A bill critics slammed as a power grab aimed at wresting influence from a liberal bloc poised to comprise a new majority on the Prince George’s County Council was pulled Thursday after widespread backlash, even as another controversial measure squeaked through.
The initial proposal, CB-91, from council Chairman Calvin S. Hawkins II (D-At Large) and council member Mel Franklin (D-At Large), would have limited any council faction’s ability to influence rules about zoning, from transit to environmental policy to the location of new housing and retail. The measure lifted from six to eight the number of votes on the 11-member body required to effect change.
As the vote loomed, council members clashed behind the scenes and county residents gathered in last-minute meetings to voice concerns about the timing and intent of the measure introduced ahead of the November election, which is expected to usher in a new liberal majority to the county council. (Candidates who prevail in the deep-blue county’s Democratic primary typically prevail in the general election.)