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, naturally, the words "county," "budget" and "Montgomery" featured prominently in her statement. Council members tentatively approved the spending plan in a unanimous straw vote Thursday. Other words that Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring was fond of in describing the $4.8 billion plan: "percent," "funding," "college," "testified," "people" and "providing." See what else Navarro 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 …
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Takoma Park shares thoughts about one of its own.
A Senate committee is expected to hold a confirmation vote Wednesday for Takoma Park resident Thomas Perez as President Obama’s nominee for U.S. Labor Secretary, The Associated Press reported. Democrats delayed the Senate committee vote scheduled for April 25 due to a threat by Republicans to use a hearing to criticize Perez's handling of a whistleblower case while he headed the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, the AP reported. The House oversight committee was set to take up the issue on Tuesday, The Washington Post's "Federal Eye" blog reported. Perez, a former Maryland labor secretary and former Montgomery County Council president, declined to intervene in the case as part of a deal that included the city withdrawing a case …
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
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 …
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…
Friday, April 26, 2013
Letter addresses communication breakdown between Montgomery County Council and County Executive Isiah Leggett
The Montgomery County Council, surprised by news reports of Metro looking for a way out of its agreement regarding the Silver Spring Transit Center, sent a letter to County Executive Isiah Leggett Friday, asking him to appear before the council on Wednesday at 2 p.m. with an explanation. Haven't been following along? Get caught up on the Silver Spring Transit Center.
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 …
Friday, April 19, 2013
The former Montgomery County Councilman is President Obama's pick for labor secretary.
Friday, April 19
By Jeremy Barr, Capital News Service WASHINGTON—Thomas Perez, a Takoma Park resident who has served in top county and state-level positions in Maryland, remained calm in the face of tough questioning from Senate Republicans Thursday as he sought confirmation as the next U.S. secretary of labor. “I am very grateful to the president for the confidence he has shown in me with this nomination,” Perez said after introducing his wife and three children, all seated in the front row of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Perez, 51, remained positive and upbeat throughout the two-hour-long confirmation hearing, despite occasionally hostile questioning. The committee will vote on his nomination on April 28. He needs …