Thursday, February 16, 2017

MoCo Council got an average of $2469 in free gas last year - - from you

How would you like $2469 in free fill-ups at your local gas station (assuming it isn't being torn down by the Montgomery County Council and Planning Board)? You'll have to run for the County Council to get it.

According to Arelis Hernandez of the Washington Post, Montgomery County Councilmembers averaged $2469 each in free gas in 2016, paid for by you, the taxpayer. Nice.

This is the same Council whose members, thanks to a 17.5% raise they gave themselves at your expense a few years ago, will each be paid an astonishing $136,258 this year. By you.

Free gas is just par for the course, for our corrupt County Council, who - by the way - are running a structural deficit every year, and raised your taxes to historic heights last May. It seems they're only good at numbers when they're figuring out how much money they can get out of you.

The Bell, California City Council did this, too. They're in the slammer right now. Montgomery County's Council? Still on the street, and still on the take.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyway you can supply a link to your claim? I can't find it on the Washington Post website. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I notice that you did not bother to link to the article in the Post. Is that because it said something very different than what you claimed that it said?

"Last year, Montgomery’s nine council members were reimbursed an average of $2,469 for work-related travel — about a quarter of the cost of a take-home vehicle or car allowance in Prince George’s."

That is not the same as "gas". The IRS's standard mileage reimbursement is $0.57.5 per mile. Dividing that into $2,469, you get 4,239 miles each - and that's for mileage alone, and does not include other expenses such as parking.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:26 AM - Here you go:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/this-suburb-spends-more-than-110000-a-year-on-cars-for-its-lawmakers/2017/02/10/ef014ba0-d925-11e6-b8b2-cb5164beba6b_story.html?utm_term=.56131eb899ee

Robert Dyer said...

6:26: All 9 councilmembers DRIVE to all council business. What do think they're getting reimbursed for, Florsheim shoes?

6:29: By all means, go to the link and confirm they get an average of $2469 reimbursement for free gas. Knock yourself out. You sound almost as dense as the Westbard sector plan.

Anonymous said...

I think is ok to provide gas for these people.....and if they need more money to run the government...then they raise taxes on the rich people. Wait a minute.....thats us!

Anonymous said...

They deserve that if they're only being paid $136k. I'm 24 and make more than that.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't they using electrics? Could just charge at the Council building I assume.

Anonymous said...

Dyer, have you ever taken business travel - public or private sector - in your life? Because it's clear you have no idea how reimbursement for it actually works. Hint: It's not the same as commuting.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I wish Reimer's mom and dad would drive him around the county a bit. He'd learn quite a bit! Like that there aren't two Metro stations at Westbard :)

Anonymous said...

bah, hahaha. folks are rightfully so lighting up robert on this one. his reporting isn't exactly the stuff of greatness...this is in the post.
haven't seen the guy that calls him birdbrain comment lately. those comments make me laugh.

Anonymous said...

...is there anyone in U.S. who doesn't get reimbursed mileage/gas when traveling for work? I'm seriously asking; how is this possibly "corrupt" of them, in your eyes? Maybe you've never held a job and don't know how things work, Robert?

Anonymous said...

A little primer on mileage expenses and commuting.
Commuting = driving to and from your place of work = your own expense

Driving from workplace to any other work-related place = reimbursable/deductible
$.55 / mile in 2016 (down from the .575 from 2015)
$2469 /.55 = 4489 miles
4489 / 52 weeks in year = 86 miles/week
86 miles a week for going from office to meetings, neighborhoods, etc.

Completely plausible. Would pass this on audit.
No scandal here folks, move along.

Anonymous said...

Standard business practice. I work for a nonprofit and we get the same reimbursement.

I think you need to decide if this is a news site or your own campaign site--it leans hard toward the latter. And that's fine, but then make it obvious and don't pass it off as news.

Anonymous said...

Leventhal and others use Bethesda Mag as their campaign fake news site, so whatever...

Anonymous said...

Exactly. These are reimbursements for professional travel to meetings outside the regular place of business. Businesses routinely reimburse for this type of expense. I've worked at businesses and at a non-profit that provided the same kind of reimbursements.

Dyer missed the boat on this one. There's plenty to criticize about the Council, but not this.

Anonymous said...

Really? I'd love to know what you do.

Anonymous said...

Breaking News! Council being subsidized for thousands of dollars a year for health insurance that taxpayers pay for!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why can't Mr. Dyer be as upbeat and positive about the Council like other blogs and local legacy media?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

12:24pm your joke doesn't get any funnier when you tell it the 50th time.
Grow up a little...I know you can do it!

