Saturday, June 24, 2017

Greedy Montgomery County Council to gouge you again for parking in Bethesda

The Monopoly Guy, like free parking, is nowhere to be found in downtown Bethesda. Starting on "or around" July 5, the Montgomery County Council will celebrate American independence turncoat style with further taxation of your vehicle in Bethesda.

The new ransom, er, rates will be:

On-street parking: $2.25/hour
Surface lot parking: $1.50/hour
Garages 40, 49, and 57: $1.25/hour
Garages 11, 31, 35, 36, 42, and 47: $1.00/hour

Just what every downtown Bethesda business owner wants to hear, right?

Well, the Council has to pay for their $137,000(!!) a year salaries somehow. The City Council in Bell, California did the same thing, raising "enormous property taxes" and fees while giving themselves massive salary increases, and ended up in jail. Our Council? Mysteriously, still on the loose - and their salaries are higher than the Bell Council got!

Implementation of the "rate adjustment" will be staggered. Rates on-street will increase on July 5, rates in Garages 11, 31 and 49 will increase on July 10, and rates in the balance of the off-street facilities will be phased in after July 10 over the following weeks and months.

Voters will likely implement their own "adjustment" to the Council in November 2018.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you realize that parking fees in Bethesda go to the Bethesda Urban Partnership, not the County government?

Robert Dyer said...

Not accurate - Bethesda Urban Partnership only gets a part of the money. Most ends up in the Council pot again. Do you realize the County Council also sets the parking rates and funds Bethesda Urban Partnership?

Anonymous said...

What is "the Council pot"?

Robert Dyer said...

8:18: Money controlled by the County Council, which they can use to benefit themselves and campaign donors (i.e. developers, "non-profits," etc.).

Anonymous said...

Dyer sure hates to part with his quarters.

Anonymous said...

Haven't enough people explained the difference between Bell County and MoCo to you? It's not the same at all so knock off stupid comparisons.

Anonymous said...

MCDOT sets rates, correct? Why are you whining about the county council?

The rates are hardly unreasonable. Do you have an argument beyond "boo hoo, I don't ever want any rates to go higher," Dyer? You know inflation's a thing, right? It's going to be a looooong, unhappy life if you feel to the need to bitch and moan every time something costs a quarter more than it used to.

Anonymous said...

Bus fares just went up a quarter. Why should parking rates never go up, Robert?

Anonymous said...

Dyer just wants to pick on the council because they won't let him in. Pick up your toys and move on if you want, but keep quiet Dyer!

Robert Dyer said...

10:14: Incorrect. The County Council sets the rates in the budget process.

You're literally the only person who is cheering a greedy rate increase. It actually is very serious for business owners.

Robert Dyer said...

9:55: It's exactly the same, except the Montgomery County Council has set their salaries even higher than the Bell Council did! #LockThemUp

Anonymous said...

Parking fees aren't just for raising revenue. They are also for generating turnover in parking spaces where there is high demand.

Anonymous said...

No, not at all like Bell CA. I know it, we all know it.

Keep it up though. You're doing a bang-up job of looking like an uninformed boob.

Anonymous said...

here's just what a quick wiki search shows. Bell County was a dirt poor place and their city manager made $787,637/yr. So since you failed even a basic google search for Bell Co. numbers I'd like to see a source for the MoCo ones although they don't sound too unreasonable.

Let me ask you a confidence bldg question is $787,637 greater or less than $137,000?

Bell County also had legitimate major voter fraud not imagined voter fraud from a local blogger incapable of using Google.

Source:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/07/bell-city-manager-might-highest-paid-in-nation-787637-a-year.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Bell_scandal

Wouldn't be surprised if you deleted this since it actually has proof you're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

About a year ago, I paid 80 cents an hour to park in county lot all day for work.That went up 25% to 1 dollar an hour. So I moved to a different lot, to keep paying 80 cents an hour.
This week, see my new lot will go up 25 percent to 1 dollar/hour. I figured I'd go back to my original lot. This morning, found the first lot is going up a SECOND 25 percent, from 1 to 1.25 per hour. So, that lot has gone from. 80 cents to 1.25 dollars an hour in about 2 years. I think I'll just pay some private operator.
These are large increases, not trivial as some here say.

Anonymous said...

