Tag Archives: County Council

Democratic party machine in Maryland set for major losses in 2018 after coverups.

IMG_0351Here is a poster which will cost the Democratic Party in Maryland dearly in 2018. Unless Democratic Party machine in Maryland does something to change the perseption, Mr. Baker appears determined to go down with the entire Democratic Party system in Maryland after engaging in a series of misleading posts such as the one shown above.

Everybody knows Mr. Baker did not fight corruption. If anything, he promoted and covered up serious issues to the detriment of Prince George’s county. There continues to be major political violations including promotion of candidates with ties to corruption and corrupt networks such Mr. Calvin Hawkins. (See post below) Money disappeared under Mr. Hawkins and then covered up, yet he wants to be elected for at large seat in 2018. How is that going to happen without accountability? In this paper, we study candidate self-selection with respect to two dimensions of character: public spirit, which is defined as altruism toward other citizens, and honesty, which is defined as susceptibility to corruption. Those two characteristics impact the quality of governance, defined as the net benefit the representative citizen derives from the public sector. In our model, citizens who run for office may hope to benefit from both legitimate compensation (salary and ego-rents) and illicit compensation (contributions or bribes from interest groups). Moreover, dishonest citizens extract greater rents from holding office because of special interest politics. As a result, the citizens with the greatest incentive to run for office are those who are maximally dishonest, and either maximally or minimally public-spirited.

On another note, Others online feel that, Mr. Baker should retire and spend more time caring for his wife who has been sick. (See posts below). Either way, if Mr. Baker is going to be in the ballot for any position in the next several months, watch this space, the Maryland Democratic machine in Maryland will suffer loses never seen before. They will pay the price for cover up of corruption in multiple areas starting with the school systems.

The problem for Democrats is not money, Trump, or, even as some suggest, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The problem for Democrats is they suffer from a cultural detachment as shown in this case here or in the recent elections in the South and areas of the Midwest and now promotion of candidates such as Mr. Baker in Maryland. Until they are willing to accept candidates that don’t adhere to left-wing orthodoxy promulgated by the party at the national level, they’ll keep losing, just like they did in Georgia and South Carolina.

Contrary to the false narrative many helped build about people who live in the south, many of them are not the all-encompassing right-wing fanatics people make them out to be. They are sympathetic to Democratic positions on issues such as healthcare, entitlements and the economy.

Trump won big in the South because he stressed economic issues above all else, but he aligned himself with voters on cultural issues such as abortion and the Second Amendment. People in the South have concerns with trade practices, NAFTA and the lack of manufacturing jobs. But they also have guns to protect their homes and go to the range from time to time to shoot. They also sympathize with the unborn, and when Democrats condescendingly dismiss their concerns with a finger wag or adhere to Pelosi-held viewpoints, they look to Republicans.

Democratic Party in Maryland has been making positive statements on the surface and then doing the complete opposite is what will bring the party down hard. For example,.. …”Democrats know that achieving the American dream requires strong public schools that level the playing field for young people regardless of income, gender or race. And it requires an open heart and warm welcome to immigrants who seek opportunity to work and become Americans in our land of opportunity. Those are the values we will celebrate this holiday weekend at picnics, parades, and family parties all across our beautiful state of Maryland.” …. Those who are in touch with reality knows the opposite of this statement to be true.

Democrats have to change how they recruit candidates to run for offices in Maryland, the south and midwest. If they keep using the same playbook, there will be plenty of moral victories, but it will be Republicans taking oaths of office as the democratic party shrinks in numbers never seen before.

more to come.

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Md. politician Mel Franklin has wrecked a government vehicle before

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Prince George’s County Council member Mel Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro) was charged with driving under the influence in an injury crash on Nov. 21. (Mark Gail/For The Washington Post)

By Arelis R. Hernández December 1 at 7:22 PM

Prince George’s County Council member Mel Franklin, who was charged with driving under the influence last week in a crash that injured two people, also damaged another government vehicle on two separate occasions four years ago, according to county records.

Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro) totaled a county-owned Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle in a distracted-driving crash in 2012, the records show, two months after banging up the same vehicle in an incident that he did not report to police.

The more serious collision involved Franklin rear-ending a car on the Beltway and resulted in more than $33,000 in repair costs and losses to the government, according to damage reports. Neither crash was reported to the public when it occurred.

Franklin was behind the wheel of another county-issued SUV last week, late on the night of Nov. 21, when he allegedly plowed into the back of a sedan on Pennsylvania Avenue near Forestville. The driver and passenger from the sedan went to the hospital. Police said no one else was in Franklin’s vehicle.

The second-term council member was charged with driving under the influence after state troopers tested him and found he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10, greater than the legal limit of 0.08. Police said Franklin was about 70 yards away from the Ford Explorer, in the median of the roadway, when they arrived at the scene.

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This car was allegedly struck by an SUV driven by Prince George’s Council member Mel Franklin on Nov. 21. (TWP)

Franklin, 41, has not responded to repeated requests for comment. His attorney also declined to answer questions.

In Prince George’s County, lawmakers can be assigned a full-time car from the county’s fleet of vehicles, or seek a travel stipend to cover the cost of driving their own cars on official business. The county vehicles are for work-related travel and incidental personal use.

County Council spokeswoman Karen Campbell said Thursday that because of his driving record, Franklin will no longer have access to the fleet.

The lawmaker was issued an SUV when he was elected to office in 2010, according to Roland Jones, director of the county’s Office of Central Services. On Oct. 5, 2012, he was involved in a crash that damaged the SUV’s front end and grill but was not reported to police. It cost the county about $1,500 to fix the vehicle.

On Dec. 5 of that year, about 7:30 p.m., Franklin slammed the SUV into the back of a GMC Yukon on the Beltway. He told state troopers “he took his eyes off the road for a moment” to change the radio station and did not receive a citation.

The county’s body shop declared the vehicle a “total loss,” which cost the government $33,171.92 to replace, according to documents provided to The Washington Post.

Neither Franklin nor his attorney have said where he was headed at the time of each of the collisions.

Franklin at that point began to use his personal vehicle, Jones said. In May of this year, he asked for a county vehicle and was issued the SUV that was involved in the crash that led to the drunken-driving charge.

Campbell, the council spokeswoman, would not say whether Franklin needed approval to be assigned the SUV.

Franklin isn’t the first Prince George’s elected official to get in trouble while driving a county-owned vehicle. In 2012, council member Karen R. Toles (D-Suitland) was clocked going more than 100 mph on the Beltway and charged with reckless driving. She avoided getting points on her driver’s license by agreeing to be sentenced to probation before judgment after a two-hour trial before Anne Arundel District Court Judge Megan Johnson.

Toles still uses a take-home vehicle, Campbell said, as do council members Andrea C. Harrison (D-Springdale), Obie Patterson (D-Fort Washington), Todd M. Turner (D-Bowie) and Mary A. Lehman (D-Laurel). Council Chair Derrick Leon Davis (D-Mitchellville), vice-chair Dannielle M. Glaros (D-Riverdale Park) and council member Deni Taveras (D-Adelphi) receive the automobile allowance, Campbell said.

Other Washington-area jurisdictions appear to have more stringent policies on when elected lawmakers can use government vehicles.

Members of the Montgomery County Council drive their own cars and are reimbursed for mileage, officials there said. In Arlington County, board members and the appointed county manager have access to the county’s fleet of vehicles on an as-needed basis, for county business only, spokeswoman Mary Curtius said.

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors do not have full-time access to vehicles but can reserve a car if needed for government business or work-related trips. The District of Columbia has a pool of two cars and a van that the 13-member council and its staffers share for official business only.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who has a government-issued car and driver, said he has limited the number of people in the executive branch who have access to the fleet. He added that his administration does not police the council.

