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Prince George's Wants Say in Fed Funds

Rosalind Helderman

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson, members of the County Council, and county delegates and senators met with Gov. Martin O'Malley behind closed doors this morning in Annapolis.

Their message: We want a say in how to distribute federal funds approved as part of a stimulus package proposed by President-elect Barack Obama.

Still smarting from massive cuts in state funding for road projects which they felt hit Prince George's harder than other counties, the Prince Georgians apparently told O'Malley they would like to help draw up a list of county road projects that could be funded with the new federal dollars, if and when they are approved.

Emerging from the meeting, Johnson told our colleague Lisa Rein that the priority would be projects that could get underway within 180 days, followed by those ready to go in two to three years.

"We wanted to emphasize to the governor that we want to work internally to determine which roads are designed to foster economic development and place a priority on those," Johnson said. "We're emphasizing that we have a tremendous role to play."

On another topic, Johnson declined to answer questions about his recent trip to Africa, but indicated his staffers are putting together information about the trip, including how it was funded, and the information would be released this afternoon. He said he wants to be transparent about the trip.

But this afternoon, Johnson's spokesman James P. Keary said no information would be released today, and that Johnson would not answer questions about the trip until Thursday.

Johnson returned this weekend from a two week trade mission to Africa. His aides have so far been unable to give a complete list of county employees who accompanied him, an itinerary that includes all the countries visited nor confirm whether taxpayers financed the trip.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  December 16, 2008; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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It looks like Lisping Jack needs more time to get his lies straight about his secret junket. Now we'll see how he tries to cover up and disguise the fact that PG county taxpayers are footing the bill for his African vacation. Bwaaahaaaa.

Posted by: checkered1 | December 16, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

If AFRICA were going to SAVE Prince George's County, or Johnson were going to save AFRICA, Jack B. Nimble would have ANNOUNCED it at the AIRPORT.

Posted by: properbostonian1 | December 16, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I live in Prince George's County and I am sick and tired of seeing our politicians take our hard earned tax dollars and spend it on lavish vacations. Then come back and try to justify why it was so crucial to visit a country that no business with Prince George’s, MD. We need to wake up and vote him out of office. Even if he did pay for the trip, who is paying his salary??? I’m am sure he is not using vacation or personal leave or taking a work furlough. I am pretty sure our county employees are just shaking their head right about now, wondering how they will pay their pay their bills. Thanks Mr. Johnson, money well spent, I hope you enjoyed your trip !!!!

Posted by: tony_washington | December 17, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Why don't Mr. Johnson draw up his road project plans and send them to Africa. Since he has business ties there, he should not have to request Federal Funds. He should be able to get the funding from Africa. Am I missing something here???

Posted by: tony_washington | December 17, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

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