NOTE: The below is a statement from Robert Dyer, an at-large candidate for Montgomery County Council
Montgomery County At-Large Councilmembers George Leventhal, Duchy Trachtenberg, Nancy Floreen and Marc Elrich voted unanimously with a council majority to pass the dangerous Ambulance Fee yesterday. This is their biggest and boldest move to put the public's safety at risk yet. Recently, George Leventhal described the rush job to merge the Park Police with the County Police as a "leadership moment." I call it a failed-leadership moment. Madly grasping at straws at the 11th hour, to keep budget funds for political cronies and the developers, and making a hasty decision before the impact on the safety of park users is fully understood, is not leadership. It's just plain reckless. But a whopping Ambulance Fee on seniors, the poor, and the disabled is the biggest political game yet. This isn't only the latest attempt to undermine our county's volunteer fire departments by this council.
It is a trick played on the public. It is a law passed despite the opposition of a majority of county residents (that's called "governing against the people," last time I checked). It brought about unprecedented and unethical spending of taxpayer dollars, to produce a slick TV commercial and widely-distributed brochure touting the Fee - before it was law! You can let the proponents of the Ambulance Fee know how you feel this November 2nd! And show your support for the brave men and women of our volunteer fire departments and BCC Rescue Squad, by voting for candidates like me, who oppose - and will strike down - this dangerous Ambulance Fee. Help is on the way. No fee necessary.
DR. WEAST CAPITULATES AGAIN
This just in. The County Council and school board have reached an "agreement." They agree to cut 24.4 million dollars from MCPS. This is in violation of the state law requiring a minimum funding of schools - just like last year. The whole reason this law exists, is to prevent just such a set of wrong priorities from draining easy cash from education budgets, when times are tough.
It seems that all of these politicians are looking out for each other. Dr. Weast's threat of a lawsuit - which was the right thing to do - turns out to have been an empty one. No one will ever believe him again. No one can believe that any politician who signed off on cutting $24.4 million dollars from disabled and special education students, and ESOL and ELL students, is truly committed to meeting the current challenges faced by MCPS. It's time to believe in a candidate who will stand up to the developers and special interests, and preserve the funding necessary to ensure Equal Opportunities in Education for every child in Montgomery County, regardless of race, disability or income level. That candidate is Robert Dyer. But it's not enough to "believe" in change. We need leadership that can deliver Change Beyond Belief. A change that will close the achievement gap and graduation rate disparity. A change that will close the early education, nutrition and technology gaps that cause the achievement gap. A change that will connect students to the changes in the county's economic engines that I will bring about. Finally, a change that lifts people up across the spectrum of education: from ensuring Pre-Kindergarten/Head Start for every eligible student to having economic opportunities and high-paying jobs available upon graduation from college.
We can have a Change Beyond Belief. All you have to do is join my crusade! Can you email my video to ten of your friends today? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnvmm1YNWfM Can you bring 1 person to the polls to vote? Can you email me through my website at www.RobertDyer.net to request a yard sign for your lawn? Would you like to volunteer for my campaign?
Each one of us can take a small action to bring a big change to Montgomery County this November - a Change that is Beyond Belief.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL RAISES YOUR ENERGY TAXES 300%!
Wow! Seniors and working families across the county are about to get hit with massive electric bills. First, PEPCO is raising your rates. Second, the County Council voted to raise the tax you pay on electricity 300%! Three. Hundred. Percent. Even if you wear sweaters like Jimmy Carter, you'll still get a huge bill. It's outrageous.
Then add on the next increase in your electric bill that will result from the County Council's other new Carbon Tax - the tax is on Mirant, but guess what: you pick up the tab, as you do with any other tax on business. Simple rule of thumb: any tax on business is a stealth tax on you. (I hear the council prefers the term "ghost"). Can you imagine the impact of all of this on those with fixed incomes, or who are just getting by paycheck to paycheck, even with food stamps?
Apparently, the councilmembers cannot. That's because they've made around $100,000 a year - at your expense. They don't have trouble paying their bills, and that can make a person grow out of touch with the reality of being a working person in Montgomery County. Not everyone here is rich. They are just getting by, often to give their children the advantage of the high-quality education available in most county schools.
Flat, regressive taxes are not the answer. Making the real spending cuts the council is once again avoiding - and fundamentally restructuring government - are the only ways we can effectively fix our structural deficit. We can't go on like this.
This new energy super tax has also ensured - ironically - that the county's revenues will continue to be low. That's because many county businesses will go out of business paying the tax, and because new businesses planning to relocate here have just called off those plans. Where does the Chamber of Commerce come down on this? Will the Chamber finally stand up to the council? Will the Chamber endorse ANY of the incumbent councilmembers? Are you tired of serving this council? Do you believe that public service means that the council serves the public, not the other way around? Do you think the council is required to keep the public trust by judiciously managing your taxpayer funds?
Then you are ready for Change Beyond Belief! You are ready to transform our government into one that serves the People, not the other way around! Take action November 2! Tell the council who's boss! You pay their salaries. It's your turn to make a bold statement. You have the power. Take advantage of it, and exercise your right to vote. SOURCE: Robert Dyer