From The Ground Up
Sen. Muse Discusses County Small Business Growth and Education On Campaign Trail
By Raoul Dennis
Candidate for Prince George’s County Executive C. Anthony Muse spoke plainly to the group of business owners gathered Oct 25.
Under his administration, “small and minority businesses locating or investing in Prince George’s County would have access to be able to compete on a fair level plain field and it would be all inclusive.”
Muse says he would seek to make the process more fluid. “He would seek to make the process flexible, and transparent by removing unnecessary obstacles.”
“Simplify the process” he says. “We would help to remove obstacles to our own minority businesses being able to complete. Some of the rules are onerous and need to be simplified. The process should not be intentionally difficult. Sometimes the process can be utilized to intentionally Exclude people and businesses and thus making it distasteful to many who want to do business here. For example, bonding. You should not have to be bonded for $10 million if you are only responsible for $1 million of the contract. It should be based on whether can one do the job or not.”
“I want to make it clear that all are welcome to do business in our county,” the state senator says. “However, we must focus on homegrown businesses in our county as well. We are not doing well with homegrown businesses. Those doing business and development projects often bring in their own workforce or use the limited list of sources who monopolizes the market in our county. They subcontract many times with out of state businesses and use our tax dollars to subsidize them. It should not be done that way.”
When asked how he proposed to offer such opportunity to those excluded from opportunity without offending those who have traditionally benefited from the existing systems, Muse says the table is big enough, and there is enough to go around.
“If they are fair-minded they should not be offended. There will be no monopoly perceived or otherwise. The table is big enough,” he says.
The candidate also talked to onlookers about the public schools system. His concerns stem from his bird’s eye view of the county’s in standing in education in Annapolis.
“When I got elected to the House of Delegates in 1995, I was on the House Ways & Means committee (and the education subcommittee). Prince George’s County rated 23rd of the least performing school districts in Maryland then and now in 2017 and we are still listed at 23. That should suggest to us that something is wrong. There are 24 jurisdictions. We have never gone above 23. It’s unacceptable. No one wants to talk about that.”
He believes that a back-to-basics approach is necessary for the schools system.
“We have to be creative and have more involvement,” he says.
Muse proposes smaller classes, a return to the application of teacher’s aides and a focus on a more diverse tier structure of teaching approaches and goals. Muse calls for classes by studying ways to no longer close schools because enrollment is lower. Rather, use them as opportunities to actually begin to cut class sizes.
He says that while technology demands newer teaching styles, old fashioned talent diversity requires that the goals not be ‘one size fits all.’
“Not everyone is going to college. Reading, writing, vocational training and career training are more along the lines of what I will do,” the longtime senator says.