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The $65,000 Bathroom: What do you think?

As the Washington Post reports today, a construction crew is installing a bathroom in Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett's locked suite of offices, complete with a small sitting room and shower, at a cost to taxpayers of $65,225. Here is the full story by Ann E. Marimow.

Leggett's staff says it's needed for his security, and has been long planned. But it comes at a time when Leggett has proposed raising taxes and eliminating jobs, to close a projected $297 million budget shorfall. What's your comment?

By Anne Bartlett  |  March 20, 2008; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow  
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"a small sitting room and shower"

After wasting taxpayer money like that, I'd feel dirty too.

Posted by: Baltimoron | March 20, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

wow Ike. Really? Sounds like classic Dems who urge raising taxes for the "good of the people" and then turn around and blow money on themselves. Case in point, O'Malley giving massive raises to his cronies

Posted by: MontyRepub | March 20, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Take responsibility here, lefty liberals, who favor socialism. You want increased taxes, voted for it and got it.
When are you going to realize there is an inherent flaw in officials and people who claim to be, "holier than thou" just look at Eliot Spitzer.

Posted by: KC Cook | March 20, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Reminds me of deja vue all over again. During the 2006 campaign for County Executive my TV ads said, "A Vote for Ike Leggett is a Vote to Raise Your Own Taxes!" How true. Also I said that the County Executive's office should be moved down to the first floor, surrounded by bank like plastic and the door taken off so voters could see what goes on in there. Instead we are getting an ivory tower approach and a $65,000 port-a-john!

Look, Leggett and Knapp spent $30,000 on a poll of Montgomery voters before the recent special session. That poll showed them that only 7% of county voters wanted taxes increased to improve services. Now they are trying to serve that 7% "majority." That poll was taken before increases in sales, computer, income, corporate and car taxes and hikes in Metro, water, and electricity fees and $4 gasoline. Yet Leggett and Knapp still want to increase gasoline taxes and to exceed the charter property tax limit this year and the next two years.

Have you checked your 401k lately? It will tell you that we are in a recession.

The fact is that we cannot give the school administration 30% raises---17% over three years PLUS 3.5% annual step increases. The school system refuses to release which of their employees is getting paid what.

Luckily, help is on the way. Mark Fennel who is running in the April 15(tax day) and May 13 special elections for county council in district 4 has pledged to stick to the charter property tax limit.

And our 2008 ballot question in November makes it more difficult for the council to exceed the charter property tax limit. SAVE OUR HOMES! Vote for Mark Fennel for County Council and Property Tax Relief!

P.S. Leggett is holding a town hall meeting tonight at 7:30 at Briggs Chaney Middle School at 1901 Rainbow Drive in Burtonsville. Mark Fennel and I are going to be there to ask Leggett some questions.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | March 20, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Here is the link to the list of Montgomery County public school bathrooms that are in desperate need of repair.

They will continue to wait.
The County Council & County Executive recently approved spending surplus school capital funds, not on school bathrooms, but on synthetic turf instead.

The kids can hold it.

Posted by: KIds hold it in Mont. County | March 20, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Here is the link to the list of Montgomery County public school bathrooms that are in desperate need of repair.

They will continue to wait.
The County Council & County Executive recently approved spending surplus school capital funds, not on school bathrooms, but on synthetic turf instead.

The kids can hold it.

Posted by: Kids Can hold it in MoCo | March 20, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Lefty or Righty - I could care less. I do, however, care about MY tax dollars and speding it on a bathroom that is absolutely NOT needed is something that should be billed to this individual and not the taxpayers. You in public service are there to serve the taxpayer, not rape every dime for your comfort. Public office is NOT comfort, it's work and you signed on for it so pay for the goodies yourself!!!!!!

Posted by: Sorrel | March 20, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Next he'll want to hire his friends to keep it clean and updated and pay them $40 an hour. After he proposes to raise taxes again.
Kick the &@%# out and make him get a $5 an hour job.

