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MoCo Council Meets on Feb. 12

The Montgomery County Council is scheduled to take action on Feb. 12 on legislation that will establish a ban on smoking on certain county property and on another bill that would provide increased funding to promote the county as a good place to hold conventions and for tourists to stay.

The elected leaders will also recognize the Wootton High School Golf and Soccer teams for winning state championships.

The Council’s regular weekly session will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Third Floor Council Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The regular meeting—and four public hearings scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.—will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast will be available via streaming through the county’s web site at It will be rebroadcast on Friday, Feb. 15, starting at 9 p.m.

The morning session will begin with the Council honoring the boys soccer team and the golf team from Wootton High School. The soccer team won the first Maryland 4A title in the 42-year history of the school. The golf team won the Maryland state championship with three females among its four starters—the first time that has happened in state history.

During the morning session, the Council is expected to take action on Bill 36-12 that would increase the amount of the hotel/motel tax that goes to the County’s Conference and Visitors Bureau from 3.5 to 7 percent. Councilmember Nancy Floreen is the chief sponsor of the legislation that would enable the nonprofit Visitors Bureau to better promote the County as a place for tourists to stay and for organizations to hold conventions.

The Council also is scheduled to act on Bill 33-12 that would prohibit smoking on property owned or leased by the county. The bill, whose chief sponsor is Councilmember Floreen, was amended from its original form by the Health and Human Services Committee. The committee recommended that the bill expand the ban to bus stops and bus shelters and to allow the County’s director of Health and Human Services to designate outdoor smoking areas on certain County properties. The committee also recommended that the ban should not prohibit smoking on County-owned golf courses.

Spending Affordability Guidelines for the Fiscal Year 2014 Operating Budget also will be addressed by the Council. The Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Navarro and includes Councilmembers Valerie Ervin and Hans Riemer, has recommended setting the ceiling on property tax revenues at the County Charter limit with tax credits. It also recommended setting the ceiling on the Aggregate Operating Budget at $4.209.3 million. The GO Committee also recommended the limit on community grants be set at $5.8 million, divided evenly between the Council and the County Executive ($2.9 million each).

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