Talk:Montgomery County, Maryland

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About duplications of populations. The idea of putting the population in two places makes perfect sense. It should clearly go in the demographics section as this is where such statistics belong. However, it may also go at the beginning in an introduction. An introduction has the important purpose of summarizing the county. The "county seat" is frequently duplicated because it is one of the most imporant facts about a county. The population is also one of the more popular facts and as such belongs in the summary. -- Ram-Man

Graphics & Photographs[edit]

Here are some ideas/comments for media used with this article:

The county has a beautiful flag with heraldic symbols that would be terrific to include here if anyone has an uncopyrighted illustration or picture to contribute.

The inclusion of the photograph of the "Montgomery County Courthouse" in this article is of questionable value. Although the building pictured does use that name, there is no such body as a "county court" in Maryland, so the picture used here is somewhat misleading. The building shown in the photograph actually houses the state district court, a lower trial court. Moreover, the principal judicial facility in the county is not the one pictured. Rather, that honor belongs to the Montgomery County Judicial Center, a modern high-rise facility, situated a few blocks away. I would strongly recommend replacing the existing photograph with a more representative one.

Also, in February 2005, the county added an elegant $100 million concert hall to its Strathmore fine arts complex. There is a stub for the arts center, but it would be great to have a photo of this major cultural coup for the county (which has lured performances by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and other major artists) to include with this article. --Rehnquist 22:00, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

This was the courthouse for much of the 20th century, with the red brick courthouse next to it, as the primary courthouse much further back in history. The current Judicial Center opened in 1982. Feel free to edit the caption, or remove the image if you like. I'll do what I can, but it would be great if you could get some better pictures. The article certainly lacks of them.
As for the flag, the Montgomery County website (terms and conditions) say "...Should not use the County Logo, Seal, or Flag" However, if the flag was originally designed or used prior to 1923, then it might in reality be public domain and we could create an illustration? I know it was officially adopted in 1976, but when was it first used? -Aude (talk | contribs) 22:49, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
As for the county flag, I am not aware of any copright notice ever being used with it. Given its age and absence of a copyright notice, woouldn't this be a public domain item? See footnote 3 to the table When Works Pass into the Public Domain on the The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance website.
I was not able to definitely determine the age of the flag. I also came across, where they asked for permission to use the flag (and granted permission). And here's some general background on the flag, If the flag was really designed in the 1970s, then I don't think it's public domain. Or do you know that the flag was designed earlier? I'm not a lawyer, but think an absence of copyright notice doesn't mean public domain. The Montgomery County website (terms and conditions), item #9 seem to have the effect of a copyright notice. -Aude (talk | contribs) 22:15, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
And I agree about a photo of Strathmore. If you can get one, that would be excellent. Or, I might be able to at some point. -Aude (talk | contribs) 22:50, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I am a Wiki-newbie and so am just beginning to get the hang of this, but the idea of shooting and then contributing my own photos is very appealing. When we get another nice weekend around here, maybe I'll venture out to take some. (Just peeked at Aude's gallery and am very impressed by the talent displayed; not sure I will measure up, but wouldn't mind trying.) --Rehnquist 18:00, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
It would be great to get more photos of Montgomery County. If you do get photos to upload, consider uploading them to Wikimedia Commons, which is a shared repository for images among Wikimedia projects (e.g. different languages can use them). Also, the category structure on commons, makes it easier to organize and find images. Right now, I think the only images in the category are mine (except for the locator maps). I'll keep doing what I can to add more photos of Mont. co, but it's a big place. -Aude (talk | contribs) 22:15, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

MoCo Nickname[edit]

One Wikipedian removed the reference to "MoCo" as a county nickname, claiming it had never been called that. Although apparently of relatively recent origin, I have been able to confirm usage of the abbreviation as a nickname in numerous sources. For example, local magazine, The Washingtonian, has used the reference more than once. [1] [2] A search (03/10/2006) of the Washington Post's web site found nearly a dozen published references over the previous month. So, I think the term is eligible for a mention, and I have added a new reference to the nickname in the opening paragraph. --Rehnquist 17:51, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

