October 15, 2018


Dear Friends,

Early voting for the 2018 Maryland General Election begins on Thursday, October 25 and continues through Thursday, November 1, from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. each day. During the early voting period, you may vote at any of the early voting centers in Prince George's County

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and on November 6 you may only vote at your polling place. Use your home address to find your polling place, and view your sample ballot here.

Register to vote on-line here by 9:00 p.m. TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 16. You may also register to vote in person at an early voting center in Prince George's County during the early voting period. Learn more

You do not need a reason to vote by absentee ballot in Maryland and there is still time to request a ballot. Details here.

The County Council voted to place several questions on the General Election ballot this year. I want to provide you with the background information on each of these questions. 

The first set of questions the County Council placed on the General Election ballot are for voters to approve the County to issue bonds. Section 323 of the Prince George's County Charter provides that the County may issue bonds, but the issuance of bonds pursuant to Section 823 of the Charter shall be referred to referendum of the voters. 

The second set of questions the County Council placed on the ballot are recommended amendments to the Prince George's County Charter. Section 1106 of the Charter provides that the County Council and County Executive shall appoint, by resolution, a Charter Review Commission. The purpose of the Charter Review Commission is to undertake a comprehensive study of the Charter and recommend appropriate changes. 

The 2018 Charter Review Commission met six times between January and March 2018 and submitted a formal report to the Council. The County Council reviewed the charter recommendations and initiated legislation to place several of these recommendations on the General Election ballot.

County Ballot Questions 2018 General Election:

Question A Charter Referendum (CB-30-2018) Public Works and Transportation Facilities Bonds AN ACT enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $148,287,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Public Works and Transportation Facilities (including roads and bridges, parking lots, and maintenance facilities), as defined therein.

This allows the County to issue bonds for approved items in the Capital Improvement Project budget related to the Department of Public Works and Transportation. Some examples include; emergency road and bridge repair, curb and sidewalk repair, Forestville Road repair, Green Street improvements, ADA improvements, etc.

Question B Charter Referendum (CB-31-2018) Library Facilities Bonds AN ACT enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $16,796,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Library Facilities, as defined therein.

This allows the County to issue bonds for items in the approved Capital Improvement Project budget related to the Prince George's County Memorial Library System, for example the Hyattsville Branch, Surratts-Clinton Branch, etc.

Question C Charter Referendum (CB-32-2018) Public Safety Facilities Bonds AN ACT enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $56,053,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Public Safety Facilities (including Fire Department Facilities), as defined therein.

This allows the County to issue bonds for items in the approved Capital Improvement Project budget related to public safety facilities such as police stations, fire stations, etc.

Question D Charter Referendum (CB-33-2018) County Buildings Bonds AN ACT enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $97,564,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of County Buildings, as defined therein.

This allows the County to issue bonds for items approved in the Capital Improvement Program budget related to County buildings such as the County Administration Building, Shepherd's Cove Women's Shelter, Courthouse renovation and security upgrades, etc.

Question E Charter Referendum (CB-34-2018) Community College Facilities Bonds AN ACT enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $81,187,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Community College Facilities, as defined therein.

This allows the County to issue bonds for items approved in the Capital Improvement Program budget related to Prince George's Community College buildings and facilities including, Kent Hall, Lanham Hall, Health & Wellness Center, etc.

Question F Charter Amendment (CB-35-2018) Council Member Residency Requirement To provide a one-year residency requirement for Council Members and At-Large Council Members, to provide that an At-Large Council Member shall have been a qualified voter of Prince George's County for at least one year immediately preceding his or her primary election, and to provide that Council Members representing one of the nine Council districts shall have been a qualified voter of their respective Council district for at least one year immediately preceding his or her primary election.

This was not raised by the Charter Review Commission, but was raised by Council Members based on the fact that there is a 5-year residency requirement for County Executive Candidates and no residency requirement for Council Members. Surrounding jurisdictions in Maryland generally do have residency requirements. Watch the video of the Council's discussion for this amendment here.

Overall, amendments G through K come from the Charter Review Commission Report. I've noted the particular page under each question below.

Question G Charter Amendment (CB-36-2018) Nondiscrimination - County Personnel and Contracting To provide an individual right to nondiscrimination, to provide for nondiscrimination in employment of a contractor doing business with the County, and to provide for nondiscrimination in the County personnel system all based on marital status, familial status, disability, age and sexual orientation.

See Charter Review Commission Report p. 3

Question H Charter Amendment (CB-38-2018) County Council Member Full-Time Position To provide that membership on the Council shall be considered a full-time position for the purpose of determining compensation.

See Charter Review Commission Report p. 4

Question I Charter Amendment (CB-39-2018) County Auditor - Appointment, Responsibilities and Authority To provide that the County Auditor be appointed and serve a five-year term, which may be renewed for additional five-year terms, subject to removal for cause, to remain until a successor is appointed and qualifies, to provide that selected agencies that receive or disburse County funds will receive a complete financial audit for the preceding fiscal year; and to provide that the County Auditor be empowered to conduct investigations related to fraud, waste and abuse by the County Executive, Council Members or other County officials and employees.

See Charter Review Commission Report p. 4

Question J Charter Amendment (CB-40-2018) County Personnel To provide that an individual may be temporarily appointed to fill a vacancy, no more than one year, without an intervening permanent appointment.

See Charter Review Commission Report p. 5-6


Question K Charter Amendment (CB-41-2018) Charter Review Commission - Length of Term To provide for the establishment of a Charter Review Commission, not later than one year prior to the beginning of each fourth year of a term, for the purpose of undertaking a comprehensive study of the Charter and to provide that the Charter Review Commission shall commence its work at the discretion of the Chair of the Commission.

See Charter Review Commission Report p. 6

In addition to our local ballot questions, there are two constitutional amendments on the Maryland ballot. 

No matter who or what you vote for, I sincerely hope you will take the time to vote during early voting, via absentee ballot or on Election Day. Our democracy depends on your participation! 

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to a member of my staff or me if we can assist you in any way.

Together Strengthening our Community,
     



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Please join me TOMORROW!

Kirwan Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education Update
Tuesday, October 16
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Parkdale High School

click on the flyer image for event details

Contact your D3 Team
301-952-3060

CouncilDistrict3
@co.pg.
md.us
 
Wanda Brooks 
Citizen Services Specialist
-- 
Owen Kahn
Policy Intern
ojkahn@co.pg.md.us
-- 
Alvinia Kelly
Office Manager & Scheduler
arkelly@co.pg.md.us 
-- 
Thomas Mayah
Citizen Services Assistant
CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us
--
Aimee Olivo 
Chief of Staff
-- 
Alina Smith
Latino Liaison
--
Alesha Wilson
Community Outreach & Special Projects Coordinator
aewilson@co.pg.md.us


If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.