John E. Ritchie (R), 38, of 13113 Claxton Dr., Laurel, owns Brand Iron Inc., a construction equipment sales and service firm. He was a founder of the Southern Laurel Coalition for Education Budget Review and has been active in PTA. He is involved in scouting, Chamber of Commerce and professional groups.
TRIM: I'm not opposed to amending TRIM. I do question the wisdom of amending TRIM now. An increase in real property tax in '83 will certainly work a hardship on many Prince George's County residents already up against the wall economically. Those hardest hit will be the elderly and others living on fixed incomes. Also, unemployment has taken a toll on many two-income families; it's pretty tough to get by on one income when you planned on two. The only sensible way to modify TRIM is to permit the TRIM ceiling to increase by the value of new construction while retaining a constant rate per $100 on the assessed value of real property.
Growth: We must encourage commercial and industrial development. The best business magnets are tax incentives that result in interst-free working capital. Traditionally, the federal government has assumed industry's role as the economic base in P.G. County. This is a trend we must break. A sound economic future is dependent upon private-sector development.
Housing: There is a dire need in Prince George's County for moderately priced housing. We must find a way to make home ownership a reality for middle-income families. At the same time, we must recognize that land is a finite quantity, infrastructure costs are extraordinary and the county lacks adequate public transportation. Consequently, our first priority must be close-in, high-density development (e.g., high-rise cond condominiums, quadraplex and town houses). Rehabilitation of older neighborhoods also must be considered.
Charles F. Whitlock (R), of 13507 Avebury Dr., Laurel. The candidate did not respond to The Washington Post questionnaire.