Magnet Parent Speaks

I was very moved by [Michelle Singletary's July 14 column] on the July 1 board meeting. I was the first parent to speak about the magnet school situation at that meeting. And I agree that we really shouldn't be arguing about transportation to "better schools" or pitting teachers salaries against getting the students to their teachers--but it has, indeed, come to that. We magnet parents have been portrayed as "spoiled little rich kids," and I would like to see that appellation obliterated. Do our critics seriously believe that if we were spoiled and rich we would put up with this school system? We have relatives who live in Howard County. The mom is blessed to be "at home," the dad makes many times our combined salaries, and their tax dollars pay for their children's education because the public schools in Howard County are far above "second to last" in the state. Am I jealous of their school situation? You bet! If I hit the lottery will my child be out of the Prince George's County public school system? Faster than you can say Montessori. But I would rather see, for the sake of all our children, that our county gets its act together; perhaps with new leadership and renewed interest from parents and the press, we can achieve that goal.

Denise Cross

Cross is a parent of a student at the Matthew Henson Elementary School magnet program.

Partisan Politics

The county Democrats are at it again by putting partisan interest over the needs of Prince Georgians. The proposed legislation by Prince George's County Council member Thomas R. Hendershot (D-New Carrollton) would mandate a partisan primary and general election to fill future vacancies in the County Council. This bill would alienate many Republican and independent voters from participating in the electoral process.

As many remember, the 1997 nonpartisan special elections had two Republicans who ran in a very crowded group of Democrats. The two Republican candidates were former Prince George's Republican Central Committee member Tony McConkey and former College Park council member John Anders. Anders, who was endorsed by the majority of the Prince George's Republican Central Committee for this race, was beaten by Hendershot with a margin of 11 percent. By county GOP standards, this was a respectable showing indeed. I suppose Mr. Hendershot is very nervous about the next election.

He claims that by mandating this bill, it would help promote the two-party system in the county. What it will actually do is to have the county Democrats continue their one-party dictatorship with great arrogance.

Hendershot's recent comments at an opening hearing regarding this legislation show how the elitist county Democratic political machine will go through any lengths to protect its economic interest in the county without any regard for the hard-working taxpayers of the county.

It is about time that the county Republicans have a say in the county's electoral process. The Democrats on the County Council should start concentrating on what is important to the residence of Prince George's County--property taxes, better schools and crime.

This legislation will be very expensive. I would hope that the county Board of Election Supervisors would not support this costly legislation. We all should not forget what the County Board of Elections had done in the 1998 Republican primary by deleting a Republican candidate's name from the ballot.

My fellow Republicans, let's make our voices be heard loud and clear and that we will not let the county dictatorship eliminate our right for a fair election.

Maria A. Ialacci

Member of Prince George's Republican

Central Committee

District 22


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