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MoCo Unions: Ration Jail Toilet Paper

Montgomery County labor leaders are urging county officials to ration rolls of toilet paper and bars of soap for inmates as a way to cope with a nearly $300 million budget shortfall.

The suggestion to limit inmates to two to three rolls of toilet paper and two bars of soap each week is part of a long list of budget cuts the Municipal & County Government Employees Organization submitted to the council as it weighs raising taxes, trimming services and revising employee contracts that include raises for workers.

In a letter to the council, union president Gino Renne said inmates deliberately jam toilets with paper, causing floods and costly plumbing problems, and he said they leave soap behind in showers.

The union also recommends reducing Sunday hours at libraries and reinstating a $1 hold fee for books and CDs, in addition to getting rid of dozens of management positions that the union says are unnecessary.

The Council is expected to make final budget decisions on May 15.

By Anne Bartlett  |  April 24, 2008; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow  
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Is it a good idea to have prisoners walking around all Crusty?

Posted by: StinkyButt | April 24, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

But, hey, the firefighters are raking in over $200,000 a year. Why not make 'em earn their pay by going over to the jails and wiping the prisoners' butts.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Let them use Ike Leggets $65K bathroom

Posted by: Goziner | April 24, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I fully support the plan to eliminate toilet paper.

Posted by: SkidMarkz Gonzalez | April 24, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The council needs to get to the bottom of the problem: they are poised to exceed the charter property tax limit while we have $4 gas and some of them even want to increase the tax on that. For instance: Council chairman Knapp. He voted from FY03-FY05 to exceed the charter property tax limit and recently called for an increase in the gasoline tax. He will vote to exceed the charter property tax limit this year and the next or last two years of his last term.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | April 24, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Why would the libraries need to be open on Sunday?

Union members can just cut out of work to check books out.

Posted by: RoseG | April 24, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

If you were in prison and you dropped your soap in the shower, you'd leave it behind as well.

Posted by: TheWarden | April 24, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

all joking BEHIND, seriously, who the heck uses more than 2 to 3 rolls of toilet paper a week???? And more than 2 bars a soap. Holy cow, I use 1 bar of a soap a month, I couldn't fathom using an entire bar in one week (and yes, I do wash my hands!)and more than 3 rolls of toilet paper a week.

Is there a black market for toilet paper and soap in a prison???

Posted by: huh?? | April 24, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

First off, Warden, that's funny. Secondly, how much money is this really going to save? Maybe a $1000 in a year? Lets do something about these firefighters making 200K, or the overly generous raises "negotiated" for county employees for the next three years, or the fact that Montgomery starts new teachers at over 50K/year. No, better go after the toilet paper instead. Being that we're talking about MoCo, the stuff is probably made out of silk or hundred dollar bills or something.

Posted by: bill3 | April 24, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

The real question is, how big is the bar of soap? And, how long and thick is the sheet, how many sheets to the roll?

If the bar of soap is hotel room size, as opposed to grocery store size, that makes a big difference.

I suspect the union leaders are being disingenuous. No doubt money can be saved by efficiency. I notice the union leaders did not propose saving money by curtailing overtime for prison wardens! DUH!

Jeez, does this make me a friend of Robin Ficker?

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | April 25, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

The more I think about it, the more I like what Renne has done. All people who come before the council should be asked the question, "If you want more money or don't want us to cut your budget, where else should we cut?"

As Renne pointed out, why are so many of the 26 department heads earning more than the county executive? Why does the county executive need a $145,000 P.R. filter? Why does the county executive need a driver? Why should Leggett's comments be filtered through a spokesman? Can't he speak for himself? Why was the former head of OMB given a $50,000 raise to become CAO?

A straw shows the way the wind blows. Leggett's straws all point to the largest property tax increase in 20 years and another property tax increase next year and another one the year after that.

P.S. Count, I know that I can always count on your support because you too are opposed to corruption and cronyism.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | April 25, 2008 5:30 AM | Report abuse

u cut the tissue someone ass will get cut. so keep the tissue coming...

Posted by: no problem | April 25, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Warden, that's why they invented soap on a rope.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

What firefighters are making $200,000 ???

With 1 shift of overtime per week in addition to their three 24 hour regular shifts a Master Firefighter MIGHT make $60 or $70K.

Where did that $200K number come from - the County Chief?

Posted by: $200K firefighters ?? | April 25, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the County Exec can spare a roll of Charmin from his new marble & chrome billion-dollar baño?

To all those folks from Fredrick County, let me translate:

I wonder if the County Exec can spare a roll of Charmin from his new marble & chrome billion-dollar bathroom?

Posted by: Fickered-Out | April 25, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

this just gets more ridiculous by the day. bathrooms, firefighters, property tax increases, liquor on Sunday... What's next? a service charge for playgrounds?

Posted by: considering moving elsewhere | April 25, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Considering: Yes, there is a charge for using some playgrounds in MC. The Park and Planning Commission (Park now, Plan later) has a rate schedule for park use. At least they did 20+ years ago when I lived there.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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