[Staff Writer] Abby Brownback’s [article], “Training for recruits could face delays,” highlighted the back-and-forth management exercise of robbing Peter to pay Paul. This is much different than the perception of pay-for-play, as it can be confusing if the county government actually is trying to raise revenue or waiting on handouts from Annapolis to make ends meet.
The general fund peaked in annual growth at around 11.8 percent in 2006, but showed a marked decrease down to .02 percent in fiscal year 2009. The subsequent years showed -0.1 percent and .07 percent in fiscal ’10 and fiscal ’11. The subject of this article seems a nonissue if the county actually is decreasing revenue. The years of double-digit growth fell on deaf ears in FY09 as the housing dependency strategy hit and Jack Johnson’s management plan of filling his pockets with back-door dealings left our current children’s future with nothing to show for it. I am not quite sure if Prince George’s County will ever recover from his failed management and loss of business integrity.
Our young county executive advocates that crime has decreased, yet sounds the alarm for more funds for policing and fire protection. They both sound reasonable, right? If local violent and overall crimes have decreased, 12.2 percent and 10.6 percent respectively, and exceeded the national average as reported by the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, how many more recruits will be hired if he surpasses his goals for FY13? Where will the money come from?
[According to] recently released FBI crime statistics, the number of violent crimes — murder and non-negligent homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — reported in the first six months of 2011 declined 6.4 percent compared with the first six months of 2010. Will he take the same approach to hire more detectives to solve the 1,400 unsolved murders still on the books?
It seems to me that cherry-picking during the annual budget session reflects greatly on the question, “What is the priority?”
Crime prevention is important, but you can’t fight crime with a shoestring. If $76 million was the deficit last year and $126 million is the deficit this year, we are in for a wild ride in 2014. Saving $764,000 by curtailing a training class for a month seems moot. Second, the payment of $5 million in overtime costs for [Fire Chief Marc S.] Bashoor’s fire department seems like we are going down the rabbit hole on this one, too. We cannot and will not get there from here.
What is the plan to generate revenue, Mr. County Executive?
Timothy Dweylan Wilson, Bowie