Prince George's County Executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr. likes symbols and weighty phrases. Last year, in discussing the county fiscal outlook, he would refer to "doom and gloom"; in discussing this year's budget, he declares "there's peace in the land".
This year's official slogan attached to a budget proposal in which Kelly promises tax relief is "Promise to Keep - True Tax Relief."
The first half of the slogan, a line from a Robert Frost poem, is the contribution of an executive aide to Kelly who admires the poet. The second half was produced by a reporter for a county paper.
The slogan chosen for the election year budget proposals was displayed on green and white buttons handed out at the Press conference at which Kelly made his budget proposals.
It's just seemed appropriate," said John Lally, Kelly's press aide who thought of having the slogan. "There is always the same mumbo jumbo about taxes every year and nothing ever changes. Now we've got a chance to really save the taxpayers money and we want to tell them about it".
Lally said he would give the buttons, which are the same color as Kelly's election campaign buttons, to "any antispender in the country" who wants one.
"It's obvious it's a political gimmick. But we did not use campaign funds, said Lally. "We took up a collection among the political appointees and got $100 to make them up."
In 1975, Kelly's first year as county executive, the slogan was "tighten up spending" and the image was a small gold screw. In 1976 it was bright, copper penny with the slogan "not a penny higher." In 1977 they went back to the 1975 image but this time used a screwdriver to illustrate their "tighten the screw one more time" slogan.
"We just want them to know (from the button that carries the latest slogan) that this is a promise made that was a promise kept," said Kelly.