What is the most important issue facing the county, and how would you deal with it?
Jo Ann T. Bell
Bennie Thayer Jo Ann T. Bell 7008 Kipling Pkwy., District Heights Age: 52 Incumbent
Prince George's County Council chairman, 1989 to present, vice chairman, 1983, member since 1982; director, Prince George's County Economic Development Corp.; member of Superintendent's Business and Advisory Council, Parks and Recreation Foundation, American Heart Association, United Communities Against Poverty Inc., National Association of Counties health and education and human services steering committees; AA, Prince George's Community College; resident of District Heights, 28 years; married, seven children.
Education is the most important issue facing our county and nation today. Each child in each school should have access to educators, curriculum and equipment that allow students upon graduation to have reached their full potential to lead, produce and be employed in all aspects of life in tomorrow's world. Citizens, parents, the business community and government have a responsibility to forge a continuing partnership to enable the funding of a strong public educational system that meets these standards. Having served on the Board of Education, I know how important it is to keep lines of communication open between all partners -- working, sharing expertise, resources, funds and programs. PTSAs, the superintendent's business and advisory council, the school construction program, the adoptive school program, the DARE program and the University High School are but a few of the excellent examples of these kinds of partnerships. We must forge ahead. Together we can make a positive difference. Linwood P. Jones 3602 Earlston Ct., Mitchellville Age: 58
Counselor, Prince George's County public schools; founder/president, Black Democratic Council of Prince George's County; coordinator, black communities for William Donald Schaefer's gubernatorial campaign; member, Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee; president, Fox Ridge Civic Association; president, Ardmore-Ardwick Recreation Council; vice principal, Thomas Johnson Junior High School; vice principal, Suitland Junior High School; counselor, Nicholas Orem Middle School; precinct captain, 24th legislative district; founding member, Black Economic Development Coalition; member of the Coalition for Responsible Investment, which monitors Riggs National Bank; chairman, Prince George's County Model Cities Program.
Education is the most important issue facing Prince George's County. Education is the key to success for both youth and adults, particularly for those adults who did not complete high school or college. We live in a very competitive society and we must provide the quality of education necessary to prepare all of our citizens for success. I will work to increase funding for our schools, but I will monitor the system to see that the funds are spent wisely. I would strongly support the establishment of community-based educational funding advisory boards that would work closely with the local neighborhood schools and the PTAs to help make decisions regarding expenditures at the local level. I would also support efforts to obtain increased funding from state and federal government sources and through grants from private sector organizations.
Bennie Thayer 12105 Wimbleton St., Upper Marlboro Age: 51
Owner and president, Diversified Concepts Inc.; Maryland Jackson presidential campaign chairman, 1984, co-chairman, 1988; co-chairman, Maryland delegation to Democratic National Convention, 1984 and 1988; vice president membership, National Rainbow Coalition; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity KEL Chapter; chairman, National Association for Self-Employed (representing 200,000 small businesses nationwide); past chairman, National Business League of Southern Maryland; executive director, National Alliance of Franchisees and Dealers; past chairman, National Association of 7-Eleven Franchisees; past master, Fellowship Lodge 26, PHA and 32 Mason, Shriner MECCA Temple 10; lay leader, Gethsemane United Methodist Church; graduate, business administration, University of Maryland; married; two children.
By far, the most important issue facing the county is the academic underachievement of children in its public schools. The county's need for professionally trained citizens, informed and active voters as well as wholesome families can only come as a result of children who are effective and well educated. Our failure in this area affects citizens' ability to afford housing and make a contribution to economic development and impacts negatively on the cost of public welfare and the criminal justice system. As a County Council member, I would do the following: 1) insure that public funds are spent with integrity -- increasing money that could be spent on education (i.e., recently reported nepotism in government); 2) lobby along with others -- state legislators to equalize funding for education statewide (Linowes Commission); 3) work to build a consensus among the public to support increased funding for education. DISTRICT 6 REPUBLICAN
James E. House is unopposed