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City of Hyattsville 2013 Elections

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Posted on: April 20, 2013

This is our last issue before the city’s biennial election on May 7, so we decided to let the candidates speak for themselves. This is a decisive race, with six seats on the ballot – and only one incumbent, David Hiles (Ward 2), among them. Eric Wingard, who currently holds the Ward 1 seat that is being contested, dropped out of the race less than a week after filing as a candidate. (See cover story.)

That left 10 residents vying for six seats. We invited each candidate to submit 300 words of their choosing. They could, we told them, use the space to make their cases to the voters, explain their platforms or share why they’re running. Here’s what they told us.

Ward 1

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.08.14 PMWilliam Jenne

Age: 40

Day job: Financial advisor

Civic activities: Photographic contributor to Hyattsville Life & Times;  avid Summer Jam fan

As councilmember I would support well-planned community and business development projects that make Hyattsville an even better place to live.  Also, I would strive to increase communication between the council and the community, while working with the council and the mayor to promote a positive environment where great things can happen.

***

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.08.20 PMBart Lawrence

Age: 40

Day job: Proposal Manager, ICF International

Community involvement: Hyattsville Elementary School PTA (President 2010-14, Secretary 2009-10); Hyattsville Life & Times (Board Member 2012-13, occasional contributor);  Friends of the Hyattsville Library (member since 2010); 2010 Hyattsville Volunteer Services Award;

H.O.P.E (member since 2007, frequent contributor)

I am running for City Council because Hyattsville is a great place to live, because it is my sincere desire to help make Hyattsville better, and because I understand that such improvement does not happen on its own. Six years ago, my wife and I chose Hyattsville as the place where we wanted to live and raise our two daughters, and we’re happy we have.

Since 2009, I’ve been deeply involved with the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA, working with many others to improve the well-being and educational experience of all students, as well as the general performance and reputation of the school. Through my involvement with the PTA, the Friends of the Hyattsville Library, the Hyattsville Life & Times, and other city entities, I’ve organized and/or attended countless local meetings and events, bringing together residents and working with the city, county and neighbors to improve the quality of life in Hyattsville. Just as I’ve done with these groups, I will be a present, active, and engaged member of the City Council and will operate with the understanding that open, honest and respectful conversation and effort will improve the quality of life for the residents of Ward 1 and throughout the city.

I will work to hire, support, and retain a dedicated and effective professional city staff; preserve city assets and invest in the city’s future; nurture attractions and development that engage residents and invite visitors of all ages; continue to advocate for and support our local schools; support an effective community-oriented police department; engage neighboring governments and other levels of government to act on issues affecting and opportunities for the city; and implement Environmental Committee recommendations where feasible and increase the city’s tree canopy.

Speak with me at www.facebook.com/BartForWard1.

Ward 2

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.08.31 PMRobert Croslin

Age: 61

Day job: Gold and silversmith

Community involvement: See below

I am a dyed-in-the-wool, 24-year Hyattsville resident, goldsmith artist and landscape architect. I am originally from Baltimore, attending public high school, college and graduate school all in Baltimore City. I moved to Hyattsville 24 years ago prompted by my lovely wife, Dyann Waugh MD, who accepted the position of medical officer for the U.S. Postal Service, a position she remains in to this day. I’ve laid deep roots in Hyattsville over the years, serving our community in the following capacities:

  •  Past member, Community Development Corp.
  •  Past president and founding member,  Hyattsville Artist Alliance
  •  Chairman, Artspin Project
  •  Past member, Hyattsville Planning Committee
  •  Past board member, Shalom School for the Arts
  •  Founding member, Aging in Place organization in Hyattsville
  •  Past member, Hyattsville Tree Board
  •  Originator, Kennedy Street Block Party
  •  Past Member, Citizens’ Committee to select a City Administrator
  •  Originator, Breaking Bread Conference and Bridging Cultural Gaps Book Club
  •  Past Member, Citizens’ Committee to select the current Hyattsville Police Chief

I am the proud parent of two thriving young adults, Chike and Kigen, who grew up participating in Hyattsville community activities and recently completed their graduate degrees. If elected to the City Council, I will work to bring greater civility and effectiveness to the Council, build better relationships with county and state representatives, and advocate strongly for artists’ inclusion in Hyattsville’s ongoing development.

In service of our great city, I ask for your vote on May 7. You can learn more about me on my Facebook campaign page, “Robert Croslin for Hyattsville Ward 2 City Council.”

***

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.08.37 PMName as it appears on the ballot:David Hiles

Age: 55

Day job:  Supervisory Economist, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Civic or community involvement:  Hyattsville City Council Member since May 2009

I’ve served effectively under three mayors: Tiberio in Riverdale Park, and Gardiner and Tartaro in Hyattsville.

