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 …
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Move could pave way for Walmart. “I think that the community has spoken and the community wants retail at that location,” developer Bruce Lee tells The Gazette.
A zoning review of the vacant office BAE Systems building—an Aspen Hill location desired by Walmart—has been expedited by the Montgomery County Council, The Gazette reports. The measure passed in a 5-4 vote Monday, The Gazette reports. Bruce Lee, president of Lee Development Group that owns the site, told the newspaper he was pleased with the outcome: “I am really pleased that the majority of the county council recognized what the community wants, and I’m proud that they came to the right conclusion,” said Bruce Lee, president of Lee Development Group, owner of the Vitro site. “I think that the community has spoken and the community wants retail at that location. And that’s what we are going to pursue.” Read the full story at Gazette.net. …
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.)
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The scene from Tuesday's rally outside the Montgomery County Council building in Rockville.
These videos capture the scene Tuesday as Montgomery County Council members Marc Elrich and George Leventhal were presented with a 2,000-signature petition opposing plans to replace a vacant office building in Aspen Hill with a Walmart. Opponents staged a rally outside the Montgomery County Council building. The event was cordinated with help from labor activists with Raise Maryland and OUR Walmart, with supporters from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400.
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.)
Friday, April 26, 2013
County Council panels vote to back pay bumps for government and public safety workers.
A freeze in cost-of-living raises for Montgomery County government and public safety employees may be thawing out. The Montgomery County 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. If approved as part of the county budget, the 3.25 percent raise for county government workers would go into effect in September. Police officers would see a 2.1 percent bump in July. Fire and rescue personnel would see a 2.75 …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Plan aims to improve business competitiveness by reducing raises for county employees.
Montgomery County Councilman Philip M. Andrews on Tuesday introduced a plan to reduce the 2010 increase in Montgomery County’s energy tax by 10 percent. The county's energy tax was raised by 155 percent on homeowners and by nearly 60 percent on businesses and nonprofit organizations in 2010, according to a County Council news release. A 10 percent reduction would reduce county revenues by $11.4 million in fiscal 2014, which begins July 1. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg proposes paying for the energy tax reduction by slashing the pay increases for county employees over the next two years. Andrews, who is running for Montgomery County Executive in next year's election, criticized the agreement struck between the county employees unions …
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Business owner: ‘We really needed to get together, form a coalition, be stronger as one voice.’
(Updated) With BAE System’s exit from Aspen Hill, so went the lunch platform at the Aspen Hill Dunkin Donuts—and many regular breakfast customers. “It used to be over there,” said Boris Lander, the doughnut shop’s owner, pointing to an elongated half-wall hiding restaurant equipment where the lunch platform used to be. Business has been slow ever since BAE Systems relocated in 2010. The building has been vacant since. The Dunkin Donuts sits near the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Aspen Hill Road, right in front of the massive BAE site. Feeling the sting of lost business, nearby business owners have mobilized, forming the Aspen Hill Business Coalition. They’re advocating for bringing a new retailer to the site soon, with hopes that it …
Monday, March 18, 2013
Takoma Park’s Thomas Perez is Obama’s pick to succeed Solis.
President Barack Obama nominated Takoma Park resident and former Montgomery County Councilman Thomas E. Perez as U.S. Secretary of Labor on Monday, CBS News reported. Perez served as secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation under Gov. Martin O’Malley from 2007 until his confirmation in October 2009 as an assistant attorney general heading the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Perez “knows what it's like to climb the ladder of opportunity,” Obama said in a video of Monday’s announcement posted on CBSNews.com. “He's the son of Dominican immigrants. He helped pay his way through college as a garbage collector and working at a warehouse. He went on to become the first lawyer in his family…