Sunday, May 19, 2013
'People,' 'testified' and 'college' also were big in Nancy Navarro's budget statement.
When Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro summarized the fiscal 2014 county budget, the words "county," "budget" and "Montgomery" naturally featured prominently in her statement. Council members tentatively approved the spending plan in a unanimous straw vote Thursday. Other words that Navarro was fond of in describing the $4.8 billion plan: "percent," "funding," "college," "testified," "people" and "providing." See what else Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring thinks of the budget in the word cloud above. Read Navarro's statement here. SPEAK OUT: What words would you use to describe the Montgomery County budget? What would be the big words in your word cloud?
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The plan includes tax increase, more cops in schools and more food resources for the poor.
No one went hungry in the $4.8 billion budget Montgomery County Council members tentatively approved Thursday. Key county agencies, including police, fire and rescue, schools and health and human services will receive more aid and new positions, according to an outline of the tentative spending plan released by the council. The council is scheduled to hold a final vote on the budget May 23, the last council session before a three-week recess. All nine council members voted to give tentative approval to the plan for fiscal 2014, which begins July 1. "Budgets are a reflection of our values. There are always more needs, and more wants, than there are resources available," Council President Nancy Navarro (D-Dist 4) of Silver Spring said in a …
This Friday is the annual Bike to Work Day. Will you be participating?
Among the hundreds of Montgomery County commuters who will take to their bikes this Friday for Bike to Work Day will be Montgomery County Council members Roger Berliner, Valerie Ervin, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer. More than 10,000 Washington-area commuters are expected to participate in the event, which the League of American Bicyclists began in 1956, and which first took place in the DC area in 2001, with a few hundred participants, a County Council news statement reported. Now, Bike to Work Day is an event for thousands of people in the DC area, as bike commuting becomes more common. On Friday, pit stops—with refreshments, t-shirts, raffles and more—for commuting bikers will be set up all across the region, including: By the time …
Monday, May 6, 2013
Montgomery County Council meets most Tuesdays in Rockville.
Montgomery County Council members will continue to discuss Fiscal Year 2014's budget at its next meeting, planned for Tuesday, May 7, at 9:30 a.m. in Rockville. Allotments for several county agencies, including public safety divisions, housing and affordable housing programs and education and early childhood programs will be approved based on recommendations from the Council committees. Fiscal Year 2014 begins July 1, 2013. (Read the entire council agenda, attached to this article.)
Thursday, May 2, 2013
County officials: A remediation plan for the transit center should be ready in a month.
A 2008 agreement between Montgomery County and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is legally binding and prevents the transit agency from backing out of plans for Metro to operate the beleaguered Silver Spring Transit Center once it opens, county officials said Wednesday. Accelerating the schedule for fixing the transit center's structural problems depends in great part on WMATA's willingness to cooperate, county officials told the Montgomery County Council at a briefing on Wednesday. WMATA does not appear ready to cooperate. In an April 12 letter to the county, the agency's deputy general manager of operations said Metro would not operate and maintain the transit center. The letter later said WMATA "would operate Metrobus …
Council members: Post article was the first they heard of Metro's decision not to operate the center.
A communication breakdown over the Silver Spring Transit Center led to harsh words for Montgomery County officials by County Council members Wednesday. Of particular concern to council members was a letter the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority sent to the executive branch on April 12, stating the transit agency would not operate and maintain the transit center. (See the attached PDF for the full text of the letter.) Council members said they did not know of the letter before it was reported in The Washington Post on April 25. They demanded to know why the executive branch had not immediately shared the letter with the council. The executive branch intended to share the letter with the council, but wanted to first sort out the …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Councilman Philip Andrews, a vocal opponent of the raises, was the only dissenting vote.
All but one member of the Montgomery County Council voted to approve pay raises for county government, police and fire and rescue employees Tuesday. It will be the first raise for government employees in four years. Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist 3) of Gaithersburg, was the only dissenting vote. County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) negotiated the pay increases in his $4.8 billion budget proposal for fiscal 2014 as part of new two-year contracts with employees’ unions. Fiscal 2014 begins July 1. Most county employees will receive two raises this summer: a cost-of-living increase and a step increase. A step is a pay raise for one year of service. Police officers will receive an increase equal to one-and-a-half steps and firefighters …
Monday, April 29, 2013
Montgomery County Council meets most Tuesdays in Rockville.
Montgomery County Councilmembers will discuss county employee contracts at its next meeting, planned for Tuesday, April 30, at 9:30 a.m. in Rockville. The Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy committees voted unanimously Thursday to back a proposal to raise county employees’ salaries by up to 3.25 percent. County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) negotiated the raises as part of new two-year contracts with employees’ unions and included them as part of his $4.8 billion budget proposal for fiscal 2014, which begins July 1. (Read the entire council agenda, attached to this article.)
A work group requested the funds to help start a program that would redistribute wasted food to people in need.
A program to redistribute would-be wasted food to people in need in Montgomery County may cost $200,000 to get off the ground, The Gazette newspaper reported. County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) proposed the "food recovery" program last October. Inspired by the work of two Montgomery County students attending the University of Maryland, the program would collect unused food from events and businesses, and redistribute the food to hungry people. A work group made up of government and school officials and representatives from local food banks, grocery store chains and nonprofits was established to study the feasibility of such a program last November. The group presented an interim report to the council's health and human …
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Four Montgomery County Councilmembers agreed that the one-year-old tax was not appropriate for non-food businesses.
A sweeping measure that aimed to reduce plastic bag consumption and litter in Montgomery County may see its days numbered, at least in the current iteration. County councilmembers Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda), Craig Rice (D-Germantown) and Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) proposed Tuesday to limit the scope of the county's 5-cent bag tax to only apply to food stores, not retail businesses or take-out restaurants. Councilman George Leventhal (D-At Large) decided to co-sponsor the bill during the council meeting. "There are things we need to clean up with this bill," said Rice, noting that he has heard the tax was challenging for clothing retailers. Since the bill went into effect last January, the county has raked in more than $2 million in bag…