Montgomery County (U.S.A.)

2017-04-17 11:54:09 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Montgomery County, officially the County of Montgomery, is a county in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 971,777, with a 2014 estimate putting the population at 1,030,447. It is the most populous county in Maryland. The county seat and largest municipality is Rockville, although the census-designated place of Germantown is the most populous place.

Montgomery County is included in the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. Most of the county's residents live in unincorporated locales, of which the most built up are Silver Spring, and Bethesda, though the incorporated cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg are also large population centers as are many smaller but significant places.

As one of the most affluent counties in the United States, it also has the highest percentage (29.2%) of residents over 25 years of age who hold post-graduate degrees. In 2011, it was ranked by Forbes as the 10th richest in the United States, with a median household income of $92,213.

Montgomery County, like other inner Washington, D.C. suburban counties, contains many major U.S. government offices, scientific research and learning centers, and business campuses, which provide a significant amount of revenue for the county.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 507 square miles (1,310 km2), of which 491 square miles (1,270 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (3.1%) is water. Montgomery County lies entirely inside the Piedmont plateau. The topography is generally rolling. Elevations range from a low of near sea level along the Potomac River to about 875 feet in the northernmost portion of the county north of Damascus. Relief between valley bottoms and hilltops is several hundred feet.

When Montgomery County was created in 1776, its boundaries were defined as "beginning at the east side of the mouth of Rock Creek on Potowmac river, and running with the said river to the mouth of Monocacy, then with a straight line to Par's spring, from thence with the lines of the county to the beginning".

The county's boundary forms a sliver of land at the far northern tip of the county that is several miles long and averages less than 200 yards wide. In fact, a single house on Lakeview Drive and its yard is sectioned by this sliver into 3 portions, each separately contained within Montgomery, Frederick and Howard Counties. These jurisdictions and Carroll County meet at a single point at Parr's Spring on Parr's Ridge.

Economy

Montgomery County is an important business and research center. It is the epicenter for biotechnology in the Mid-Atlantic region. Montgomery County, as third largest biotechnology cluster in the U.S., holds a large cluster and companies of large corporate size within the state. Biomedical research is carried out by institutions including Johns Hopkins University's Montgomery County Campus (JHU MCC), and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Federal government agencies engaged in related work include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Many large firms are based in the county, including Discovery Communications, Coventry Health Care, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Host Hotels & Resorts, Travel Channel, Ritz-Carlton, Robert Louis Johnson Companies (RLJ Companies), Choice Hotels, MedImmune, TV One, BAE Systems Inc, Hughes Network Systems and GEICO.

Other U.S. federal government agencies based in the county include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Downtown Bethesda and Silver Spring are the largest urban business hubs in the county; combined, they rival many major city cores.

Government

Montgomery County was granted a charter form of government in 1948.

The present County Executive/County Council 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.

The Montgomery County Police Department provides county-wide law enforcement services, although several cities including Rockville and Gaithersburg maintain their own police departments to complement MCPD. Maryland State Police patrol Interstate highways 495 (the "Beltway") and 270 and assist county and city police in investigation of some major crimes.

County executives

The office of the county executive was established in 1970. The first executive was James P. Gleason. The current executive is Isiah "Ike" Leggett, who was sworn in for his first term on December 4, 2006. He was reelected on November 2, 2010 and on November 4, 2014.

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