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Votes

Real Estate

The county is seeking applicants to fill one vacancy on the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board. This is a full five-year term beginning in June. Each appointment will be made by the governor from a list of three names nominated by the county executive and approved by the County Council. The incumbent is eligible and intends to apply for reappointment.

The three-member board is a state administrative agency that hears appeals of real property assessments determined by the supervisor of assessments, as well as appeals of tax credits and tax exemptions. The work of the board emphasizes knowledge in economics and real-estate values. Board members may not be actively engaged in real estate or appraisal.

Members currently meet four to six hours per day, four or five days per week. Compensation is $25 per hour up to six hours per day while the board is in session.

Deadline for applicants is May 24. Write to County Executive Douglas M. Duncan at the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe St., Rockville, MD 20850.

When your letter of interest has been received, you will be sent a biographical information form to complete and return to the executive’s office.

Arson Awareness Week is May 5-11. This year’s theme is “Arson Is Not a Victimless Crime.” Each year over 500 civilian lives are lost nationwide, according to Maryland state fire marshal William E. Barnard.

To help citizens reduce the risk of arson, the fire marshal recommends the following steps:

v If you know of someone your suspect of arson, contact the Arson Hotline at 1-800-492-7529.

v Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings to the local police, and support Neighborhood Watch programs.

v Keep leaves, firewood, overgrown brush and shrubbery and other combustibles away from buildings. Don’t make it easy for an arsonist.

v Keep doors and windows locked when a building is unoccupied. Avoid using double-cylinder deadbolt locks without a key nearby, bars without a quick-release mechanism or other security measures that could trap a person in a building during a deadly fire.

To learn more, call 1-800-525-3124.

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan has unveiled an environmental policy for the county. The policy will set the framework for all county agencies and departments to develop an Environmental Action Plan that will achieve improvements in public health, environmental resource management and environmental protection.

In addition, Duncan announced a new ground-water protection strategy. The impetus for the initiative was the region’s 1999 drought. The current year has set records for the lowest level of ground water ever recorded in the county.

Duncan also provided an update on implementation of the county’s forest-protection strategy.

The county has planted 1,300 of 1,900 trees funded for this fiscal year in an effort to enhance both ground-water recharge and the quality of ground water. The remainder of the trees will be planted in May.

For more information visit www. askDEP.com.

The county’s Office of Human Rights (OHR) has announced the winner of its annual community-awareness poster contest for elementary-school students. The year’s theme was “Fair Housing Brings Neighbors Together.” The contest was sponsored by OHR, the Apartment and Office Building Association and Montgomery County Public Schools.

The winning poster was by Cristianna Milosevich, a fifth-grader at Brookhaven Elementary in Rockville, who received a $100 savings bond.

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan received the 2002 “Tools of Knowledge” award from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Washington last month.

Duncan received a gift of ULI books and publications valued at $5,000 and a one-year public-section ULI membership for three professionals from the county. He is the third recipient of the award designed to provide support and tools to aid local jurisdictions and organizations in dealing with real-estate development and land use.

For more information about the award, call 240-244-1066.

Coldwell Banker Institute will offer two “Principles of Real Estate” sessions in May at the Bethesda office, 10450 Auto Park Drive. The first session begins Monday, May 13, and ends Wednesday, June 5. Classes are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

The second session begins Monday, May 13, and ends Wednesday, June 3. Classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6-10 p.m. Call Bill Frost at 1-800-992-4794.