The city of Gaithersburg released the following news within the last week:
Today (Tuesday) Gaithersburg launched the reporting program for its recently-adopted “Reporting of Improper or Illegal Acts” legislation, commonly referred to as the Whistleblower Ordinance.
The ordinance provides a safe and confidential environment for employees and other individuals to make good faith reports of actions by city officials, employees and board, commission and committee members that are believed to be improper or illegal. It establishes a process and procedure for the thorough review and investigation of reports of improper or illegal actions and reassures citizens and employees that they will be protected from retaliation, penalty or unfair treatment for in-good-faith reporting.
To ensure utmost confidentiality and impartiality, the city has contracted with The Network, Inc., an outside firm that will field reports. Confidential reports can be made via a toll free hotline at 855-214-5993 or submitted online at www.reportlineweb.com/gaithersburgmd. Reports can also be submitted in writing to: City Attorney’s Office, Gaithersburg City Hall, 31 S. Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877.
In partnership with Craftstar, the city of Gaithersburg is offering up to $7,500 in a forgivable loan for buyers at Summit Crossing in Olde Towne. There are no income restrictions and purchasers do not have to be first-time homebuyers, although the property must be their primary residence. The loan is forgiven 36 months following settlement, after which the owner will have no further obligations to the city.
The city of Gaithersburg is the only government in Maryland and one of just 115 government entities nationwide to earn a perfect score or “A” transparency grade by the wiki site, Sunshine Review. Sunshine Review uses a 10-point Transparency Checklist to evaluate 6,000 state, city, county and school district websites with the goal of collecting and sharing information about government accountability.
“Community engagement and accountability have long been cornerstones of the philosophy of governance in Gaithersburg,” said City Council member Cathy Drzyzgula, who worked with city staff to ensure that all elements of the evaluation were met. “It is important that our residents have the information they need at their fingertips, allowing them to offer insights and opinions on how this city can continue to efficiently and effectively serve the needs of all stakeholders.”