Monday, May 21, 2012

Janet Reed is LEAVING Mount Rainier Elementary!

Since this will be the last PEACE PARADE during her tenure,  I wanted to request your presence and invite you to share in this momentous occasion with us as we once again celebrate our annual Peace Parade on June 1, 2012, promptly beginning at 9:00am.  This event is made more special because it is the last year that Mrs. Janet Reed will preside over the parade as our principal.  To honor her years of service and dedication to Mount Rainier Elementary we want to make this year’s parade a well attended and auspicious affair - your presence would help us achieve this goal.

We encourage you to invite members of the community and media outlets to the event as we hope to make this day a date that she will hold among the fondest of her career.  Again, your support for this event is greatly appreciated and we look forward to celebrating with you at the Peace Parade on June 1, 2012, Mount Rainier Elementary School, Mount Rainier Maryland. 

It has also come to my attention that Helen Stone, principal at Thomas Stone Elementary, will also be retiring.  Also, it is my understanding that Ms. Kimberly Washington will be leaving Hyattsville Middle School.  For further information on these departures, please contact our District 3, School Board Representative Ms. Amber Waller,; 301-952-6115.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


OKAY, Mount Rainier Day Festival has come to an end, AND if you did not make it out, YOU missed a beautiful day, great entertainment, a wonderful parade, fantastic food, and a host of great items offered by the many vendors up and down Rhode Island Avenue!  THANK YOU to EVERYONE that came out and supported Mount Rainier Day.  You were awesome, and you made me PROUD.  See all of you at NATIONAL NIGHT OUT, August 7, 2012.  More information will be posted as we get closer to the date, but MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!

If YOU have never experienced Mount Rainier Day in Mount Rainier MD, then today is your day!  The Parade starts at 10:00am, and that begins the day of free music and entertainment.  Vendors of every persuasion will be there to delight your taste buds, enhance your jewelry collection, inform your mind, and in some way brighten your day.  The basketball tournament will be played again today for those who believe that they have skills.  Parents who want to get their children really tired so that they can sleep tonight, this is also the place.  The skate mobile and face painting (MNCPPC) will be waiting for them along with snow cones, and other treats.  So pack your bags, hop the bus, train or drive (limited parking), to Mount Rainier today.  All activities are in the down town area and metro buses are available to the center of the activities.  See you all there sometime during this sun shiny day!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Mount Rainier is nearing the completion of its budget.  Major decisions are being made: 

1.  About raising or not raising taxes based on the constant yield rate* which has been set at 0.79 cent per $100 of assessment on real property (your home/residence). 
2.  Cutting one position from Code Enforcement or retaining all three Code Enforcement officers
3.  Retain the same level of services, and
4.  Using $21,000 from the reserves to balance the budget.

* Constant Yield Tax Rate (CYTR): The property tax rate that when applied to new assessments
would result in the taxing authorities receiving the same revenue in the coming tax year that was
received in the prior tax year. The Department is required to certify the CYTR each year and local governments are required to hold a public hearing if the new tax rate exceeds the CYTR.  The Constant Yield Tax Rate is State Law.

As you may be aware, a public hearing has been held on the budget as required by our Charter.  At that time, the Council was not in favor of raising taxes, but was still in the midst of decision making.  Based on information provided to the Council in recent weeks, and the fact that the City has been using its reserves to balance the budget, at least three members of the Council wishes to raise taxes to 0.81 cents per $100 of assessment on real property to keep the City's current level of funding.

Raising the tax base from 0.79 to 0.81 (.02 cents per $100) will generate approximately $38,000, not enough to close the deficit (to close the deficit, the City would need to raise taxes .05 cents per $100).  Because it does NOT EXCEED the current/past CYTR, the City is NOT required to hold a hearing.  However, to keep our residents informed and to get their input, a hearing will be held on June 5, 2012.

It is my belief that the City should be considering a freeze on any new purchases such as computers, printers, cars (vehicles), copiers, etc.  I also believe that the City should freeze salaries (raises, merits, COLAs etc.) for the next fiscal year to stop the bleeding.  The City's salaries are going up annually.  They grow at the annual rate established by the cost of living rate which varies yearly, but is usually around 3%,

Another option that has not been discussed and/or considered is furloughing staff.  The State, County and DC government are furloughing staff, and Mount Rainier should also consider such measures.

Overtime, could be reduced and/or cut.  This is another area of the budget that has caused some of the over expenditure in our budget, and it continues to grow.

Benefits, especially health care and the pension fund continues to eat away at the City's budget at an alarming rate.  In many small municipalities these amenities do not exist, and those that do the employee share of the cost is much greater than that of employees of Mount Rainier, and even if they are equal, many of the municipalities have more expendable revenue.

You can be a part of this discussion.  A public hearing is scheduled for TUESDAY, JUNE 5 at Mount Rainier City Hall at 7:00pm.  Can't make it?  Send an email to or to the City Manager voicing your opinions, concerns, and suggestions regarding the budget.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The PEPCO utility work for replacement of telephone poles was continuing in the 3100 block of Windom Road today.  The subcontractor broke a water main and WSSC is now at the site..  WSSC anticipates that the repairs will be completed approximately 10:00 pm tonight.  Service will be temporarily interrupted until the repairs are complete.  Code enforcement notified the residents who were home of the disruption and emergency repair work.  Notices are being placed on the doors of the property owners who are not at home.