What’s at Stake on September 20
Only a very small percentage of the electorate will bother to vote on September 20, or realize that the outcome affects their District’s planning, zoning, and development for the next 11 years. Why didn’t I mention jobs, education, foreclosures, and other hot issues being mentioned on the campaign trail? Because despite what the candidates may say, they have very little influence over their issues. In regard to jobs and foreclosures, they can suggest and tweak policy, but they need their colleagues’ support to move it forward, or the state’s money to get it done (and we all know there’s not much state money up for grabs these days). They can’t change one thing about the School Board’s budget. They can only question and control total resources. Those things, while important, have not changed a thing about the way PGPCS does business, as you have probably figured out.
If you’re Candidate Derrick Leon Davis and will represent County Executive Baker’s crucial fifth vote on initiatives that he wants to push through Council, you do become very valuable when you’re elected. I understand there are lots of fans of our County Executive, and I can understand why. He has done a good job of publicizing himself and the County in the media, and that does count for something since we have been the black sheep of the region for many years. However, in order to get the results he really wants, Mr. Baker needs five votes on Council, and Davis is a sure bet. So yes, Davis’ vote will count alot toward the future of the entire county if he wins. That’s what is really at stake here.
I’m not “sold” on everything Mr. Baker has for sale. After Davis is elected, Baker’s top priority will be approval of his $50 million economic development fund. I don’t disagree that we need better economic development around our metro stations, and we need more quality employment opportunities to keep our residents working here in the county. I am sure everyone could agree on this goal. However, I’m not certain that offering money alone is the answer. Businesses (and their employees) don’t want to be here because they read our homicide headlines every day, and they know that our public schools are at the bottom of the barrel in Maryland. Those problems aren’t going away, and detracts from our ability to be a marketable location for any organization, including the federal government.
If there’s a candidate for District 6 that has a real plan out there for dealing with crime and education first, and a proven track record of being able to successfully negotiate, rather than stall, solutions regarding these issues, then I would love to hear their proposals.