Candidates for Prince George's County Executive and candidates for the County Council were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
TRIM: Do you favor modification of the tax-limiting TRIM amendment, and if so, what proposals would you support?
Growth: What kinds of growth should the county encourage and what means can be used to encourage it?
Housing: What type of housing should the county seek -- single family, town-houses, high-rises, moderate-income, subsidized public projects, others?
William J. Goodman (R), 52, of 9206 Crandall La., Lanahm, is a manager with C&P Telephone Co. He served as a Maryland state senator and delegate for 12 years, during which time he gained recognition for environmental legislation. He is a veteran of the Marine Corps.
TRIM: "Modification" is a euphemism for a property tax increase of 4 percent a year. When I coauthored the TRIM tax freeze, I knew it was not intended to last forever. I do hope before the freeze is lifted another council will have an opportunity to study the county's expenditures and make their recommendations.
Growth: We need diversity in our work force. The county is well suited for high technology and high-rise office buildings. This would provide a firm tax base and job opportunities for those employes who have been hurt by the loss of government jobs.
Housing: I don't foresee any subsidized public housing in the near future. I am not opposed to Section 8 certificates used by qualified applicants. I am in favor of quality housing, but in the final analysis, housing is determined by the market conditions. Thus, it requires innovative programs to creaste thetype of housing market we find desirable.
Ann Shoch (R), 42, of 13410 Reid Cir., Fort Washington, is a commissioner of the Maryland- National Capital Park and Planning Commission and is on the county's planning board. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the committee that helped bring the Capital Centre to the county.
TRIM: Eventually, I believe TRIM should be slightly modified. The intent of this amendment accomplished our goal in 1978. As one who carried petitions to ensure that the injustice of overburdening property taxes did not drive us from our homes, I am not in favor of the Plus 4 tax increase. A 16 percent increase in property taxes during a four-year period for an individual of a fixed income or a young family in their new home is unjustifiable. The growth of county government must not be allowed to return to its bloated stage. I recognize today that a couple of technical elements are necessary to correct theintent we were working to attain in 1978. Basically, all that is necessary is to change the total dollar figure to a percentage of assessed market valuation. Finally, I believe TRIM should be placed on the ballot during a presidential election year and not during off-year local elections; too many candidates are using this as nothing more than a political vehicle to play to the fears of county residents, fostering the politics of negativism.
Growth: As county executive, I will look to build on our stringth and our opportunities. Providing foresight, direction and a vision that will serve our county well in the years to come, we must shape the growth of our county, instead of letting it shape us. When I think of our growth potential, I see it as haveing our county and its citizens prosper. As your county executive, my job is to create a healthy business environment, to promote job opportunities, to encourage high-quality economic development and to revitalize our declining older commercial areas. I will look to stimulate new private investment in our county, to target high-technology firms such as systems engineering companies, computer- and electronic-oriented industry and telecommunications firms, which provide long-term high-paying employment opportunities. We must promote economic policy making within the private and public sector to ensure that county government provides quality essential services and to establish priorities for our economic development programs, to increase our county's tax base, which provides quality and controlled growth.
Housing: Quality, affordable housing is always necessary and most desirable. But our county has more than its fair share of low-cost and public housing and not enough higher- quality residential projects to attract and retain higher-income residents. Our housing values and income levels were not keeping pace with other jurisdictions. As county executive, I would look through zoning and subdivision procedures to support more single-family quality residential homes. The availability of housing of this type is one of the important ingredients that attracts high technology and desirable economic development, which provides high-paying employment opportunities. I also believe it to be the function of the home-building industry to determine the marketability of various types of housing. I see the county's role as encouraging industry to provide a variety of housing by modernizing the regulatory process to enable the home builders to accommodate the market needs of our county during the 1980s.