Menu

Candidates test new campaign finance system

  • Published in Local

MoCo LogoMore than a year from the 2018 primary election, candidates for County offices are heading in to a new territory of publicly-financed campaigns,

In 2014, the County Council passed a law to publicly finance County elections in hopes to counter the impact of campaign donations from large businesses and political action committees.

Montgomery County is the first county in the state to have publicly-financed elections, meaning the new funding system for candidates is untested.

“It leads some people running for office to look more to grassroots and small donations,” said Ed Amatetti, a Republican candidate for County Council District-2 on the new campaign finance system.

Read more...

Takoma Park seals its reputation as a political nesting ground

  • Published in Local

Takoma Park Govt logo

The center of power in the county, state and even at times the federal government is not Washington D.C., but a cozy city nestled just north of it.

During the last few decades, Takoma Park has transformed from a small town home to minority religious community to a progressive political haven and the crucible where political careers begin.

For a small city of 17,000 people, it is home to a long list of political players, such as Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8), newly elected Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and three members of the County Council George Leventhal (D-at large), Marc Elrich (D-at large) and Hans Riemer (D-at large).

“When you have a political belief, be absolutely fearless in promoting it,” said political activist Robin Ficker, who was born in Takoma Park. “Speak your mind and speak your mind until the heavens fall and don't let anyone intimidate you. It's a belief that springs from Takoma Park.”

Read more...

County hears more on fatal fire

  • Published in Local

Silver Spring fire 8-11-16An internal audit was held on the County's response to the Flower Branch Apartments fire that killed seven and displaced over 100 people last August. FILE PHOTO  

During their internal audit about the County’s response to the fire at Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring that killed seven and displaced more than 100 people last August, County officials did not interview victims from the fire.

At last week’s council meeting, officials from several County agencies briefed the Council on an internal audit of the County’s response in providing services in the immediate aftermath of the fire. The audit listed several recommendations for the County, including a need for better communication between County staff.

Council member Tom Hucker (D-5) said the audit was disappointing and criticized County officials for not interviewing the victims of the fire who received the County’s services.

“It seems strange to me, as an approach, that you would just talk to County agencies and the non-profits we fund, but not the actual victims,” Hucker said.

Read more...

County Executive race is now ON!

  • Published in Local

About four months after the presidential election and just days before the start of filing for candidates, the race for County Executive is starting to heat up.

For the first time since 2006 there will be an open seat in the County Executive Office building in 2018 leading to an array of contenders to replace the outgoing County Executive Ike Leggett. The candidate filing period begins Feb. 28 and the primary election is June 26.

Leggett, who has said his current term will be his last, cannot run for re-election after voters in November passed a referendum on term limits, limiting members of the County Council and the County Executive to three consecutive, four-year terms.

The chief proponent of the term limit referendum is also one of the first people to enter the County Executive Race – Robin Ficker.

Read more...

“Wait and See”

  • Published in Local

County leaders confused and angry over sanctuary executive order

 

ANNAPOLIS – Local officials say it is unclear whether President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on sanctuary cities will cost the county federal funding over its immigration enforcement policies.

Last week, Trump signed an executive order saying localities that fail to comply with federal immigration law will not receive public funds, sparking outrage among immigration advocates and confusion among public officials.

The executive order specifically mentions “sanctuary jurisdiction,” a vague but widely used term that generally refers to localities that do not assist in enforcing federal immigration law. State and local officials said it is unclear if the executive order would apply to Montgomery County or to the State of Maryland.

“Look, no one has been able to figure out from what he’s (Trump) issued so far and how exactly it plays out,” said County Council member Marc Elrich (D-at large). “We don’t know whether we are inside the rules or outside the rules.”

Read more...

County Raises Minimum Wage

  • Published in Local

Council passes minimum wage raise, now awaits Leggett's signature

MoCo Logo

ROCKVILLE – After many debates, protests and public hearings, the County Council voted Tuesday to increase the County’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020.

Now Bill 12-16 awaits County Executive Ike Leggett’s signature before it can become law. Patrick Lacefield, a spokesperson for the County, said Leggett has not decided whether he plans to sign the minimum wage increase in to law.

“We're still reviewing it; we haven't made a decision,” Lacefield said.

Read more...

Flower Branch residents issue a cry for help

  • Published in Local

SILVER SPRING – From the day she moved into her Flower Branch apartment in June 2014, Blanca Morales says she has lived in a rodent-infested apartment.

On the first night in her new apartment, located along Piney Road, Blanca said she could hear the sounds of small animals running through her apartment.

The next day in her bathroom, she saw mice up close.

“I saw that there were mice running through my feet and I screamed,” Morales said. “And I realized that there were mice.”

About four months after a fire killed seven people and displaced about 100 others at Flower Branch, poor living conditions that have plagued tenants at the apartment complex for years still remain an issue.

Read more...

Council considers divesting fossil fuel money

  • Published in Local

MoCo Logo

ROCKVILLE – Environmental activists pushed the County Council Tuesday to pass a bill to divest the County’s pension fund from fossil fuel companies while union representatives and others opposed it.

Proponents of the bill said the County’s investment in fossil fuel companies as part of its workers’ pensions is immoral because of the threat of man-made climate change.

“Imagine telling your kids one day, we really wanted to stave off climate calamity, but the routine transaction fees of selling and reinvesting in greener companies were too much to bare, so we just kept on investing in climate calamity,” said Mike Tidwell, from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, who testified in favor of the bill.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed