Candidates for county council were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Growth: A number of observers believe requirements such as citizen input into planning decisions and certain design standards have stymied economic growth in Prince George's County. Do you favor removing such obstacles in order to attract new economic development?
Schools: School Superintendent Edward J. Feeney said that the schools were underfunded this year, causing the layoff of 507 teachers. County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan and other politicians maintained that the budget was sufficient and that Feeney's cuts were more dramatic than necessary. What do you think?
TRIM: Do you favor modification of the tax-limiting TRIM amendment? If so, what changes would you support?
Anthony Cicoria (D), 39, of 4004 College Heights Dr., University Park, has been a member of the House of Delegates since 1979. He has served on the Governor's Commission on Crime and the Prince George's Economic Development Committee, and is active in various civic and fraternal organizations.
Growth: No, I do not. I feel that the citizens should have the opportunity to say what types of business should be allowed in their communities. We have seen the attitude of the elected officials in the past ignoring citizen input -- for example, school closings and zoning decisions. As long as I am in office I will continue to be the forefront of working on behalf of the citizens that I represent.
Schools: I feel that the County Council should look very closely at the school budget. I have seen over 30 school closings; the same number of administrators and custodial staff was retained, yet the number of teachers was cut back. We have the responsibility to insure quality education. Under no circumstances should we allow the massive layoffs without exploring other alternatives.
TRIM: The TRIM amendment was voted in by an overwhelming majority. Before we look to amend its provisions, serious thought must be given to how the revenues the county currently collects are spent. There is too much waste in top-heavy agencies and departments. If TRIM is to be amended, which should only be done if absolutely necessary to fund the type and caliber of service the county residents needs, emphasis should be placed on broadening our taxable base without increasing the financial burden on our county taxpayers.
W. Michael Zane (R), 32, of 4410 Oglethorpe St., Hyattsville, is a recruiter with the Metro Business Association. He served four years in the Marine Corps and has worked for the Appalacian Regional Commission and a local retail store. A member of the Prince George's Jaycees, he has served as president of two Republican clubs in the county.
Growth: We, the residents of Prince George's County, have the right of input. This right comes to us under section 706, paragraph (a) of the charter. I do feel that once we have had a hearing and a decision has been made, it should be final. The sad fact is that the County Council passed such amendment to the zoning regulations just a few weeks ago. As a new member of the County Council, I will do my utmost to repeal this act. We have had too much indiscriminate development in our county, and it is time to put people in office who will have a deaf ear to the zoning attorneys.
Schools: I do feel that Superintendent Feeney is blowing this figure out of proportion. He doesn't tell the public that his figure includes lawyers, accountants and nurses. Mr. Feeney has hired back 85 teachers so far this year. Another fact that he doesn't bring out is that 100 to 250 teachers would have left the school system anyway, because of "burnout" or to take other jobs. I think it is time that we get back to quality education, not quantity education; let's not pass students for the sake of passing them.
TRIM: At this time I don't favor a modification of TRIM, because we have one. It is section 817B, subparagraph (c) of the charter, which states: "In the event the County Council shall establish, pursuant to proper any separate class of residential real property tax, then, and in that event, all other classes of real property taxes would be exempt from this section, and the total real property taxes on residential real property shall not exceed the total amount of taxes collected on residential real property in fiscal year 1979." In other words, this section exempts industrial and rental units from the 1979 tax level and allows the council to raise taxes on these two area.