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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BUDGET PREPARATIONS WELL UNDER WAY

Budget Preparations – Mayor and Council are hard at work on FY2015 budget.  Lots of needs and limited funds.  Mayor and Council are struggling to keep and/or increase the level of services to the community while not raising taxes.  This is a very hard task to accomplish when the needs are so great.

Some of the proposals on the table include, not hiring an assistant City manager, hiring an assistant City manager with 60% economic responsibilities and 40% management responsibilities; hiring an assistant City manager with responsibilities for managing code enforcement (certification in code enforcement required); hiring an economic development specialist to concentrate on development of the downtown area, and raising taxes to fund that position.  There is also discussion on the table about raising taxes to generate much needed revenue, and to limit the amount of money that might be used out of the contingency fund to balance the budget and come up with the funds to cover some of the stated needs. No final decisions have been reached, and further discussion is scheduled for the next work session, May 6, 2014.

The Constant Yield Tax Rate hearing was held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.  No one from the general public attended.  The Constant Yield Tax Rate for 2015 $0.86.  The constant yield tax rate is the tax rate that a jurisdiction would have to impose in order to obtain the same amount of property tax revenue in fiscal year 2015 as it received in fiscal year 2014. If a jurisdiction plans to set a tax rate higher than the constant yield rate, the jurisdiction must advertise the tax increase and hold a public hearing before setting the tax rate for fiscal 2015. Municipalities are exempt from these requirements if maintaining the same tax rate would raise less than $25,000 more revenue in fiscal 2015 than in fiscal 2014. This last sentence does not apply to Mount Rainier.

7/1/2014
7/1/2014
7/1/2014
7/1/2015
7/1/2014

Jurisdiction
Net Assessable Real Property Base

Tax Rate
Potential Revenue
Net Assessable Real Property Base
CYTR
Mount Rainier
337,420,516
x 0.86 =
2,901,816 ÷
340,586,039
= 0.852


The City is facing the same crisis that all of you are facing with the rising cost of oil, gasoline, electric, health care, retirement, and general maintenance and upkeep.  We are striving to become more energy efficient.  We are going green when we can, and we are pushing composing and recycling as major goals that residents can help us achieve.  (NOTE:  If you need a composting bin, please contact Public Works.  The first batch went quickly, and a new order has been placed.)  These rising costs are also going to impact our budget, and our ability to respond quickly and efficiently to the needs of our City.  

I invite you to take a moment to get a copy of our current budget, to really see what your mayor and council is working with to efficiently and effectively run our City.   Let your Ward representative hear from you and your concerns regarding this year’s budget, tax cuts, tax raises or whatever else you have on your mind.  The window of opportunity will soon be gone, and the new budget will be implemented on July 1, 2014.  At this juncture, the Mayor is opposed to raising taxes to create an economic development specialist or to delete the assistant manager position that has functioned as assistant manager, economic development and overseer for code enforcement and other activities in the City, including road construction, emergencies and other duties as required to meet the needs of the City.

On that note, I am taking this opportunity to thank Mr. Michael Jackson for all of the work that he provided to the City as Assistant Manager for the past six or more years.  Over those years, he wrote grants, served as the City’s IT person, website developer, provided oversight for code enforcement, editor of the City’s Newsletter, and a host of other job functions that were assigned from time to time.  Michael landed a wonderful job at the Smithsonian, and started working there last week.  He will be missed, and no matter what the budget decision is, he cannot be replaced.  Thank you Michael for your hard work and dedication to Mount Rainier.

THE MOUNT RAINIER DAY FESTIVAL

MOUNT RAINIER DAY FESTIVAL -- The Mount Rainier Day Festival is planned for Saturday, May 17.  It is an all-day fun event for families, friends and relatives.  Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.  Our City will once again come alive with activities to celebrate our spirit of community and our cultural diversity. 

The parade will line up at 10:00am.  It will follow a new route this year to give others in the community an opportunity to share in this event.  The lineup will be at the Mount Rainier Nature and Recreation Center.  The parade will leave the Nature Center at 11:00am.  Once through the gates, the parade will turn right onto Arundel Road; left on 30th Street; Left on Upshur, down Rainier Avenue, right on 34th, around the circle, down Perry, and finally left on 36 street, and will fall out on Rhode Island Avenue.  We will be joined again this year with the Largo Marching Band. 

Entertainment this year will start with the Military Band.  They will play a few numbers and the MC, Councilwoman Trina Brown from Bladensburg will introduce the bands for the day.  They promise to be hot and a lot of fun.

Vendors will be set up and ready for business by 9:30am.  Please come out and support them.  They come back year after year because of your participation and support.

