VIDEO: Candidates Talk Money, Business

The five county executive candidates discussed how they would handle job growth and a tight budget.

Answers to questions about money and jobs largely sounded the same from the five county executive candidates at a forum put on by The Human Services Coalition of Prince George's County Thursday evening.

Candidate Henry Turner, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, said the county needs a performance budget audit.

"We need to look at eliminating duplicated services," he said.

And Candidate Gerron Levi, who is a current state delegate, agreed that the budget process must be streamlined –including getting rid of duplicate services – but with a data-driven approach.

Candidates Michael A. Jackson and Samuel Dean echoed the streamlining and eliminating priorities.

"It's not always about the actual dollars that you have," Jackson said. "It's about how to streamline."

Candidate Rushern Baker, a former state delegate, said the county needs to stop relying on property taxes for revenue.

And with 7.4 percent of Prince Georgians unemployed, Baker said the county needs to grow its businesses and attract more.

"We've got office space next to Rome … next to Washington, D.C., the only place that can print money," he said, adding that the county should do more to develop the areas around its 15 Metro stations.

Jackson, the current county sheriff, also suggested building around the Metros and getting trade programs back into county schools.

And speaking of Metros, Hyattsville has one of its own with major development in progress. Dean, who is a current county councilman, said University Town Center is one of eight major development projects around Prince George's that needs to come to fruition.


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