Anonymous said...

12:28 PM - you mean your "jokes" about "my dentist's office" and "interns and freelancers"?

Anonymous said...

12:15 PM - Maybe some day you will understand the difference between bad news and fake news.

Anonymous said...

Taking a lot of shit here Dyer - where you at? Your birdbrain fall asleep for a little nappy nap you baby backed bitch? Huh? God you're such a pussy

Robert Dyer said...

1:47: I was out covering the news, moron.

Bethesdan said...

12:28 I'm also tired about references to Steve Hull's interns and freelancers wearing pink pussyhats while marching in the DC protests. There's nothing wrong with that.

Down with Dyer!

Robert Dyer said...

1:47: I have been hard at work commenting as my many sockpuppets these past six hours.

Anonymous said...

Dyer certainly has obsessed readers. If he doesn't immediately respond, then they panic..Lol.

Robert Dyer said...

7:49: You seem to have confused the private sector with public servants, whose overinflated salaries are paid by taxpayers - and are high enough to cover their travel costs around the County.

Anonymous said...

8:52PM - Please post the cite to US Tax Code, Montgomery County Ethics Commission, or Maryland State Ethics to justify your comment.

Hint. You don't want to press this issue. They are doing nothing wrong.

Again, more henny-pennying on your part.

Robert Dyer said...

5:35: I never said the gas reimbursment was illegal, I just said it was outrageous. The council has engaged in plenty of other illegal and corrupt activities for a criminal investigation. The gas issue is just something they need to stop, given their bloated salaries, and hypocrisy on transit.

#ThrowTheBumsOut

Anonymous said...

Dyer, it's not just "gas". You'd know this if you'd ever taken business travel in your life.

Anonymous said...

Robert Dyer @5:45AM - Bullshit. Your article says that, if not directly then implied.

"The Bell, California City Council did this, too. They're in the slammer right now. Montgomery County's Council? Still on the street, and still on the take."

Outrageous is you blaming them for a benefit they are entitled to.

Anonymous said...

Dyer explain just how those salaries are over inflated? I'll bet you 90% of white collar working class over 40 in Bethesda make double that. Just because you don't make money doesn't mean everyone else is getting paid too much. I was making 100k in Bethesda a year right out of college...

Anonymous said...

He can't, @6:11AM #2.
He knows he lost this one and will let the thread die out quietly.

This was a normal type of expense for reasonably paid council members. Reasonable for their jurisdiction.

Henny-pennying.

Anonymous said...

Can we get the Council smart trip Metro cards? RideOn is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

1:38PM The council members can't get to any needed locations by using metro and ride-on.

Oh, that was your point.

:)

Robert Dyer said...

5:57: If it's not gas, what would it be, Sherlock - magic carpet?

6:11: They were exactly like Bell, CA, because they hiked taxes while raising their own salaries 37%.

6:11 #2: Wrong. 90% of "white collar working class" Bethesda residents do not make double the Council salary.

8:17: They have the highest salary of any council in the region - and the worst record of performance! Not "reasonable," but criminal. #LockThemUp

11:13: Takoma Park (home of 4 council members) and Rockville (County Council HQ) both have Metro stations last time I checked. Yet all 9 council members drive. Could free gas be an incentive to use their cars instead? You betcha.

Anonymous said...

It's a benefit they have because of their job.
In the same vein as any other employee benefit, an employee would be silly not to take advantage of it if it applied to them.

Anonymous said...


5:57 was likely referring to the standard mileage rate not just being just for gas.
Per the IRS:
Items such as depreciation or lease payments, maintenance and repairs, tires, gasoline (including alltaxes thereon), oil, insurance, and license and registration fees are included in fixed and variable costs for this purpose.

No magic carpet needed. Just the law.

Anonymous said...

They were like Bell, California?

Only in an exaggerated sense. Our council members salaries aren't in the millions. They aren't being paid $100,000+ for part-time work that other similar counties were paying $5,000.

Maybe you should read up on the case before making wild comparisons.

Meanwhile you are trying to vilify the current council for taking a reasonable benefit they are entitled to. The person looking bad here is you.

Love and bacon,
6:11 #1 and 8:17

Anonymous said...

"Takoma Park (home of 4 council members) and Rockville (County Council HQ) both have Metro stations last time I checked. Yet all 9 council members drive. Could free gas be an incentive to use their cars instead? You betcha."

Nope. Because that's commuting. NOT reimbursable "business travel".

Anonymous said...

Have you bothered to ask any of the council members why they drive since they are so close to Metro?

