The 2017-2018 Resident Guide is Now Online!

residents-guide-2017-2018The all-new 2017-2018 Resident Guide is now available online!

The residents’ guide has the most almost anything and everything you want to know about City services, such as trash/recycling pickup, pothole repairs, parking
enforcement, and much, much more.

It also has basic information about how our City government is run, including helpful contact information

Please see the new Residents’ Guide here

Tonight: Town Hall meeting on Get Big Money Out of Politics

“Revolution Prince George’s” and the “Fair Elections Prince George’s” Coalition in Calling for a Small Donor Funded Elections Program in Our County.

In the 2014 election, the average winning Prince George’s council candidate spent nearly $60,000 and the County Executive spent $1.5 million. Only 15% of the average council candidate’s contributions and less than 4% of the executive’s contributions were donations smaller than $150 – the amount an average resident may have given. The vast majority of campaign contributions came from large donors who expect a return for their contribution.

Come to a Town Hall Meeting with former Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Council Member Mary Lehman tonight  to discuss a Small Donor Funded Elections Program Town Hall Meeting with Donna Edwards and Mary Lehman

Date: Today, Thursday, September 28, 2017 Time: 7-9pm

Place: College Park City Hall (4500 Knox Road)

Please RSVP: http://bit.ly/2h3R0s3

Sign a petition asking the Prince George’s County Council to legislate a Small Donor Program – http://bit.ly/2wx4zrz

Hollywood and Daniels Park – A Tale of Two Neighborhoods


I’m a student of science and technology, but I also love history. History helps us travel into the past and see how things all started when we weren’t there.

Since I made College Park my hometown, I’ve had many opportunities meeting with many of my neighbors, who set their foot in our beloved town many years ago, some even years before I was born. During our many conversations over the years with these neighbors, they told me many stories about how our two neighborhoods, Hollywood and Daniels Park used to look like. They told me how they raised their families, and how much our neighborhoods have changed since they bought their first homes in early 1950’s. These are the neighbors who built our communities. We definitely owe them a debt of gratitude for all they have done for us.

Over the years, I saw many of these longtime neighbors leaving our town. Sadly, some moved to senior housing, some to assisted living outside of College Park and some even died. What I found scary is that when they left, they also took a treasure of history and stories with them. Though a good amount of work has been done to preserve the history of other parts of the city, very little to none has been done to collect the histories of our neighborhoods in north College Park.

Two years ago, I asked my colleagues on the City Council to set aside a small fund so that Council members can use that fund to do small projects related to the neighborhoods they serve. Using this fund, we’re were lucky to recruit a University of Maryland Anthropology student, Moriah James as a Council intern to collect the history of our two neighborhoods – Hollywood and Daniels Park. Over her summer break, Moriah spent many hours in interviewing many of our long term residents and doing research to collect histories of these neighborhoods. I’m extremely grateful to many neighbors for giving their time, some even giving precious artifacts, such as old photos and maps.

Tomorrow, Moriah will be presenting her work at the regular Council meeting.

Please read here her report here.  The History and Heritage of Daniels Park and Hollywood on the Hill

I’m sure many of you will enjoy the stories in Moriah’s report and find them fascinating. Some parts of history in the report go back a long before we had trolley train going along Rhode Island Avenue, when Edgewood Rd was a dirt road, and children used to play on what we now call I-495 beltway.

I know the report may not be complete. But let’s take this just a start. We plan to build a wiki website where we can add more content and make the history of neighborhoods more complete.

North College Park Crime Map: September 17-23, 2017

Please see below last week’s crime map and let me know if you’ve any questions. Thank you!

4800 Blk Indian LNBreaking & Enterin
9500 Blk Baltimore AveTheft from auto
9600 Blk Milestone WayTheft from auto
9100 Blk Baltimore AVE Theft from auto
9700 Blk 53RD AveCitizen Robbery
9600 Blk Rhode Island AveCitizen Robbery
4700 Blk Cherry Hill RDTheft
4700 Blk Cherry Hill RDTheft
10000 Blk Baltimore AveTheft from auto
5000 Blk Odessa RDTheft
9300 Blk Baltimore AVEStolen  Veh

Two Citizen Armed Robberies Hit North College Park

Police have advised us about the following two citizen robberies that hit our neighborhood last night.
(1) The first robbery happened at the 9600 Blk Rhode Island Ave. at around 9:32 pm. Police units responded to the above location for a report of a citizen armed robbery. The victim advised that he was walking through the area when the suspect approached him armed with an unknown caliber handgun. At which point, the suspect began to strike the victim multiple times with the weapon while demanding the victim’s money. The suspect took the victim’s backpack containing miscellaneous clothing and medicine. The suspect then fled the scene on foot northbound on Rhode Island Ave. towards Edgewood Rd. A perimeter was established. K9 units responded to conduct a track with negative results. Police responded for further investigation. During a search of the area detectives located a BB gun which was possibly used by the suspect.
Suspect’s Description: B/M, 6’0”, thin build, wearing all black clothing. Armed with an unknown caliber.       