If you google MoCo Maryland[3], you get over 32,000 sites as well. (RCX 00:26, 11 March 2006 (UTC))
My point was: when was the last time you heard someone, in conversation, refer to it as "MoCo"? Just because the Washingtonian tries to be cute in its publication, does not necessarily mean that Joe citizen uses the terminolgy. In this same vein, why doesn't the Prince George's County page say that it is refered to as "PG County" - which, in fact, EVERYONE does. Trevormartin227 16:42, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps it is not used in conversation, but if you do a Google search, you will see numerous local/regional residents, bloggers and groups self-identify as "MoCo," as in the "hello moco" blogger. Searching just "moco" and "md" in Google turned up more than 140,000 hits. I don't contribute to the PG county page, so I don't know what they include or don't, but I do think "PG county" is a little more self-explanatory than MoCo; that's sort of like not needing to explain the use of D.C. inside the District of Columbia. --Rehnquist 16:35, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I've heard several people refer to it as "MoCo" quite often. I've even done it myself without realizing it. I first heard it used on a local message board. --JOK3R 22:36, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I remember reading the term MoCo in the Washington Post, so I did a Google search for MoCo on their website: 300 results. --M@thwiz2020 00:46, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I am from MoCo, and I use the term in conversation, and many others do too. --EHoffman 01:32, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
I regularly use "MoCo" in the same manner that I use "PG" and "AA". --Thisisbossi 03:58, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I live in MoCo and always use the term MoCo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I work in MoCo and use the term all the time. Also, when something strange happens (like to 2006 primary election fiasco) I, and many others call it Loco MoCo. --Cjs56 16:58, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Lived in MoCo for around a decade-and-a-half; also use the terms "MoCo" and "P.G." here. Never heard of "A.A." before, though. Illegitimate Barrister (talk) 23:07, 6 May 2013 (UTC)


I deleted a link for Valerie Ervin for County Council because I believe that Wikipedia should not become involved with campaign endorsements, and by linking her site, we are essentially giving an endorsement. -PhattyFatt 00:38, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Right on. Trevormartin227 13:07, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not going to do this myself as I feel it would be a conflict of interest (I write a blog that covers the east side of Montgomery County), but I would like to see more of the Montgomery County blogs listed in the "links" section, instead of solely the Silver Spring Penguin, which covers just a small portion of Silver Spring, let alone the County as a whole. There's a large number of frequently-updated blogs that deal with community issues and politics in MoCo, and if we're going to include any news organizations, we should include them as well. - Justupthepike 1:38, 12 Oct 2007 (EDT)

I've actually gone the other direction - the "Penguin" link is now gone. SchuminWeb (Talk) 18:15, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Gardez Bien dispute[edit]

What's going on? Is intervention from an Admin necessary? Subwayguy 19:52, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

The admin's post to Gardez Bien's talk page indicates that this information is not worthy of the first paragraph. I agree in that the info on the land donation to DC is not fit for the top, since it's already properly located in the History section; but I do like the mention of the population and wealth of MoCo -- which is indeed accurate; and I feel that it serves as a good introduction to the County. I have edited it to remove the DC mention from the top, but have left the remainder. I invite both Gardez Bien and the admin, Postdlf, to return and further their cases should they disagree with my decision. --Thisisbossi 03:58, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
That's fine; I just object to him continually and absurdly trying to push the importance of the land donation fact far beyond the expressed consensus of everyone else on every related topic. Postdlf 15:39, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Three avid Wiki posters is far from a consensus.You guys seem to be the only ones ticked off about it. Can I ask a couple questions? Why does it bother you so much and why do you find it so irrelevant? Please post valid reasons.Gardez Bien 02:02, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm a MC resident and I found the fact that the land donation was up to be rather odd. It is history, but mostly irrelevant to the current description of Montgomery County. The fact that we border DC is a part of the general description of MoCo, but the fact that a slice of DC *was* Montgomery County isn't. About the only thing I will give Gardez Bien is that he is at least consistent, he is as annoying about this on Prince George's County, Maryland as he is here. Naraht 13:06, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Due to the similarity in edits by the users Simpledays (talk ;; contrib) and Gardez Bien (talk ;; contrib), be advised that there is a possibility that the two may be sock puppets. At this time I do not believe that there is sufficient evidence to pursue it further, but the similarities should be noted. --Thisisbossi 23:45, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing SUBWAYguy 00:16, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
The user(s) have been reported. Feel free to post additional evidence here. --Thisisbossi 12:19, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