While on the city council in Riverdale Park, I headed the Public Safety Committee.  I learned that the railroad crossing at the Queensbury farmers’ market was the third most dangerous in Maryland. I worked with the Maryland State Highway Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration to get a double arm barrier installed, which was paid for completely with federal highway safety funds.

In my first year on the Hyattsville City Council under Mayor Gardiner, I sponsored and worked to pass the establishment of Monday yard waste pickup (11/09), and the selection of a clean energy provider for City electricity (5/10).

In my second year, I sponsored and worked with the Council to pass a motion to provide a framework to prioritize Council initiatives (10/10). I worked with Councilmember McKnight to develop and pass a government transparency motion to require the mayor and council to keep fellow members informed of developing issues (12/10).

In my third year, under Mayor Tartaro, I was slowed down a bit.  I fell off a ladder and roof in December 2011 and had to undergo four shoulder operations.  I worked with Councilmember Lizanne to identify funding for the planting of 125 trees (10/11).  We did this after finding out that we had planted no trees in 2010!

In July of my fourth year, I had my last shoulder operation.  I sponsored and worked to pass the Fall 2012 Street Tree Planting program (10/12) and a new school improvement grant program (11/12).

I’m on the council so that I can work to help move our community forward and make Hyattsville a better place to live.  If re-elected, I’ll keep working for you. I ask for your support and your vote on May 7.

Ward 3

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.12.23 PMPatrick Paschall

Age: 28

Day job: Policy Counsel, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Civic or community involvement:   Former Hyattsville Ethics Commissioner, Hyattsville Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association member

My name is Patrick Paschall, and I am running for City Council in Ward 3 because I care about the community I live in and I want to bring new leadership to Hyattsville by providing better schools, safer commutes, more recreation, and smart local development.

When my wife and I moved to Hyattsville in 2011, we specifically chose this city because we want to raise a family in a truly special place.  When we discovered Hyattsville, we fell in love with the beautiful homes, strong sense of community where neighbors can rely on each other, and local emphasis on recreational and environmental health.

As a member of City Council, I’ll work to make Hyattsville even better by fighting for:

Better Schools.  I’ll work to bring new programs and opportunities to Hyattsville schools, organize Hyattsville parents to be involved in groups like the PTA, and be a strong advocate for our students and families.

Safer Commutes.  I’ll work to ensure that walkways are well lit at night, that streets and sidewalks are properly maintained, and that we have safe crossings on major roads, especially Queens Chapel Road.

More Recreation.  I’ll make sure we continue to develop our running and biking paths and revitalize our parks.  I’ll work with the County to bring a pool to our area, which will provide no-impact exercise opportunities for our seniors and recreation for everyone in Hyattsville.

Smart Local Development.  Development on Route 1 has brought new amenities and revenues to the City of Hyattsville. We should replicate that success and improve the growing Prince George’s Plaza area and the area surrounding the West Hyattsville metro.

I hope you’ll consider working with me to bring new leadership to Hyattsville by voting for me on May 7. If you want to contact me before then, I can be reached at 301.887.3284, pa*************@gm***.com or www.patrickpaschall.com.

Ward 4

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.05.24 PMRoss Gateretse

Age: 40

Day job: Public Health Inspector, D.C. Department of Health

Civic involvement: Involved with ad hoc West Hyattsville neighborhood group

I am truly running to change the tenor of city council dialogue, and to continue to make Hyattsville a place to enjoy peaceful living, enjoy an evening walk, meet our local artists, and have well-connected neighborhoods and parks that contrib­ute to a high quality of life for our fellow neighbors and residents.

With an increasing numbers of local businesses, including bike shops, salons, a movie theater, bars and restaurants, my goal is to make sure we work together with business owners to increase civic participation and engagement in our neighborhood.

We live in times where statistics confirm that crime rates are high and is likely to occur in multifamily apartment complexes. If elected I will meet local law enforcement to work on directives to respond efficiently to fight crime and to be sure my constituents are well aware and well informed of their surroundings.

In this city where we live, many issues need to be discussed further and addressed by concrete bold actions and vision, articulated by our community, and directed by the mayor and city council.

Mujeres y hombres mano a mano necesita cambiar en Hyattsville. Necesita trabajo juntos ala construccion de nuestra ciudad.

***

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.05.33 PMName as it appears on ballot: Edouard Haba

Age: 31

Day job: Mediator

Civic or community involvement: Community of Sant’Egidio

My wife, Kate, and I moved to Hyattsville in June 2009 after we decided to grow our family.  We are the proud parents of 10-month-old Eddie.  Professionally, I am an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioner. I currently work for the county’s Office of Community Relations’ mediation division.

Why did I decide to run? I want to ensure that our ward is proactively represented and taking advantage of development opportunities coming into the city.