Posted by: Bob | March 20, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

No wonder he wants to raise property taxes the most in a generation. This would-be king got the idea sitting on a $65,000 throne!

Posted by: King on his throne | March 20, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

$65,000 What about his new SUV he got. Mr. Duncan had a perfectly fine one but it wasnt good enough for Mr. leggett. Shame on him for blaming this on the department of homeland security. How about the new 60 inch tv's he and his CAO got. it goes on and on. You voted for him and thats what you get!!!!!!!!!!!! I think more like $200,000. Look into it a little more Washington Post.

Posted by: Walter | March 20, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

What amuses me is the cost for to do the work: "The estimated $65,255 cost includes basic tile, a Santec faucet, Toto toilet, and prefabricated countertop and sink. The price could go up $12,400 as workers wrestle with water drainage issues." Any private contractor could probably do the job for 1/3 the price, but hire the goverment and it miraculously triples...I guess that's goverment efficiency for you.

Posted by: Mike | March 20, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

At What Point do we ALL revolt? Stop the insanity. Carry some Baby wipes and some deodorant! That wouldnt cost the taxpayers ANYTHING!

Come on people, at this time in history we are in a "GREEN" movement. Its time to start doing more with less, Stop spending money we DO NOT have and load our coffers with cash so our country doesnt get bought up by CHINA!!!

Posted by: Just Say NO!!! | March 20, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Having to cut 225 job in Montgomery County is totally outrages. Some people are struggling just to me ends meet. A 65,000.00 bathroom to build in his office is so crazy. Leggett has to think about the people who are living in Montgomery County and talk about safety come on now I know he has to have a police officer follow him where ever he go. That is totally rediculious.

Posted by: Annoymus | March 20, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

This is sadly typical of what we have seen in MoCo government in recent years. There was an article about how the MoCo tax base is shrinking with many moving out. Did not get much play in local media. I have had five friends move their families to more cost effective places. Two more families are moving this summer. The waste of tax dollars and the obvious sense of entitlement Leggett shows is appalling.

Posted by: Ann Harding | March 20, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's a reality check in light of the bathroom debacle: none of my son's teachers can afford to live in MoCo. One commutes two hours one way to her far less than 65K a year job at his school.

Two other teachers have part time jobs on weekends to make ends meet...and we wonder why there is a teacher's shortage. Wake up people...don't stand for this! Speak up!

Posted by: Anxiety Marie | March 20, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

But let's take responsability - why is Maryland still a blue state? Why not vote for officials who vow to cut taxes instead of raise them?

Posted by: KC | March 20, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse




1.) $85 million for 57 apartments at Seneca Heights Apartments, a transitional facility for the homeless. That's $1.4 million per homeless unit that comes complete with dishes, appliances, linens, computer access, coffee makers, and a horseshoe pit. I could have helped more homeless folks with the same budget.

2.) $20 million for a tropical-themed upcounty acquatic complex, complete with palm trees, big rocks, hot tubs and two ceiling suspended slides, the pipeline and the scrambler.

3.) Approximately $7.8 million, including approximately $5.7 million in post-Clarksburg corrections, a $1,179,700 supplemental appropriation to the Planning Board and $900,000 in reserve funds the department tapped into. Not to mention that taxpayers also footed the bill for about $67,366 toward the cost of mediation.

4.) $1.5 million lost in FY06 on Park and Planning golf courses and $500,000 the year before. In fact, Park and Planning golf courses have been losing money since 2001.

5.) $472,000 to upgrade the elevators in the Council Office Building.

6.) In 2006, the Council voted themselves a $90,000 pay raise, despite the Clarksburg and Seven Locs scandals on their watch.

7.) $100,000 to train parents to participate in their kids education.

8.) $20,000 to teach magic.

9.) $10,000 to teach fantasy football, and another $10,000 to teach board games, I assume Candy Land and Monopoly.

10.) $10,000 specifically earmarked so Casa of Maryland can help illegal aliens acquire ID cards and documentation.

11.) $10,000 to teach beauty boot camp.

