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Federal cuts run county deep

DHR Home SlideAs it turns out the Attorney General of the United States of America doesn’t have to do a thing to Montgomery County – Mick Mulvaney already took care of that.
Sessions, speaking Monday at a White House briefing urged “Sanctuary” communities to follow the law or face the loss of DOJ. grants – and hinted at other possible retributions.
County Executive Ike Leggett says Montgomery County doesn’t fall under “Sanctuary” status, but he is aware the DOJ isn’t fond of the county because leaders here do not necessarily cooperate with Homeland Security and ICE when it comes to illegal immigrants. The county will honor detainers and turn over criminal illegal immigrants, but otherwise leaves the immigrant community alone.
When a rape allegedly involving two illegal immigrants occurred recently at Rockville High School, more than 100 people came out to protest the county and the City of Rockville’s stance on illegal immigrants. Never mind the protesters didn’t exactly understand the issue, perpetual Republican gadfly Robin Ficker - fresh from his success in forcing term limits on the county and flush with the puffed up pride of a man who promised not to run for county office but had a change of heart – jumped into politicize the tragedy with his two bits.

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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.

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Leggett proposes investing $2 billion in new school construction projects

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Calling it a critical investment for schools, infrastructure and housing, County Executive Ike Leggett last week released his capital budget for fiscal year 2018.

In his proposed Capital Budget, Leggett said he wanted the County to invest $2 billion in education, most of which would go to school construction during the next six years.

 “This FY18 Capital Budget and amended six-year Capital Improvements Program represent critical investments in schools, jobs, transportation and housing while also being prudent with future borrowing,” said Leggett in a statement.

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Waste facility still needs repairs, county says

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County and state officials said they do not believe that a trash incinerator plant in Dickerson that caught fire in December is beyond repair.

While the cause of the fire, which lasted more than a day, is still not known, the Dec. 8 fire did bring attention to several issues that plague the Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility located on 21204 Martinsburg Road.

County Executive Ike Leggett blamed the 21-year-old facility’s age for its recent issues.

“The facility, after 20 years or so in the amount of use, has had some failures; it was not able to burn as much trash as it was normally able to,” Leggett said.

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Leggett appoints Dorfman to Liquor Control

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Robert Dorfman, an international businessman who prides himself on turning around ailing companies, was named by County Executive Ike Leggett to be the County’s new Department of Liquor Control director.

Dorfman, a 35-year resident of North Potomac, first must be approved for the position by the County Council. That hearing is set for Jan. 24.

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Council at odds with Executive Ike Leggett over Hispanic Gala

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Members of a County Council joint committee accused county departments of misusing public funds during a meeting last week.

In aggregate, four County departments donated the maximum amount of money allotted to sponsor events by the County Council – $9,999 – to the County Executive’s Hispanic Gala, which raises money for scholarships for Hispanic students.

Under a new County law, County departments must spend under $10,000 on sponsorships for nonprofit events. If a County department spends $ 10,000 or more, it has to be approved by the Council.

“I’m amazed, really just flabbergasted that we ended up with expenditures of $9, 999,” County Council member George Leventhal (D at-large) said. “I mean that is laughable …that was so clearly an end-run around the council’s intent that it creates friction and tension between the two branches of government that should not exist.”

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Leggett meets with counterparts from China

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As part of their sister city relationship, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett met with a delegation from Xi’an, China to help facilitate an economic partnership between Xi’an and the County.

The newly created Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), a private-public group that seeks to attract businesses to the County, signed a memorandum of understanding to help promote business between the County and Xi’an

“As you can imagine, their government finance structure is entirely different from the United States’, so to have a friendly government in each place is essential in establishing a new operation,” said Robby Brewer, vice president of the board of directors for the MCEDC.

The trip by the delegation from Xi’an to the County was a follow-up to a trip made by Leggett and County business officials to Xi’an in 2013. In 2014 the two jurisdictions, signed a Sister City agreement insuring a business and cultural connections between the County and Xi’an.

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Never-ending bus depot issue heads back to council this fall

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School Bus DepotFILE PHOTO

ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County officials searching for a new location for hundreds of school buses are not limiting their search just to publicly-held land.

According to County Executive spokesperson Patrick Lacefield, County staffers within the Executive’s Office are also considering whether buying private property to relocate the hundreds of buses at the Shady Grove bus depot is a viable option.

“I think that we're probably looking broader than just the publically held land but I don't think we're involved in the specifics yet of square footage and costs but we're looking at different options,” said Lacefield.

Lacefield confirmed the Avery Road site at the Blair G. Ewing Center in Rockville and the former Oaks Landfill in Laytonsville are among the sites county officials are examining for relocating the buses after County Executive Ike Leggett removed two Rockville sites at the Carver Educational Services Center and 1000 Westmore Avenue from consideration amid opposition from hundreds of local residents.

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