Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How Has the Recession Affected You?

I hear conflicting messages when I travel around the county. I get the sense that some folks continue to feel relatively unaffected by the recession while others are facing significant hardships. We know that income and property tax revenues are down throughout the County just like everywhere else. We also know that our non-profit organizations are facing record demands for assistance. So, what does that mean on a personal level? How has the souring economy affected you and your family?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

We're doing o.k. financally, but to be safe we cut back on housekeeping services. I feel guilty that I've passed my fears to someone who can afford it even less.

Anonymous said...

Our neighborhood has taken a huge hit, with property values dropping precipitously and foreclosures taking a toll on quality of life. (Who ever thought that you could buy a single-family home in MoCo for under $200k? Look no more, affordable housing is here!)
This, combined with real losses in financial security (401ks & money market) means a real decline in some sections of MoCo. The divide in the county is becoming larger and those in the traditionally "inclusive" portions of the county are paying a high price.

Ms. T said...

I am a single mother living in an expensive condo in MoCo. I have two kids in college and for the first time in three years, haven't been able to pay my rent this month, and utilities are getting ready to be off too. Forget the 401K and savings. That has been exhausted too. Although I haven't heard from my landlord, I know something is coming. Utilities are high and with paying tuition this month, I ran real short. Food is non-existent. It's tough and I do not forsee it getting any better anytime soon. I pray I live to see things get better. I know there are those that are worse off than I, so I continue trying to help where and when I can.

Anonymous said...

We are cutting back dramatically. The savings I have worked for 30 years to have for my children to go to college is gone. My oldest may have to leave school unless we can come up with funding. I have taken a second job just to hold on to what we have. Terrified I will be let go from my full-time job. Our savings are all gone. Without help from my parents, we wouldn't be able to pay our bills. I feel ashamed I can't give my kids what my parents gave me.

Anonymous said...

As a freelance worker I am now significantly under-employed and expect it to get worse. I thought I was nearing retirement, but the tremendous fall in the market means I may never get to retire. Quality Public Transit is very important. Ride-On should be expanded to the unserved parts of the county so we can be connected to the rest of the system. There should be a run between the Boyds and Germantown MARC stations so that they will more efficiently serve our needs. The train only stops here occasionally, and this would increase our options.

Anonymous said...

As Executive Director of Shepherd's Table, I see the need increasing on a regular basis. We have experienced a 33% increase in the number of people we serve at our dinner hour. We also see an increase in the number of people receiving services through our resource center. The calls from people who have never had to reach out to a social service agancy have also increased. Many say, "I never thought that I would need to ask for help." We are so grateful for the support that the community has provided to Shepherd's Table over the past 25 years. We want the community to know that with our gratitude comes an invitation for continued and increased support to meet the growing needs of the poor and folks experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County!

Anonymous said...

We are very lucky to have what we have but both my husband and I have postponed our retirement date and we will try to postpone sale of our house here until its value has recovered.
If it doesn't recover we will probably give our grown children an option to live in the house at low rent so they can get by.

Anonymous said...

My biggest fear is being able to retire at all. I was doing OK until I was laid off and unable to find a position for 15 months. Fortunately we had put away a reasonably sized rainy day fund and managed to avoiding dipping into the 401k plan.

But the 401k has lost significant value and my new job pays only 60% of what I was making before. It pays the mortgage but not much more so I am unable to add much to the retirement fund. And of course, the economy is still unsettled and the 401k continues to shrink.

Anonymous said...

Our small business is barely hanging on and our employees' families are suffering. Yet the county employee unions arrogantly continue to demand more and our elected officials appear too timid to stand up to them. Who speaks for the taxpayers that don't have the cozy access to the elected officials that the unions do?

Anonymous said...

I am retired. While I did get a modest Social Security increase, my 401K has lost close to 50%. I may have to go back to work just to pay the bills. That's if I can find a job. All frivolous spending, such as vacations, new car, new TV etc. has been stopped.

Anonymous said...

My sitution got worse when the County Council decided that the Citizens of Clarksburg needed to pay the developer $1,500 - $2,000 per year for 25 years through the development District tax that you imposed on us. Thank you, Councilmember Floreen! Between the Devleopment District and the falling house values through the economic times and the developement district tax you really hurt us. I was especially disappointed to hear your comments of "the people in Claksburg just need to move on." How can you be so unfeeling and uncaring in your actions and then put up a question like this, as if you really care?

I would add my name, but I don't trust you.

Constance said...

Like many of our other county residents, I have been laid off and worry about the prospects for another job.

Add to this the huge increase in property taxes by the county last year (and despite housing downtown, my appeal was not accepted), I am very concerned about keeping my house.

PLEASE have the assessment department recognize the downturn in housing. Just because we haven't had recent sales in our community doesn't mean the values are still increasing. They are not. But when the assessment dept continues to project housing increases, it damages our ability to pay the tax and removes our respect for county government.

At your budget hearings, DEMAND a reduction in the waste in county government. It is excessive (I know this from friends who work for the county). People are trying to scam our social service department and Leggett supports paying benefits from people who are not county residents.

ENOUGH!

Reduce the county programs to the essentials and relieve us from the burden of being the highest taxed county in the state.

Anonymous said...

I feel my job security is fairly good but I'd been starting a side business to supplement my pay.

It is a repair business so it should do even better in this depression that it would normally.

I am accelerating the rollout because of the anecdotes I'm hearing about people needing money. My services cost less so people can save money and I'll put a little cash in people's pockets. I'm not sure how much it helps, but I thought I'd share this point of view so others in a situation that favors opening a small business might take advantage and perhaps help our local economy at the same time.

Labor is available at very affordable rates, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Not good. Just about everyone I know is struggling. I am from a rural area so people who have jobs most likely still have them but there is zero job growth. My college degree is virtualy worthless.