County Executive Rushern Baker’s re-election campaign is hosting an open house this Saturday, February 22, 2014, at 11:00 A.M. at their campaign headquarters, 4500 Forbes Blvd., Suite 110, Lanham, MD 20706. I’ll be stopping through to see what’s what and reporting back to you. Politics is fully in season and I plan on being something of a gardener for now on. I’m going to harvest the good and root out the weeds. Won’t you join me?
Finally heard back from Delegate (Dist 26) Kris Valderrama. I’ve been calling her out on a regular as a guest host on the Women on the Move blog talk radio show (see video below, around 17:55 into the broadcast) for her lack of online presence. She now has a “updated” website online at http://www.krisvalderrama.org/ If this is your district (Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, National Harbor, Fort Washington), check out her site, get signed up for her emails and pay close attention. The Prince George’s County delegation has not been able to bring infrastructure projects to our county like the delegations in Virginia/Fairfax County. Now I’m hearing that certain delegation members don’t like you comparing them to delegations from other counties. You know what I have to say about that? TOUGH! We are seeing the Metro go to Dulles Airport, transit oriented development on steroids in DC, road improvements all around and we want our piece of the pie. Take a look at the Prince George’s County Delegation website, find your delegates, get on their email lists, and stay informed. Some of the delegates really are pushing for better, but some of them are sitting on their behinds doing NOTHING.
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DON’T GIVE UP! Try the Maryland General Assembly email.
There is legislation afoot being reported on by my fellow PGCo blogger Prince George’s Urbanist: The bill, CB-101-2013, makes it so an automobile repair shop, pawnshop, check cashing establishment, liquor store, or fast food restaurant that otherwise would not be allowed in a residentially-zoned area might be permissible if that residential area is in a TDOZ or a DDOZ. CB-101-2013 changes the way that use restrictions operate in Transit District Overlay Zones (TDOZs) and Development District Overlay Zones (DDOZs). It allows planners to include uses that are otherwise prohibited in an underlying zone in the applicable Transit District Development Plan or in the applicable Development District Standards. If the planners do not include the additional uses at the time the plan is adopted, the property owner can apply to have them included as part of the detailed site plan application for his or her individual property. Thus, for example, an automobile repair shop, pawnshop, check cashing establishment, liquor store, or fast food restaurant that otherwise would not be allowed in a residentially-zoned area might be permissible if that residential area is in a TDOZ or a DDOZ.
The bill was sponsored by Councilman Mel Franklin. My blogger colleague seems deadset against the bill, but I’m not so sure. Thriving DC neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Adams Morgan, and Brookland have businesses and residential homes as neighbors; sometimes there is a residential dwelling on the floors above a business. There are legitimate issues with the way the bill was introduced, according to Bradley Heard, “Franklin hurriedly pushed his bill through council: Repeating a trick that he unsuccessfully tried at the end of the 2012 session, Franklin fast-tracked this bill so it could avoid the ordinary scrutiny that other zoning bills receive. He “introduced” CB-101-2013 on October 22, one week after the last day for introducing regular zoning bills. “Introduction” is normally the second step of a three-step legislative process. By skipping the first step of “presenting” the bill, Franklin was able to bypass the usual referral to and hearing before the PZED Committee that he chaired at that time. Then, after a faster-than-usual public notice period, the full council voted on the motion on November 19.” I’m sure my colleague is going to do much as I’m going to do. We will follow the money. When political candidates file for re-election, they have to file a disclosure of contributions with the State Board of Elections. Let’s just follow the money.
Speaking of the State Board of Elections: Let me quickly sum up some of what’s going on for Prince George’s County: Thea Wilson is no longer interested in running for Council , now she wants to be your state delegate for District 23B. I can’t and goodbye Felicia. Wilson has the typical issues at the heart of her campaign, that being education, health, economic development, but not much else that I can see. I won’t completely shoot down her run though. Why? Because everyone currently in office as a Senator or Delegate needs one of three things: 1. FIRE lit under them 2. To NO LONGER serve in office and /or 3. Better representatives to serve with them. Other candidates include current Delegate to Dist 27A, Joseph Vallario Jr. (ethics issues), Ron Watson (hasn’t tweeted yet at @RonForMaryland on Twitter), and incumbent Delegate Marvin E. Holmes Jr. WAIT A MINUTE!! Pump the breaks. Did Joseph Vallario Jr. move from one district to another or something? How is he currently a delegate representing Dist. 27A but running to represent 23B? Joseph Kitchen over at Joseph’s Entire Kitchen Sink informed me that REDISTRICTING is going into effect for Vallario’s district in the next election, so now he’s the problem of the new district. Whoa, whoa is District 23B if they vote Delegate Joseph Vallario back into office as one of their two delegates. Vallario has quite a ugly past. Time to get rid of him. The more you read on this guy, the worse he looks, not to mention this photo of him with all black, non-light-reflecting hair is taking me to town.
Take a look-see for yourself at everyone, so far, that has declared their candidacy for County Council seats HERE.