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MoCo District 4 Race Takes Shape

The sprint to next month's special election for Montgomery County's District 4 Council seat is beginning to take shape. Don Praisner's decision to enter the race for the seat of his late wife, Marilyn Praisner - and his support from County Executive Isiah Leggett and four council members - had the potential to change the field of contenders.

Civic activist Cary Lamari said Monday that he was withdrawing and backing Praisner. School Board President Nancy Navarro said Tuesday, "Without a doubt, the fact that he got into the race led some to believe that I should reconsider. That never crossed my mind to reconsider. I'm in and I'm in to stay."

Navarro brushed aside what she called indirect pressure to get out of the race, calling the election an "opportunity to build on a legacy and to bring it to the present and the future."

Two other Democrats - Pat Ryan and Steve Kanstoroom - have officially filed with the Board of Elections. Republican marketing analyst Mark Fennel has also filed. John McKinnis, a former Republican candidate for state delegate, has announced his intention to run.

The Montgomery County Education Association, the union representing public school teachers, is scheduled to vote tonight to endorse a candidate. The County Council seat is critical to the union at a time when Montgomery is facing a $297 million budget shortfall.

By Ann Marimow  |  March 5, 2008; 1:19 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow  
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Comments

Of course the seat is critical to the Teacher's Union, they are a special interest. Their current 3 year contract gives them step increases at approximately 3.5% per year, plus Cost of Living Increases at 4.8%, 5.0% and 5.3% respectively. That's over an 8% increase per year -- incredible! They don't care how high taxes climb for the rest of us to pay for this, and how much of an economic hardship this places on minorities, single Moms, and the struggling Middle Class.

Mark D. Fennel
Republican Candidate for Montgomery County Council in the Special Election

Posted by: VoteFennel4CountyCouncil | March 5, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

We have just had increases in computer, sales, income, car and corporate taxes as well as Metro, water, electricity and gasoline hikes. Foreclosures, mostly involving minority families, are about 150 per week. Warren Buffett says we are in a recession.

The county budget has gapped up from $2 billion in FY98 to $3 billion in FY04 to $4.2 billion now with low inflation and very slight population growth. From FY06-08 the school administration added more than 1,000 positions, many non-teaching, while losing 3,076 students.

In short, we cannot afford a property tax hike on top of all the above. The charter limit allows the council to increase property tax revenues, not counting new construction, as much as the consumer price index increase. The CPI has gone up plenty because of the increased cost in gasoline already. That should be enough.

But no, Leggett and the council want to still exceed the charter property tax limit, not just this year, but for the next three years.

Luckily, we have a charter amendment on the ballot in November that is likely to pass which will increase the number of council votes required to exceed the charter limit from 7 to 9 votes. Thus having Mark Fennel, of Citizens Against Government Waste, on the council will thwart attempts to increase the property taxes past the charter limit. Mark Fennel is married to a bi-lingual immigrant from Central America, Elena. He is the only candidate who showed any interest in running for this seat before the untimely death of Marilyn Praisner.

Ike Leggett and some council members want 76 year old Don Praisner on the council as a sure vote to override the charter property tax limit. Nancy Navarro is another sure bet to override the charter property tax limit. The choice is clear: Mark Fennel for Council and Property
Tax Relief. SAVE OUR HOMES!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | March 5, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

We have just had increases in computer, sales, income, car and corporate taxes as well as Metro, water, electricity and gasoline hikes. Foreclosures, mostly involving minority families, are about 150 per week. Warren Buffett says we are in a recession.

The county budget has gapped up from $2 billion in FY98 to $3 billion in FY04 to $4.2 billion now with low inflation and very slight population growth. From FY06-08 the school administration added more than 1,000 positions, many non-teaching, while losing 3,076 students.

In short, we cannot afford a property tax hike on top of all the above. The charter limit allows the council to increase property tax revenues, not counting new construction, as much as the consumer price index increase. The CPI has gone up plenty because of the increased cost in gasoline already. That should be enough.

But no, Leggett and the council want to still exceed the charter property tax limit, not just this year, but for the next three years.

Luckily, we have a charter amendment on the ballot in November that is likely to pass which will increase the number of council votes required to exceed the charter limit from 7 to 9 votes. Thus having Mark Fennel, of Citizens Against Government Waste, on the council will thwart attempts to increase the property taxes past the charter limit. Mark Fennel is married to a bi-lingual immigrant from Central America, Elena. He is the only candidate who showed any interest in running for this seat before the untimely death of Marilyn Praisner.

Ike Leggett and some council members want 76 year old Don Praisner on the council as a sure vote to override the charter property tax limit. Nancy Navarro is another sure bet to override the charter property tax limit. The choice is clear: Mark Fennel for Council and Property
Tax Relief. SAVE OUR HOMES!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | March 5, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Robin, I didn't realize you were still alive! I hadn't seen a candidacy from you in awhile. Getting tired, I see?

Posted by: mocopolitico | March 5, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm voting for Mark Fennel for County Council and property tax relief on April 15, tax day, because I am a Fennel Fan and Follower!

Posted by: Fennel Fan and Follower | March 6, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Fennel's comments are sad. While I am not a fan of steep increase in contracts the demand ut oin teachers over the past 5 years has been quite extroidinary. They should recieve these raises but what suprises me the most is the fact that our State Representation on Annapollis has failed to step up to the plate and demand the dollars that our schools are in need of. Our fair share, while alot of the money goes to Baltimore and Baltimore City.
It is time for these politicians to stop cutting deals and demand what is right. The only candidate that has shown to have such a backbone and stand up for what is logically right is Mr. Steve Kanstroom. His bio speaks for itself. As far as Ms. Navaro is concerned her withdraw would be wise. My own personal experience with her dictates me to say this. When I asked for help with our Hispanic families in our school, Ms Navaro never bothered to make any effort towards assistance. I asked her on 3 seperate times but when she spoke to the Hispanic communitty she offered her personal assistance. Sounds like another politician that says the right thing in front of the public but really takes no action.

Posted by: David in Rockville | March 7, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Navarro's only concern is her own political career. She has never been responsive to any community concerns.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

These whisper campaigns are disgraceful and reek of Karl Rove tactics.

Posted by: Disgraceful. | March 9, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I believe Mr. Steve Kanstroom will stand up for what is right and will put in plain words in very detailed ways on making District 4 improve.

Posted by: Rick | March 13, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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