FORT WASHINGTON, Md. -- The ballot will be full of contenders vying for the County Executive seat in Prince George’s county later this month.
Tuesday night, four out of 10 of those candidates debated on hot button issues ranging from the state of PGCPS to economic development at Ebenezer AME Church which was hosted by WHUR.
Senator C. Anthony Muse, Former Congresswoman Donna Edwards, State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, and Former Obama Appointee, Paul Monteiro were all in attendance.
The debate began with the question, what's to blame for the problems facing Prince George’s County Public Schools, to which Edwards replied, "I think what has happened in Prince George's County with our school system is shameful. I think the way that you fix it is you take the money off the top of the system and you put it down in the classroom."
Senator Muse followed, saying, "In 2016, '17, and again in '18, when it wasn't popular, I did call for the resignation of Dr. Maxwell. The buck stops there. He came, he brought him and said he would fix these problems and it has not yet been done."
All agreed that arming teachers in the classroom is not the answer to protecting students and that paying teachers a salary matching those in neighboring counties is the way to go.
On the topic of violence on Prince George’s County streets in comparison to other counties, SA Alsobrooks pointed to a 40% drop in homicide, but called for more attention to domestic violence and mental health issues.
Monteiro offered a solution of his own calling for better rehabilitation for offenders.
He said, "What do you think is going to happen when you have a bunch of second class citizens walking around? They come out of the criminal justice system. You won't hire them, won't give them a place to live... We have to build pathways for returning citizens."
Other topics centered around economic development, better offerings for consumers so far as shops and restaurants, and a big applause getter, reintroducing twice a week trash pick-ups in the county to which SA Alsobrooks said,"They pay the second highest tax rate in the state. It's a basic service that we deserve to have trash picked up two days a week."
The Prince George’s County Executive primary is June 26th.