SEABROOK – While Question D may be getting the most attention this election, there is another charter amendment, as well as several county bond measures and a state-wide referendum, on the ballot as well. Question G is an amendment to the county charter that would stipulate, in the event of a conflict between the legislative […]
SEABROOK – While Question D may be getting the most attention this election, there is another charter amendment, as well as several county bond measures and a state-wide referendum, on the ballot as well.
Question G is an amendment to the county charter that would stipulate, in the event of a conflict between the legislative and executive branches of government, each branch would be required to seek outside counsel. The County Attorney is the legal representative of both branches, so in conflicts between them that person would face a conflict of interest, the county council and its staff reasoned when proposing the measure.
If passed, the proposal could have a negative impact on the county’s fiscal state, according to a memorandum from Senior Legislative Auditor Inez Claggett to the county council, but just how big of an impact would vary, “determined by the proposed billing rates of the outside counsel chosen to resolve the matter, coupled with the complexity of the case,” she wrote.
A “yes” vote indicates support for the measure and a “no” vote indicates opposition.
The other county-specific ballot questions are bond questions, asking the public to approve the county issuing bonds (in other words, borrowing money) to pay for specified projects. A “yes” vote on Question A, B, C, E, or F indicates approval of the county’s bond, and a “no” vote indicates disapproval.
Question A deals with library facilities bonds, not to exceed $60.8 million dollars. The money would be used for the replacement of Laurel and Brandywine libraries, renovations to the New Carrollton branche and a new library in Langley Park, according to election board documents. The county’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) indicates that the costs of the library projects will be funded entirely through these bonds.
Question B approves bonds not to exceed $66.6 million for public safety projects, including rehabbing Fire/EMS stations and police stations, installing underground water storage tanks and dry fire hydrants in rural areas of the county, and the construction of a new District IX station near National Harbor. Like the libraries, these projects are only funded with bonds in the CIP.
Community college CIP projects are funded through a combination of bonds and state funding (52.5 percent and 47.5 percent, respectively). The $48.4 million in bonds would pay to create a culinary arts center for 150 students yearly and for renovations to other buildings on the campus. They are designated Question C on the ballot.
Question E bonds would cover a wide range of public works and transportation projects county-wide. Those include, but are not limited to, improvements to roads such as Brandywine Road in Brandywine and Governor Bridge Road in Bowie, the purchase of buses, features to make more infrastructure Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, and the county’s portion of funding for the Purple Line light rail project. The bonds could not exceed $199.3 million.
Question F bonds of up to $120.5 million would pay for projects at county buildings. Among the list of projects it encompasses are a new homeless shelter to replace the old one, improvements to security system and lock-up areas at the court house, a new police and fire driver training facility, energy conservation upgrades, and a new court school as an alternative learning source for youth who have been expelled from other schools.
The state-wide ballot question is designated Question 1. If passed, it would require the governor to appoint an attorney general or comptroller from a list of names given by the state political party of the person who stepped down, so the new appointee would be from the same political party as the elected officeholder. Currently, the governor can appoint anyone he or she chooses to fill the vacancy, regardless of party.