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‘Quality of Life’ Group Moves to Next Step

In tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will form a “Neighborhood Stabilization Committee” to continue its work in addressing quality of life issues in the neighborhood.

Back in 2012, the Council formed the Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Work Group to engage with various stakeholders, including the’University of Maryland, City residents, University of Maryland students, public safety officials, and rental property owners.

The group had a challenging task at its hand – to identify possible strategies to stabilize neighborhoods and improve quality of life for College Park residents.

The Work Group held numerous committee meetings from November 2012 through June 2013 to identify and define potential strategies. They include

  • reducing issues that negatively impact quality of life for College Park residents,
  • increasing rates of homeownership,
  • building positive relations between different groups in the community, and
  • expanding options for affordable housing

The Work Group held two public forums, in January and April 2013, to provide an opportunity for members of the broader community to express their concerns. and ideas related to these issues, and at which a large number of people representing a broad spectrum of the community provided input through oral and written testimony.

Early last month, the Work Group submitted its report to the Mayor and Council including 63 possible strategies for addressing the above issues as well as 23 potential metrics that might be used to assess progress.

Tonight’s resolution recommends that the City Council designate a smaller, ongoing committee to promote and facilitate a continuing dialogue among various stakeholders.

The committee swill consist of the following members, each serving a two-year term:
• Two Councilmembers
• One representative of the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety, selected by the University
• One representative of the University of Maryland administration, selected by the University
• Three City residents, selected by Council
• Three University of Maryland students (the student liaison to the City Council, one Student Government Association representative, and one representative of the Interfraternity Council or Pan-Hellenic Association)
• One representative of the Prince George’s County Police Department (at least District Commander Level)
• Director of the City’s Public Services Department
• Two rental property owners, selected by Council

The Committee will elect its chair, adopt procedures with respect to a quorum and other operations, and determine how it will accomplish its charge from the Council and develop its strategies.

The Committee will meet at least four times per year, and will hold at least one public forum per year to solicit broader community input.

Also, the Committee will provide annual reports of its activities to the City Council and such other reports as the Council requests or the Committee deems useful.

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