I'm getting the sense of a double standard for Maryland here. Why is Maryland the focus of this brigade when other state intros are equivalent? I’ve avoided posting in these discussions because it seems you guys are reluctant to seeing the truth and now I have to write a book to get my point across. Even still you will believe what you want to because of personal preference or you don’t “feel it belongs”. Most of all I’m sure you could care less about the state itself otherwise you wouldn’t object. But you want an answer so here it is...
If you think the intro to the Maryland page needs a rework then you have your work cut out for you because you’re going to have to change just about every other state. Case in point, this is the last paragraph from the Commonwealth of Virginia intro,
"Virginia is known as the "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson), more than any other state. Most of the United States' early presidents were from the state. Virginia has also been known as the "Mother of States", because portions of the original Colony subsequently became Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia as well as some portions of Ohio."
How is that anymore relevant than proclaiming "Maryland donated the land for Washington, D.C."? Doesn't talk about presidents from decades past and ceding portions of land belong in the History section according to you?
Not convinced? Here’s part of the intro from the State of Wisconsin, this should put your economic fears to rest,
Wisconsin's rural economy was originally based farming (especially dairy), mining, and lumbering. In the 20th century tourism became important, and many people living on former farms commuted to jobs elsewhere. Large-scale industrialization began in the late 19th century in the southeast of the state, with the city of Milwaukee as its major center. In recent decades, service industries, especially medicine and education, have become dominant. Wisconsin's landscape, largely shaped by the Wisconsin glaciation of the last Ice Age, makes the state popular for both tourism and many forms of outdoor recreation.
In previous version they were proclaiming fur trade!!! But it's a sin to proclaim the life sciences which has become the foremost important industry in Maryland right now?
Didn’t get the message? Try the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
During the 19th century, Massachusetts transformed itself from a mainly agricultural economy to a manufacturing one, making use of its many rivers for power to operate factories for shoes, furniture, and clothing. Its economy declined in the early twentieth century when industry moved south in search of cheaper labor. A revitalization came in the 1970s when, nourished by the graduates of the area's many elite institutions of higher education, the Boston suburbs (particularly those around Route 128) became home to dozens of high-technology companies. Massachusetts' colleges and universities, as well as its technology sectors, continue to thrive.
The state is also considered a haven for progressive, liberal thought and often sends political candidates to the national scene, however, the four most recent presidential aspirants, Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, and John Kerry, were all unsuccessful. . Massachusetts was the home state of US Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, and John F. Kennedy, and the birth state of George H. W. Bush.
As of 2006, Massachusetts is the only state in the union to legalize marriage of gay and lesbian couples.
Must I continue? It should be clear by now.
Thisisbossi said
  • My version was hardly all about geography: it had a sentence touching upon its Civil War history as well as some information on its population and economy.
This is what you left posted in the intro
"Maryland (IPA: [ˈmæ.ɹɪ.lənd]), nicknamed the Old Line State and the Free State, is located along the East Coast of the US. Historically a border state, it exhibits characteristics of both the Northern and Southern regions of the United States. Consequently, it can be considered both a Mid-Atlantic state and a South-Atlantic state.
Maryland comprises a mountainous western panhandle, a fertile coastal plain, and a central region. Chesapeake Bay is largely within the confines of the state. The broad central region includes a stretch of the eastern Megalopolis: an entirely metropolitan region stretching from Northern Virginia to Massachusetts that contains over 50 million people."
Thisisbossi version above is entirely about Geography, which sould go in the Geography section. The portion about Maryland being part of a Megalopolis is totally irrelevant. It is neither important nor does it define anything unique about the state. Civil war info belongs in the history section as well. Furthermore you would have to include the text in the intro of every state that is part of the Megalopolis. Why would you put it in with only Maryland?
Thisisbossi said
  • Gardez Bien's reversion does not provide any additional information regarding the future and picks and chooses among traits that I do not personally find to be all-that important as far as Maryland goes. I would sooner highlight Maryland's federal industries rather than its life science industries.
If you feel the Life Sciences Industry in Maryland is extraneous, then no offense but you don't know squat about Maryland. The federal government’s role is confined to the capital region and even then they are not as dependent on the federal government as other parts of the D.C. region. The federal government also has ver over life sciences?
On the other hand, the life sciences stretches across the entire state, no other industry gets such special treatment and incentives. Bio parks, incubators, drug manufacturing plants, stem cell research funds, organizations, institutions, EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE LIFE SCIENCES INDUSTRY. Right now the Life Sciences is Maryland’s crown jewel industry and they have put more focus on it than any other. It is very much part of Maryland's past, present and FUTURE.
Thisisbossi said
  • The information I had provided was the exact same information that was previously in the article -- I did not add anything new and in fact preserved all of what was initially provided. My post on Gardez Bien's talk page -- prior to his reversion -- indicated to open discussion before another reversion (there have been revert wars beginning on the two County pages); but he did not do so. Therefore I am reverting his edit again until proper reasoning can be provided and/or consensus is reached on this issue. My reversion will at last address the spelling I errors that I had fixed, which Gardez Bien's reversion brought back (if you're going to revert, at least fix your errors!).
I found a grammatical error in what you just said, should I help you correct it? Not only that but my revised (by you) paragraph about life sciences (that is so neatly hidden and tucked away in the economy section) doesn't make much sense. What aforementioned "institutions and agencies" are you referring to? I still stand by the first two paragraphs of the intro having irrelevant data at his point especially the part about it being a Megalopolis.
Overall the intro for Maryland has turned weak and geography heavy, the intro should have important highlights that are unique to the state. Donating the land for the Capital of the United States is a fact no other state can claim and very much defines the state and that region. Withoout that fact things would be drastically different. I'm also surprised how many people forget or don't know this fact so because of that alone it is totally relevant in the intro. Any other state in the world would not leave out that kind of information.
Can I ask a question? Why does the paragraph on donating the land bother all of you so much? Please give valid non generalized, impersonal reasons than "I don't like it".
I'm sorry if my info was too factual. If you don't like Maryland's intro get started on changing all 50 states, the District and the territories.
I enjoyed the conversation Gardez Bien 01:46, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your response and for your excellent points -- which is all I had really wanted. I will now leave my hands off this issue and, with the above information for consideration, leave others to modify as they see fit. --Thisisbossi 02:23, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Present form of government[edit]