“It’s clearly within their purview to make the rules,” Baker said. “I think they’ll look at the policies now and see if they need to be changed.”

via Washington post. 

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Baker holds private meeting to explain police station foul up

rushern-baker-head-111010wMr. Rushern Baker III has been under pressure to perform and denounce corruption in the county 

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.

 “There was zero communication with the community,” said Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro), whose district would have been served by the station.

The budget finally adopted by the council raised taxes 4 percent despite the cuts that were made.

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Prince George’s built a police station, but says it can’t afford to open it.

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Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III is delaying, for financial reasons, the opening of a Fort Washington-area police station that has been in the works for more than a decade.

Construction of the District VII station is nearly complete, and a commander for the station, which would cover the southern region of the county, has been selected.

But officials said that because of constraints in the budget passed by the County Council this spring, no officers will be available to staff the station this fiscal year.

The decision has angered residents who advocated for the project and has prompted sharp criticism from County Council members, who accused Baker (D) of taking unilateral action.

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.

 “There was zero communication with the community,” said Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro), whose district would have been served by the station.

Aides to Baker placed the blame on county lawmakers and on cuts they made to the budget proposed by Baker.

“It’s funny, because it’s like they are blaming the weather man,” said Baker’s budget chief, Thomas Himler. “We told the [council] it was going to rain, and now it’s raining.”

Baker’s budget included a double-digit tax increase to generate money for public schools, and layoffs and furloughs for county workers to offset a separate shortfall in operating revenue. The council rejected his spending plan, opting for a smaller tax increase and doing away with the layoffs and furloughs. It also proposed setting aside 2 percent of every agency’s budget for contingency funds.

Baker vetoed that budget, warning that the council’s proposal would, among other things, defer the opening of the police station and trigger the cancellation of police recruiting classes. But the council overrode Baker’s veto.

“We were very clear,” Himler said. “They chose to ignore that, and we moved forward. What did they think they were voting on?”

Aides say Baker had not yet publicized the decision not to open the station, which was first reported by WRC-TV (Channel 4), because he has not finalized the spending cuts he is making to comply with the budget passed by the council.

Prince George’s Police Chief Mark Magaw said in a statement that, though the department is eager to open the station, “cuts are preventing us from hiring new officers at a rate faster than current officers will retire.”

For now, officers from Oxon Hill and Clinton will continue to work in the southern region, which includes Fort Washington, Brandywine and Accokeek.

“From a citizen’s point of view, it seems kind of ridiculous,” said 40-year county resident Larry Carbaugh, pointing out that construction of the station is already paid for. “To say it is going to be there but we’re not going to staff it is childish. . . . It sounds like little kids playing games.”

Legislators say they may consider using contingency funds to save the station.

“Our partnership has fallen apart,” said council member Obie Patterson (D-Fort Washington). Baker “has to understand this is not a county that operates under one branch. It’s all of us.”

>>>Washington Post 

>>>Fort Washington residents, politicos demand Pr. George’s open police station

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Bitter budget battle in Prince George’s ends with Rushern Baker waving a white flag. He surrenders finally.

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By Arelis R. Hernández June 19 at 5:25 PM
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) announced Friday that he will accept the 2016 operating budget approved by the County Council and not challenge it in court, bringing an end to the most bitter battle he has waged with the council since taking office.

In a statement, Baker said he decided to put the interests of county residents “ahead of a lengthy and divisive legal process” surrounding a section of county law that he and the council interpreted differently.

The litigation would have fostered “uncertainty and disharmony,” the statement said.

The council rejected Baker’s proposal for a 15-percent hike in the property tax rate to generate more funds for public schools. Baker then vetoed parts of the budget passed by the council, demanding a tax rate hike of 11.45 percent. But the council overrode that veto and stuck with a 4-percent property tax rate hike — the first in Prince George’s in more than three decades — and a 1.5-cent increase in the park and planning tax.

