Clock Is Ticking
On Police Reforms I have serious issues about the fact that County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) has decided to do nothing about the police in Prince George's. In his election to his new post, he promised to clean up the mess in the Police Department. I have lived in Prince George's for 19 years, and that has given me an opportunity to look at things that are taking place as far as government, schools and police. I have one thing to say to Mr. Johnson: If you don't revamp the Police Department, come your next term you will not be in that seat. Because people like myself are tired of politicians making promises and not following through.
I know the police must do their jobs, but when it comes to disarming a person or securing a situation, I don't think they have to kill a person to get their point across. I am a taxpayer in the new 47th District. Many of the individuals who represent us are politicians with master's degrees and doctoral degrees. But some don't have a clue how to manage or generate money. And that is why some areas of Prince George's have problems being developed. Everyone who has taken the executive's job has lived in the prestigious area of the county where most of the money is being spent.
An Ineffective Option
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce would do well to pursue wise transportation spending, just as it pursues wise spending on other government functions. Unfortunately, the chamber's favorite transportation project, the Intercounty Connector, does not meet the test.
Not only would the ICC be environmentally dangerous, it would also be largely ineffective. According to the Maryland State Highway Administration's 1997 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, "none of the ICC alternatives will have a substantial impact on the levels of service [congestion] experienced by motorists on the Capital Beltway, I-270 or I-95 within the Study Area." The same DEIS report modeled 529 possible trips in the study area and found that the ICC would save only 2 percent travel time; for an average 45-minute trip, that's a savings of less than one minute!
For the cost of at least $1 billion dollars (last projected more than five years ago; you know what that means), we would get an environmentally dangerous highway that would not relieve congestion on other major highways and not save significant travel time. ICC proponents such as the chamber need to explain to taxpayers, including small-business owners, why so much of their taxes should be used to fund such an ineffective road.
We need effective transportation solutions: those that move people, not cars. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce would do well to reconsider what constitutes effective use of taxpayer dollars.