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College Park city clerk retires after 18 years on job

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Posted on: July 10, 2024

By LILLIAN GLAROS

City Clerk Janeen Miller will retire on Aug. 1. Her replacement is Yvette Allen, who was the assistant city clerk for 20 years.
Courtesy of the City of College Park

College Park City Clerk Janeen Miller will retire on Aug. 1 after 18 years in the position. 

She will be succeeded on Aug. 5 by Assistant City Clerk Yvette Allen, who has worked for the city since 1988. 

“I hope that she’s able to really enjoy her retirement and do the things that she’s wanted to do for so long and really enjoy not having to come into the office every day,” City Manager Kenny Young said. 

Miller said she is ready for the freedom that comes with retirement.

“More free time to myself to do the things that I put on the back burner and enjoy life without the responsibility of waking up to an alarm clock,” Miller said. “I think that’s really the main thing. I’m just tired of an alarm clock and having to be somewhere on somebody else’s schedule, and I’m ready to control my own time.”

However, Miller also said she loved her work as city clerk, especially interacting with a variety of people, helping others and even answering the phones. 

“The City Clerk’s office answers the main phone number to the city so we get all kinds of calls and I love that, and you see who’s on the other end of the call and how you can help them,” Miller said. “[It] is very satisfying.”

Still, Miller said, the job was “challenging. I’ve had to learn a lot of new things. Every day is different. I get to have contact with a lot of different people in different walks of life.”

Miller, who lived in College Park’s Berwyn neighborhood before moving to Greenbelt about 15 years ago, was involved with the city before becoming city clerk. She was chair of her Neighborhood Watch Committee and worked in the Department of Public Services for about 16 months before she was appointed city clerk by former City Manager Joe Nagro in 2006.

As city clerk, Miller wore different hats. Her office works on city elections, answers public information requests, keeps the records of the city and manages citizen advisory boards. Miller or Allen also attends every College Park City Council meeting, prepares the agendas and records the minutes, and makes sure the council abides by city, county and state codes. 

“We forget, but she does not,” College Park Mayor Fazlul Kabir said of Miller. “She reminds us, she keeps us on track. She’s very punctual. She gets also very honest. If she thinks that staff can do something, she tells us that, ‘Hey, this is a situation.’”

Miller said she will miss her colleagues.

“I’m going to miss Yvette,” Miller said. “I’m going to miss the other people that I work with in this department, seeing them every day. I’m going to miss the phone. Not all the phone calls, but some of the phone calls and talking to people on the phone.”

In her role as assistant city clerk for 20 years, Allen helped Miller with her duties, she said.

“I gave Janeen time to get out there and shine while I was behind the scenes trying to get as  … much information and get her ready so she can go out there and shine,” Allen said. “So I’m hoping … I’m going to have the same with whoever’s going to be my assistant.”

Allen said she is looking forward to being city clerk.

“I feel that this is my time,” she said. “I’ve worked hard. Janeen has been a wonderful leader and she’s helped me refine my skills throughout the years.”

Allen worked as a clerk typist in parking enforcement, as the secretary to the director of the Department of Public Services and as an office specialist in the city clerk’s office for five years before becoming assistant city clerk in 2004.

Allen and Miller agreed they have had a close working relationship. Allen said she sometimes spent more time with Miller than with her own family.

Allen said she considers Miller as family, and Miller said they’re like sisters.

“We speak the same language,” Miller said. “So we speak shorthand to one another, and we know what we’re talking about.”

“Correct, and no one can understand it,” responded Allen.

During the 20-plus years they have worked in the city clerk’s office, a lot has changed.

For example, city business has transitioned from paper to digital and the staff moved to the new city hall.

“Since I’ve been here, I think the biggest change is just our new city hall and everything we had to go through to get to our new city hall,” Miller said. “But also all of the development that we’ve seen on Route 1, of course, is the biggest change.”

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