The new 2014-2015 City Council took oath of office last night. Two of our colleagues – Bob Catlin (Dist 2) and Alan Hew (Dist 4) had their last day on the Council. In their seats, we had two new Council members, PJ Brennan (dist 2) Alan Hew (Dist 4), who are active in the Berwyn and Autoville neighborhood.

In today’s post, I want to highlight two of my colleagues (now ‘past’), Mr. Afzali and Mr. Catlin and want to thank them for their many years of service for our city.

Mr. Afzali got to Council when he was only 25 and became the youngest Council member in City’s history. By getting elected at that age, I think he has set an example and inspiration for city’s younger residents to get involved and run for public office.

Mr. Afzali has been very passionate on the Council to talk about the issue in his district and more importantly about the City. We will sure miss those passionate and often entertaining discussion on the Council.

Mr. Afzali started the College Park Tour where local elected and community leaders attended monthly events at City’s local restaurants and helped promote local businesses. He was also instrumental in starting the Downtown Farmers Market and promoting local businesses in downtown College Park.

Mr. Catlin is a mentor and personal trainer on the Council for me and for many of colleagues. I consider Mr. Catlin as a source of an extraordinary wealth of knowledge about our City. He is truly a living Wikipedia of City of College Park.

Many times during my term, I asked him questions about the City,and I got answers before I could get them from anywhere else. He has also helped a lot in responding to questions residents have asked on this blog.

Without Mr. Catlin, the new Council will really be losing a huge institutional knowledge.

Mr. Catlin cared much about the development projects in the City. He has been very independent minded when he voted on many issues on the Council. On many occasions, he voted against the majority of the Council and I think this is a good example we can all take as Council member. It’s easy to go with the flow, but often it takes courage to cast that lone vote.

I wish Mr. Afzali and Mr. Catlin the best. I hope they will stay with us for many days, months and years to come. Because College Park really needs them.