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& HUMOROUS Homecoming ilyAIMY returns to Greenbelt. B-1 Gazette-Star SERVING PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITIES DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Thursday, December 19, 2013 25 cents County schools CEO proposes $1.75B budget Santa paws n Program expansions, return of parent liaisons among items sought BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Paris the dog, who was with owner Joseph Holt of Laurel (not shown), poses for a photo with Santa Claus, played by Marc Solomon of Glen Burnie, on Saturday as part of the pet portraits fundraiser at Spay Now Animal Surgery Clinic in Laurel. The money will benefit animal groups Laurel TNR and Outlaw Kitties, both of which work to neuter feral cats in Prince George’s County. Bowie Wal-Mart moves toward public hearing Only a high-end store should go at proposed site, planning department says n BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER It is a tie game now with Bowie leaders backing plans for a new Wal-Mart Supercenter in the city and the Prince George’s County Planning Department staff siding against the big-box store. The decision is now in the hands of the county’s zoning hearing examiner and District Council, which is made up of County Council members. Planning staff cited in their Nov. 26 report that the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter, which would be across the street from the Wal-Mart currently on Crain Highway, does not fit into the 2006 master plan for the area, which calls for a high-end department store and not big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart. Mill Branch Crossing, the proposed site for the store, is at the intersection of Crain Highway and Mill Branch Road and calls for a mixed commercial shopping center. “To ignore the master plan recommen- dation was to substantially impair the master plan’s integrity,” said Tom Lockard, planning coordinator for the Prince George’s County Planning Department, who wrote the staff report. On Thursday, the planning board sent the project to the zoning hearing examiner, who will hold a public hearing at a yet-to-bedetermined date, Lockard said. The examiner has the power to approve or deny the application, and that decision can be appealed by the District Council, according to county zoning laws. See WAL-MART, Page A-8 Laurel brothers collecting books for St. Lucia library Bond Mill students receive more than 900 that will be sent to island n BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE Anderson Lambert (left), 5, and his brother Alexander, 7, of Laurel with books they collected to help their father’s native country of St. Lucia by organizing a book drive for a children’s library in Laborie. Alexander and Anderson Lambert of Laurel are giving more than 900 books to children in the island nation of St. Lucia, thanks to some help from their fellow Bond Mill Elementary School students. “We saw that St. Lucia did not have much books [and we thought] we should donate some books that are in good condition,” said Alexander, 7, a second-grader at Bond Mill Elementary School in Laurel. St. Lucia is a small, 238,000-square-mile island nation in the Caribbean with a population of approximately 174,000. The boys’ father, Miguel Lambert, was born in St. Lucia. “We always try to tell them to give back to people who do not have as much as they do,” the boys’ mother, Ayana Lambert, said. “They love St. Lucia, their dad is from St. Lucia, they have B-11 PIKE PRIDE Calendar A-2 Classified B-9 Former DuVal lineman, several county graduates lead Towson into Division I-FCS semifinals. Community News A-4 Entertainment B-1 A-11 ALL-GAZETTE FOOTBALL HONORS A-12 Opinion A-10 Sports A-11 Please RECYCLE See BUDGET, Page A-8 Upper Marlboro raises leaders’ pay to boost interest n Commission president hopes ‘experiment’ will get more candidates for Jan. 6 elections BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER Upper Marlboro’s elected leaders will get a raise effective July 1 — doubling the annual salary for commissioners and quadrupling the commission president’s salary — in hopes of increasing residents’ interest in running for office. The town’s three commissioners voted unanimously Monday to increase the base commissioner salary to $1,200 per year, up from $600 per year, and the commission president’s salary to $15,000 per year, up from $3,600 per year. “This is an experiment,” said Stephen Sonnett, commission president. “We are looking for empirical data.” This experiment means changes could be made in the future if increasing the salary does or does not work as expected, said Joe Hourclé, town commissioner. The town commissioners, Sonnett, Hourclé and Jim Storey, have expressed concern about the low number of residents running in the town’s next election, Jan. 6, and in previous elections. The filing deadline for the Jan. 6 election was Dec. 9, but voters can submit write-in candidates on their ballots, Hourclé said. Three candidates have registered, both Sonnett and Storey are returning, but Hourclé is bowing out. The third and See PAY, Page A-8 See LIBRARY, Page A-8 Automotive SPORTS Prince George’s County schools CEO Kevin Maxwell has proposed a $1.75 billion budget, which includes plans for a Spanish immersion program, specialty program expansions and the restoration of parent liaison positions. “I hope it’s very clear to the people who’ve been coming to forums, who’ve come to the meet and greets, who have come and spoken at board meetings, that we are listening, that we are responsive, that we’ve heard them describe the things that they hope to see in our school system for their children,” Maxwell said. The proposed budget for fiscal 2015, presented to the school board Dec. 12, is $65.6 million greater than the current year budget, or 3.89 percent. Fiscal 2015 begins July 1. Although Maxwell’s budget includes a $12.5 million increase in the request for funding from the county, the bulk — $46.9 million — of the increase comes from the school’s carryover fund balance. “Our fund balance is around $140 million, so we’re talking about a pretty big chunk. So we need to look at that very closely,” said board chairman Segun Eubanks. “At the same time, many of the things in this budget are things we as a board have been saying, ‘We’ve got to have these things to move our school system forward.” Maxwell’s budget includes $21.7 million for new and expanded programs, including doubling the number of full time pre-kindergarten programs in the county from eight to 16. Maxwell said plans include expanding a small kinder- Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906212

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