What Ike Leggett still wants to accomplish before he retires

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett announced this week he’s planning to call it quits when his term ends and won’t run for re-election or any other elective office. But there’s still plenty on his to-do list in the two and 1/2 years he has left as the head of Maryland’s most populous county, he told WTOP.

“There are certain things that I still would like to accomplish as we go through the next two years,” Leggett told WTOP after a news conference held by local officials on reducing pollution in the Anacostia River.

Leggett’s priorities in his last two years include reducing overcrowding in the school system, which he said is growing by more than 2,000 students a year.

Leggett, who was first elected to his post in 2006, also said he plans to keep the focus on implementing the master plan for developing the White Oak Science Gateway. The final schedule for that project, which includes consolidating the Food and Drug Administration headquarters, was adopted in 2014.

Leggett, the first African-American elected to the office of Montgomery County executive, previously served 16 years as an at-large member of the county council, making him one of the longest-serving local officials in the region.

Leggett said he’s ready to retire when his term ends in December 2018 and to spend more time with his family.

“I think most politicians say that, but when you think about having served 16 years on the county council, 12 years at the end of my term as county executive — that’s a long time for a county as complex, as large and as involved as Montgomery County,” Leggett said.

He confirmed to WTOP that he has no plans to run for governor, saying he’s looking for opportunities outside elective office to make a difference, such as serving on nonprofit boards and commissions.

Leggett, who was a law-school professor at Howard University for 32 years, said he also may go back to teaching.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

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