12.) Taxpayer funded FREE shuttle for school bus drivers who live in West Virginia and Frederick, Maryland. Average 14 persons each day.

The list goes on, and on.



Posted by: VOTEFENNEL4COUNTYCOUNCIL | March 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

A respectful reply to KC's question "Why is MD still a Blue State?".

Very simple: There is a certainty that if the GOP was in charge, we would not be complaining about a $65k office restroom renovation. If the GOP were in charge, we would be complaining about a multimillion dollar bathroom renovation contracted to Haliburton via a No-Bid "arrangement".

Posted by: Donny | March 20, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

When was the last election, that offered Americans any more than the opportunity to vote for the "dog with the least fleas"? Our Democrat choices all have fleas, no doubt, but their GOP alternatives all seem to have much worse fleas and generally a very nasty case of rabies.

Not everyone's view, I know that, but I contend it is a cynically realistic view.

Posted by: Donny | March 20, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Trust me. You don't want Leggett using your bathroom.

Posted by: Met the guy | March 20, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Can a measure to recall a County Executive be placed on the ballot for citizens to revote on this guy and his Pals?

It is bad enough that he wanted to spend tax dollars on a "night club" in Bethesda and we have a counsel that lobbied for speed cameras so they could use them to raise revenues, now this. It is an affront to common decency!

Posted by: Bill | March 20, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Statement by County Executive Isiah Leggett Regarding Council Approval of Funds to Build a New Silver Spring Music & Community Use Venue

For Immediate Release: 3/4/2008

"I congratulate the County Council on approving the funding necessary to bolster economic revitalization in Silver Spring through the construction of a new live music, entertainment, and community use venue on Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring.

"The Fillmore will provide a world-class array of musical choices that can appeal to the diversity that is Silver Spring and the County as a whole - rock, jazz, country & western, folk, rhythm and blues, comedy, pop, children's programming, salsa, and more. It will have the flexibility to host stand-up, theatre seating, and events with tables and chairs. We'll have free and discounted uses for the community available when it is not otherwise programmed. And Fillmore is already talking with the American Film Institute and Discovery Communications about creating an exciting synergy.

"Best of all, it will benefit our bottom line from the start through more business for Silver Spring restaurants and shops. An economic impact analysis done by the County's Department of Finance shows an annual profit to the public of $712,000.

"When the value of Live Nation's improvements to the County-owned building and Live Nation's ongoing and structural maintenance work are included - as well as the value of community use and Live Nation community contributions - the net benefit to the public increases by another $951,000 to a total net public benefit annually of about $1,663,000.

"As we move forward with the next steps of the project, I want to thank the County Council for their support and thanks also to the Silver Spring community, whose input in our open process helped shape a project that will enrich our County's live music scene and help complete Silver Spring revitalization.

"We will continue to work closely with the Council, the community, and our County delegation in the state legislature to be sure the Fillmore opens as scheduled in 2010."

Release ID: 08-005

Posted by: Otto | March 20, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Give the man a break. Let him use the bathroom in peace without worrying about be accosted by a disgruntled County resident.

Posted by: Susan | March 20, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

This sounds like an epidemic of can-envy. If anyone wants this guy's $65k can, then work your way up the can-chain. Get elected to County Exec and stop complaining.

I am free of can-envy, myself.

Posted by: Donny | March 20, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

The Headline asks, bathroom, what do you think?

Answer, no biggee, a storm in a teacup.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | March 21, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

The poster "Mike" hit the nail on the head. This work could have been done for 10% of the cost. Why does Ike need a shower in his WORK bathroom? Is he doing something Eliot Spitzerish in his office? With the bang-up job he's doing, Ike should be pleased with a Jiffy-John in the parking lot.

Posted by: Fleeced | March 22, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

It's not as though Mr. Leggett will be taking it with him in the event he leaves office. This improvement will continue to be in use by whomever becomes County Executive in the future. I'm sure if that person feels it was an unnecessary expense, he'll remove it and all you who complain about the expense of installing the improvements will complain just as much about the removal.


Posted by: Justme | March 27, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

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