"80 cents to 1.25 dollars an hour in about 2 years. I think I'll just pay some private operator."

That would be cutting your nose to spite your face. Private parking costs several times more than private parking.

Anonymous said...

Big increase in parking, again.

We are getting new paint in the garages (as Dyer reported earlier in the week).

Roald said...

If the crux of Bell, CA was massive increases in fees & taxes in conjunction with raises for Council and staff, then we may be looking at another Bell. This is based on what I just saw on the video here.

Anonymous said...

Dyer's property tax checks say "Pay to the order of: MoCo Cartel Pot".

Anonymous said...

Dyer: "The County Council sets the rates in the budget process."

Of course the Council codifies the rate in the budget, but obviously MCDOT's DPM is the one making rate recommendations. Or do you think Hans Riemer is out there wandering garages and tabulating public parking space supply/demand?

Anonymous said...

City of Bell - population 35,000, 5 council members. 1 councilmember for every 5,000 residents.

Montgomery County - population 1,000,000, 9 council members. 1 council member for every 111,000 residents. That ratio is 16 times greater than for the City of Bell.

Anonymous said...

"further taxation of your vehicle in Bethesda."

Nope. Meter fees are not "taxes". They are user fees. If you don't park on the street or in a public lot in the Bethesda CBD, you don't pay these fees.

Robert Dyer said...

12:56: Wrong - We're talking about MoCo COUNCIL vs. Bell COUNCIL salaries. MoCo council's salaries are higher than those of the Bell council.

Apples to apples comparison, yet Bell is in prison, and MoCo Council is still out on the street.

Robert Dyer said...

2:35: That's correct, we do indeed have a Bell situation on our hands here. #LockThemUp

Robert Dyer said...

7:25: Wrong! You only pay sales tax if you buy something, but it's still a...tax.

Now the Council is increasing that tax.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 7:55 - Not comparable at all. You pay sales taxes on nearly everything you buy. You pay parking fees only if you want to park in a couple of areas in the County.

Robert Dyer said...

8:09: You're about 0 for 6 for the weekend so far with your assertions. Totally comparable. If you want to buy something at the mall, you must pay a sales tax. If you want to park in downtown Bethesda, you must pay a parking tax. Same thing.

There are also more than 2 parking districts in Montgomery County.

Anonymous said...

"It's a bit puzzling that a man [Greenberger] who is paid $148k would publicly brag that neither his direct supervisors nor his staff knows what he does. It actually raises the obvious question of "what do you do" and why do you deserve to be continually employed at such a high salary? And even if he actually is working, which I would hope, if he is not communicating with his supervisors or his staff then he is failing miserably at his job. Lack of communication skills is also not really a great quality that one would look for in a councilmember.

Robert Dyer said...

4:04: Wrong. The County Council can set the parking rates, hours, etc. themselves. By simply "codifying" a recommendation, they have still expressed their will to price it at that level. They could easily have changed it to cut local businesses a break.

5:49: By that measure, bank robberies should be legal in New Delhi. Population is totally irrelevant when it comes to crime. MoCo Council has committed the same crimes as Bell Council. Time for FBI investigation. #LockThemUp

Anonymous said...

"Totally comparable. If you want to buy something at the mall, you must pay a sales tax. If you want to park in downtown Bethesda, you must pay a parking tax. Same thing."

Not the same thing at all. If you buy anything (other than groceries) anywhere in the State, you pay sales tax. If you walk or take the bus or Metro to shop in downtown Bethesda, you are not charged parking fees. If you shop in Westbard, you are not charged parking fees.

"There are also more than 2 parking districts in Montgomery County."

"A couple of areas" does not mean just two, Birdbrain.

Robert Dyer said...

5:20: "A couple" means more than two? That's news to your grammar school teacher and the dictionary.

Your "logic" makes no sense, and neither does your word salad explanation. We're talking about a specific action here. You want to buy a shirt - you pay a tax. You want to park your car in downtown Bethesda - you pay a tax.

To say you could walk, you're now telling me I can't do the thing I sought to do, which is to park my car in downtown Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the word "council" there is ZERO comparison between Bell, CA and MoCo, MD.
None.
Ridiculous for you to even suggest they are the same in any aspect.
I've written too many tl:dr posts here over the years that explain it all.

