Since 2002, Nancy Floreen has been at-large member of the Montgomery County Council, and she served a one-year term as Council President in 2010. She chaired the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee (T&E) until 2010 when she became Chair of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee (PHED). She remains an active member on the T&E Committee.
In addition to her Council committee responsibilities, Councilmember Floreen plays an active role in local, regional and national decision making. She is Vice-Chair for Transit for the National Association of Counties’ Transportation Steering Committee and previously chaired the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Climate Change Steering Committee as well as its Air Quality Committee. She also serves on the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Air Quality Control Advisory Council. The councilwoman is on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Council on Aging, Habitat for Humanity and the Strathmore Hall Foundation. She is a founding member and past president of Montgomery Women, a bipartisan group created in 2000 to mentor and support women of all backgrounds who seek to be effective community leaders.
A Democrat, Nancy brings to the Council a wealth of experience and expertise based on more than two decades of service in local, state and federal government, including two years as Mayor of the Town of Garrett Park.
In 1986, Nancy was appointed a Commissioner on the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, where she served until 1994. As a member of the County Planning Board, she was involved in the development of master plans across the county and on balancing the need for growth with preservation of open space and protection of existing county neighborhoods. During this period, she served as president of the Maryland Citizen Planners Association.
Throughout her two terms on the County Council, Nancy has been a tireless advocate for better transportation and transit options, expanded affordable housing, enhanced environmental protections and improved access to jobs and economic development.
She introduced and championed revisions to the County Road Code to make new residential streets friendlier, safer for pedestrians and better for the environment. She sponsored a Job Search Workshop and Information Fair to help unemployed and underemployed residents get back to work. As Council President, she presided over the unanimous passage of the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan and the White Flint Sector Plan, both of which will generate new, high-quality jobs in the county.
Nancy earned a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College and a law degree from Rutgers University. She is married to attorney/writer David O. Stewart and has three adult children, all of whom attended Montgomery County Schools.
ISSUES OF INTEREST:
Since joining the Council, Nancy has led efforts to increase county funding for transportation projects locally and from the state. She has spearheaded increases in road resurfacing and tree maintenance and has actively supported transit initiatives. In 2004, Nancy co-sponsored a $7.5 million transportation package to buy more buses, add new bus routes, extend bus hours, reduce fares to encourage transit use, build a new garage at the Glenmont Metro, and accelerate planning for several new County roads.
Recognizing that congestion is the number one frustration for county residents, Nancy has been a tireless advocate for reducing congestion on local roads, such as Muncaster Mill and Norbeck Roads, by thousands of vehicles per day by building the Intercounty Connector along the route that has been endorsed by the County for over 40 years. In addition, Nancy
Championed enhanced hiker and biker trail development and maintenance;
Co-sponsored the resolution to encourage the federal government to increase funding levels for METRO and to request the Governors of Maryland and Virginia and the Mayor of the District of Columbia to develop a long-range funding program for WMATA;
Fought against closing Beach Drive to Montgomery County commuters;
Authored the resolution to support building the ICC on the master-planned alignment, testifying on behalf of the Council to get the project going, ensure it is done in an environmentally sensitive manner, and include the planned bikeway;
Initiatated the creation of the Infrastructure Financing Working Group to develop a strategy to raise substantial funds annually for funding our County's billion-dollar infrastructure needs, including new and expanded transit and road projects.
With housing prices spiraling out of control, Councilmember Floreen recognizes the critical need for a program that will produce and retain many more affordable housing units. Putting her Planning Board and regulatory experience to good use, Nancy authored the bulk of the Council’s legislation enhancing Montgomery County’s nationally recognized moderately priced dwelling unit (MPDU) housing program. She also co-sponsored the development of the workforce housing initiative. Councilmember Floreen championed the effort to dedicate a portion of the property tax to the Housing Initiative Fund, assuring that there will always be a $16 million pot of money to use to retain affordable housing units that might be lost and to leverage with developers to build affordable units. She also serves on the Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County Board of Directors.
Nancy hosted a forum on senior transportation issues in July 2004 to illuminate the challenges and highlight best practices in this increasingly important area and pushed to gain the funds for the Senior Strategic Plan. She also successfully managed the Council’s review and adoption of legislation in fall 2004 to expand and improve taxi service. The councilwoman also serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Council on Aging.
As the former mayor of Garrett Park, Councilmember Floreen is extremely sensitive to the importance of community. She understands the need for areas to have a sense of place and the concerned interest residents have in protecting their neighborhood. One of Nancy’s major goals is to meet with as many community groups as possible to hear their concerns. Nancy understands the issues in Germantown are very different from the concerns in Bethesda or Silver Spring. Burtonsville has needs that differ from Clarksburg. And so, she works with neighborhoods across the county to find appropriate solutions to community needs.
In 2006, Nancy sponsored revisions to the Road Code which will make residential streets as well as roads in redeveloped commercial areas friendlier, safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and better for the environment. Under the new code, road construction must be context sensitive and must respect the needs of all users, not just motorists.
The councilwoman also introduced bill 28-05, which took effect on March 1, 2007 to address the problems of water draining onto neighboring properties from new construction or large renovations. The bill requires builders to use environmentally friendly methods to contain or convey water runoff, including rain gardens, green roofs, bioretention filters or natural buffer areas.
Councilmember Floreen understands that library services are part of our basic community infrastructure and has fought to ensure that our libries can meet the growing demands of all segments of the population. Nancy advocated to move up the construction of the flagship Rockville Library. She also called for the addition in 2005 of $2 million to the library system's operating budget for more books on the shelves and improved services.
PARKS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
As a former Parks Commissioner and long-time community advocate, Nancy has long been working to support the County’s many parks and green spaces. At Nancy’s request, the Planning Board formally surveyed the County and found that over 47 percent of the County is and will be preserved as “forever green." That area includes parkland, private areas subject to easements, properties acquired through the Legacy Open Space program, the Agricultural Reserve, and other areas.
Nancy was a co-sponsor of the County’s bill that eliminated smoking in bars and restaurants. In addition, she
Champions the County commitment to green buildings and proposed the green buildings tax credit;
Supported a regional commitment to wind power purchasing as an alternative energy source; and
Was the primary sponsor of a Council resolution to protect the County’s Agricultural Reserve by opposing a second Potomac River crossing and the “Techway.”,li>
Keeping the County safe for pedestrians is one of Nancy’s top priorities. That is why every year she fights to keep sidewalk construction on schedule. Because sidewalks only function if they are clear, Nancy opposed limiting the County’s mandatory shoveling regulations. And, in recognition of residents’ good neighbor instincts, Nancy instituted the annual Golden Shovel awards to honor those who go above and beyond in helping their neighbors shovel out after a snowstorm. To date, 86 outstanding County residents, ranging in age from five to 78 years of age, have salted away these honors.
As a former PTA president, Nancy strongly supports quality public education in the County, both at the K-12 level and at our nationally recognized Montgomery College. Councilmember Floreen supported the expansion of all-day kindergarten to all County schools and co-sponsored the legislation to raise the recordation tax and require that those funds be reserved for school capital projects and educational technology for Montgomery College. In addition, she supported the legislation that created the school impact tax so developers will pay into a fund to build needed classrooms or schools.
Councilmember Floreen is particularly interested in increasing and improving technology training in our middle and high schools for college and non-college career paths, as well as encouraging outreach to girls and underrepresented groups in computer sciences early in their educational experience. That's why she initiated and chaired the Girls in Information Technology Task Force which developed recommendations for MCPS to implement for enhancing the preparation of young women entering IT related careers.
Councilmember Floreen's official page can be found here.