The present form of government of Montgomery County dates to November 1948 when the voters changed the form of government from a County Commission/County Manager system, as provided in the original 1948 home rule Charter, to a County Executive/County Council form of government. The first seven-member County Council was elected in 1970.

??? john k 22:18, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I am not entirely sure of what your question is. --Thisisbossi 03:58, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

The thing says that the current form dates to 1948, when the original 1948 home rule charter was modified to its current form of having a county executive/county council. Said county council was first elected in 1970. Obviously something is fucked up here. john k 05:31, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

First of all, this isn't the place for that language (if there is such a place at all). But it says the first SEVEN-MEMBER County Council was elected. Perhaps that's the current number, and between 1948 and 1970 it was a different number. But I agree, it should be clarified. 20:10, 25 July 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
OK, I struck through my own statement because it didn't hold up; at this time, the County Council has nine members. But I think I've found the answer. At we find:

The present form of government of Montgomery County dates to November 1968 when the voters changed the form of government from a County Commission/County Manager system, as provided in the original 1948 home rule Charter, to a County Executive/County Council form of government. The first seven-member County Council was elected in 1970.

I added the bold. See, the dates are different from the article; someone miscopied it.
I also found this where I looked over the chapter on the history.
Starting on page 17, it says that the county began with a county commissioner system that "kept most of the power in Annapolis." In 1948 voters approved a "Council-Manager" form of government, making Montgomery County the first home-rule county in Maryland. The first six-member council was elected in 1949.
Going on to page 21, we read that in 1968, the voters approved a "County Executive-Council" form of government. That change formed an executive branch under the County Executive, and a legislative branch under a seven-member County Council. Instead of a County Manager, there was now a Chief Administrative Officer appointed by the County Executive. That went into effect in 1970.
I also changed the headline on this section to make it a little more clear what it's about than the old headline "Umm..." did. 16:12, 24 August 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

Seriously, though, read the damned quote. Any kind of careful reading should make it obvious that something is wrong. john k 05:32, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I took a look at your profile. I see you're working on a Ph.D. To tell the truth, I was surprised. Your language led me to expect a rather different calibre of person/intellect. 16:16, 24 August 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
OK, nobody else followed up, so I changed the whole section to reflect the information I found. This is by far the most substantial change I've ever made to Wikipedia, and I'm not conversant in the proper ways of citing things. I welcome someone else providing suitable citations. You can see above in this discussion where I got everything; it all looks quite valid. (talk) 17:33, 22 March 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
Having a foul mouth means one is stupid? I wasn't aware of that before. Apologies if my language was off-putting, it was not my intention to offend. That aside, thanks for looking into this and getting it straightened out. I've added a footnote on the section pointing to the article you mention above. john k (talk) 18:55, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Largest County in MD[edit]