I'll continue to put the truth out there on this as many times as I need to and as many times as you delete it plus 1.

Keep it up though. Continue your campaign of looking like an uninformed boob.

Anonymous said...

From Merriam-Webster:

"An indefinite small number, few; a couple of days ago."

You're welcome, Birdbrain.

Anonymous said...

Note that Dyer published this information a full two days after Bethesda Magazine's report. Plagiarism without attribution. What a shame.

Dyer also doesn't tell the full story -- i.e., that parking in the garages will remain free on weekends, and street parking will be free on Sunday. I suppose that doesn't fit the narrative.

Anonymous said...

Dyer also does not mention that parking remains free after 10:00 PM during his prime stalking hours.

Anonymous said...

BB's article also includes this helpful bit of information:

"increases will occur over a period of days because it will take time to convert single-space parking meters to the new rates, according to the Mongtomery Department of Transportation."

Anonymous said...

What's the median income of Bell, vs the median income of MoCo? How do the council salaries compare to the median incomes?

I thought it was Republican orthodoxy that user fees are not taxes.

Anonymous said...

Are the rates at county parking facilities in Silver Spring going up too?

My guess is BUP pushed for this so they can continue to waste money on things like those ugly "B" signs.

Now, if BUP wanted to actually help businesses in Bethesda, they'd scale back the parking requirements. Why do you have to pay to park on the street even until 10pm on weeknights? Why not 6pm or 7pm like most places? They're driving away the nighttime economy.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell lives in Bethesda who can't pay a fee? I thought rich people actually live here.

Anonymous said...

There is huge demand for parking in downtown Bethesda. Turnover of parking spaces is essential for local businesses.

Anonymous said...

Robert, so it isn't a two way street? You can take from Bethesda Beat (this article mirrors their article and was two days after) and it's ok but they plagiarize you? Seems hypocritical. They beat you on this (again!) yet I don't see you apologizing for stealing their news.

Anonymous said...

Just look at the stupid headline. Ridiculous.

Robert Dyer said...

6:41: It is an apples-to-apples comparison between MoCo and Bell. Both hiked their own salaries to absurd levels while raising record levels of taxation and fees. In fact, MoCo's Council makes more than Bell's did!!!!

6:49: That dictionary is wrong. Couple = two.

8:38: BS. We all are using the same press release on the parking announcement, dumbass. You can't "plagiarize" a story based on a press release. The free parking at certain times is not a change, so no, it doesn't "fit the narrative" in a story about what is changing.

9:18: That's just filler from the press release. The reason for the staggered rollout is irrelevant to the garage user. They just need a better editor over there so they can avoid padding stories for length.

9:40: Do bank robberies become legal in a town if the median income rises above a certain level? You're struggling, man. You're struggling.

4"56: How come you haven't been blasting them in their comment section for not reporting the new restaurants at Montrose Crossing and citing me as the source? It proves again you're just a troll.

5:13: Totally factual headline.

Anonymous said...

Who has the authority to actually set the parking rates?

Robert Dyer said...

5:07: The Montgomery County Council. Period.

Anonymous said...

Median Household Income for Bell County: $61,642.00
Median Household Income for Montgomery County: $89,284.00 (10th highest in the nation).
Now if you want to look specifically:
Median Household Income for Bethesda: $146,093.00

I think it is safe to say that these are different scenarios, even if this isn't what you want it to be.

Anonymous said...

6:17AM Exactly. And you haven't even gotten to "what" they were paid. Where neighboring jurisdictions, with like-kind economics paid their council $5,000/year, Bell was paying their councilman 20x(that's TWENTY times) that amount.

I could go on and on.

Robert Dyer said...

6:17: Your logic is puzzling. You're advocating criminals be absolved from crimes if they occur in a high-income area? Sounds like a whole new level of "white privilege" to me.

6:31: Huh? The MoCo Council is paying themselves about $40,000 more than the imprisoned Bell Council!

Anonymous said...

The parking rates in Bethesda are very low in comparison to comparable "urban" areas. I noticed that some of the meters allow you to pay for the maximum time and then get a refund for time not used - that's generous.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 6:00 PM -

"The dictionary is wrong."

The dictionary is Merriam-Webster. It is you who are wrong.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/couple

Please stop being so pathologically insecure and defensive.

Anonymous said...

6:57 is correct. Parking meters cost $3.75 an hour in Boston, $3.50 in New York and San Francisco.

And parking on the street in Bethesda is substantially cheaper than parking in a private garage.

Anonymous said...

6:17AM's post said nothing about advocating for criminals. YOU said that. They gave you facts without opinion.

You know what? Someone in rural Indiana has the same job as me and makes 1/2 of what I make, and are in some ways better off than I am. You can't compare dollars to dollars over varying regional economic differences.

Are MoCo council paid 20times other local comparable jurisdictions? That would mean a local council is paid $6,850 a year.


Where is your logic? On permanent vacation on this topic.

Robert Dyer said...

7:03: You're only putting one of the four entries, and it is flat out wrong. Apparently they are putting current slang in as a legitimate entry. "Couple" means two people or things. You "couple" two railroad cars with a "coupler." A Mormon with 3 wives together do not make a "couple."

7:19: Rent is cheaper here too than NYC and SF, but that doesn't mean a parking fee increase was justified or wise.

Robert Dyer said...

7:22: They're indeed giving an opinion, that somehow is supposed to excuse the illegal activity in MoCo, but not Bell. Cost of living in an area doesn't negate the law! They should be in jail alongside their counterparts in Bell.

#LockThemUp

Anonymous said...

Dyer, you have had an extremely sheltered life if you have made it to your late 40s and never heard the phrase "a couple of".

Anonymous said...

Dyer, you don't like that the County Council raised their salaries recently. But just because you don't like something does not somehow make it criminal activity.

Robert Dyer said...

7:55: Not in reference to more than two of something.

8:03: Uh, the folks in Bell were sent to prison for doing the same thing because...it's illegal.

"This is a very serious matter when public officials breach their duty to the public and enrich themselves with enormous obscene salaries." - Edmund G. Brown, California Attorney General

Anonymous said...

Here is the context that Robert Dyer keeps ignoring:

"Rizzo's last annual base salary was $787,638, Adams' $457,000, and Spaccia's $336,000. Bell city council members were paid $96,000 a year before they took a recent cut. Cities of similar size pay their council members $4,800 a year."

City of Bell - population 35,000, 5 council members. 1 councilmember for every 5,000 residents.

Montgomery County - population 1,000,000, 9 council members. 1 council member for every 111,000 residents.

The ratio of council members to residents is 16 times greater for Montgomery than for the City of Bell.

Anonymous said...

Dyer,
How you see 6:17's post as opinion?
It's a list of facts.

If you seriously think Bell and MC are the same (and this is not more of your shtick business model) then no one should trust anything you say.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dyer - in your opinion, what should the salaries of the MoCo Council members be?

Please state a specific number or range of numbers.

Unsigned Dyer said...

They work for the public, they should volunteer their time.

Anonymous said...

Wait you're saying the county council sets the parking rates?

Anonymous said...

Let's say you work all day downtown and take Netro.
You used to pay $8 a day, now you pay $12 a day two years later. Would you like that?
I don't get the point of snideness in a few posts here towards working folks.

Anonymous said...

The next time you're charged a 50 percent increase in two years, I don't want to hear you complaining. Fair enough?

Anonymous said...

You mean a 50 cents increase?

Anonymous said...

"That's just filler from the press release. The reason for the staggered rollout is irrelevant to the garage user. They just need a better editor over there so they can avoid padding stories for length."

I prefer their useful "filler" to your useless and completely irrelevant Argle Bargle about Bell, California.

Anonymous said...

Excited about Hans' bid for reelection. Standup of him for not accepting corporate money!

Anonymous said...

3:29 - I think 3:27 is the guy complaining earlier about the increase in the parking fee in his lot. Starting at $0.80/hour, increased previously by $0.20 to $1.00, now about to be increased another $0.25 to $1.25.

Although the increase is the same amount as for street parking, it's steeper proportionately because the base amount for lot and garage parking is less.

The increases for that lot would be 25% and 25% for a total increase of 56.125% due to compounding.

Anonymous said...

I'm equally excited about George Leventhal's bid for MoCo Executive!

Anonymous said...

4:40PM - my hero! the number-cruncher! ::bowing::

Anonymous said...

Dyer is green with envy at Number-Cruncher Guy. If he were not so innumerate, he could have used that compounding as a talking point.