Saturday, February 16, 2013
Two politicians from the county may face-off in a race for the state's seat.
Of course, nothing is set in stone just yet, but with phrases like "80 percent sure" and "pragmatism and practicality" being floated around, it is possible that Montgomery County may be home to a hot race in the 2014 Pennsylvania governor's race. Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor has not put a percentage on his desire to enter the race, but has said he is keeping a close eye on the current governor, Tom Corbett's actions in the second half of his term. "I'm not going to run just to make a splash. I want Pennsylvania to go down the right path," Castor said in an interview with Pennsylvania Cable Network, covered by Patch in January. "I want Pennsylvania to be a conservative state, but with pragmatism and practicality. I don't see …
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Commissioner Bruce Castor will be featured in an upcoming episode of 'Cold Blood' detailing the case of the 1996 General Wayne Inn murder.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Editor's note: The following information was provided by the Montgomery County Office of Communications. When Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. was the district attorney in Montgomery County, he prosecuted many cases, but few generated more attention than his successful prosecution of Guy Sileo. Sileo, the co-owner of the General Wayne Inn in Merion, was convicted of killing his business partner, Jim Webb, at the restaurant on Dec. 27, 1996. This Thursday, May 3 at 9 p.m., Castor will be featured in an episode of Cold Blood detailing the murder, the investigation and the prosecution of Sileo. The show runs on the Discovery ID channel (channel 111 on Comcast and channel 123 on Verizon. Find the TV Guide listing here.) …
Friday, February 3, 2012
A June deadline looms.
Commissioner Bruce Castor was selected Thursday morning to chair a new ad hoc committee that will help select and design a replacement for the county's aging public safety radio system. The committee includes Patrick Doyle, deputy chief of the Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lower Merion. "The ability of our county's first responders to communicate is of the utmost importance and must be considered by this board carefully and deliberately," Board Chairman Josh Shapiro said. Castor said he reached out to police chiefs, EMS departments, paid and volunteer firefighters, fire police, municipal governments, and other public safety officials while forming the committee. [A full committee roster is at the bottom of this article.] "I wanted to …
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The show will be on the Investigation Discovery channel.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Hoeffel 'optimistic' but 'not sure' that final budget could be approved Wednesday.
Montgomery County Commissioners are “making progress” on closing the $44 million shortfall in the 2012 operating budget, said Chairman Joseph Hoeffel on Tuesday. “We hope to have a budget to present [at tomorrow's regular monthly commissioners' meeting],” said Hoeffel, during the tentative agenda public meeting. Commissioners are meeting individually with county staff and Randy Schaible, the county’s chief financial officer, looking for ways to compromise and crunch numbers on the proposed $384.4 million budget. During Tuesday’s meeting, Hoeffel asked his fellow commissioners if they would like to comment on the budget. Commissioner James Matthews shared his budget wish list: Hoeffel suggested that the commissioners “fully fund” the …
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The short-term loan would fund the first quarter of 2012.
For the first time in a decade, the Montgomery County Commissioners plan to take out a tax anticipation note to fund expenses through the first quarter of 2012, officials said during Thursday’s meeting. Although the amount is yet to be finalized, county CFO Randy Schaible told the board he estimated that $25 million would be needed. “Every year we have a major dip in cash,” Schaible said. “We had $40 million at the beginning of this year and we just squeaked through.” Commissioner Chairman Joe Hoeffel said the county is projected to have $20 million in its coffers come January. Since tax revenues don’t start trickling in until March, the short-term loan – which would be repaid by the end of 2012 – is necessary, he said. Schaible, alluding …
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Parks, library move off chopping block but cuts still likely; 14.5 percent tax hike proposed
A county budget compromise that includes both a tax hike and some funding cuts seemed increasingly likely Wednesday as the Montgomery County Commissioners continued to back away from a posted preliminary budget that would have gutted county government while eliminating funding for parks, the county library system, and other programs. As drafted, the new approach would increase county property taxes by 3.085 mills, up 14.5 percent from the current rate of 2.695 mills. The average Montgomery County property tax bill would increase by about $66 per year. The new tax revenue would be complemented by a 5.3 percent cut in general county expenditures and appropriations. Rather than being eliminated, the Parks and Heritage Services department …
Monday, December 12, 2011
James Matthews is expected to participate in the process.
The clock is ticking for Montgomery County to finalize its 2012 operating budget and the county government will be holding a series of public meetings over the next two weeks to achieve that goal, County Commissioner Joseph Hoeffel said Monday. Hoeffel indicated that a county tax increase was likely to figure prominently in the discussions after commissioners received more than 4,000 public comments objecting to massive program cuts in the preliminary budget announced Nov. 30. "We had 300 people in a public meeting who stood up and asked us to raise their taxes," Hoeffel said, referring to last week's public hearing on the budget. Matthews Expected to Participate Public meetings will be held in the 8th floor boardroom at One Montgomery …
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Many voice support for tax increase to cover budget shortfall.
If the program-slashing preliminary budget the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners posted last week was intended to elicit a reaction from the public, it seems to have worked. Residents packed a county courtroom in Norristown on Wednesday for a public hearing on the budget, some waiting in line for up to three hours to speak to commissioners Joe Hoeffel and Bruce Castor on the importance of the county parks department, library system, Montgomery County Community College, and other institutions threatened by funding cuts in the proposed $384.4 million operating budget. Having already moved the Board of Commissioners meeting to the courthouse from its usual venue in the eighth floor boardroom of One Montgomery Plaza in Norristown, …
Thursday, December 1, 2011
On the chopping block: the parks department and library services.
Montgomery County residents may yet avoid a tax increase for 2012, but only at the cost of massive reductions or eliminations of iconic county services and amenities. A $384.8 million preliminary operating budget for 2012 would eliminate the county’s parks department and planning commission, while slashing or ending appropriations to the county library system, the Elmwood Park Zoo, Montgomery County Community College, and other institutions. The budget, which was approved for advertisement Wednesday by the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, “would change county government as we know it,” according to James Maza, the county’s deputy chief operating officer. Proposed tax increase: $130 per homeowner If taxes are not increased, the …