Have you inquired what other driving they need to do besides commuting? Reasons why they feel their vehicle is needed?

Have you looked at what benefits are allowed to council members? And what those benefits entail?

Have you looked at what other Maryland counties include as benefits?

Anonymous said...

Dyer hasn't figured out that you can't take the Red Line directly from Takoma to Rockville. Instead you have to go all the way down to Metro Center and all the way back, a trip that can take an hour. And that's only between stations.

Anonymous said...

There is no legitimate comparison between the governments of Montgomery County and the city of Bell, California. The former has a population of nearly one million, whereas Bell has only 35,000. And the compensation that the Bell officials receive was up to ten times that of the MoCo County Councilmen.

Anonymous said...

Article here:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/09/15/california.bell.lawsuits/

Robert Dyer said...

3:21: I know that because, unlike the Council, I've actually used Metro and Metrobus extensively.

6:04: Wrong. The Bell council salary was $96,996. MoCo's is $136,258! #LockThemUp I believe you're thinking of the even higher salaries of the city administrators, many of which were higher than the equivalent MoCo executive branch employees.

#LockThemUp

Robert Dyer said...

8:30: I don't look bad, because I'm not the one filling my gas tank at taxpayer expense while making $136,258 in taxpayer-funded salary.

#LockThemUp

Anonymous said...

What about 1:49's questions? Do you have answers?

At the moment all you have is your personal outrage that council members are taking benefits they are allowed to take. And that they're being paid a reasonable wage.

Are you mad the taxpayers fund them? Who would you prefer pay their salaries? Why do you think $136,258 is outrageous for this area? What do you think is appropriate?



Robert Dyer said...

4:43: Trust me, most hard working people find $136,258 to be "outrageous for this area," in terms of a Council that sits around and tries to figure out new ways to steal money from the wallets of their constituents.

They should really be paid based on performance, in which case we would be paying them zero right now. Sounds about right to me.

I noticed none of our low-energy councilmembers were able to use their free gas to attend any of the 3 cemetery protests so far. Super low energy. Even with free gas, they can't do the right thing. Sad!

Anonymous said...

Where do you get your information that 136,000 is outrageous? Seriously? I'd think the bulk of accountants in the area would heartily disagree. They know what people make.

PG Council members are paid about $115,000
Howard County about $75,000 but much of their area is still rural
Fairfax County about $100,000

Yeah, you don't insert your opinion...so I took them out of your sentence.
I noticed none of our ** councilmembers were able ** to attend any of the 3 cemetery protests so far. ***. *****. ***
There. Fair and unbiased report.

Robert Dyer said...

7:37: Just look at the other salaries for area councils - they're all significantly lower. How would "rural" make a difference? Rural areas require more driving and gas than urban ones. Elected official isn't exactly a profession like brain surgeon or lawyer.

Yeah, it is really embarrassing - as your discomfort makes clear - that when the chips are down for a black church in the county, that the county council is nowhere to be found. Shameful.

Anonymous said...


Rural uses a different growth management plan than more urban areas. Like transportation and infrastructure needs. But, as someone who has run for our county council, I'm sure you're well aware of the different needs of urban areas all the way through to rural ag areas.

Small towns and rural areas are less densely populated, with more land either
undeveloped or agricultural. There's not the same rush to develop and rehab. Some aren't even full-time councils, so I wouldn't expect those council members to have full-time salaries.

We're talking about a benefit our county council has for auto expense reimbursement. And them being allowed to use it, since it's part of their given benefits. Just like other profit, non-profit and governmental organizations reimburse for travel.

Don't distract by attempting an insult about a different topic.

Anonymous said...

What about these questions?
Have you asked any of the council members why they drive since they are so close to Metro?

Have you inquired what other driving they need to do besides commuting? Reasons why they feel their vehicle is needed?

Have you looked at what benefits are allowed to council members? And what those benefits entail?

Have you looked at what other Maryland counties include as benefits?

Robert Dyer said...

5:07: Huh? What does growth management plan have to do with council members driving instead of taking transit? My point, in contrast, was absolutely correct: You said Howard was more rural. Rural areas require more driving vs. transit than urban areas. So why would vehicle costs be less for Howard councilmembers than for those in Montgomery, if they are more rural?

There was no insult in my comment. Why should we accept a gold-plated benefits package for a failed council that has given us a structural deficit?

5:09: Our councilmembers are paid far more than any other county council. It's Bell, California all over again. #LockThemUp

Anonymous said...

Liar, It is not Bell California and you know it. That's a completely different story with few parallels.

