UPPER MARLBORO, Md.
According to WUSA9, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker met privately late Monday afternoon with community leaders from Fort Washington to explain his side of an embarrassing budget situation that has produced a new $14 million dollar county police station with no funding for the officers to occupy it upon completion.
The meeting was held at the county administration building in Upper Marlboro, according to Baker spokesman Scott Peterson.
Early in 2015, Baker proposed a budget that called for countywide furloughs of county workers and layoffs for some, while leaving enough money to staff the new District VII police station now near completion on Fort Washington Road.
The Prince George’s County Council rejected that proposal and instead called for a 2 percent cut to all departments countywide. That left police with insufficient funds for the station, according to chief Mark Magaw.
Baker vetoed the budget, but the council overrode him.
Meanwhile, crime in the area of the District VII station has been declining, according to Peterson.
The situation is part of the fallout over a bitter year in Prince George’s between the County Executive and the County Council, which rejected Baker’s bold plan to raise taxes 15 percent to fund a turnaround of the school system.
County Council Chairman Mel Franklin said delaying the opening of the station is “disrespectful” to those communities that had lobbied for it for 15 years and were eager to see it open in September 2015.
The budget finally adopted by the council raised taxes 4 percent despite the cuts that were made.
- >>> Read more Prince George’s built a police station, but says it can’t afford to open it.
- >>> wusa9