Maryland Business Clergy Votes To Keep PG Term Limits
Organization Believes Change Will Undermine Electoral Process
Citing past history and litany of failed policies during the last four years, the Executive Leadership of the Maryland Business Clergy Partnership joined a growing number of community organizations and voters by announcing its opposition to Question J which would increase the number of consecutive terms that the current County Executive and County Council can serve in office from two four-year terms to three four year terms.
The Maryland Business Clergy Partnership which includes more than 250 churches and businesses says the increase in terms from eight years to 12 years is self-serving and will completely undermine the political process where an incumbent has not lost a seat on the county council in 25 years.
“The legislation is self-serving,” said Maryland Business Clergy Partnership Co-Chairman Rev. Charles W. McNeill, Jr. of Fort Washington. “Why fix a system that isn’t broken? The County Council and the County Executive should focus on issues that are dear to the hearts of the citizens…Jobs, Reducing Foreclosures, Decreasing Crime and Improving Education and not legislation that would benefit their personal political careers. Right now, we need fresh new voices that will listen to the cries of ordinary residents who are crying out in a wilderness of uncertainty, frustration and bewilderment.”
Rev. Bruce Branch, chairman of media and public relations subcommittee, irritated by a measure introduced by Mel Franklin to increase the salaries of the nine council members and county executive indicated, “When is this going to stop! It seems that the county elected leadership has decided to pad their pockets with over five million dollars in salaries by the proposed increased term limit issue alone…. Enough is enough!”
Joe Gaskins, Co-Chairman of the Maryland Business-Clergy Partnership and also, Chairman of the Prince George’s County Contractors Association expressed his concerns about the effect of this legislation-Question J, on increasing business and political monopolies within the County.
“The longer politicians stay in office the more they are beholden to special interests. An argument could definitely be made that politicians who remain in office for longer periods of time tend to listen to, serve and rely upon the well-organized special interests, big money interests, and so-called ‘slate-makers’ who help get them re-elected by making donations to their campaigns and printing ‘official democratic ballots’ that many voters rely on to vote on election day”.
McNeill said everyone should be mindful that the ballot issue has been ‘overwhelmingly rejected twice” – in 2000 and 2004 since its enactment in 1992. “Elected office is not supposed to be a career job,” he said. “The President of the United States only gets eight years and that is the most powerful job in the world. What makes Prince George’s County Politicians any different? We say Two Terms, No More.”
For more information contact Rev. Bruce Branch (202) 641-3695.