With more than 70,000 residents located in the heart of Montgomery County, Gaithersburg is one of the largest cities in Maryland. Here 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 revitalization efforts in the Olde Towne residential and commercial district, with thoughtful planning for new communities. Our businesses range from world renowned technology companies to family-owned restaurants and service providers. And with indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities, a skate park, miniature golf course, and award-winning recreational and cultural enrichment programs, people of all ages enjoy an exceptional quality of life here.
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 is administered by a Mayor/City Council-City Manager style of government. 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 serving staggered four-year terms. Council Members elect a vice president each year and each Council Member has a vote. The day-to-day operations are run by the City Manager, who is appointed by the City Council.
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 and may be viewed online or on the City’s cable TV channel. Archived meetings may also be viewed online.
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 our 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.
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.
Gaithersburg enjoys a long history of civic involvement, which is welcomed and encouraged in a variety of ways. There are more than 20 Boards, Commissions and Committees that are made up of volunteers who play an important role in advising the Mayor and City Council on vital issues – from economic development and planning to environmental services and cultural arts.
Occasional Council in the Communities meetings foster two-way communication and allow citizens to discuss issues and concerns specific to their neighborhoods. Conversely, City officials and staff use the meetings to gather feedback on specific capital improvement projects and to poll citizens on relevant topics impacting Gaithersburg.
Neighbors helping neighbors is the essence of our community. Opportunities to help abound at dozens of nonprofit, faith-based and educational organizations in the area that can use volunteers with skills ranging from grant writing to teaching to accounting to photography and more.
Home to more than 4,000 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 Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
Because of our proximity to the nation’s capital and major global industries, the City plays host to many international and domestic visitors. We enjoy one of the highest educated labor pools in the country. In fact, Maryland ranks fourth in percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree and second in the percentage with a graduate or professional degree. The City is within an hour’s drive of dozens of colleges and universities, several located just beyond our borders.
Over the years Gaithersburg has enjoyed local, regional and national recognition for its governance and quality of life. We’ve placed in the top twenty-five on a number of “Best Places” lists and have earned a number one national ranking as a secure community.