: Jane C. Sween Library

 By the next summer’s meeting, the physical character of the community had taken shape. A “sacred circle,” with streets radiating from the central prayer area, was the community’s center. Other streets were laid out in a grid pattern. Wagon traffic was directed to the rear of the lots, which left the front area with walkways and recreational parkland.

The two-week camp sessions, with their daily conversion-oriented prayer meetings, drew as many as 10,000 visitors. By 1877, a wooden tabernacle was built in the circle to house the services.  That opened the door to other, more permanent structures to replace the tents that had previously housed attendees. By 1979, some 25 cottages had been built, many of them retaining tent-like shapes under peaked roofs. The cottages enabled owners or renters to enjoy longer stays at the Grove. The Grove also began to host educational and entertainment programs sponsored by the Chautauqua movement, bringing in large numbers of visitors and requiring the building of a hotel on the grounds.

assembly hall

The Assembly Hall (left foreground) with the Hotel beyond. From a postcard dated 1909. Photo courtesy Montgomery History: Jane Sween Library

By the beginning of the 20th Century, the camp had begun to evolve into a town, but one with a special, forested, Victorian nature. It suffered from a period of dilapidation during the Depression of the 1930s, but it survived. By 1937, the camp had become an incorporated township. Over the subsequent years, it has lost its religious beginnings, but not its dedication to the objective of remaining a quiet, sylvan community with a strong historical flavor.


Edwards, Philip K. Washington Grove 1873-1937: A History of the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association. Washington Grove, MD: 1988.

Wolle, Eduardo. “Washington Grove, Maryland: A Short History from 1908-1937.” Unpublished manuscript: 1977. Jane C. Sween Research Library vertical files.

Marsh, Joan F. “Washington Grove: A Rustic Jewel in a Modern Setting.” Montgomery County Story: Vol. 41, No. 1:  February, 1998.


Register to Vote

Although local elections do not attract as much attention as national elections, it is still extremely important for everyone to vote.  Your vote can affect you or your community in significant ways.

To register to vote, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a Maryland resident
  • Be a Montgomery County resident
  • Be at least 16 years old (you may register to vote if you are at least 16 years old but cannot vote unless you will be at least 18 years old by the next general election).
  • Not be under guardianship for mental disability, or if you are, not been found by a court to be unable to communicate a desire to vote
  • Not have been convicted of buying or selling votes
  • Not have been convicted of a felony. If you have been, you must have finished serving a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment.
  • If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote, please visit https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/votersearch
  • If you are not or have not registered to vote, you will need to fill out a voter registration form either in person or by mail. The form can be obtained by:
    • Mail to your residence based on a request via phone, mail or fax
    • Calling 240-777-VOTE or 240-777-8500 and requesting that the registration form be mailed to your address or faxed to your requested phone number
    • Visiting 777vote.org and downloading a registration form
    • Visiting any public library in Montgomery County, the U.S. Post Office in your neighborhood, the Montgomery County Elections Office (which is located at 18753 North Frederick Avenue, Suite 210, Gaithersburg, MD), the State Board of Elections, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Social Services, the Motor Vehicle Administration, the Offices on Aging or the MTA Paratransit Certification Office, any public institution of higher education, any recruitment office of the U.S. Armed Forces, any marriage license office or any office for students with disabilities at any Maryland colleges and universities
  • The voter registration application must be postmarked no later than 21 days before an election.
  • If your application is complete and you are found to be qualified, a Voter Notification Card will be mailed to you.


If you have any questions regarding voter registration, please call 240-777-8500 or visit www.777vote.org



District 3 Champions

Two athletes from District 3 were crowned champions this past winter. Super Bowl LIII-winning Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins and U.S. Women’s Hockey Team Olympic gold medalist Haley Skarupa were raised in the same Rockville neighborhood, about five houses apart. Both are graduates of Wootton High School.

BeFunky Collage2

The Hollins family from left to right: Richard (father), Drew (youngest brother), Mack, Karyn (mother) and Brian (oldest brother).

Mack Hollins is a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles.  At Wootton, Mack played wide receiver and participated in basketball and lacrosse.  Prior to signing with the Eagles, he played for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels football team and finished his career as one of the top receivers in school history, totaling 81 receptions for 1,667 yards and 20 touchdowns.



BeFunky Collage3

The Skarupa family from left to right: Tony (father), Haley, Penny (mother) and Dylan (older brother)

Haley Skarupa
played hockey at Wootton. Before winning the gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Haley played in three International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships, helping the U.S. to three world titles (Gold 2015 – 2017). She was twice named a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and named Hockey East Rookie of the Year in 2013.