You don't like the council and are nit-picking to come up with things YOU think are wrong.

Do you not understand what employment benefits are?

Anonymous said...

You asked me this:
"How would "rural" make a difference? Rural areas require more driving and gas than urban ones"

And I answered. If you cannot understand the concept, why not ask instead of insult?

Rural areas have less land transfers, less people to visit, less density, and less development. Therefore, they may not have as many reasons to travel. They're probably not working on 15 developments happening at the same time.

I'm sorry that mentioning growth management plans has you confused. It was simply to point out that the differences affect how council members spend their time.

But what about those questions.

Anonymous said...

Howard County is smaller than Montgomery in terms of both population (one-third) and land area (one-half).

Robert Dyer said...

8:05: It IS Bell, California - - Bell raised taxes while raising council and management salaries to ridiculous levels. So did the MoCo Council and executive branch.

So I don't have to "nit-pick," because the Council keeps doing things that ARE wrong.

I understand the Council keeps granting itself more "employment benefits," even as it presides over a structural budget deficit. #LockThemUp

8:16: Trust me, there are more than 15 developments under construction in Howard County right now. Visiting constituents in a rural area takes more gas than in urban areas. You stated Howard County was more rural, but they get paid less. YOU MADE THE STATEMENT, not me. But it's on the table now, and the fact is, rural areas require more driving, not less.

I rarely see councilmembers at community meetings - more often they send staff members. With such low energy, I don't know how they can justify gold-plated free gas benefits.

#LockThemUp

Anonymous said...

No, I made a statement about Howard County having more rural areas than Montgomery when I listed the salaries.

YOU decided that any comment I made about anything rural was directed at Howard County. Which it wasn't nor was it ever implied. Now you're arguing with me about something I never said.

People tend to say "trust me" "Let me be honest with you" when they don't think they're argument alone is good enough.

Obviously, the concept is beyond your comprehension.

The self-assured say "I don't understand this, what's wrong with me?"
Dyer says "I don't understand this, what's wrong with you?"

I make no suggestion that one side or other is right, but observation over many years leads me to believe it is true.

Anonymous said...

Bell CA
Bell had a median household income of $35,985, with 30.2% of its residents living below the federal poverty line

All but one of the members of the city council were receiving $100,000 for their part-time work. By comparison, council members in cities similar to Bell in size make an average of $4,800 a year, prosecutors have noted

The City manager, received $787,637 a year, almost double the salary of the President of the United States. Including benefits, he had received $1.5 million in the last year. His assistant was earning $376,288 a year, more than the top administrator for Los Angeles County.

The same? Really?

Robert Dyer said...

4:49: I comprehend the situation perfectly: councilmembers in Bell and in Montgomery County are egregiously overpaid with excessive salaries, and voted themselves such salaries even while raising taxes massively on their constituents.

Bell's council is in prison, but MoCo's is free and still on-the-take. Any questions?

4:36: No, it's very simple: Among your "but, but, but..." excuses for our inept, crooked councilmembers, was a statement that Howard County councilmembers make $70000, "but much of their area is still rural." And my response is, if anything, Howard's leaders deserve more money, because traveling to rural areas would be more expensive. In any case, Howard pols are stealing nearly 50% less money from their constituents than Montgomery's are.

Anonymous said...

If you think the Bell CA case is the same, then I pity you. You are unable to think outside a straight line, unable to see your way isn't the only way. You are arguing with me over something only you think I said. Sad.

Your obnoxious attempt at distraction fails you miserably every time, leaving you furiously back-pedaling. Adding overblown adjectives in another pathetic attempt to make your assinine arguments be taken seriously.

See what I did there? ^^

This is an excellent example of cognitive dissonance...believing only what you
want to believe.

Oh! Now you are blatantly stating that the members of the Montgomery County Maryland County Council are on-the-take.

You can't make this stuff up folks.
It's just getting started.

Robert Dyer said...

7:36: I haven't backpedaled on anything. The MoCo Council and Bell Council did the same thing. Both are corrupt. Free gas. End of story.

Anonymous said...

You exaggerate.
TRUTH.
End of the real story.

Anonymous said...

You accuse because you have no reading comprehension.
When called out on it, you back-pedal and insult.
It's your M.O.
And your cross to bear.

Anonymous said...

And nearly a week later, you don't seem to understand that it's not just "gas", it's reimbursement for all work-related driving expenses outside of commuting. And that the formula used is the same for every private and public job in this country.

My God, you are dense, Dyer.

Anonymous said...

7:49AM Back-pedaling at its finest.