Politics and PGCC

This letter is in response to The Post's story about threats by some Prince George's County Council members to cut the county's appropriation for Prince George's Community College because they are unhappy with the contract given to Ronald A. Williams, the newly chosen president of the college (Metro section, May 8).

The article makes it clear that Williams's compensation is pretty much in line with that of others in similar positions (e.g., the president of Montgomery College). In fact, Williams's salary will be $59,000 less than that of Robert I. Bickford, the outgoing PGCC president.

Apparently, the complaints about Williams's compensation package are, in reality, expressions of the anger felt by some council members over the failure of the trustees of the college to select one of the other finalists for the top spot at PGCC, Beatrice P. Tignor, with whom a number of local politicians have ties.

There are, I think, two important points here. First of all, the selection process for a new president at PGCC is over. Williams has the job; the entire college community is looking toward working with him in the coming years to make what we feel is a fine institution even better. Cutting the amount of money the county gives the school will have no effect on Williams's contract; it will merely penalize the students, faculty and staff of the college.

The other point is that the infighting is creating a totally unfair impression about Tignor, by making it appear that her primary qualification for the college presidency was having political connections. This is simply not true--she is an extremely capable person who has given much valuable service to the college, first as a member of the teaching faculty, then as a trustee. I rather suspect that right now Tignor is wishing for someone to save her from her supporters.

Bill Gerson

Mathematics Department

Prince George's Community College


The writer is a professor of mathematics at Prince George's Community College and the president of the PGCC Faculty Senate for 1999-2000.

Opposing the Y2K Veto

The Glendening-Townsend administration has done it again. Holding business in the state of Maryland to a higher standard than government, the Glendening-Townsend team has announced a veto of the Y2K business protection bill.

A bill would have protected companies from large lawsuit awards if they could show that they had a Y2K plan in effect. The legislation was passed by both the House of Delegates and the Senate during the General Assembly session this year. The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a similar piece of legislation.

The message that the Glendening-Townsend administration should be sending is that what is good for government is good for business. It is important to protect the more than 122,000 small businesses in the state in the uncertain times ahead. The Glendening-Townsend administration has turned its back on business and the legislature, further alienating itself from the citizens of Maryland.

Art Blenkle


The Prince George's Extra welcomes your thoughts and comments about issues of importance to Prince George's residents. Send your letters via e-mail to pgextra@washpost.com, fax to 301-952-1397 or write to Letters to the Editor, Prince George's Extra, The Washington Post, 14402 Old Mill Rd., Suite 201, Upper Marlboro, Md. 20772. Include your full address and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited.