Sunday, May 26, 2019
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Friday, May 24, 2019
will rise for almost all Montgomery County residents in the coming year, after the Montgomery County Council approved a disastrous $5.8 billion FY-20 budget Thursday. The vote virtually ensures future tax hikes will be necessary, as the Council also went on a spending spree despite starting off with a $208 million shortfall. Increases in spending on Montgomery County Public Schools, already proven to have no impact on student performance despite record-large MCPS budgets this decade, will be a major cause of tax hikes down the road. Once the MCPS budget is raised, state law requires the Council to maintain that level of spending going forward.
The fact that the Council had no qualms about spending even more than MCPS asked for despite that binding maintenance-of-effort state law raises questions of the councilmembers' fitness for office. Councilmembers approved the massive spending on MCPS while knowing that there are only two uncertain sources to pay the additional $16 million, and one of those is a one-time $5 million possible payment from the state for upgrading the County's long-failing 911 system. The other $11 million? LOL - they'll figure it out. And thanks to the law, we now have to give MCPS - the system that has declined in performance even as spending on it has surged - that amount every single year going forward. We already are in the red every single year as far out as the forecasts go as it is. Heckuva job, Brownie!
"The annual [property tax] bill for the average homeowner will increase," the Council's press release on the budget vote acknowledges - while not admitting the real-world dollar value of that increase, which is far more than the "average" cost cited often by the County. That tax hike comes after the Council and County Executive Marc Elrich promised voters they would not raise taxes.
Bloated and filled with loot for the Montgomery County cartel, the budget maintains the corrupt Council's MO of "managing the decline," and continuing our slow slouch towards Gomorrah. The Council has failed to take a single action on our economic development crisis since taking office last December, forgoing for another year any sensible attempt to increase our revenue from commercial development or attracting major corporate headquarters - something Montgomery County hasn't been able to do for over twenty years. Instead, the County has sunk to rock bottom by every economic development benchmark, even behind tiny counties like Culpeper and Rappahannock. It's humiliating.
Considering the Council has raised property taxes every year except 2014, imagine what will happen when the national economy goes into a recession. We are now in the weakest position ever to confront such an economic challenge. Given the County's massive debt, the much-touted AAA bond rating will be in jeopardy as soon as bad times hit, and we are due for a bust cycle any month now. Remember: we have to maintain this level of MCPS spending and county employee pay hikes every year no matter how bad the revenue picture gets.
With that in mind, it's obvious that while our leaders may be tools, they aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the drawer. But that's the caliber of leadership you end up with when most voters don't bother to research the candidates before voting, and simply go by the party affiliation after the name. We can't go on like this.
In their farewell statement, the restaurant's ownership noted that they had planned to have a 30 year run in Bethesda, but are now being forced to call it quits after less than a year. Costs have risen and profits margins shrunk for restaurants this decade thanks to the policies and votes of our anti-business County Council. Sixteen nightspots and dozens of restaurants have closed in Bethesda following those votes, and the Council's disastrous Nighttime Economy Task Force, which ironically ended up tanking the nighttime economy in downtown Bethesda.
Thursday, May 23, 2019
This is the fourth Mid-Atlantic location for Fogo de Chão, following openings in Baltimore, D.C. and Montgomery County's arch-rival Fairfax County. Moises Lopes will be Head Gaucho Chef and General Manager of this location, and first learned how to cook meats gaucho style growing up on his family's farm in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
The Pike & Rose Fogo de Chão will seat 300 indoors, with additional seating at the bar and outdoors. Founded in 1979, the chain's signature dining experience centers around the roasting of high-quality cuts of meats over open flame, which are then carved tableside by Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs. With a month to go, they are still hiring staff. Applicants for both the front and back of house can visit fogo.com/careers, or call 301-841-9200 for more information.
West-Owens is described by police as a black male, 5’8” and 140 pounds. He has black hair shaved on the sides, and brown eyes. West-Owens has family in Baltimore County, and they are concerned for his welfare.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Xiresse West-Owens is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (24hrs), or the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400. Callers may remain anonymous.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Anthony's is a national chain with 60 locations, most in the northeast. Besides pizza, they are known for wings and Eggplant Marino, named after famed quarterback Dan Marino.
power outage put thousands of downtown Bethesda customers in the dark for several hours. Traffic backed up around the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Arlington Road, as well as on Cordell Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue. Lanes were closed, causing traffic delays.