The Moe Gram
Volume  11           Issue  12         December  2017
City's Holiday Decorating Contest
The City of Laurel’s holiday decorating contest this year was not easy, with nearly 20 nominations the committee made the following awards to residents that took part.  
Pictured above: 13813 Clarkwood Lane
100 Irving Street
13813 Clarkwood Lane
1012 Seventh Street
619 Ninth Street
203 Sixth Street
7108 Sandy Spring Road
7322 Summer Wind Circle
318 Laurel Avenue
421 Prince George Street
322 Carroll Avenue
It was great to see so many take part in the decorating contest with so many great ideas.  Take some time during the holiday and drive past these beauties.  Congratulations to our winners.
New City Solicitor Appointed
I placed the name of Lawerence N. Taub as the City's new Solicitor, effective January 1, 2018 before the City Counicl and they unanimously approved the appointment.

Mr. Taub is a Principal with the firm of O’Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.  He has been representing local and national developers, builders, businesses and property owner in land use and zoning matters for over 30 years.   Notable projects include FedEx field and the University Town Center at the Prince George’s County Metro Center.

Mr. Taub is a participant in the Prince George’s Liaison Committee of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, and past President of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce, and former Board member for the Laurel Advocacy and Referral Service.  He is replacing City Solicitor Karen Ruff who will be taking a new position in New Carrollton, Maryland.
Specail Holiday Hours
Please be advised that Tuesday’s extended hours at the Laurel Municipal Center will be cancelled for December 26, 2017, due to the holiday season. The Laurel Municipal Center will be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm only on that date.  The last passport application will be taken at 4:30pm on December 26, 2017

Tuesday’s extended hours will resume January 2, 2018, when the Laurel Municipal Center will be open until 7:00pm for the Departments of Fire Marshal and Permit Services, Parks and Recreation, Budget and Personnel Services and the Passport Office.
Silver Designation For Solar
I am very proud to announce that the City of Laurel is receiving a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. Laurel is the first city or county in Maryland to be recognized! 

This designation acknowledges the City of Laurel for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. The SolSmart Silver designation signifies to companies that Laurel is “open for solar business.”

SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. More than 100 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

To receive the designation, cities and counties make changes to reduce the time and money needed to install solar panels. This includes evaluating the permit process, as well as planning and zoning procedures. Laurel has implemented zoning regulations in the Unified Land Development Code for solar installations. The City has also issued over 300 Solar PV permits, for installations for residential and commercial properties. These actions encourage solar companies to do business in the City of Laurel, which drives economic development and creates jobs.

SolSmart uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Communities are then selected as a gold, silver, or bronze community.

If you have any questions regarding Solar Energy installations in the City of Laurel, call 301-725-5300, ext. 2238.
Leszcz Appointed To NLC Committee
Congratulations to Council President Mike Leszcz who has been appointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) 2018 Transportation and Infrastructure Services (TIS) federal advocacy committee.

Following is the Press Release published by the NLC on this prestigious appointment:

“This committee has the lead responsibility for developing NLC’s federal policy positions on issues involving transportation, including planning, funding, safety and security of public transit, streets and highways, aviation, railroads and ports.” The appointment was announced by NLC President Mark Stodola, Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Council President Leszcz stated, “I am honored and privileged to represent Laurel and Maryland on the National League of Cities Transportation and Infrastructure Services federal advocacy committee. With Maglev and Hyperloop now on the horizon for Maryland, it is important that we advocate for Maryland citizens and the most effective use of limited dollars to maximize our transportation infrastructure.”

As a committee member, Council President Leszcz will play a key role in shaping NLC’s policy positions and advocate on behalf of America’s cities and towns before Congress, with the administration and at home.  “Serving on an NLC committee is one of the most effective ways for a local official to advocate for their community in Washington,” said NLC President Stodola. “I am thrilled to have City of Laurel’s Councilmember Mike Leszcz join a team of local leaders from around the country working to craft our policy platform and to solve the most pressing challenges facing our communities.”

The leadership of this year’s committee will consist of Chair Pam O’Connor, Councilmember, Santa Monica, California; and Vice Chairs James McDonald, Councilmember, Pinecrest, Florida; and Oscar Trevino, Mayor, North Richland Hills, Texas.
Safety Tips for Thanksgiving
With a recent rash of fires being reported, Laurel Fire Marshal Dave Cope want residents to know they must be compliant with the updated Smoke Alarm Law that goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

WHAT: The Smoke Alarm Law will require the replacement of an expired battery-only or hard-wired smoke alarm with a 10-year, sealed unit that has lithium-ion batteries and a silence/hush button feature.

WHY: The updated law will help achieve a more reliable smoke alarm coverage in older buildings.

Smoke alarm requirements for existing homes are based on when the home was constructed, which necessitates smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and one on each level of the home. But if you do have a wired smoke alarm in your home, understand it is NEVER acceptable to remove the wired smoke alarms and replace them with any type of battery-only operated device.

If you are purchasing a newly, constructed home, Maryland requires an AC powered, battery back-up smoke alarm IN every bedroom, in the common area outside of the bedrooms and on every other level of the dwelling unit.  The cost of the 10-Year Smoke Alarm is more expensive, but it will pay for itself since you will not have to purchase and replace batteries every 6 months. And a reminder that, though you won’t have to replace the batteries, remember to vacuum the dust from the vents on a regular basis.

I am asking you to be proactive in deterring property damage, injuries and deaths due to fire and update your smoke alarms today! It’s not only for the protection you and your family, but it’s the law!  For more information, contact Dave Cope, Laurel Fire Marshal, at 301-725-5300 ext. 2250. Laurel High School Cheerleader Serve LVFD Members
The Laurel High School Cheerleaders came to the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday, December 23, 2017 to cook and serve the many volunteers that were at the station standing by to run emergency calls to the Greater Laurel Community.  Thanks to the Spartans Cheerleaders for your outstanding contributions to the community.
Editor of Laurel Leader To Retire
After 22 years at the Laurel Leader and a total of 43 years in the business of newspapers Melanie Dzwonchyk as announced that she will be retiring effective December 29, 2017.  I am sorry to see Melanie go, as she is a true professional that is fair with her stories, works to get the story right, always willing to take your call and cares deeply about the Laurel community!   Congratulations Melanie, enjoy your retiremen!
In Case You Missed It!

Proposed maglev draws opposition from Laurel city officials -  Read More

City of Laurel eyes first medical marjuana dispensary - Read More
Laurel volunteer begin new tradition at Ivy Hill Cemetery with Wreaths Across America - Read More
Get Emergency Notifications - Read More

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By Authority Frank J. Underwood, Treasurer
Laurel Municipal Center
Office of the Mayor
8103 Sandy Spring Road
Laurel, Maryland 20707
Phone (City): 301-725-5300 x 2124
Phone (Home): 301-498-3743
Fax: 301-725-8631
Personal Email:
City Email:
Friends of Craig A. Moe
 All materials are the opinion of the writer
  By Authority of Katherine A. DiPietro, Treasurer