Montgomery County Taxpayers League

The Voice of Taxpayers of Montgomery County, Maryland

Monthly Archive: June 2011

Meeting with the IG June 16: Highlights

Our meeting June 16, 2011, was with Edward Blansitt, the county’s Inspector General.  Among other things he made these points:

1.   The IG would like to bring public awareness to the OIG Hotline:  1(800) 971-6059 or
2.   IG priorities are based on return on investment (bang for the buck) and on issues of integrity
3.   In examining financial proposals, the IG looks to see that a cost/benefit analysis was done and that such analysis was based on good data.
4.   As the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is a state agency, the IG can only do “financial” audits.  Only the state can do “performance” audits of MCPS.
5.   The IG plans to keep the the Chief Administrative Officer in the loop on his work.

“Montgomery’s $18 million schools ‘miracle’”

From the Washington Post  of June 11, 2011:

“WHEN THE Montgomery County Council scratched $25 million from spending on county schools last month — cuts that amounted to scarcely 1 percent of the schools’ budget — howls of protest were heard. The Board of Education cried foul, and PTAs and the teachers union chimed in, warning parents that classrooms would be devastated, instruction would suffer — even property values would plummet.

“Now — presto! — the schools have conjured $21 million in “savings,” mostly, they say, because hale and hearty employees have suddenly reduced their health insurance claims by $15 million to $18 million.”

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

“Judge strikes down part of Montgomery County bargaining law”

From the Washington Post  of June 7, 2011:

“Members of the County Council say the schools superintendent and others appear to have deceived them about the amount of money they needed to operate, and are calling for an investigation into spending by Montgomery County Public Schools….

”The ruling Tuesday by Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin was the latest — and clearest — signal from the courts that the county’s labor statutes are at odds with the county charter.”

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

“Cut government salaries or services will deteriorate”

A letter from MCTL member Gordie Brenne appeared in the Montgomery Gazette of June 8, 2011:

“Getting what you pay for is a maxim for successful money management, but we Montgomery County taxpayers are being played like chumps. We pay high salaries to county employees, but are we getting higher productivity in return?

“The reason we don’t get better results [than Fairfax County, VA] is because our high salary rates prevent us from hiring as many employees to provide services. The 2012 budget calls for 1,700 employees in the police department versus 1,800 in Fairfax; 11,000 teachers versus 14,000 in Fairfax; and 1,000 health care and social service employees versus 2,400 in Fairfax.”

Read the full story at the Montgomery Gazette.