Nicholas (Nick) Majett, Prince George’s County Chief Administrative Officer, has been a COG member since May 2014, when he first joined Prince George’s County government. He is the Chairman of the COG Chief Administrative Officers (CAO) Committee, which is a committee composed of city and county managers from COG member local governments.
How did you get into public service?
In high school, I was enrolled in a course called Urban Studies and we visited several federal and D.C. agencies. I was amazed by the depth of work that the federal government and D.C. government did. That was when I first got interested in government. During my undergrad at Howard University, I studied Political Science. After graduating, I got a job with the District of Columbia government where I served for 29 years.
What do you think are some of the region’s biggest challenges?
I think the biggest challenge is transportation. We have increased our population by 500,000 people since the 2010 census. We have an ailing metro system, which is 40 years old and needs a lot of repairs. In Prince George’s County, we have the MGM facility, which opened several months ago, and National Harbor, which had 10 million visitors last year. There is no metro service to MGM or National Harbor. Then, there is infrastructure; our bridges and roads need repair. I think transportation is a huge issue in this region.
As Chief Administrative Officers (CAO) Committee Chair, how is the committee working to address some of these challenges?
We have a metro technical panel where we meet with metro officials monthly. One of their major concerns is funding. We are looking for a dedicated source of funding, maybe a regional tax, for the region to help fund Metro and we are looking at getting the federal government to increase their participation and funding to Metro.
What are some of the committee’s other focus areas this year?
We also are working with the General Services Administration, which is looking for better ways and efficiencies to locate their federal buildings. We are focusing on Central Business Areas, which are where the most economic development takes place and where it would be more reasonable to locate their buildings.
Next Generation 9-1-1 is also very important. We had a failing of the 9-1-1 system in Maryland about a year ago and it made us realize that we needed to look at a 9-1-1 infrastructure that is very old and look at a more regional approach to 9-1-1 going into the future. This will entail being able to text and send videos to 9-1-1 and making it more efficient.
How does Prince George’s County benefit from participation at COG?
The first benefit is through COG’s cooperative purchasing program. Through that program, Prince George’s has saved two million dollars in purchasing fuel per year. We are looking at purchasing others items such as radios through the program, which will save us a lot of money.
Personally, I can talk to my peers from other jurisdictions and ask them about best practices. At COG meetings, I can ask them what they are doing about a problem. For example, I can ask about what they are doing with their 9-1-1 systems, or what they are purchasing through the co-op that I should be aware of. I can learn best practices in the region just by talking to my COG counterparts.
Additionally, COG provides research studies. For example, I am on the DC Water Board of Directors, and I can use some of the information that I get from COG regarding clean water at DC Water Board meetings.
COG is invaluable. If we acted independent of COG, then the respective jurisdictions would spend a lot more money. I would probably have to hire contractors to do studies that I get from COG. COG has been a tremendous asset to me as the CAO of Prince George’s County.