Baker went on a countywide tour this spring to drum up support for his proposal to raise taxes dramatically to generate $133 million for public schools. He argued that better schools would boost home prices, attract new families and businesses and improve the county’s regional competitiveness.

But he failed to convince residents or win cooperation from lawmakers. The council passed an alternative budget that cut most of the Baker’s new initiatives and eliminated proposed furloughs and layoffs.

Baker then said that the county was barred by law from adjusting his proposed budget by more than 1 percent — a contention that council members said was ludicrous.

In his statement, Baker said the controversy over school funding was evidence that “we are very passionate about this place we call home.”

via Washington Post

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Prince George’s County Council overturns county executive’s budget veto

 Court battle is ‘next step’ on spending plan

CHqw0cVWIAEVGJqCounty Executive Rushern Baker III is seen above standing next to a funny sign concerning vetoed Budget and challenging the county council.  (the entire sign is pictured below).

In a hastily scheduled late-night session Tuesday, the Prince George’s County Council voted 8-0 to override the county executive’s budget veto, and the matter will likely be decided in court.

“The county attorney [M. Andree Green] was very clear that she considers the budget illegal, and so the next step is to go to litigation,” said Scott Peterson, spokesman for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D).

County Council Chairman Mel Franklin (D-Dist. 9) of Upper Marlboro said in a statement emailed after the vote that the county executive’s threat of litigation was an effort to force the council to impose a tax increase.

“The stunning prospect of the County Executive essentially suing this Council, and thus the nearly 900,000 residents we represent, would be self-destructive, self-defeating and irresponsible, especially given the major economic opportunities this county is pursuing,” Franklin said in the statement.

On Monday, Baker announced his veto of the County Council’s approved budget because it violated the county charter, claiming he was legally obligated to do so.

“I have been advised by the county attorney not to sign this legislation because it is in violation of the county charter,” Baker said.

At issue is a 15.6 percent property tax increase in Baker’s proposed budget to fund education. Prince George’s County property taxes are capped, but Baker has cited a 2012 law passed by the state General Assembly that allows counties to raise revenues above tax caps as long as the funds are mandated for education. An opinion from the state Attorney General’s Office has stated that the state law supersedes the county charter.

On May 28, the County Council approved a budget that included a property tax increase for education of only 4 percent.

Baker’s said that Section 809 of the county charter allows the County Council to adjust the revenue estimates in the county executive’s proposed budget by no more than 1 percent.

“The changes the County Council approved in adopting the budget have reduced the revenues in my proposed budget by 2.5 percent,” Baker said.

Thomas Himler, Baker’s chief budget officer, said that a reduction in line with a 1 percent revenue decrease would require a real property tax increase of 11.45 cents per $100 assessed value, or 11.9 percent.

Hyattsville resident Judy Robinson of the tax cap advocacy nonprofit PG Tax Watch said that both the council’s actions and the county executive’s veto are violations of the spirit, if not the letter, of the voter-imposed property tax caps.

“As far as I’m concerned, none of this is legal,” Robinson said. “Whether it’s 15 cents or 11 cents or four cents, whatever they approve, we the voters would have to respond to it by charter amendment or referendum vote.”

Robinson said she thought it was ironic Baker was using the county charter to defend a tax increase that goes against the county charter.

“I think Mr. Baker is grasping at straws,” Robinson said. “His lawyers in Upper Marlboro are up there searching the charter to find any way to make this sound legal.”

Barbara Michelman of Cheverly, a proponent of Baker’s initial tax proposal for education, said she is very frustrated with the way the budget process has played out, and the apparent lack of communication between the county executive and the council.

“We need people to put their personalities and their egos to the side and come to the table to work out an agreement, and do what is right for the children,” Michelman said.

