County employees and community groups staged a car parade/walking protest past County Councilmember Hans Reimer’s Takoma Park residence on Saturday to show their displeasure with Reimer and five of his fellow councilmembers’ votes this past week on the County budget.

Reimer and the councilmembers voted against funding all parts of three county unions’ revised collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday morning, claiming that the agreements weren’t reasonable. Meanwhile, the Council voted to underwrite several nonessential projects and cut other expenditures for vital services that support and protect all county residents. They raised the ire of County employees and Community groups with their blatantly hypocritical claims of fiscal responsibility when the Council voted to allow several nonessential expenditures, including:

• A $54.9 million 980-ft. tunnel (see picture).
• $5 million to the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (which already has a $2 million reserve)
• $1.25 million telework fund with no demonstrated need or stipulations on who can get it or under what circumstances
• Guaranteed pay increases for themselves

All three County employee unions, Local 1994 MCGEO, Local 1664 IAFF (firefighters) and FOP Lodge 35 (police) re-negotiated their collective bargaining agreements after it became clear that the Covid-19 pandemic would have an outsized impact on county revenues. All three unions returned with significant revisions in their agreements to lessen the economic burden on the County. Rather than ask the three unions to reduce the burden even more, the Council voted down all economic enhancements in the agreements, including uniform allowances and incidental increases.

Council approved funding for a $54.9 million 980-ft. tunnel.