SPEAKING OF Prince George's County's relationship with its neighbors, the other day a special business and community task force, formed in 1983 to take a look at the county, reported that among its own membership there was what used to be called "an inferiority complex" concerning Prince George's. The chairman observed that members "were surprised to find out the facts were far better than the perceptions."
The facts are impressive in the region's most populous jurisdiction, with 676,000 residents:
Last year, new commercial development -- including the arrival of Fortune 500 companies, stores, restaurants, offices, hotels and research facilities -- nearly doubled, according to the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments.
A higher percentage of county parents send their children to public schools than in other counties, in a system that the task force noted has many special programs, low dropout rates and a public school superintendent "open to new ideas and willing to experiment."
Calls for police service have declined since 1981, the committee said, and the arrest rate has been comparable to Montgomery County's and better than that in Fairfax.
The committee did note that some public services need improvement, that the rate of serious crimes is high and that residents believe they are overtaxed -- even though taxes are close to or lower than those in surrounding areas.
The county's promotion council boasts of "a land of surprising contrasts, from the quiet charm of our 18th century landmarks and museums to visions of tomorrow" at the Goddard Space Flight Center. In fact, they have a lot to promote in Prince George's. They should be more secure and less bashful about it.