Additionally, Prince George’s county citizenry should not be confused as sleeping on the wheel even though some appears to be! When Mr. Baker took office in 2010, the county had over $100 million in surplus. What happened to that money? The county citizenry and the County council ought to be asking tough questions to Mr. Baker on how the county end up with $62.5 million deficit and which is growing. Unless we make the county leadership accountable and demand answers, it is going to be a vicious cycle for many years to come. The same goes for millions mismanaged by the Prince George’s county Public Schools under Kevin Maxwell and Mr. Baker’s brother in Law Mr. Segun.

Lastly, Prince George’s County citizenry believe that, Mr. Baker made a case for a 15% increase in the tax rate when they already pay a higher rate than much wealthier Montgomery County. There is no doubt that, Mr. Baker undertook a valiant but likely doomed effort to generate substantial new revenue for the chronically underfunded Prince George’s school system. However, Many people in the county think that,  the school budget could use some serious reexamination. Why on earth does Superintendent Maxwell, who is paid $300,000, have a chauffeur-driven, county-provided car? On that salary–not to mention his $1,000,000 signing bonus—yes, one million dollars, he can surely pay for his own car and drive it himself. Above all, many of his bureaucrats hired recently to the tune of millions of dollars without accountability are now using consultants— yes, consultants to do their jobs. Many reporters in the Washington DC area have not picked up the injustice and the inequality on these issues within the county.

This report was written by Jamie Anfenson-Comeau of the Gazette and PGCPSMESS contributed.

Read more >>> It’s an official big mess in Prince George’s County

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income_inequalityCHjoF9DUEAAUDEvThis is the sign in which Rushern Baker III is sticking to his argument. Everyone We have talked to including our followers in the  blogs has called this Pr. George’s budget process the most bizarre and protracted in history of the county due to lack of transparency and proper public input on both sides. Mr. Baker announced budget vetoes yesterday (June 16th, 2015). The county council followed suit claiming supremacy and independence and vetoed every line Mr. Baker overruled. PRINCE-large

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It’s an official big mess in Prince George’s County

Tax debates highlight community concerns

rushern-baker-head-111010wMr. Rushern Baker –The current County Executive for Prince George’s County is known not to be a man of his word according to Prince George’s County NAACP Chapter and is deeply involved in the scandal comprising Dr. kevin Maxwell 

Kudos to the Prince George’s County Council for the recent reaction and veto concerning tax hikes advanced by the Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III. However, on Monday June 15th, 2015, Mr. Rushern L. Baker III announced  that he will veto parts of the budget approved by the County Council, restoring most of the tax increases that lawmakers rejected and setting up a possible legal showdown between the two branches of government. The County Council approved tax increase that would benefit the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission and teacher retirement system which was meant to help stop the fiasco to some degree.

While the parks system is valuable, priorities should dictate that additional revenue go to county schools which has no accountability mechanism to the determent of the county citizenry. According to Mr. Baker, the county schools need much more resources.  Mr. Baker repeated an assertion made by his aides last week that the council acted illegally when it cut much of his proposed 15-cent property tax hike.

While Baker’s rationale for the veto makes sense to some degree, his criticism of the council’s actions spotlights concerns that exist in his own office, as well. According to some county parents who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation, they stated that the county ranks in the top five in the nation on per capita spending on school children. The funding is already more than adequate. In any case, money is not the problem and raising taxes to hire more administrators, relatives, and politically-connected contractors is not going to improve school performance. Mr. Baker and the council needs to focus on the money being wasted at Sasscer Administrative Building in Upper Marlboro. Dr. Kevin Maxwell either needs to be reigned in to do the right thing or resign his position.

In any event, in a letter to council Chairman Mel Franklin (See attached below), Baker explains that the council did not “sufficiently inform the public” about the increase. Franklin says the budget meeting was open to the public and a video of the meeting was online, but Baker is right. The council should have made a more significant effort to alert residents about plans to raise the tax and sought their input. It’s the same criticism Baker faced when he decided to overhaul the school board in 2013 with a personal motive, only a few weeks left in the legislative session and little opportunity for input from residents.