How will I serve you? I believe that councilmembers are the voice of the constituents they represent. If elected, I will work tirelessly with you, my neighbors, the other councilmembers and the city administration to make our city a safe, inclusive, family-oriented and environmentally sustainable community.  Specifically, I will work to:

  • Strengthen the sense of belonging among our residents through increased civic participation. This will create a strong, integrated, and engaged community in which as neighbors we can rely on each other.
  • Build a safer community. To attain this, I will work alongside the city’s police department and our neighborhood watch by making sure they have the necessary support. I will also fight for better lighting, sidewalks and crossings on streets where they are needed.
  • Make our community environmentally sustainable. As the city grows and prospers, we need to preserve our environment and our Tree City USA designation. I will fight for the city, especially ward 4, to maintain our tree canopy and to be a leading and proactive green community.

Please contact me via email (dr*****@ya***.com) or by phone (202.560.4157). I want to hear your ideas and suggestions on how we could improve and strengthen our community.

I am counting on your vote on May 7.

Ward 5

Pastor Herrera, candidate for Ward 5, did not submit materials for the voter’s guide.

***

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.12.33 PMJoseph Solomon (Ward 5)

Age: 27

Day Job: Systems Integration & Technology Consulting for Accenture Federal Services

Civic/Community Involvement:  Regularly attend council meetings;  Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon (annual fundraiser for teaching financial literacy to kids) volunteer; Back on My Feet: Skills to Succeed workshop volunteer;  local organizer of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society IHOP National Pancake Day.

I see the city of Hyattsville as one of the few family-oriented communities thriving inside the Capital Beltway.  It’s a great place to raise children: lots of parks and great schools with active Parent-Teacher Associations.

Nevertheless, the city also faces some major challenges in the coming years, from decisions around how to best manage the rising cost of city retiree benefits to the litany of side effects relating to the exponential growth of the D.C. metro area.  This includes striking the right balance between the new business development opportunities while preserving the communal spirit that is at the very core of this city. We must also ensure that the city remains among of the safest in the county, while keeping the cost in alignment with our budget; the city of Hyattsville is familial community, not a police state.

I intend to lead in our community with the compassion and devotion of outgoing Councilmember Ruth Ann Frazier.  I believe her history of service is commendable and provides a template for ensuring that one’s council votes are representative of the interests of Ward 5 residents.  I believe my background in government consulting brings a fresh perspective on integrating technology into city functions to the council.  I believe my educational background (bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science) introduces a unique focus on efficiency and simplicity which I am sure all residents would like to see on the council.

También es necesario para llegar a la creciente población de habla española densamente poblada en el Pabellón 5. Estos son los residentes que son apáticos hacia la política de la ciudad porque la ciudad no muestra interés en sus problemas y los hace casi invisibles. Va a ser uno de mis más altas prioridades para participar a esta comunidad por alto. Todos los residentes de Hyattsville tener una voz en el consejo, sin importar su idioma natural o etnia. Tengo la intención de representar con fuerza y ​​pasión los intereses de todos mis electores.

Over the next few weeks I will be knocking on doors and planning events to share my ideas.  I hope to meet as many residents as possible and truly earn your support.

***

Clayton Williams

Age: 33

Day job: Course Editor, BNA Bloomberg

Civic or community involvement: Member of the Hyattsville City Planning Committee

I live in Ward 5 with my wife, Lonna, and our son, George. While attending city council meetings over the past six months, I’ve learned about the challenges we face. Falling revenues, increased costs, and incomplete projects all loom over the next council. With those issues in mind, I’ve developed relationships with councilmembers, other candidates and community leaders. These relationships are integral to a city council that works efficiently and effectively.

With better governance, we can focus on three themes in Ward 5: safety, community and connection.

  • Safety. The crime in West Hyattsville forces us to live with unnerving stories. My own family has been burglarized three times. However, the seemingly contradictory truth is that crime rates are dropping. We can encourage positive trends by making targeted improvements to our infrastructure, by supporting the Neighborhood Watches and by facilitating smart efforts by our police force. Together, we can boast a perception of safety that matches a growing reality.
  • Community. Ward 5 holds different neighborhoods, ages and ethnicities. What unites us is a love for Hyattsville. On May 7, we can elect council members who will facilitate conversations within this diverse community while encouraging the growth that supports it.
  • Connection. Ward 5 residents often feel disconnected from city government. On May 7, we can elect two new council members who can find sensible solutions to the problems facing our ward. With your help, we can make city government not just a thing that happens, but a service we can connect with.

I want our ward to be safer. I want to nurture our community spirit. I want to strengthen the connection between the residents and the government. But this can only happen with your ideas and your support. This can only happen with your vote.

I invite you to visit www.claywilliamshyattsville.com for more information.

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