Prince George’s County Council Upset With Baker.

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UPPER MARLBORO – Although the Prince George’s County Council gave approval to an agreement between Exelon and the executives of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties to allow Exelon’s merger with Pepco, some council members say they think County Executive Rushern Baker III should have been more communicative with them.

The council voted 8-0-1, with Councilwoman Mary Lehman abstaining, to approve the resolution, but will review continue to review it at their next meeting to make further changes.

Councilman Obie Patterson said the council had not been briefed on the deal and did not learn of the agreement until earlier in the week, while Councilwoman Karen Toles questioned how the county administration would monitor the progress of the deal and ensure Exelon and Pepco meet the standards put forth in the agreement.

“This is a major project and a major undertaking and for this council not to be involved in the discussion, I think, is almost irresponsible on the part of those who are asking us to support it,” Patterson said. “You’re involved in a total community…I just think we are not, as legislators, doing what we are charged to do. We are a legislative body. I know this is a county resolution and not a county bill, but I think we could’ve gotten a solution.”

Thomas Himler, deputy chief administrative officer of finance for the county executive’s office, said the county administration could have briefed the council on the negotiations with Exelon and Pepco, but the announcement happened when the administration put together its budget proposal.

“We could’ve provided a briefing. All of this was happening around the time when we were trying to get the budget done, so all of this was happening simultaneously,” Himler said. “This is 20/20 hindsight.”

Toles said there should have been a briefing because it would have given the council a chance to address issues they are concerned about.

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