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Trail Talk 1: Losing Hope, Neighbor Wants to Leave College Park

Quitting College Park

On my campaign trail, as I’ve been knocking doors of my neighbors and talking to them for the past few days, I’m hearing many stories – some good, some not so good. I’ll try to share some of them here with you and see if you have anything to share too.

Here is a neighbor, Jane (not her real name), that I met the other day and spent about half an hour talking different things about her life in College Park.

Jane is a retired federal employee. She has been living in College Park for more than 35 years. After retirement she’s been spending most her time at home.

“I’ve way too much time to find things in my neighborhood” – she said. “So expect me to complain about a few things” – she warns me at the outset of our discussion.

Jane said she is not a computer whiz, so she does not read online news. Most of her information comes from words of mouth, and some from local paper, such as the Gazette. But she is not happy with the fact that the Gazette does not have an exclusive edition covering College Park only.

“How do I know what is going on in that intersection?” – Jane refers to the recent construction at the Rhode Island and Edgewood Road. The county is trying to install traffic lights there.

“Why don’t my councilmember comes to me and keep me informed?” – she continues. “Do they need to come only during election year?” Jane opens up.

She is also concerned about the crime situation in her neighborhood.

“See that alarm?” – she pointed to the alarm system at the front porch. “Why do I have to pay extra to feel secure?” “Why can’t I enjoy my afternoon leaving my doors open?”

Jane invested in College Park through a property she bought several years ago. She doesn’t like the landlord association PGPOA, but she thinks the City has a double standard in dealing with residential rental properties and the high rise apartment complex across Route 1.

“I’m leaving” – Jane said with frustration. “And so will my neighbors, none of them said they will stay here any more”.

I tried to give Jane hope, citing a better way to get in touch with residents and some good improvement we’re working in the area od public safety. I also talked about redevelopment of Rt 1 in north College Park, that can revitalize our area in north College Park. She seemed to calm down a little, but years of frustration did not seem to completely convince her to stay in the city.

She said she will stay in College Park, not because she sees light at the end of the tunnel, but because of the poor housing market. She doesn’t have any other choice but to stay.

“Don’t worry, I’m stuck here at least for a few more years”. Jane said ending our conversation.

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