The petition drive by PGPOA (Prince George’s Property Owner’s Association) that wanted to impose two amendments to the City Charter has failed to submit the required signature by last Monday’s deadline.
This means that the charter amendment questions will not appear in the upcoming November Mayor and council election.
The PGPOA had to obtain the signatures of 20% of the qualified voters of the City to make these amendments on the ballot.
Commenting on the petition, District 1 council member Patrick Wojahn said :
“(the) proposed (amendments were brought) to essentially disable the City’s ability to provide necessary services to residents and regulate rental housing”
Reacting to Mr. Wojahn’s statement, PGPOA board member William Chicca said
“I would vehemently dispute Councilman’s Wojahn’s assessment of the intent of the petitions as typical politician’s hyperbole and posturing. In addition, if the deadline for submission for inclusion on the November 2011 ballot has passed, that does not prevent the petition from being submitted for inclusion on the 2013 ballot. “
Perhaps Mr. Chicca hasn’t read his own amendments. The language speaks for itself. Apparently they couldn’t mislead enough residents this time around to sign the petition to get it on the ballot, so they’re planning again.
“I would vehemently dispute Councilman’s Wojahn’s assessment of the intent of the petitions as typical politician’s hyperbole and posturing.”
The way the petitions were worded were in themselves an example of hyperbole and posturing. No wonder the NCPCA passed a resolution calling these petitions “dishonest and deceptive.”
My understanding is that the deadline for filing a petition signature is one year from the date that the signature was obtained, and that more than enough signatures were collected for these petitions. The PGPOA has not submitted the petition signatures yet because the PGPOA’s top legislative goal is not to change the City’s charter, but to encourage the City of College Park to cancel the rent control laws that apply only to houses and not to apartment complexes. This delay between collection and submission of the petition signatures has given the City the opportunity to act, but the City has not changed the relevant laws. The signatures will start to expire in March 2012, so as of now, the PGPOA’s opportunity to act has not ended.