Prince George’s Council Revamps Committees to Make Way for Newbies

Prince George’s County will see significant political changes next year: New county executive, new state’s attorney, six new County Council members, three new state senators and six new members of the House of Delegates. Though in typical Prince George’s fashion, some of the newcomers are repurposed politicians who previously served in other offices. One significant and relatively unexplored change is the expansion of the County Council, from nine members to 11. County voters chose to add two at-large Council members, elected countywide, to the Council roster, whose nine other members are elected by district.  County Council Chairwoman Dannielle M. Glaros  To accommodate the change, the current County Council on Thursday voted to restructure its committee system. Beginning in January, the Council will have six standing committees compared to its current number, five. “This will give us the first opportunity in almost 25 years to rearrange the Council’s committee structure,” said current County Council Chairwoman Danielle M. Glaros (D). “Additionally, the restructuring will offer an important opportunity to reframe some of the critical conversations happening in the County and build synergies among different agencies.” Under the new legislation, the following standing committees will be appointed by the chairman of the Council at the beginning of the new term in office, which starts in December:

  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Health, Human Services and Public Safety
  • Planning, Housing and Economic Development
  • Government Operations and Fiscal Policy
  • Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment
  • General Assembly

The Council’s current committee structure includes five standing committees: Health, Education and Human Services; Planning, Zoning and Economic Development; Public Safety and Fiscal Management; Transportation, Housing and Environment; and Rules and General Assembly. Six of the current Council members are term-limited, though one, Councilman Mel Franklin (D), is almost certain to return as an at-large member. Under the new rules, a council member who served two terms representing a single-member district is eligible for two more terms as an at-large member, and vice-versa. Franklin and the other top finisher in the Democratic at-large primary, Calvin Hawkins, an aide to departing County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), face Republican Felicia Folarin, an insurance agent, in the general election. But due to the overwhelming Democratic majority in Prince George’s, the two Democrats are all but certain to prevail. Audrey E. Scott was the last Republican to serve on the County Council, and she was termed out in 2002. The Democratic nominees for the district Council seats are all running unopposed in November. They are: District 1 (Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, Calverton, portions of College Park): Former Councilman Thomas Dernoga District 2 (Hyattsville, Langley Park, Brentwood, Mt. Rainier): Councilwoman Deni Taveras District 3 (New Carrolton, Berwyn Heights, Riverdale Park, portions of College Park): Glaros District 4 (Bowie, Greenbelt, Glenn Dale, portions of Upper Marlboro): Councilman Todd M. Turner District 5 (Bladensburg, Cheverly, Edmonston, Fairmount Heights, Glenarden, Landover, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Springdale and portions of Mitchellville, Bowie, Hyattsville, Lanham): Former state Del. Jolene Ivey District 6 (Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Kettering, Largo, Mitchellville, and Upper Marlboro): Councilman Derrick Leon Davis District 7 (District Heights, Capitol Heights, Hillcrest Heights, Marlow Heights, Seat Pleasant, Suitland and Morningside): Rodney C. Streeter, chief of staff to departing Councilwoman Andrea Harrison (D) District 8 (Camp Springs, Andrews Air Force Base, Clinton, Forest Heights, Fort Washington, Marlow Heights, Oxon Hill, and Temple Hills): Real estate agent Monique Anderson-Walker District 9 (Accokeek, Brandywine, Cheltenham, Clinton, Eagle Harbor, Fort Washington, Piscataway, and Upper Marlboro): Clerk of County Courts Sydney Harrison [email protected]

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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