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MoCo Headlines: Teacher Pensions, Campaign Finance and a Parody Tweeter

Get caught up on the latest headlines in Montgomery County.

Catch up on this week's headlines, including news of a campaign finance violation complaint and a protest against holding the county accountable for teacher pensions.

In characteristic union flair, a sea of yellow United Food and Commercial Workers Union t-shirts took over the Montgomery County Council meeting room Tuesday as county employees from the UFCW and five other organizations spoke out against a measure that would shift pension costs for teachers from the state to the county.

 and  have both voiced their opposition to the shift as well.

The burden of cost transferred to the county could cripple county services that are already thin due to budget constraints, according to UFCW Montgomery County Government Employees Union President Gino Renne.  

The Montgomery County Council extended its debate of the Kensington Sector Plan this week, as some councilmembers are concerned that the plan allows heights and densities that don't fit in with the residential community. 

Friendship Heights Plaza—across Western Avenue from  in Chevy Chase—may be just a weed-filled parking lot right now, but construction to turn the lot into a boutique shopping center will begin soon. 

Supporters of , have submitted an unsolicited proposal to the county offering the creation of an agricultural education program to launch on the Brickyard site. 

A campaign finance violation complaint against former mayoral candidate Piotr Gajewski raised questions about Rockville’s laws on contribution limits, about its campaign fund reporting process and about how much authority the city’s elections board has to enforce city election law.  

Maryland Sen. Rob Garagiola's campaign team says parody tweeter @FakeGaragiola has gone too far. Garagiola (D, Dist. 15), who is a Germantown resident, has been the target of the satirical Twitter account ever since he announced plans to run for U.S. Congress in November. The spoofer described Garagiola as a "smarmy," "philandering lobbyist" with "zero" accomplishments. Campaign manager Sean Rankin called the tweeter's actions "despicable." 

Members of multiple North Potomac and Gaithersburg communities met with county and city officials to learn how they can prevent an attempted home burglary. Two incidents were reported in late February and residents said there is an increase in suspicious activity in the area. 

A group of Wheaton businesses testified this week in support of a bill before the Montgomery County Council that would create a program to assist small businesses damaged by county-sponsored redevelopment. A leader of the Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton said the bill would show "a real commitment to the community." 

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