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 …
Sunday, March 10, 2013
New study cites abuse and lax management as reasons for inflated figures.
The Montgomery County Office of Legislative Oversight released a report Tuesday that found that the majority of more than $63 million in county overtime costs from January 2011 to June 2012 was paid to police and fire agencies and that a significant amount of the extra pay was the result of sick-leave abuse. The study, "Employee Work Hours and Leave in Montgomery County," revealed the county paid $63.3 million in overtime to 6,789 county employees. Click here to read the full report. Montgomery County Councilman George L. Leventhal (D-At Large) of Takoma Park described the findings as a “wake-up call to management” and told The Washington Post “someone has to rein in those costs." The study found that approximately 70 percent of the …
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Montgomery County Council Member Phil Andrews proposes a cut in ICC tolls to get more drivers to use the road, NBC Washington reports.
Montgomery County Councilman Phil Andrews (D-Dist. 3), of Gaithersburg, says a deep cut in tolls would increase traffic on the Intercounty Connector and he's calling on the state to do it, NBC Washington reported. Andrews says the $8 round-trip rush-hour toll is among the highest in the nation. He would propose "at least a trial period of several months, if not, a year when the tolls would be...cut in half, in hopes of doubling the traffic," according to the report. A decision on the toll rate is up to the Maryland Transportation Authority. A spokeswoman for the MTA told The Washington Post the ICC is meeting both traffic and revenue projections. The road was designed to carry traffic volumes projected for 2030, according to the report. …
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Former County Executive Doug Duncan met today with pollster and political advisers, according to CenterMaryland.org.
Will Doug Duncan—Montgomery’s longest-serving county executive—return for a run at an unprecedented fourth term? Duncan's political future came into clearer focus Tuesday after he met with advisers in Gaithersburg to mull the 2014 election, Josh Kurtz writes in CenterMaryland.org. The closed meeting hashed over the results of a new poll “that supposedly showed Duncan handily defeating every other potential Democratic candidate,” according to Kurtz. Speculation has long swirled that Duncan—who served as Montgomery’s executive from 1994 to 2006 before a gubernatorial campaign that ended with him dropping out, citing clinical depression—is primed for a return to county politics. If so, he would be joining a field that already has two …
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Future North Potomac Community Center, Travilah Fire Station,
schools and november ballot questions are on the agenda
Montgomery County Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Craig Rice are expected to address the North Potomac Community Association tonight, county officials announced this afternoon. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg. Discussion topics include at the planned North Potomac Community Recreation Center, the future Travilah Fire Station, school-related issues and key questions that will appear on the November ballot. Andrews (D-dist. 3), of Gaithersburg, and Rice (D-dist. 2), of Germantown, will take questions from the audience.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Officials say the new law complicates enforcement, The Washington Post reported.
New state rules aimed at protecting motorists from predatory towing clash with existing Montgomery County rules, making already complicated regulations even tougher to enforce, The Washington Post reported. Confusion over which rules are more stringent—and therefore should take precedent—has officials unsure how to meet an Oct. 1 deadline for implementing the state rules, The Post reported. The new state rules, in part, require large warning signs in parking lots, limit towing fees and “require wreckers to quickly notify drivers when their vehicles are towed,” The Post reported. But it also would do away with practices such as posting 48-hour warning notices on vehicles violating parking rules. The new state law was the subject of a …
Thursday, August 2, 2012
The ballot measure would make it possible for people with significant disabilities to hold certain county positions from which they are currently barred.
An amendment to Montgomery County law that would give the government more flexibility to hire people with significant cognitive and physical disabilities will be decided by voters this November. The Montgomery County Council unanimously voted Tuesday to send a proposed charter amendment to the ballot for county voters. Spearheaded by Councilmember Phil Andrews (D-Dist 3), with the support of County Executive Isiah Leggett, the change would create a program within the county's internal employment system to recruit, select and hire people with certain disabilities for some county jobs. Currently, the language of the county's charter prevents people with significant disabilities from holding some positions within county government, according…
Sunday, June 19, 2011
With so many issues left unresolved, you'd think Montgomery County could do a better job at picking its battles.
Sometimes you just have to wonder about the politics of this place. Our local economy is sputtering again, the housing market is flirting with a double-dip, our transportation system is getting more congested and crumbling around us, and local and state budgets are showing years of red ink ahead. Yet, amid all of these truly important issues, what has prompted the most vigorous response from Montgomery County officials lately? Prohibiting fire and rescue personnel from "passing the boot" to raise money for muscular dystrophy and cracking down on illicit lemonade stands at the U.S. Open. Wow, I sure feel a lot better, how about you? I have always wondered about this "passing the boot" issue. As I understand it, such solicitations are not …