Shouldn't it be mentioned somewhere in the article that MoCo(yeah that's right, I used MoCo), is the largest county in MD? Mmace91 21:57, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Pop or Area? Naraht 22:01, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I assume he means in land area, but judging from the statistics, he could mean either. --Defender 911 13:37, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Has to be population, Montgomery County is sixth in area in Maryland, behind Frederick, Garrett, Dorchester, Baltimore County and Worcester (in that order) according to Maryland Geological Survey. Naraht 15:10, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Holy crap! Baltimore County is that big?!? Oops...I'm getting off-topic. Sorry! --Defender 911 01:19, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Liquor Control[edit]

The Article states that MoCo maintains a monopoly on the sale of alcoholic beverages. This actually isn't true, it only holds this monopoly for hard liquor, independent beer and wine stores are quite numerous. Tho interestingly enough grocery stores (with the exception of one store per chain in the county, i.e. one Giant, one Shoppers, etc. in all of MoCo) aren't allowed to sell alcohol at all. I tried to edit this but it didn't seem to let me, maybe someone who is more familiar w/editing pages can make that change 13:25, 30 April 2007 (UTC)Nate

I think, though, that the independent stores have to get their beer and wine through the County liquor control. When I went to the Elbe beer and wine store in Wheaton to see if they could order Czechvar (the name in the US for Budvar, the real Budweiser) for me, they showed me the official list and said since it wasn't on the list, they couldn't get it. 20:14, 25 July 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza
That may mean that the county has their own definition of beer and wine. While it may be considered beer by many people, the alcohol percentage may define it as liquor according to the county. They may not be able to sell it for that reason regardless of who they buy it through. I went ahead and made the edit about beer and wine sales through independently owned stores. I have no citation for it, it is based on my 20+ years of living in the county. Henrymrx 05:15, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think so. Budvar is quite simply a Czech lager, like Pilsner Urquell (which you can buy in MC), and I doubt if the alcohol content is significantly different from other lagers. When I inquired in a DC liquor store, they told me they could special order it, but it would be expensive. I have a feeling it's just market and price. 18:24, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

UPDATE: On Thursday, September 6, 2007, I bought a six-pack of Czechvar at a party store in Wheaton, Maryland, in Montgomery County. They'd just gotten in several cases. 13:23, 10 September 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

Annexation of PG portion of Takoma Park[edit]

The article says:

On July 1, 1997, Montgomery County annexed a portion of Prince George's County, after residents of Takoma Park, which spanned both counties, voted to be entirely within the more affluent Montgomery County.

The phrase "the more affluent Montgomery County" implies that that was the reason Takoma Park residents voted the way they did. Is there a source for this? Otherwise couldn't one suppose that there might be other reasons? One that comes to mind is the simple fact that by far the largest portion of Takoma Park was in Montgomery County, so the change only affected a small part. 12:31, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

An interesting point about the annexation. I seem to remember reading at the time that there was ONE liquor store in that portion of Takoma Park that had been in Prince George's County. That liquor store's business didn't fall into line with the liquor control system in Montgomery County. To avoid damaging the stores business, there was a special provision made to allow THAT STORE to continue operating. 16:25, 24 August 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

Why are so few places incorporated?[edit]

In my state when a place grows to some level it always get's incorporated. Does Maryland have some strange laws that as large unincorporated places as Bethesda in Montogery County exist. This is not usual in most states and some info about it would be nice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

As I understand it, Maryland grants a lot of powers to counties, and therefore the need to incorporate in order to run certain services is less. SchuminWeb (Talk) 19:36, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
There has been some scattered talk of incorporating Germantown, however nothing concrete has been put forward so far. Would be interesting to see how the county (and the state) would change were it to be incorporated. Illegitimate Barrister (talk) 01:54, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Check the Fact Regarding Montgomery County Wealth[edit]

I remember reading somewhere that the average income is slightly lower now. I don't have any sources though. Puppier (talk) 16:59, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Although I don't doubt that, without a reliable source, you can't alter the current text because such statements need to be verifiable. GotR Talk 19:27, 24 July 2012 (UTC)