(1) The second robbery happened at the 9700 Blk of 53rd Avenue. at around 8:15 pm. An unknown Suspect approached him from the rear, pointed a Black unknown type handgun at his abdomen and demanded his property. The Suspect (Unknown) stole the Victim’s wallet and cell phone and then fled in an unknown direction. The Victim could not provide a description of the Suspect or any further information.

Staff and I discussed further the robbery at the 53rd Ave location, which is close to Metro, where we see many commuters use this section after the dark. With days getting shorter, we may see the rise of this kind of robbery attempt at this location.

Staff told us that the Contract police officers have been advised and directed to increase patrol and visibility in the 9700 blocks of 53rd Avenue location. Also, the City engineer will look into the lighting situation around this block.

Let’s be careful. Stay safe!

PG Police Recruiting Young Citizens in Law Enforcement

PGPD Explores Post 1111 is looking for a few good Young Women & Men between the ages 11 thur 20 years.

The goal of the Police Explorer Program is to teach young adults the values needed to succeed in a law enforcement career. The Prince George’s County Police Explorer Program is designed to introduce young men and women 11 to 20 years of age interested in learning more about law enforcement and/or interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

The program is designed to provide law enforcement training and experience to the Explorer through mentoring, classroom instruction, and hands-on training. All events are community service based and do count towards the required community service hours needed for graduation.

Anyone able to see this would fall in the District I Explorer Post 1111. They meet every Wednesday from 6pm-8pm at Templeton Elementary School (6001 Carters Lane Riverdale, Maryland). Please see below for details.


Night at the Movies – Tomorrow at Hollywood Park


Come and join your neighbors for a fun and FREE Night at the Movies tomorrow, September 22! Bring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs, and blankets and enjoy a movie with the whole family under the stars.

The feature film will be a G or PG rated movie like “Trolls” or “The Secret Life of Pets” for enjoyment by all! Show-time is at 7:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the City of College Park Recreation Board. For more information, please call 240-487-3570.

Hollywood Neighborhood Park
9699 53rd Ave at the Intersection of 52nd Place

City Council Mulls to Reduce Homestead Property Tax Rate to 0%

At last night’s Council meeting, the City Council discussed reducing the Homestead tax credit to 0%. Last year, the Council reducing the rate from 4% to 2%.

Homestead Tax Credit is calculated on any assessment increase exceeding 10% (or the lower cap enacted by the local governments) from one year to the next. Thus the lower the rate a city establishes, the residents get more tax break.

Reducing the Homestead Tax Credit rate results in reduced property tax revenue to the City with a corresponding reduction in eligible residents’ property tax bills.

Last year’s reduction to 2% resulted in an estimated $30,000 reduction in property tax revenue for the City, providing an average annual savings of $121 to the 1,951 eligible owner-occupied homes in the City.

The additional cost (revenue reduction) resulting from lowering the City’s Homestead Tax Credit Rate is estimated at $17,000 for each percentage point.

The State began the Homestead Tax Credit program in the 1980s. It allowed local governments to set, and adjust as desired, the Homestead Tax Credit rate from 0 to 10%. Most jurisdictions rarely, if ever, change their rate. Prince George’s County is required by TRIM to review its rate annually, and to adjust it to best approximate the change in the consumer price index, with a cap of 5%, not 10%.

Some of the smaller municipalities follow the County’s lead and automatically adopt the same rate. Most municipalities in the County have left their rates at the maximum level permitted, 10%. Exceptions are Bowie, which switched from following the County’s rate last decade, to setting a rate of 5% and the Village of Upper Marlboro, which established a rate of 0% in the 1990s.

College Park maintained its rate at 10% until 2004. In 2005 (for FY 2006) the rate was reduced to 1%. That action was taken as a result of City residents seeing an approximate 30% increase in assessments in January 2004. The rate remained at 1% until 2007, when the rate was increased to 4% for 2008 (for FY2009). The rate remained at 4% until last year when the rate was reduced to 2% for FY 2018.

If enacted, among the 19 municipalities in the PG counties, College Park will be the only city offering 0% homestead tax credit. Bowie has 5%, Forrest Heights has 8%. All other 16 cities have 10%.

If the Council decides to make the change, this would be reflected as a reduction to real property taxes in the FY 2019 Adopted Operating Budget.

North College Park Crime Map: September 11 – 16, 2017

Please see below last week’s crime map and let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.

4700 Blk Cherokee StTheft
4900 Blk Erie STBreaking & Entering
5000 Blk Branchville RDBreaking & Entering
3500 Blk Marlbrough WayStolen VEH

Council Accepts Responsibility, Seeks to Unify Community, following Reversal of Charter Amendment Results

Last Tuesday night, many of our neighbors were disappointed seeing the non-binding referendum denied by the City Council. Last night’s announcement reversing the Charter change may have given them some sense of relief, but I can feel the disappointments of other neighbors who were happy to see the change happened Tuesday night. The following statement we made yesterday morning will hopefully help bring our neighbors together on this matter. Thank you!


