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Preview: 2009 Manno Legislation

State

Roger Manno sent a promotional Email from 1/17 describing his legislative agenda about mostly fringe issues.

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Vacancy in some Committees

County

From the County Newsfeed:

Date: December 19, 2008 2:39:47 PM EST
Subject: Montgomery County Board Vacancies

County Executive Isiah Leggett is committed to representation on all of the County’s boards, committees, and commissions that is reflective of, and responsive to, our County’s residents.  Public participation contributes to the work of County government and provides a valuable service to the community when a variety of issues, concerns, and viewpoints are presented.  Currently, there is a valuable opportunity to serve on the following:

  • Forest Conservation Advisory Committee
  • Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board

The deadline for application is January 9, 2009.

Please share this notice with anyone who may be interested.  You may access vacancy announcements for boards, committees, and commissions through the following link.

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/exec/vacancies/pr_list.asp

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Forum on Foreclosure

County

There is a forum for the community on property foreclosure, including confidential counselors to help you understand and work through the process. The event is Saturday October 11th, from 10 until Noon, in Montgomery Village.
See http://www.reznikformaryland.com/custom?key=904 for more details. This is an event sponsored by Delegate Kirill Reznik of district 39, I couldn’t find any information on a similar event sponsored by our delegates.

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Many Transportation Projects In Jeopardy

County, ICC

Nancy Floreen alerts us to the cancellation of the Georgia Ave./Randolph Road intersection improvements, along with several others.  Is anyone surprised that the ICC project has dried up most transportation funds?  Wasn’t this predicted by ICC opponents?

We need to get serious about transportation funding.  We know that delaying projects leads to higher costs in the long run while canceling them altogether would lead to environmentally destructive sprawl and crippling congestion.  Some folks may think we can’t afford costly transportation projects, but we really can’t afford a future that leaves commuters paralyzed by gridlock and isolates the emerging business sectors of the state.  To learn more, visit my blog, and let me know what you think. (from “Nancy at Large”)

It is interesting to note that the Georgia/Randolph intersection was identified as the county’s second transportation priority as far back as 2004.  Now it’s pushed back at least 3.  The ICC project has trumped all things transportation and does so little to improve traffic in the county.

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Details on the ICC Change

ICC

A previous message points to the State Highway Administration (SHA) statement on their desire to change the end of ICC Phase 1 from Georgia Avenue to Norbeck Road. This message provides some additional details. The information comes from a conversation with Odessa Phillips, community liaison for the ICC project phase 1.

Previously, Phase 1 construction of the ICC (from I-370 to Georgia Avenue) was to end at a cloverleaf interchange on Georgia Avenue. This would connect the 6 lane toll road ICC to the 6 lane divided state highway Georgia Avenue north of Norbeck Road (route 28). Last fall, SHA proposed building a “spur road” to connect eastbound traffic from the ICC onto Norbeck Road to assist with the failing intersection at Georgia and Norbeck.

In a change proposed by Greater Olney Civic Association Treasurer Roy Peck, SHA is now planning to have phase 1 of the ICC continuing through the cloverleaf and terminating at a temporary exit directly onto Norbeck Road. This exit will bring ICC traffic directly onto Norbeck Road on existing ICC right-of-way but outside the expected ICC path. While specifics are unavailable, the description from SHA indicated the ICC will now terminate between the entrance to the Longmeade Crossing neighborhood and Baileys Land. An additional traffic light will be added at this exit, and an additional lane will be added to provide more merging space for traffic. It is unknown how this light will be timed with the existing light on Wintergate Drive.

Despite claims that the ICC has an extensive community outreach mission, SHA conceeded that they did not send a mailing to residents of the Norbeck area of the county soliciting them for input on the proposed change. Additionally, no sign was placed on the right-of-way indicating a public meeting or hearing as is typical for similar zoning changes. SHA also indicated that our state representatives were briefed on the change.

Please note that while the Greater Olney Civic Association collaborated with the state on this change, they are clearly on record as being opposed to the ICC and favor the ICC being closed until all phases are complete.

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SHA Munching Through Forest

County, Images

The State Highway Administration is tearing through Tree Eating Machinesacres of old woods as fast as they can, moving into Phase 2 of the ICC project even before woods are cleared for Phase 1. As this picture shows, they either have a lot of timber clearing equipment idle or they’re worried the project will get stopped judging by the pace they are running. This picture was taken 7/13, and the clearing was enough for their equipment and a road through to the east. In one week the clearing is now as wide as the entire ICC right of way as far as you can see.

Residents of the Norbeck area of the county are now bracing as this tree clearing moves to take most of the trees from some of our neighborhoods.

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URGENT!!! ICC To End in Norbeck!

County

In a stunning surprise, the State Highway Administration has decided to exit phase one of the ICC (270 to Georgia Ave.) directly at Baileys Lane in our neighborhood.  See this link for information from the state.

SHA claims this was done with discussions with surrounding communities, but obviously this did not happen with the community most directly impacted - ours!  We are currently collecting information on this situation plus how you can respond as soon as possible.

Please monitor the RSS feed for this site, or send Email to info@norbeck.org to make sure you are notified of updates.

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Think Tank on Property Tax Reliance

County

Council member Nancy Floreen is sponsoring a discussion on property tax.  If you would like to participate, see below.  I’m not sure if there is another discussion for those who think property tax is the proper primary source of county income.
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Please join me, along with civic, business and elected leaders to look at ways of reducing Montgomery County’s reliance on the property tax as a primary revenue source.

Think Tank: New Ideas to Reduce the County’s Reliance on the Property Tax
Thursday, June 19, 7:00 PM
Executive Office Building, Lobby Auditorium
101 Monroe St. Rockville

To view the invitation, click here.

Regards,
Nancy Floreen

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Making Sense of Montgomery County’s Carbon Surtax

County

Can’t be done.

How do you resolve the environmental language of the proposed “carbon surtax” with support for the Inter-County Connector?

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Montgomery County Council Building Case to Introduce Many Increases in Taxes

County

In a recent newsletter from Council member-at-large Nancy Floreen, a volunteer working group looking at financing of public works projects has come up with several recommendations:

  • Obtain state authorization for a local option motor fuel excise tax, motor fuel sales tax, or motor vehicle registration fee.
  • Enact new local excise tax on non-residential commuter parking spaces.
  • Increase the recordation tax rate.
  • Increase the rates and coverage of impact taxes for financing “new capacity” projects.
  • Endorse the Council’s decision to maximize the use of general obligation debt to a level that maintains the AAA rating.

If your keeping score, the five leading ideas are increase gas tax, increase parking tax, increase recordation tax, increase impact taxes, and borrow money (increase future taxes). No ideas on saving money, reducing county services, selling off county white elephants, or moving funds from less effective projects.

We’re obviously pulling volunteer working group members from the same pool we get politicians from.

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