The value of a Prince George's 'prerogative'
The Feb. 4 editorial “Draining the swamp in Prince George’s County” used flawed logic when it cited a number of scandals, none of which involved County Council members, and then criticized current council members for wanting to keep “prerogatives” that saddled the county with its poor image. The one dubious scandal connection involves Leslie Johnson, who was charged by the FBI before she took her seat on the council. But as soon as she did, the council stripped her of prerogatives related to development.
The editorial did not show any understanding of what it is like to live in Prince George’s County, where our eagerness for development often results in plans that are inconsistent with those of surrounding communities. In my 17 years here, the planning board has not once informed me of development plans that would affect my community. But my County Council member has frequently alerted the community to such plans. And the council’s reviews of development proposals have frequently resulted in concessions that benefited schools, transportation and public safety, not individuals or limited groups.
The County Council is the one body that has shown interest and initiative in protecting the interests of communities from well-funded developers, yet the editorial favored denying us this process because of “what’s whispered and rumored” about council members. Until our planning process becomes accountable to our citizens, we need our elected council members to be able to review development plans.
Substantiate the whispers and rumors. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Todd Reitzel, Beltsville
| February 7, 2011; 7:32 PM ET
Categories: HotTopic, Maryland, Prince George's County
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