Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks briefly explained how residents constantly confront her about why trash collection hasn’t reverted to a twice-a-week schedule, especially for those who purchase crabs and host weekend barbecues.
Alsobrooks announced Tuesday that scheduled pickup for food and yard waste will happen every Monday and all other trash and recyclables will be collected on another day. A public launch on the official date will happen in the spring.
“This does not cost, other than the containers, any additional dollars to do it this way. The food waste that we collect will be used for compost which means we’re going to actually make money,” she said while standing among county, education and business leaders during a press conference in Largo. “This will hopefully allow me to get coffee or whatever in peace.”
This and several other changes, strategies and recommendations are part of a report from Alsobrooks’ transition team formed after the November election. The team was divided into 12 groups to focus on items such as education, housing, public safety and the environment.
In terms of state funding, one goal includes a push to receive nearly $1 billion in school construction over a seven-year period through public and private partnerships.
Other education plans would seek to increase behavioral health services for adolescents and parents beyond the 40 schools that currently receive services.
Alsobrooks admitted some of the county’s current challenges such as outdated technology. She said one of the new directors who reviewed the budget “felt like he was coming right into 1985.”
Many concern comes in hiring practices. For instance, the average time frame for new hires can take up to six months.
The county also plans to ensure all employees receive adequate training and certification to improve customer service. According to the report, there’s a strategy to “incentivize employees to complete trainings and provide up to 10 hours per month to take advantage of opportunities.”
It’s also a possibility that seminars would be offered on the weekends for residents interested in county jobs.
“It’s just making sure when people come to Prince George’s County to do business, they are not encountering bureaucracy and backlog and unprofessionalism,” Alsobrooks said. “We are truly committed to transparency and performance and we are setting the bar high in terms of professional service our business owners and others will encounter when they come here.”
The transition report also highlights other plans, such as:
• continuing to target transit-oriented development at the county’s Metro stations.
• increasing staffing of civilian positions at the Police Department currently at 67 percent capacity.
• improving broadband or high-speed internet access in underserved areas such as the Moyaone Reserve in Accokeek and parts of Aquasco.
In terms of education, one proposal would seek to decrease a student’s suspension if a parent spends an entire day with their child.
Monica Goldson, interim CEO of the county public school system, will speak at an education luncheon Wednesday at the Colony South Hotel and Conference Center in Clinton. Goldson served on an education and workforce part of the transition team.
In terms of youth sports, one goal would enhance public and private partnerships for clubs to use gymnasiums, fields and other facilities. Some organizers say independent squads push out county groups for those uses at community centers and schools.
“We are open to our facilities being used by any of our community members,” Goldson said. “We just have to work around the plethora of sports that we offer. As long as it doesn’t conflict with our existing schedule, we’re open for people to utilize the facilities.”