Layhill resident Cary Lamari called us this morning to say he has been asked to drop out of the race to replace Marilyn Praisner for the District 4 County Council seat and will support her widower Don, who's announcing his candidacy on Monday.
"He's an unbeatable candidate in District 4," says Lamari, former president of the Montgomery County Civic Federation. "The residents of District 4 had the greatest respect for Marilyn Praisner and would consider this . . . a legacy, a tribute to Marilyn. If he espouses the same ideals Marilyn did, then I have to support that."
County Executive Ike Leggett announced yesterday he will endorse Praisner, who's also gotten the support of Councilmembers Marc Elrich and Duchy Trachtenberg, both at-large; Phil Andrews (D-Rockville), and Roger Berliner (D-Potomac), according to Maryland Politics Watch.
A primary will be held April 15, followed by a special election May 13. "There's just not enough time to get the money it's gonna take [to win] in so short a time," says Lamari. "I don't think we have a chance with so many outside influences deciding what's to happen."
Lamari, whose 2006 bid for County Council was endorsed by the Neighbors for a Better Montgomery, sees a two-way race between Democrats Praisner and Nancy Navarro, currently on the Board of Education. With the County facing a $300 million budget crisis and an increasing dearth of affordable housing, the council needs a "fiscal conservative" like Don Praisner, Lamari says. "My opinion is that Nancy Navarro is partly responsible for the current budget crisis," he notes. "I believe there needs to be balance in this council."
Hoping to get ahead of the pack, Lamari plans to build his campaign for 2010. "We've just got too many qualified candidates," he says, referring to the already-crowded field of hopefuls for the Democratic nomination. "With the coming of Don, we just don't stand a chance."
Nice post. You got off the phone about an hour before I talked with him. He said the exact same things to me.
Mark Fennel, of Citizens Against Government Waste is the only candidate in the race who has vowed to not exceed the charter property tax limit. The budget Leggett introduces this month and the next two years will exceed that limit. Don Praisner will vote to exceed the limit just as Marilyn did from FY03-05. Our 2008 charter amendment will require 9 council votes to override the charter property tax limit. Thus with Fennel we will get property tax relief. After increases in sales, computer, income, car and corporate taxes as well as higher Metro, water, electricity and gasoline costs, we certainly can't afford high property taxes too. SAVE OUR HOMES! Vote for Mark Fennel!
Silver Spring, MD – Mark D. Fennel has announced his candidacy to run for Montgomery County Council in District 4 in the up-coming special election. A life-long resident of Montgomery County, Mark Fennel lives in Silver Spring with his wife Estela, who immigrated to the United States from Honduras, and their 6th month old son Caleb, who was born at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park. Mark Fennel graduated from Walter Johnson High School in 1984 and holds a B.A. in political science from Vassar College.
A writer and marketing analyst, Mark Fennel is the long-time Director of Membership for Citizens Against Government Waste, a nationally known, non-profit organization that exposed the infamous, “Bridge to Nowhere,” and other notorious earmarks. Previously, Mark Fennel worked for four years in the development department of The Heritage Foundation following a stint in the private sector.
When Mark Fennel launched his previous campaign for County Council in District 4, he was quoted in The Gazette as saying, “This year [FY06] the budget has ballooned to an incredible $3.5 billion, and there is talk of a $4 billion budget. . .For the future prosperity of Montgomery County and its residents, it’s critical that an austerity program be put in place to curtail this vicious pattern of unrestrained and unsustainable spending” (“GOP newcomer making bid for County Council,” Dec. 14, 2005).
On Oct. 9, 2006 shortly before the election, Montgomery Community Television videotaped Mark Fennel saying, “Tragically, Montgomery County is facing a financial crisis. During the first eight months of 2006, we’ve seen a $300 million falloff in transfer and recordation taxes; a new federal law requires $200 million to pre-fund some county employee benefits; the county employees’ retirement system is $674 million in deficit; and, we’re facing a $67 million shortfall in facility maintenance. All the while, the council irresponsibly went on an election year spending spree.”
Today, Montgomery County is facing a $300 million budget deficit and the threat of higher property taxes is looming on the horizon. Having just received increases in Maryland state computer, sales, income, car, and corporate taxes, it appears the County Council is preparing to override the county’s charter property tax limit which will cause hundreds more foreclosures especially for minority families, and price thousands more out of the county housing market. Under this dire background, according to the February 14, 2008 edition of the Montgomery County Sentinel, Council President Mike Knapp inexplicably said, “Right now we’re looking back to see how committees were structured 15 or 20 years ago and seeing if we even need an Management and Fiscal Policy committee.”
Mark Fennel has pledged not to support an override of the county’s Charter Amendment, because the Charter Amendment was put in place to protect families from unfair tax increases. According to Mark Fennel, “The solution to this budget crisis, is to go through Montgomery County’s budget with a fine tooth comb and root out waste, mismanagement and inefficiency while slowing the rate of growth of Montgomery County’s budget.” This is a task Mark Fennel is well prepared to handle, because he’s been working on this issue for many years at Citizens Against Government Waste. Mark Fennel went on to say, “an integral part of reigning in over-the-top spending and the associated high level of taxation to support it, is to end the decades old symbiotic relationship between special interests and the County Council, where the County Council and special interests win, and Montgomery County families lose.”
I'm Glad were going to get another NIMBY, anti-progress Praisner in office.
Better Praisner than someone like Navarro who is a total sell-out to the precious MCEA.
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