There has been a lot going on in Hyattsville in the last few months. So much that our small staff hasn’t been able to fully cover many stories. Here are a few things to know.

City Attorney retires; new attorney named

Long-time City Attorney Richard T. Colaresi retired effective Dec. 14. To ensure that there would be no gap in legal services for the city, the mayor appointed, with council approval, Ernest I. Cornbrooks IV, as the city attorney effective Dec. 15. Both Colaresi and Cornbrooks work for Karpinski, Colaresi & Karp, P.A., located in Baltimore. Mayor Candace Hollingsworth presented Colaresi with a plaque and thanked him for his 14 years of service to the city.

“We don’t want to let this final meeting pass without expressing our gratitude and general thanks for all you’ve done for the City of Hyattsville,” Hollingsworth said at Colaresi’s last council meeting. “We are tremendously indebted to you.”

As he accepted his plaque, Colaresi joked that he was ready to leave. But added, “It has been wonderful and I appreciate the trust that has been given to me.”

City debuts new searchable crime database

In late October, the City began migrating to a new CAD/Records system and have now established a procedure to export the data needed to provide the crime reports. A crime reports database is now available on the city’s website.  With this database, residents can search by multiple variables (i.e., date, week, location, ward) and easily print or save the information to an Excel or PDF format. The database offers much more flexibility than a static report.

Parking Committee chair named Volunteer of the Year 

Mayor Candace Hollingsworth presents Cathy Barron, Chair of the Residential Parking Committee, with an award after she was named 2016 Volunteer of the Year. Photo courtesy of Raphael Talisman for the City of Hyattsville
Mayor Candace Hollingsworth presents Cathy Barron, Chair of the Residential Parking Committee, with an award after she was named 2016 Volunteer of the Year. Photo courtesy of Raphael Talisman for the City of Hyattsville

On Dec. 5, Cathy Barron, chair of the Residential Parking Committee, was honored as the 2016 Hyattsville Volunteer of the Year. Barron was honored for her calm and thoughtful approach that lead the Residential Parking Committee to work as a team. The committee unified to resolve parking issues that will serve the best interests of residents and the city. The committee reviewed unique parking issues and presented their recommendations to the Mayor and Council.  The 2016 Hyattsville Volunteer of the Year Award was created by ArtWorks Now teaching artist, Rachel Cross. Her approach to art is filled with recycled materials, trinkets and charms, as seen in the 2016 Hyattsville Volunteer of the Year Award titled ‘Gratitude,’ an open hand filled with symbols of protection, blessings, power and strength.

The city also recognized other volunteers during its 10th Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition Reception. Among those recognized were Hyattsville Farmer’s Market volunteers Sharon and Bill Kenworthy and Shirley Brown, who have contributed over 120 hours of service throughout the market season. Dwight Stokes and Drena Anderson were nominated by their peers as Hyattsville Heroes for shoveling snow and raking leaves for neighbors. Elizabeth Arnold and Jim Groves, longstanding advocates of environmental stewardship in Hyattsville, were honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award representing over 4,000 hours of service.

Hyattsville joins Council of Governments

The City of Hyattsville has joined the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) as an adjunct member.

COG is an independent, nonprofit association, with a membership of 300 elected officials from 23 local governments, the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, and U.S. Congress. The COG works to manage the region’s growth through regional partnership. Every month, officials and experts come to COG to make connections, share information, and develop solutions to the region’s major challenges.

“Through our involvement, we hope to cement Hyattsville as a key player and contributor to the region’s long-term vitality and success,” Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth said.

Sugar Vault Desserts now open

There’s a new place in Hyattsville to satisfy your sweet tooth. Sugar Vault Desserts opened in the Arts District on Dec. 10. The bakery offers cupcakes, cakes, cookies, cheesecakes and chocolate-covered goodies in a variety of flavors. Owner Jennifer Powell quit her day job in 2014 to pursue her baking dreams and focus on Sugar Vault Desserts. In addition to the tantalizing treats that fill the bakery case each day the shop is open, Powell also makes custom creations. The bakery is located at 5606 Baltimore Ave. The bakery held soft-opening hours for the month of December and plans to extend hours starting in January.