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New Leaders for Montgomery, Prince George's

Phyllis Jordan

The Prince George's County Council elected David Harrington (D-Cheverly) chairman yesterday, and the Montgomery County Council selected Michael Knapp (D-Upcounty) to serve as its president.

Harrington, 53, immediately moved to restructure Prince George's council committees to focus on economic development and health-care issues. He also said he would spend his year-long term forging new partnerships between government and nonprofit groups in the county, including possibly setting up an incubator to help local charities grow.

"I think there's a nonprofit voice out there that's just not prominent in our social dialogue," he said. "We have to begin to engage them, and we have to show the region that we do have a credible nonprofit infrastructure that's worthy of investing in."

In Montgomery, Knapp, 41, who was first elected to the council in 2002, told a standing-room-only crowd that the county is "struggling with our growing pains" and must ensure that the government is living up to residents' "high expectations."

"Given our current success, we sometimes forget to ask ourselves what we need to do to keep improving," Knapp said. "That's tough medicine for a county that considers itself great and ahead of the curve."

Knapp succeeds Marilyn Praisner (D-Eastern County), whose one-year term ended as she was recovering from a car accident. Praisner returned home yesterday after two weeks in the hospital. Council member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), who was first elected in 1998, was tapped as vice president.

Harrington, who was the mayor of Bladensburg before he was elected to the County Council in 2002, replaces Camille Exum (D-Seat Pleasant) as the leader of the nine-member Prince George's council. The council elected Marilynn Bland (D-Clinton) as its vice chairman.

Harrington said the council will meet more frequently as the Board of Health and might hold hearings to discuss access to health care. He applauded the General Assembly for agreeing to provide $50 million in funding for the county's financially troubled hospital system if political leaders agree on a solution for its long-term health. He said he was optimistic negotiations between state and local leaders will result in a plan.

with Ann E. Marimow

By Phyllis Jordan  |  December 5, 2007; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Homeowner alert! Save Our Homes! Mr. Knapp has already voted in three prior years to exceed the charter property tax limit. He will surely do so again. He is looking at our home equity. He knows that most home values have dropped below the new higher assessments. That won't stop him. He covets our home equity. He is clueless about controlling spending. He can govern onlyu when revenues are rapidly increasing. Save Our Homes!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | December 5, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Even a drug user has to go through withdrawal to get clean. It is going to take a herculean effort for Mr. Leggett and Mr. Knapp to even admit they have a spending problem, let alone to cut a county budget which has been increasing about 10% a year for many years. Thank goodness help is on the way! Our November ballot question will make it more difficult to exceed the charter property tax limit.Look for Knapp and Leggett to soon say they will have to cut 911 service unless they can exceed the charter property tax limit. Save Our Homes!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | December 5, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

David Harrington's ascension to the Chairmanship is proof positive that even Republicans can get a fair shot in Prince George's County.

I wonder how these new responsibilities will affect his drycleaning needs.

Posted by: PG'er | December 5, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Our poorest residents, those on social security, will receive a 2.6% increase in 2008. And they don't get any step increases either. There is no way the county should exceed the charter property tax limit and put people out of their homes so that any county should receive more than a 2.6% increase, including step increases. Save Our Homes!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | December 6, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Would you give to a charity which chews up 80% of your contribution in salaries and benefits? That is what the Montgomery County government does. They deliver mostly salaries and benefits to their employees instead of services to residents.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | December 6, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Correction: Social Security recipients will be limited to a 2.3% increase in 2008, not a 2.6% increase as I stated above. Any county salary increase should be no greater than 2.3%. Do not exceed the charter property tax revenue limit and take our homes to pay salary increases, including step increases, larger than 2.3%!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | December 6, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

In Robin's fantasy world, services are delivered magically without the need of public servants.

Can you see the plow fairy cleaning-away the fallen snow? In Robin's world, criminals decide against breaking the law because it's not the right thing to do.

And for a several hours each day, school children are diligent about reading and learning their self-directed curriculum.

Also, there is no need for refuse removal, because in Robin's fantasy world, there must be no trash. The grass in parks never grows and fires mysteriously extinguish themselves.

Plus, there is no one looking over a lawyer's shoulder to see if his bar credentials are accurate.

One must wonder - if Robin's world is not drug induced, then what is this guy thinking?

Posted by: Fickered-Out | December 6, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

County employees sure get sensitive when somebody suggests they should not get 8% annual raises.

Posted by: Wow! | December 6, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I like the sign that sits on Congressman Ron Paul's desk, "Don't steal the government hates competition".

Our representatives in MoCo should take instructive lessons from Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Posted by: Taxed to death | December 11, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Mike Napp recieves nearly all his campaign contributions from outside our district. One might question what this contributors get in return.

I live in Germantown and Mr. Napp is my Councilman.

Given the $400 million short fall in the Counties budget, you would think Mr. Napp would explore a means of fix our economic problems. Clarksburg in particular has been hit hard by the housing bubble burst and the subsequent foreclosure increase.

I have sent Mr. Napp and the entire Council, for that matter, information on our flawed monetary system. Plus examples of other local governements completely solving their money problems by properly issuing money at zero interest rather than issuing debt intruments carrying interest.

These debt instruments are purchased by banking houses with money that is created at will and out of thin air. While these bonds and certificate are then sold to the private investors the net effect is to increase banking reserves that in turn reduce the value of all other money through inflation. Only, a few big bank owned bond dealers are allowed this fee give away monopoly collecting fees for zero risk and only the small labor of hitting a few buttons on a compter screen.

For more infor information on Just Money check out my web site.

I local law professor at GW who is an authority on local currencies offered his help. This approach will save the tax payers nearly half the cost of all infrastructure projects in interest expenses. Plus have the added benefit of stimulating the economy with an influx of circulating money.

Here are some links I sent Mr. Napp. - Tom Edison - a example that worked

He also told me he would repsond at a Town Hall meeting. He hasn't.

Posted by: Peter James | December 12, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

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