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County Council Chairman Mel Franklin (right) outlined a bold plan at the Retreat.

Sleeves rolled up, ready to work, members of the Prince George’s County Council gathered in Cambridge, Md. for their 2015 Annual Legislative Retreat on Jan. 5 and 6. The two day retreat focused on legislative priorities, economic development, and teamwork. The retreat was open to the public.

According to a county press release, while there, legislators specifically discussed revisions to the Zoning Ordinance; the current status of major development projects; the county’s branding campaign; the county budget and fiscal outlook; Maryland legislative and budget issues; and core values.

Presentations were made throughout the retreat by various entities including, the Maryland Builders Industry Association, the Prince George’s County Office of Ethics and Accountability, and the Maryland –National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Retreat documents showed four targeted business sectors in the county’s proposed Strategic Economic Development Plan, including: 1) Information, Communications, and Electronics; 2) Health care and Life Sciences 3) Business Services; and 4) Federal Government. The plan will also address Travel and Tourism, and Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics as areas for economic growth.

“We are doing big things on purpose to reshape and advance the future of our great County,” said County Council Chairman Mel Franklin during his acceptance speech last December. “As we look to the next four years, it requires us to envision the next 40.”

Throughout the speech, Franklin outlined a bold plan that included investments in public education, economic development, job creation, and public and private infrastructure.

“This is a vision of economic inclusion and integration local ownership, and opportunity,” Franklin said. “Like our nation, our county is destined to be a land of opportunity where your only limit is how far you dare to dream.”

Franklin was not available for comment on the success of the retreat and specific actions residents could expect in 2015.

Other county officials are also gearing up for 2015, and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker is one of them.

“As he has during his first four general assembly sessions, is going to focus on fighting for money, resources, and any legislation needed to help continue the amazing progress of Prince George’s County over the past four years,” Scott L. Peterson, a spokesperson for Baker, told the AFRO on Jan. 13. “With $6 billion in economic development in the pipeline, a reduction of overall crime of 36 percent along with improvements in public education and health outcomes as well as an aggressive push to draw the FBI Headquarters to the County during the first term of the Baker administration, it is important and critical to the economic development of the State of Maryland to continue investing in the people and infrastructure of Prince George’s County. “

The County Executive looks to also focus on specific transportation, healthcare, and public safety initiatives.

According to Peterson, he will prioritize funding for the building of a new Regional Medical Center, fight for school construction money, and advocate for the building of Purple metro line and create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic development growth.