Sufficient time must be allotted for community involvement in such important decisions, whether they are made by the council or the county executive.

Baker’s letter also mentions that the council’s lack of public engagement prevented discussions on the “propriety of such an increase.” He mentions that the council didn’t extend the “same courtesy” he provided to residents by hosting community forums as he sought to increase property taxes by 15.6 percent.

What Baker fails to mention, however, is that the increase he was seeking was a slap in the face to county residents who felt blindsided by his proposal. The county has a decades-old, voter-imposed tax cap that Baker circumvented using a fairly recent state law that allows him to override county rules if the tax hike benefits schools. The county tax cap did not apply to M-NCPPC’s funding.

So while it’s wonderful that Baker took a community approach to his proposed tax hike, many questioned the “propriety” and “courtesy” of his efforts, as well.

Additionally, if a County Council cannot alter/amend a budget submitted by the county executive who is on his last term, we do not live in a democracy! The County Council needs to play it’s rightful role and put Mr. Baker on the spotlight instead of the other way around.

The only thing that appears clear in this whole taxing mess is that county leaders clearly aren’t on the same page regarding priorities, and both branches need to work harder to ensure taxpayers — those footing the bill for such major decisions — become a critical part of the process on a consistent basis.

On this note, as we have said it before more than a year ago today, and will keep saying it. The Democratic’s choice for County Executive in Prince George’s at the moment is appalling. It’s like letting a snake enter your house and bite your child’s buttock as you watch. (Read more ~ Major Scandal underway)

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Prince George’s County Council led Mr. Mel Franklin must do the right thing and Keep the County Executive in proper Check. 

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“There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things we now know that we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know” – Donald Henry Rumsfeld, US Diplomat.

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County Council wants more assurances from school system before approving increased budget

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UPPER MARLBORO – Although Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) officials have promised to hold themselves accountable if County Executive Rushern Baker III’s budget proposal passes, some members of the County Council remain unconvinced.

At a council worksession last Wednesday to discuss the school system’s budget, schools officials promised accountability in the form of annual report cards. The school system is slated to receive $1.93 billion in Baker’s proposed budget, which includes a $133 million increase from the county. In order to fund the increase, Baker has proposed raising the real property tax rate by 15 percent—above the charter limit. He also proposed raising the county’s personal property tax rate from $2.40 to $2.78 per $100 of assessed value. Telecommunication taxes will be raised from 8 percent to 12 percent on top of those increases.

But Councilwoman Mary Lehman said the school system has not done a good job of convincing the council and constituents that the increases are necessary. She said the school system and the Board of Education have done a lackluster job when discussing the budget with residents at town hall meetings. She also criticized school system officials’ time commitment after PGCPS CEO Kevin Maxwell left a worksession early a couple weeks before, which angered Councilwoman Karen Toles at the time.

“We need you to stay here when you come here for as long as you possibly can and if we need you to come back then you need to come back,” Lehman said. “I was the first councilmember to have a town hall meeting on this and Mr. (Segun) Eubanks came. And, frankly, I don’t think he was a good emissary for this. He came with no formal presentation.”

Constituents were really annoyed with Eubanks being unprepared, Lehman said, and were not sold on Maxwell’s plan with no presentation.

Toles agreed that the school system and Maxwell need to be held accountable because the council is not asking for money from the school system.

“We’re not asking for $2 billion dollars—you are,” Toles said. “Be here. Be accountable. We all have late nights. Some of us even get sick. This is an important topic and an important discussion. We have to balance the budget for the tax payers and make sure we’re using their money right.”

During the worksession, Toles said she wants to make sure that each and every school in the county gets the same benefits and that the increased funding would not just reach schools in certain areas of the county. Toles questioned officials on why they have not implemented International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) programs at the feeder schools for Suitland High School, even though Suitland has an IB program.

