About the City
Gaithersburg, Maryland - The BEST Place to Live, Work, Learn, and Play
With just over 60,000 residents located in the heart of Montgomery County, Gaithersburg is one of the largest cities in Maryland. In Gaithersburg you’ll find an excitingly diverse population living in a mixture of housing types in warm, welcoming neighborhoods. Gaithersburg combines a respect for its heritage, demonstrated by the revitalization efforts in our Olde Towne residential and commercial district, with thoughtful planning for new communities. Our businesses range from world renowned technology companies to family-owned service providers. And with indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities, performing arts venues, a skate park, miniature golf course, and award-winning recreational programs, people of all ages can enjoy an exceptional quality of life.
Gaithersburg traces its beginnings to a settlement known as Log Town, founded in 1765. By 1850 the post office used the named “Forest Oak,” and when the railway came in 1873, the station used the name “Gaithersburg.” The town officially became known as Gaithersburg when it was incorporated five years later, taking the name from Benjamin Gaither, who in 1802, built a house on property where the very large Forest Oak tree once stood.
LOCATION & CLIMATE
Gaithersburg occupies approximately 10 square miles in the geographic center of Montgomery County, Maryland. The southeastern border of the City lies just 13 miles from the northwestern border of Washington, D.C.
The City enjoys average temperatures of 35°F in winter, 57°F in spring, 80°F in summer, and 60°F in the fall. Annual rainfall averages 40 inches and is spread evenly throughout the seasons.
Average temperatures in winter are 35°, spring 57°, summer 80° and fall 60°. An average of 40 inches of rain a year is spread evenly through the seasons.
Gaithersburg is a diverse and active community of more than 60,000 residents. There are several venues that interpret our history and promote fine arts, crafts and theatre, and throughout the year the City sponsors cultural events reflective of its diversity. Spring and summer months find the outdoor City Hall Concert Pavilion busy with concerts and musical theater, while the Arts Barn provides a setting for indoor cultural performances and art classes throughout the year.
The City also hosts "Celebrate Gaithersburg in Olde Towne," a lively street festival where residents gather to enjoy food, entertainment, arts and crafts while celebrating the City’s heritage.
At years’ end, nearby Seneca Creek State Park is transformed into a winter wonderland as visitors meander through more than 380 animated and static light displays on a three and a half mile drive through the Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival.
Promoting an active lifestyle for all ages, Gaithersburg offers a wide variety of recreational activities, including sports leagues for youth and adults, special interest classes, aquatics programs and a dynamic program for seniors.
Gaithersburg is located in Montgomery County’s 9th Electoral District, in Maryland’s 17th Legislative District, and in the 6th Congressional District.
The City is administered by a Mayor/City Council-City Manager style of government. City elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in odd numbered years. The Mayor is elected to a four-year term and presides over the City Council. It is a non-voting position.
The City Council consists of five elected members, each serving a four-year term. Council members elect a vice president each year and each council member has a vote.
There are formal council sessions the first and third Monday of each month, during which the Mayor and City Council discuss issues and approve legislation. On the off Mondays there are public work sessions where the elected officials discuss relevant City business. This is a time of research, problem-solving and informal decision-making. Agendas and minutes of past meetings are available online. Council meetings and work sessions are televised live on Comcast and RCN cable Channel 13 and FiOS channel 25 within the City limits, and are also available for viewing live on this website. Archived meetings may also be viewed via the website.
The Mayor and City Council rely on citizen committees to serve as advisors on a number of issues.
The day-to-day operations are run by the City Manager, who is appointed by the City Council.
The City logo, an oak tree encircled by a green “G,” reflects the small-town ambiance of Gaithersburg and the importance of the environment in its past, present and future. It is representative of the famed Forest Oak tree, a 300 year old landmark that was felled by a wind storm in 1997. In 1996 the City embraced character education as a major initiative and added the phrase, “A CHARACTER COUNTS! City” to its official logo.
The City flag is white with the green logo in the center.
The peony is the City flower, commemorating the large peony gardens of Edward Schwartz. He cultivated 40,000 plants of 400 different varieties on land that is now home to Gaithersburg City Hall. Some of the peony plants survive at City Hall and at nearby Seneca Creek State Park.
The peony is the City flower, in memory of the large peony gardens of Edward Schwartz. Schwartz grew peonies at his home which today is the location of City Hall.
Home to more than 2,000 businesses in the heart of the Washington-Baltimore region, Gaithersburg is in the middle of the fourth largest retail market in the U.S., and is central to the Boston-Atlanta Corridor. We are an internationally recognized center of biotechnology, capitalizing on our proximity to federal research facilities and regulatory agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
Corporate growth in the last 20 years has concentrated in the technology industries, with major employers including IBM, Lockheed Martin, MedImmune, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gene Logic, Sodexo, Asbury Communities, and Digene.
Because of our proximity to the nation’s capital and these major global industries, the City plays host to many international and domestic visitors. We also enjoy one of the highest educated labor pools in the country. In fact, among the 20 largest metropolitan areas, Washington and its suburbs have the fourth highest concentration of college and graduate students.
City Guiding Principles
Strategic Plan for FY2014 301-258-6310