Burroughs Alleges, Baker for Gov, Real Estate is Positive, Job Numbers are Up

County Exec. Baker picked a bad time to run for governor, School board members & others allege fraudulent graduation rates, Retail Market Plan for PGCo has some bumps in the road, Medical building coming to National Harbor, Litter situation is a mess, Job growth and real estate is promising, Liquor Board is taking applications (hiccup). Always something going on in PGCo

County Executive Rushern Baker
County Executive Rushern Baker (credit PGC Blog)

PGCo Executive Rushern Baker wants to be the democratic nominee in Maryland’s 2018 gubernatorial elections. Well so does Alec Ross, state senator Richard Madaleno, Ralph Jaffe, and former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous. Lemme just tell you that Baker has no chance of getting the nomination.  Baker came in 2nd to Richard Madaleno in straw poll organized by Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Commitee and that’s just one harbinger of things to come.  Thanks to four school board members, led by ring leader Edward Burroughs, the PGCo school system is back in the news.
Edward Burroughs and Gov. Hogan

Burroughs (Dist 8), Raaheela Ahmed (Dist 5), David Murray (Dist 1), and student member Juwan Blocker all signed off on a letter to Rushern Baker and PGCo’s arch-nemesis Governor Larry Hogan that accused the PGCo school system and its leadership of “…widespread systemic corruption in PrinceGeorge’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). Specifically, the altering of student credit counts andthe changing student grades in order to fraudulently boost the high school graduation rate from school year 2014 to present.” Read the letter for yourself HERE.  A Washington Post editorial on the matter seems to contradict the Burroughs’ group’s assertion that they tried everything before going to Hogan, “The four board members who signed the letter… admitted Tuesday they were “absolutely unaware” of the earlier investigation by the state education department. That tends to undermine the “due diligence” they say they used in looking into these issues. If, as they claim, there is “clear and convincing evidence” of wrongdoing from whistleblowers, why take it to the governor and not local law enforcement? Or, at the very least, tell other members of the board? Mr. Burroughs has been a frequent critic of Mr. Maxwell and opposed the extension of his contract…” When issues like this keep Prince George’s County in the public eye, it’s no wonder that I think Baker doesn’t stand a chance.
Benjamin Jealous, WUSA9

Peep Ben Jealous at the “Enough is Enough” rally held by Burroughs and his crew yesterday. 
What does have a chance of thriving is Prince George’s County, it’s development and real estate. PGCo’s Housing Investment Trust Fund has received $5.1 million in funding in the county’s recent budget.  Diamondback reported that this is the first time money has been added to the fund since it was passed in 2012 by the County Council. Wow. Ok. The county website stated that the funds “will support two new programs – the Workforce Housing Gap Financing Program, which provides gap financing for the development of quality workforce housing  and the Pathway to Purchase Program, a program that will provide down payment and closing cost assistance to approximately 150 eligible first-time home buyers. 
Yolanda Muckle of Long and Foster Real Estate showcased Bowie, MD properties on My Fox DC’s Zip Trip feature segment on Bowie. She said that “We honestly don’t have enough inventory…properties on the market for less than 30 days…” That’s good news. Get to the Housing Fair. 

Note to current and incoming PGCo residents: KEEP YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD CLEAN. I don’t care if you rent, own, squat, or you’re sofa surfing, PU-LEAZE keep your nasty trash off the streets. I went to a discussion on litter presented by the nonprofit People for Change. I saw former delegate Tiffany Alston there with notepad and stuff. Hey Tiffany!! Wonder if she’s gearing
Hey Tiffany, hey!

up to run for another seat or something.  People for Change has partnered with the University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center and PGCo’s Department of Environment to tackle the question: why are some of you so daggon triflin? There were some young people there who resented trash being labeled a youth problem. Ultimately the chatter proved too much for the kid and I had to go, but I was glad that I’d attended. Listen, I’ve driven behind people who just toss their crap out the window and I’ve seen people on the opposite of that spectrum who go through our neighborhood and pick up the tossed fast food waste from the weekend. There were various suggestions for anti-litter campaigns and education. I think it will take surveillance, fines, and shame to stop it. Period. 