Our popular children’s section will be up and promises to be excellent.  There will be the moon bounce, cotton candy, popcorn, and a lot more.  We have requested the horses and the race cars, but they have not been confirmed.  Keep your fingers crossed, we just pull it off.  The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission will be in the house with its Skate Mobile, finger painting and of course Chuzzy the Clown will be in his usual spot painting faces and making animals out of the balloons.

The day is shaping up to be fun for the entire family.  So come out and support this fun filled day!  There will be a free souvenir cup for the first 1,000 participants, so stop by the Mount Rainier Day Festival Committee table for your stadium cup.  When they are gone, they are gone.

To raise fund to support this year’s activities, the Mount Rainier Day Festival Committee will also be holding two raffles.  A $1 raffle for ten (10) $25 gift cards, and a $5 50/50 raffle.  Drawings for the gift cards will be announced and held every hour or so.  The final raffle (1 ticket for $5 or 2 tickets for $8) will be for a 32 inch color television.  You must be present to win for all of the raffles.  Tickets will be drawn until there is a winner present, and the winning ticket must be presented before the prize can be collected.
In addition to the raffles, the City will be providing transportation all day long.  For your convenience and to reduce the need for parking, the City will have the Call A Bus and the Police Van circling the City.  The route for the transportation service will be shared through a flyer, and will be available on cable channels 21 (Verizon), and 71 (Comcast).  Please also check out the City’s website www.mountrainiermd.org for additional information.  Both vehicles will make stops at Kaywood Garden Apartments, Queens Manor, Rainier Manor, Queenstown and 34th and Bunker Hill Road.  The rides are FREE, so please use them all day long.

The transportation is made possible by our sponsors, Kaywood Garden Apartments through the Kay Management Team; Rainier Manor through the Humphrey Management, Queens Manor, and Queenstown Apartments.  Each of these management teams contributed generously to this event, and we are forever grateful.  Pepsi Cola Company also stepped up to the plate when asked, and made a contribution of fifty (50) cases of mixed sodas and ten (10) cases of water.  So, stop by and join the Pepsi Generation while picking up your stadium cup.  The Mount Rainier Day Festival Committee is happy to have these sponsors for this year’s event, and we hope that they will be our sponsors and partners for years to come.

Just when you thought it could not get any better, the Committee came up with the ideas to support the Mount Rainier Food Pantry, and newly created entity led by Rev. Brian Adam of the Mount Rainier Christian Church.  If you are coming to the Festival, PLEASE bring one or two can goods to share with those most in need in our City.  There will be a collection station in front of City Hall.

Interested in driving the Call A Bus and/or the Police Van?  Got a valid Maryland driver’s license, no points, no criminal record, personal car insurance, know the City and City limits?  Give Mayor Malinda Miles a call (301-237-3889) or email her at mayormiles@gmail.com (emails PREFERRED).  Drivers will be paid up to $25 an hour for eight hours of work.

Finally, Mount Rainier’s downtown business community has been invited to put some of their wares and merchandise out on the street.  That’s right, they will be street vending to showcase what they have in their stores.  PLEASE stop by, introduce yourself, and make a purchase.  They will be glad to see you.

This year’s Mount Rainier Day Committee includes Janis Lomax, Officer Eddie Murphy, and Mayor Malinda Miles.  Volunteers are needed.  Each volunteer selected will be given a Mount Rainier Day Festival T-shirt.  Please contact Ms. Lomax, if you would like to volunteer.  Ms. Lomax can be reached at 301-985-6585, Monday through Friday from 9:00a until 5:00pm.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Check out Writing.com

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Help OTHERS While We Have FUN!

On Mount Rainier Day, May 17, 2014, I am asking EVERYBODY to bring at LEAST ONE CAN of FOOD to donate to the newly created Mount Rainier Food Pantry!  It is not a FEE.  You will have a great time whether you bring a can or not, BUT you have all asked how can I help?

WELL, this is one way to give back to the community that has served so many of us so well over the years.  Bring a can of something you love.  Check the use by date so it has some shelf life.  Remember, you may be helping a family in Mount Rainier that you grew up with or an old classmate.  You never know!

There will be a drop off place for can goods in front of Mount Rainier's City Hall.  PLEASE HELP to make this effort a MAJOR SUCCESS!

Thank you in advance.

County Pet Foster Family Program needs YOU to Volunteer!

For immediate release:
April 23, 2014
For more information, contact:Linda Lowe
Public Information Officer
Prince George’s County
Department of Environmental Resources
(301) 883-5952 (office)
(301) 836-2115 (cell)

County Pet Foster Family Program needs YOU to Volunteer! 