There is a “major problem” with Maxwell’s strategic plan. Toles said, because it does not improve the schools in her district.

“What I’m concerned about is improving my community,” Toles said. “You have Suitland High School that has been an IB school for a long time but you do not extend IB programs to elementary and middle schools there.”

While she is supportive of language-immersion programs, Toles said students need opportunities to develop in educational programs that can help them succeed.

“I feel like we are dumbing down my community by not giving them a chance with those programs,” Toles said.

Maxwell said before he arrived in the school system, there were no IB programs. It is the school system’s intention to develop a support structure for every high school program they have, he said, through middle and elementary school education.

“It takes funding and training to do those things,” Maxwell said. “The expansion of IB programs, over time, will take place.”

Toles said it is not fair to some programs and services in certain parts of the county and not others. She requested information from the school system about when it would place an IB program in her elementary and middle schools. Monica Goldson, the chief operating officer of PGCPS, said the county has slated to put IB programs at Suitland Elementary school and William Hall Academy and could provide Toles with a list of other schools slated to get IB programs. However, as of Tuesday Toles said she had not received any information from the school system.

Along with report cards, County Council members said they want to ensure the school system spends money where it says it will. While the County Council approves the school system’s budget allocation, it cannot determine how the school system spends its money.

The school system will send out an annual report card to parents to notify them about how the schools are improving, Maxwell said. The school system has promised to improve its standardized test scores, graduation rate and dropout rate. The school system’s goal is to get into the state’s top 10 by 2020.

“We actually have thought about sending that out with the kids when they get their report cards. We are trying to get a handle on how long it will take to get data back from the state for this,” Maxwell said. “Different accountability pieces come at different times.”

The school system must wait for the state to certify some of their performance numbers before they are put out to the public, Maxwell said, and that can be a potential issue.

Councilman Obie Patterson asked for the school system to clearly identify what numbers it will use to audit its performance. Everyone has different performance standards, Patterson said, but the performance standards for the school system are not clear. Patterson’s constituents are saying the school system has gotten money before, he said, but they have not seen any results.

The accountability for the school system will come through council and the county government, said Monique Davis, deputy superintendent. Because the council approves additional funding, Davis said, councilmembers will be the ones who will hold the school system accountable.

“It comes through our partnerships. Through our partnership with the county council, you guys are going to hold us accountable. I think that’s what you can tell your constituents,” Davis said.

Councilwoman Andrea Harrison said the school system has put council members in a tough position by balancing education needs with increasing taxes on residents without any insurances for positive results.

“You have asked us to put a significant tax increase on the residents in this county. In my opinion, and I think in the opinion of the people of this county, we have not proven that we are making progress,” Harrison said.

The school system will not stop asking for increases, Harrison said, but if there are no results, she said, it will be difficult to continue to give increases if there are no results to show any progress.

“Your children can’t come to you and ask for increases in their allowance if they are not doing something that you can see is worth them getting an increase in their allowance,” Harrison said.

via Prince George’s county Sentinelpgcps_logoPRINCE-large

PG County Ready for BOE applications.

FINAL_IMG_3170-Edit-B-497x640Apr 20, 2013 03:45 PM EDT

The Washington PostPublished: April 20

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) and the County Council are accepting applications for four new appointed positions on the Board of Education, county officials announced Saturday.

State lawmakers expanded the nine-member elected school board under a compromise bill that also allows Baker to hire the county’s next schools chief. Read more ~~~> school board positions

70% of the voters interviewed in PG County approve the job the County Executive Baker and other elected officials in Annapolis are doing. Let us support him and the county council to help select the right candidates,  the right next BOE Chair and the vice Chair person respectfully to help make proper changes.  Any choices excluding Verjeana Jacobs (her husband David is the package) as a leader in PGCPS is a greater advantage for our children. Kudos to the Maryland General assembly and Governor O’Malley!

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