By Adam Pagnucco.
In the wake of their vote last night, the Montgomery County Democratic Party has issued the following statement on their position on this year’s ballot questions.
Montgomery County Democratic Party Recommendations on 2020 Ballot Questions
For immediate release
September 17, 2020
Contact Linda Foley
The Montgomery County Democratic Party has announced its voter recommendations on County and State Ballot Questions for the 2020 General Election. The recommendations were issued following a vote by more than 170 grassroots Democratic officials on September 16.
“The State and County questions on the 2020 ballot will have an enormous effect upon our ability to provide vital public services locally,” said Linda Foley, Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. “Democrats understand the value of public education, healthcare, transportation, public safety, libraries, and other vital services our State and County governments provide. That’s why we urge voters to vote FOR County Charter Questions A and C, vote FOR State Questions 1 and 2, and vote AGAINST County Charter Questions B and D.”
Here are the Montgomery County Democratic Party recommendations:
Vote FOR Question A: Council Property Tax Limit – Limit Tax Rate Increases
Question A establishes a cap on the property tax rate instead of the total revenue that the County can receive. This amendment would allow revenue to grow so County services can keep up with increased population and needs. Property tax rates will remain the same as this year. Any future increase would require an affirmative vote by all Councilmembers, as is currently required to raise the revenue limit.
Vote AGAINST Question B: Property Tax Limit – Prohibit Override
Question B is a bad way to fund public services. It prohibits the County Council from increasing the total revenue received from the property tax beyond the rate of inflation under any circumstances. This measure, proposed by Republican activist Robin Ficker, would cause a reduction in public services and threaten the County’s AAA bond rating, which enables the County to borrow at the lowest rate.
Vote FOR Question C: Increase to 11 Councilmembers
Question C expands the Council from 9 to 11 members. District Council seats would increase from 5 to 7. The number of At-Large seats would remain at 4. Each voter would continue to vote for 5 members of the Council. It reduces the number of residents represented by each District Councilmember, thus increasing representation.
Vote AGAINST Question D: Alter County Council Composition to 9 Districts
Question D eliminates the current Council composition of 4 At-Large and 5 single district seats. It establishes a Council of 9 members, each elected only by voters in their own district (eliminating At-Large seats). It would reduce from 5 to 1 the number of Councilmembers for whom each voter can vote.
Vote FOR Question 1: Balancing the State Budget
Question 1 allows the Maryland General Assembly to increase, decrease, or add items to the State budget provided such changes do not increase the total budget proposed by the Governor.
Vote FOR Question 2: Expansion of Commercial Gaming – Sports and Event
Question 2 would authorize the General Assembly to allow betting on sports and other competitive events to generate funding that must be used primarily for public education.
Vote YES to retain State Appellate Judges: Mary Ellen Barbera, E. Gregory Wells, and Steven B. Gould. The Party reviewed the records of the three State appellate judges on the ballot and supports their continuance in office.
By Authority: Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, Dave Kunes, Treasurer.