County Executive Parris Glendening, who began his political career as a City Council member, honored recently elected local Prince George's officials yesterday at a reception and informally heard their views on his operation of the county government.
Meeting over punch and cheese at the historic Montpelier Mansion in Laurel, the officials told Glendening that they are concerned primarily about getting a larger share of county, state and federal dollars for their municipalities.
The municipalities, which generally include the older areas of the county, are heavily dependent on funds other than those raised through city taxes and fees.
The officials at the late afternoon reception represent the 28 towns and cities where 40 percent of the county's population lives.
College Park Mayor Alvin Kushner told Glendening he was concerned that the new Department of Housing and Community Development, which will administer the $6.5 million community development block grant program, might shift some of its emphasis away from municipalities and toward unincorporated areas. "If that happens we will be in trouble," Kushner said.
Cheverly Town Council member Dorothy McClain said she was worried that there was no place on the new department's organization chart for the Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC).
The CDAC, composed largely of municipal officials including McClain, has exerted considerable influence on the block grant program in the past.
"We should have been included," McClain said, mildly scolding Glendening.
"I'm a supporter. I just have to let him know how I feel," she added.
Glendening assured many of the officials that the CDAC would continue to have a role in the block grant program. He called its omission from the organization chart "an oversight."
He said he also plans to institute a new two-tier property tax system, perhaps in time for the 1985 budget, that would lower the tax rate within municipalities in proportion to the cost of services which that are paid from municipal coffers.
The county now reimburses municipalities for the services they provide themselves. However, most towns feel they are short-changed under the current reimbursement formula.