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Meet the candidates: Guide to the 2011 Ward 1 Special Election

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Posted on: July 11, 2011

Election season isn’t over yet for some residents. The second Ward 1 seat has been vacant since then-representative Marc Tartaro was sworn in as mayor in May. Three candidates are vying for the seat, which will be determined in a special election on July 19 at the municipal building. We asked William Jenne, Scott Matirne and Eric Wingard to share their visions for the city.

Ward 1 candidate William Jenne William Jenne
Age: 38
Day job: Self-employed photographer
Community involvement: H.O.P.E. listserv member

What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing the city today?
Hyattsville needs to continue its forward momentum; the city has made great strides in commercial and community development under Mayor Gardiner. I’m confident that new mayor Marc Tartaro will provide effective leadership to build on these accomplishments. As a council member I hope to facilitate, encourage, support and create positive development in Hyattsville. This would include revitalizing the entire retail strip along Route 1 by pushing forward development projects as well as finding established businesses in DC that might be persuaded to relocate to Hyattsville. In addition, I would like to see our commercial building spaces like the WSSC and BB&T building put to good use, whether that is for retail, office, senior housing, or mixed-use space. The final shape of this and any project depends on the component parts. If a project is right for the space everything will eventually come together. I don’t believe in forcing a project into a space if the people and the plan involved isn’t working quite right.
I believe that we need to improve the quality of our schools and then increase the positive perception of our schools to attract families to our city. In addition, I would like to start a volunteer program to help seniors and disabled persons clear their sidewalks of snow.
I also want to improve the appearance of our city by cleaning up litter and graffiti, which are detrimental to property values and community safety. And finally, I will 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.
How do you think the city can meet this challenge?
I hope to expand Hyattsville’s marketing operations both within Hyattsville and by targeting D.C. residents who want to be close to the city but live in a small-town environment. I want to find talented community leaders and business owners who will be part of Hyattsville’s continuing renaissance, and find projects where a small amount of effort will reap big rewards. By choosing projects and people carefully we can maximize Hyattsville’s potential.
What can you offer to the city and the residents of Ward 1?
I’ve demonstrated the necessary energy, drive and knowledge to be a council member by the fact that I am self-employed and have grown my photography business significantly here in the last five years. Furthermore, I’m committed to making Hyattsville not just a good, but a great, place to live. The knowledge and skills that I gained through working on Capitol Hill, in real estate, and in law school, and in my small business will be a great asset to the community.

Ward 1 candidate Scott Matirne
Ward 1 candidate Scott Matirne

Scott D. Matirne
Age: 44
Day Job: Senior Accountant, United States Navy Memorial Foundation
Community Involvement: Member, Hyattsville Preservation Association Board of Directors

What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing the city today?
The most pressing challenge facing the city is the budget. Based on current budget projections, within the next two years the city will be spending more money than it takes in.
How do you think the city can meet this challenge?
The city can best meet this challenge by revisiting its spending priorities and policies. We need to take a hard look at what we can realistically afford, see which programs are working and restructure those that are not.
What can you offer to the city and the residents of Ward 1?
I have a strong background in accounting and finance, having managed multimillion dollar budgets. I have been instrumental in identifying and curbing wasteful spending and policies to improve the health of companies and organizations. I believe strongly that financial challenges can be met and resolved by prudent financial planning and efficient and effective use of resources.
I feel that my experience and skills enable me to see the bigger picture. I envision a greater and more prosperous future for Hyattsville.  I think that we have set a course that will get us there but we need to be prudent in our choices, always keeping in sight the goal to grow responsibly and to prosper while meeting the needs of the residents and local businesses. If we continue to build upon the strong values and sense of community that set Hyattsville apart from other cities, we will reach our goals together.

Eric Wingard 2011Name: Eric Wingard
Age: 38
Day job: Engineer, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center
Civic or community involvement: Hyattsville Community Development
Corporation member; regularly attend City events; recently proposed an
after-school enrichment program to parents at St. Jerome Academy and Hyattsville Elementary School.

What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing the city today?
Fostering quality growth, improving infrastructure, and providing high-quality city services by optimizing our spending efficiency during the current economic downturn.
How do you think the city can meet this challenge?
We can meet this challenge by objectively assessing our current business practices to find out what is truly working and what is not, improving on areas of issue using the proper skill sets, and by being proactive and engaging the community about future planning.
What can you offer to the city and the residents of Ward 1?
Hyattsville has been my home for 11 years. During this time, with the exception of the few years I was abroad providing technical support to the U.S. military, I’ve had the pleasure of attending city events and enjoyed getting to know the community around me.
We live in an increasingly technological age, and I think it imperative to share this knowledge, which I do as a volunteer for community education and outreach programs through NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center.
Doing more with less to increase bottom line return on capital is the aim of every large corporation, and the City should be no different. During times of economic decline having the proper skills to facilitate and sustain lean growth are critical. My experience utilizing Lean Dynamics and Risk Management principles on government projects in excess of $100 million has saved taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the years. This knowledge will play a key role in how I will conduct business for the City. Having managed large projects working across organizational boundaries with multiple government/contracting agencies to develop and complete projects give me a strong background for the work to be done. I truly look forward to serving and representing the residents of Ward 1.



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