Recent Charter Change Did NOT Pass Due to Insufficient Votes!

The City published the following press release last night.

COLLEGE PARK, MD, September 15, 2017 – City of College Park officials said on Friday that Charter Amendment 17-CR-02 that would have allowed City residents who are not U.S. citizens to vote in City elections did not receive the required number of affirmative votes by elected officials to be adopted.

For most Council actions, a simple majority of Councilmembers present must vote in favor of an item for it to be adopted. However, changes to the Charter have a different requirement. The City Charter was amended in June to require the affirmative vote of six elected officials to change the Charter. On Tuesday night, four of the seven voting Councilmembers voted in favor of Charter Amendment 17-CR- 02, which was not enough for passage. Therefore, Charter Amendment 17-CR-02 was not adopted.

City officials are notifying residents and the media that the Charter Amendment did not pass. The City Council will discuss this development at their Worksession next Tuesday, September 19.

Old Parish House 200 Celebration Starts Today!

OPH small version

Today, the City is going to begin 3-days long Old Parish House at 200 celebrations.
The celebration begins with a vintage dance tonight at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, at 7:30pm. No experience necessary, according to the organizers. You are welcome to bring the children.

Tomorrow is all about kids — with two fabulous storytellers, crafts, sports and don’t forget about the horse and wagon ride!
Sunday is History Day, featuring a series of “TED”-like talks on the history of our city, the University, the region and the world. You’ll also have an opportunity to see the new quilt that will hang in the Old Parish House in honor of its 200 years.

Parking information is at the event’s website: www.OPHat200.com

The City hopes to bring people together from all the neighborhoods of College Park to party like it’s 1817!

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Hollywood Streetscape Project, Storage Facility, and More..

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and teh day when teh North College Park Community Association’s monthly meeting.

The meeting will start with a presentation about the concepts for aesthetic and community enhancements in the Hollywood Commercial District. City’s Director of Planning and teh City Manager will be there. Members will get an opportunity to speak and give feedback.

Additionally, members will hear the Development Presentation of plans to construct a consolidated storage facility at 9604 Baltimore Ave. on the west side of US 1 near Hollywood Road. It would be a multi-story building that will be “an architecturally appealing building which looks nothing like typical consolidated storage buildings”.

As usual, the meeting will take place at Davis Hall, at 7:30 pm. Everyone is welcome.

Council Decides Allowing Non-Citizens to Vote at City Elections

cp city hallAt last night’s meeting, the City Council decided to allow non-citizens to register and vote in future City elections, as of 2019.

Thank you, everyone, who came to last night’s meeting. I also want to thank those who wrote to us about the proposed change.

The Council earlier voted against two other amendments – to hold a referendum and to extend voting rights to green card holders as a compromise measure. Both ended in tie votes. Kabir, Day, Cook and Kujawa voted in support and Nagle, Monroe, Brennan, and Stullich voted against. Mayor broke the tie and voted against both measures.

The Council then voted on the original motion on 17-CR-02. The vote was 4-3-1. Nagle, Monroe, Brennan, and Stullich voted in support and Day, Cook and Kujawa voted against. Kabir abstained.

On the Carter amendment itself, I was on the fence. I saw some opportunities and also some risks in the change, which I explained in my closing comments. I very strongly advocated putting the question of the non-residents voting to an advisory referendum. I was hoping the residents’ mandate on the referendum on this subject would have given me a chance to vote on this item one way or another (assuming I’ll still be in the office). Unfortunately, the residents were denied that referendum opportunity last night. In the absence of that clear mandate, I felt it wasn’t the right thing for me to take a position on the proposal.

As it was evident at last night’s meeting, the community is now deeply divided. So is the Council. We do have a lot of work in making our neighbors coming together.

Council May Consider a Compromise Resolution Allowing Green Card Holders to Vote at City Elections

At tonight’s meeting, the City Council may consider a resolution allowing City’s Green Card holders to vote at City elections.

Council members are expected to bring two other amendment resolutions. They include: (1) The placement of questions relating to non-U.S. Citizen voting as an advisory referendum on the November 7 ballot, with the exact language to be approved in a Special Session on September 19th. and (2) The establishment of a Voting Rights Commission, with resident representatives from each Council district, to review issues of voting rights for residents of the City of College Park.

The current resolution (17-CR-02) asks to amend City Charter allowing everyone to vote at the City elections, irrespective of their immigration status. This green card resolution will make a compromise between the proposed 17-CR-02 resolution and who can vote currently at the City elections (only U.S. citizens).

For any concerns regarding immigration law, you may reach out to The Echavarria Law Firm – San Antonio.

The motion will read the following.
I move to amend §C4-1(a) in 17-CR-02 to read as follows:

The remainder of 17-CR-02 would be unchanged.

Please see the related Charter resolution CHARTER RESOLUTION to allow permanent residents to vote.