This is our last issue before the city’s biennial election on May 3, so we decided to let the candidates speak for themselves. Longtime Ward 1 incumbent Douglas Dudrow hopes to fend off three challengers: Candace Hollingsworth, William Jenne and Scott Matirne. 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.
Douglas Dudrow (incumbent)
Community involvement: Ward 1 councilmember, 1979 to 2005, and 2007 to present. Have organized several community meetings, including Crime Watch programs and a Safeway meeting with regional officials. Numerous awards over the years include the Prince Georgian Award and the Prince George’s County Police Chief’s Award. Currently a trustee of First Baptist Church.
As I write this, I think of when I first ran for City Council in 1979. No computers, cell phones, text messages or e-mail. I learned about civic affairs by years of service on the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Hyattsville Citizens Association, and by attending council meetings.
It’s easier now to keep in touch with your city government. But does your city government keep in touch with you?
Six years ago I stepped down. I felt after 26 years it was time. Rather than having a retirement party, I asked that the money be spent on a fund set up for a fallen police officer’s children. Service on the City Council shouldn’t be about honoring elected officials – it should always be about service to the community.
After retiring, my job didn’t stop. Lots of citizens still stopped by the house and called. Residents told me, “Doug, we always went to you. You listen and always follow up.”
In January 2007, during my two-year retirement, I attended a council meeting that was packed with citizens blasting the council. A gentleman took his turn and said that when he moved to Hyattsville he met a man who told him any time you had a problem like this, “You call Douglas Dudrow – he walks around and takes care of these problems.”
After two years, I came back to the council as a newly elected member. I felt residents needed a representative who cares for them as individuals and looks out for their needs. I enjoy my council responsibilities. I have the experience. I know the ropes and have the contacts. Residents know that I am easily accessible – either with the new machines or the old-fashioned way.
I hope to be able to serve the residents of Ward 1 for another four years.
Day job: Self-employed photographer
Community involvement: H.O.P.E. listserv member
I would like to thank the Hyattsville Life & Times for giving me an opportunity to introduce myself to Hyattsville at large. While I’m not a native, I have many fond memories of Hyattsville from my school days. In the late ’80s, there was no lacrosse team at Montgomery Blair high school in nearby Silver Spring, where I lived, so I joined the Prince George’s County Lacrosse Club based in Hyattsville. Magruder Park was our home field for many years.
Perhaps those warm memories were one of the reasons my wife and I chose to move from Silver Spring in 2005. We have enjoyed our time here ever since. Our daughter attends the local Hyattsville Hills preschool, and on nice days we enjoy walking through the neighborhood to school with her.
I want to serve as council member because I believe I have the energy and drive to help Hyattsville continue its forward momentum in new business growth and efficient city services. I’ve demonstrated this energy and drive by the fact that I am self-employed and have grown my photography business significantly here in the last five years.
My first priority is ensure that city services are delivered and performed efficiently. Sanitation service and road and sidewalk maintenance are two examples of vital city services that I would constantly monitor for performance. As a city council member, I would be a staunch advocate for efficient and responsive city government. I would devote much of my time to fundamental issues that affect all Hyattsville citizens, like traffic, parking, zoning issues and crime prevention.
Secondly, as council member I would boost the perception of the city among several key groups – including business and restaurant owners — that could add to the city’s economic and cultural growth if they were to move here. Also, I want to reach out to recent University of Maryland students and encourage educated and energetic graduates to settle here and take part in Hyattsville’s renewal.
Candace B. Hollingsworth
Day job: Organizational Development Consultant (self-employed)
Community involvement: Member, Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management; vice president, Hyattsville Elementary School PTA; member, Hyattsville Civic Association; board member, Hyattsville Community Development Corporation
When my husband and I moved to Hyattsville, we did not expect what we found. After spending the previous five years in Wheaton raising our new family, it was time for us to commit to a home — to set our roots. Here, we found a community where people share telephone numbers in lieu of e-mail addresses, children play outside until dusk, families have matured over years, and above all, we felt comfortable. We chose Hyattsville as our home.
I have an intense desire to be a part of the positive growth in our city. For me, making Hyattsville home means being an active participant in creating the best life for my family and my community. In addition to enjoying the many opportunities to make meaningful connections with neighbors, I quickly became involved in the community as vice president of the HES-PTA and a member of the Hyattsville Civic Association.
I am ready to turn the love for my city and my neighbors into positive action from which all of Hyattsville can benefit. Our leadership has done a good job getting us to where we are, but now it is time for us to move forward and continue on a path to greatness. A great city is one with an engaged citizenry, where all of its functions move in concert with the others, where we plan for the worst and achieve the best, where young people are assets and share in the city’s growth, and where lifelong residents are treasured for their service and commitment to our city.
This is my vision for Hyattsville and I am ready to lead with purpose Ward 1, for Hyattsville, for all of us.
I want to hear from you. Please share your vision for Hyattsville with me at www.candaceisready.com.
Scott D. Matirne
Day Job: Senior Accountant, United States Navy Memorial Foundation
Community Involvement: Member, Hyattsville Preservation Association Board of Directors
I am currently serving as the senior accountant for the United States Navy Memorial Foundation. I developed strong leadership skills during my service in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Coast Guard, as well as by serving as a chief financial officer in the private sector.
I am a strong supporter of law enforcement and all first responders. They deserve our support and our thanks for all they do. I support department budgets geared toward education and training for officers as well as the development of programs that effectively reduce crime; educate residents and protect our children and our families.
I know the value of a good education and will work to support the students, teachers and parents in any way I can. One thing that we can do together is work to create “safe homework” spaces around the city. These would be places that children could go to study, get help with their homework and be free from intimidation, bullying and harassment.
Hyattsville has a very vibrant parks and recreation program. I will support the continued funding and expansion of the summer athletic programs as well as additional activities for after school and weekends.
Growing up in New Orleans, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a wide range of art and music. The experience of art is one that changes you forever. It stirs the imagination and feeds the soul. It is an experience that I will strive to share with our community, by supporting the Gateway Arts District and the local musicians, artists and performers.
Ten years ago my partner Jay, our dog Saffie and I made Hyattsville our home. We love it here and are very excited about the city’s future. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the residents of Ward 1.
Ward 1 votes in the first-floor multipurpose room, Hyattsville Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin Street Polling places will be open on Tuesday, May 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Not sure of your ward? Call 301.985.5000.