Local Development Council  met June 21, 7PM @ 7007 Bock Rd (Fort Washington). I know this is late notice but it’s high time some the people who are impacted by the MGM/National Harbor development to get on the ball and attend some of these meetings. Go to their website and get signed up for their emails. From the website:…a Local Development Council (LDC) must be established in each jurisdiction where a gaming licensee is in operation… Consider yourself informed

I’m reading portions of this long Retail Market Strategic Action Plan, it’s really long. Maryland Newsletter did a little write up that’s helping me, “The county’s Competitive Retail Market action plan, headed by RCLCO, says the Route 1 Corridor, the National Harbor area and Greater Largo ought to get extra focus in luring higher-end retail to the county.” The report also states that PGCo has too many lower end retailers and one of their goals is to incentivize owners of weaker retail centers to “convert these properties to other uses with stronger market potential.” According to this Plan, the county is banking on the new medical center to create a ” walkable medical district near the Largo Metro Station that includes redeveloped retail.” Some of the “retail targets” listed in the plan include fashion and department stores including off-price ones such as Belk, Kohl’s, home furnishings (Tile Shop, Bassett Furniture, Ethan Allen), specialty grocers (Total Wine & More, Trader Joe’s), family-friendly restaurants (Cheesecake Factory, Chuy’s, Bonefish Grill, Uncle Julio’s). There will be focus on the three areas, Baltimore Avenue, Greater Largo, and National Harbor. Iverson Mall was included as case example of a retail center that could be improved. Some of the suggested new uses (senior housing, daycare center, community college satellite center) for Iverson Mall were far-fetched, considering that area needs a retail hub. There was some potential for a few other suggestions: Commercial kitchen or food prep incubator space; could be coupled with workforce development for culinary professions, restaurant or food truck hubs, Food and restaurant hubs such as independent
restaurants, bakeries, wineries, micro-breweries, and farmers markets. 

Trammell Crow & PGCo officials break ground on medical building.

Trammell Crow Company broke ground on a medical office building in National Harbor that it has already substantially pre-leased. The developer bought the approximately 38,000 square foot parcel on which it will build in early April, paying a Peterson Companies partnership $4.12 million for 201 National Harbor Boulevard. Its preleases in the 95,000 square foot building include Willpower Sport & Wellness, taking 19,000 square feet, and an ambulatory surgery center that will occupy approximately 12,000 feet. Trammell Crow’s Eric Fischer said the developer chose National Harbor as a ‘strategic’ location to serve both the county and those crossing the Potomac on the Wilson Bridge. “We can serve multiple markets from National Harbor,” he said. That includes what Fischer described as an underserved market for medical office surrounding National Harbor. Before the first shovel is turned, Trammell has 62 percent of the space spoken for, leaving only a floor and a half untenanted. Trammell had three early tenants that joined the project, giving the developer the velocity it needed to push ahead. Delivery for ‘The Medical Pavilion at National Harbor’ is slated for fall, 2018.
PGCo Liquor Board is looking for a few sober men and women.  As a result of the reforms outlined in Senate Bill 488 and House Bill 1317, the County Executive of Prince George’s County is now required to appoint the 5 members of the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners (aka the Liquor Board).  This is a change from the previous law where the Governor appointed Liquor Board members (because Hogan’s liquor board appointed CHAIR got sloppy drunk and caught a charge). The County is now accepting resumes from citizens who are interested in serving on this board.  Applicants must be a Prince George’s County resident, a registered voter and possess qualifications or experience in at least one of the following areas: Legal/Law, Public safety, Regulations, Management After the County Executive appoints a member, the appointee must be confirmed by the Prince George’s County Senate Delegation. Liquor Board members serve a 3 year term, however a member cannot be appointed to more than three terms. For consideration, email a cover letter and resume to princegeorgesboardsandcommissions@co.pg.md.us, by close of business June 26, 2017. For more information about the Liquor Board please go to Board of License Commissioners
Good news about jobs in PGCo! More than 16,000 new jobs created or added in the County over past 3 years. Data from the State of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) shows that the Prince George’s County 4th Quarter (4Q) 2016 jobs numbers reached a new high 319,784.  Prince George’s County led the State of Maryland in job creation from 4Q 2015 to 4Q 2016 with 8,820 new jobs, equating to approximately 30% of the entire state’s job growth.  Good stuff people. 



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