County shelter seeks volunteers to assist animals in need of a second chance

Largo, MD – Do you love animals and want them to live in a nice home with a loving family?  If so, the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources’ (DER) Animal Management Division (AMD) needs YOU to volunteer in the County’s Pet Foster Family Program. AMD staff will host two free seminars so that prospective volunteers can learn more about this great program on Wednesday, April 23 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 26 from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Both sessions will be held at the Animal Services Facility located at 3750 Brown Station Road in Upper Marlboro.

“This program helps animals that are too young, injured, recovering from surgery, have other special needs, or in need of a second chance so that they can become more adoptable,” says DER Director Adam Ortiz.  “By opening up your heart and home as an animal foster parent, you can help make a difference in a pet’s life.”

Foster volunteers will report back to the Animal Services Facility on a regular basis.  This will allow the Facility to monitor the animals’ progress and provide any assistance that the foster families may need. At the end of the stay, volunteers are encouraged to find potential adopters who are required to meet the County’s adoption criteria.

For more information on the Pet Foster Family Program, contact Christina Manucy at 301-780-7219, contact County Click at 3-1-1 or visitwww.princegeorgespets4us.com or  http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/sites/AnimalManagement/Pages/default.aspx

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MD League of Conversation Voters Endorses Michael Summers for State Delegate


Brent C Bolin

4:32 PM (4 hours ago)
Hello Mount Rainier friends,

As many of you know I work at the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, where we are focused on electing conservation minded candidates. As of the 2014 election our district, the 47th, has split into 47A and 47B. Mount Rainier is located in 47A and we will elect two delegates and one senator to represent us in the General Assembly.

Only one incumbent delegate is returning in 47A, Michael Summers, and he has an 88% lifetime environmental score and has been endorsed for re-election by MD LCV. Delegate Summers has served as the lead sponsor on one of my bills and I can say that he fought long and well with us, and was a great legislative partner.

MD LCV is hosting a Mount Rainier open house to meet Delegate Summers this Sunday, April 27, 4-6pm, at 3215 Perry Street. Please drop in for some or all of the event to meet Delegate Summers and hear his vision for environmental issues over the next four years in the General Assembly. There is no cost to attend the event.

Thanks and I hope to see you there!
Brent

PS For those who are wondering, LCV endorsements come out in multiple rounds and other endorsements in the 47th are still pending.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Cultural Arts EXPO

Thursday, April 03, 2014

BETTER BLOCK NIGHT RETURNS TO MOUNT RAINIER, MARYLAND

BETTER BLOCK NIGHT RETURNS TO MOUNT RAINIER, MARYLAND
Joe’s Movement Emporium and Art Lives Here team up for and community oriented, arts-centered evening at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and 34th Street

Mount Rainier, MD:  April 25th from 6 – 10 pm the Mount Rainier Circle and intersecting streets of Rhode Island Avenue and 34th street will come alive for one evening of music, workshops, parade, performances, open studios, arts activities, and more! This year Better Block will feature Lesole’s Dance Project, Urban Eats, Adinkra Cultural Arts Studio, Beloved Community Mosaics, artist Kenny George and Patrick McDonough’s Chard/Hops spot, a Hoop Jam by Noelle Powers to the body rollin’ tunes of BOOMscat and family friendly arts activities by local organizations.

BetterBlock.org calls the model of Better Block a “demonstration tool that acts as a living charrette so that communities can actively engage” with they spaces they call home. Art Lives Here partners the artist community with local businesses, two community development corporations, four cities, and Prince George’s County to increase regional visibility for the arts district and enliven our two-mile corridor using a mix of temporary and longer term projects to support existing small business, attract commercial in-fill, prepare for a new round of anchor developments, and further strengthen our diverse and streetwise creative communities. Funded by ArtPlace America’s creative placemaking grant, Art Lives Here seeks to empower community organizations and artists as activists for the Gateway Arts District.

For additional information about Art Lives Here, contact Neena Narayanan, Art Lives Here Coordinator, at Joe’s Movement Emporium, at Neena@joesmovement.org or 301-699-1819. Please visitwww.ArtLivesHereMD.wordpress.com and www.myGatewayArts.org to learn more about Art Lives Here and the Gateway Arts District.

#          #          #

Art Lives Here is a community collaboration facilitated by Joe’s Movement Emporium. Planning Partners include Gateway Community Development Corporation, Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Art Works Now, Red Dirt Studio, Joe’s Movement Emporium and Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council. The initiative is supported by ArtPlace America and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

--
Neena Narayanan
Art Lives Here/Marketing Coordinator
Joe's Movement Emporium
World Arts Focus
3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
301-699-1819
www.artlivesheremd.wordpress.com