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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Perry Street Blockade

Have you seen the blockade? Mayor and Council made this blockade temporary on Perry to slow traffic, curb drug activity, and make the neighborhood safer. We are testing this to see if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and inconveniences that are experienced by other residents.

You can weigh in on this blockade by posting your comments to this blog. You can also go over and see the blockade before or after submitting your comments.




I would like to hear from you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Got Business at the County Administration Building (CAB)?

Then read this.

Progress is being made; thanks in part to the assistance and cooperation from the occupants; and also to the good weather we have had so far. Replacement of the concrete/aggregate on the first level plaza of the County Administration Building (CAB) is approximately 85% complete.

The contractor has reached the point in construction again where we have to temporarily detour some of the access areas to and from the CAB on the rear (Main Street side) of the building.

Starting Wednesday, December 26, 2007, from the center section of doors left to the handicap accessible doors on the first level by the PSA Security Desk will be closed temporarily so they can continue with the concrete repairs.

Access will still be available through the doors closest to the parking garage and of course through the lower level. Coming up the brick walk way from the Court House and the Circuit Court Annex, the new set of wide steps approaching the building (to the right in front of the clock tower) will be opened.

The Security Officers of course will be available to assist with accessibility for the disabled, if needed, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Please disseminate this information to your staff.

The Office of Central Services, Facilities Operations and Management Division staff thank you for your assistance and cooperation during all the construction this year. If you have any questions, please contact Tom Barton, 301-817-4360.

Have a safe and peaceful Holiday season.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Affordable Housing Rehabilitation and Production

Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc.

Community Legacy Program Fact Sheet

Target Participants
> Seniors and low- to moderate-income homeowners who need access to capital and technical assistance in order to design and implement plans to make home façade improvements
> Community-based Development Organizations (CBDOs) and Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) dedicated to affordable housing rehabilitation and production

Target Geographic Areas in Prince George’s County, MD
Bladensburg, Brentwood, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Hyattsville, Mount Rainier, North Brentwood, and Seat Pleasant

The program seeks to:
> assist seniors and low- to moderate-income homeowners with façade improvements, such as: renovations to roof, siding, doors, windows, gutter and downspouts, porches and landscaping
> bring renovated homes into code compliance (applies to exterior only)
> provide a revolving loan fund for seniors and low- to moderate-income homeowners, CBDOs & CHDOs
> provide funds that leverage homeowners’ resources and bring projects to completion
> provide, on average, a below market-rate loan of up to $75,000 per façade improvement project

Participants will be expected to:
> identify qualified architects and insured and bonded contractors in order to develop a scope of work
> coordinate with WACIF and its construction and inspection consultants
> repay the below market-rate loan, in order to maintain the revolving loan fund pool
> show proof of: insurance coverage for fire, flood and property; income; and site control or homeownership
> certify non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, physical or mental handicap, sexual orientation or age in any aspect of approved projects
> certify there are no hazardous materials at approved project sites or that hazardous materials will be properly handled by licensed contractors

Activities
Needs Assessments & One-on-One Support to design and implement housing renovation and production projects

For Additional Information or an Application
Call 202-529-5505 | E-mail info@wacif.org | Visit www.wacif.org

Funding
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy and Financial Assistance Fund provides funding for WACIF’s workforce housing activities in Prince George’s County, MD

About the Project Partners
Established in 1987, WACIF is a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that empowers underserved communities and individuals by providing access to capital and specialized technical expertise. WACIF’s programs support small businesses, affordable housing developers, and child care providers throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Commercial and Residential Economic Developers, Inc. (C.A.R.E.D.)was established in 2000 to help communities in meeting their economic development goals by redeveloping and renovating existing vacant, dilapidated and under-utilized properties into modern, usable, marketable space to reduce the number of vacant homes, offices and storefronts making communities more viable and economically stronger. C.A.R.E.D. provides residential and commercial project management, project planning and implementation, technical assistance, and real estate acquisition, sales and development services.

City's Holiday Office Closings

December 20, 2007

Mayor and Council voted to give City employees the day before Christmas and the day before New Year's off. Therefore, City offices will be closed as follows:

Monday, December 24, 2007 through Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007 through Tuesday, December 1, 2007


Because of this schedule, there will be some delays in trash pick up, recycling, and other City function. We appreciate your working with us, and we promise to make this as painless as possible.

SANCTUARY FOR IMMIGRANTS

December 20, 2007

The Mayor and Council at its Work Session on December 18, 2007 voted to hold a hearing on a resolution that would make Mount Rainier a sanctuary for immigrants. The Public Hearing is scheduled for February 12, 2008 at 7:00pm, Mount Rainier's City Hall.

The text of the proposed resolution is posted below. I would appreciate receiving your comments, questions, and/or suggestions on this proposed resolution.

First Reading and Vote: ____________


CITY OF MOUNT RAINIER, MARYLAND


RESOLUTION No. __________

Introduced by Council Member Briones


AN ORDINANCE REAFFIRMING THE IMPORTANCE OF

IMMIGRANTS TO THE MOUNT RAINIER COMMUNITY

AND PROVIDING SANCTUARY FOR IMMIGRANTS FROM

LOCAL ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS


WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier has a long and strong tradition of embracing and valuing diversity and respecting the civil and human rights and dignity of all residents regardless of their race, creed, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, gender or sexual orientation; and


WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier actively welcomes, and is comprised of, racially and ethnically diverse populations, both native-born and immigrants, whose collective cultures, languages, heritage, arts, cuisines, backgrounds, and viewpoints enrich our community and our nation’s capital; and


WHEREAS, neither Maryland nor Federal law requires or provides resources for municipal governments for the enforcement of Federal immigration laws; and


WHEREAS, enforcement of Federal immigration laws by the Mount Rainier Police Department would discourage immigrant residents from reporting crimes and suspicious activity and cooperating with criminal investigations; and


WHEREAS, current Mount Rainier Police Department policy prohibits staff from enforcing Federal immigration law or inquiring as to the citizenship status of individuals; and


WHEREAS, Mount Rainier is opposed to racial profiling, and granting local police officers the authority to enforce Federal immigration laws may lead to racial profiling; and


WHEREAS, as a matter of public safety, the protection of an individual’s citizenship and immigrant status will engender trust and cooperation between law enforcement officials and immigrant communities to aid in crime prevention and solving, and will discourage the threat of immigrant and racial profiling and harassment; and


WHEREAS, the vast majority of immigrants in Mount Rainier are law-abiding residents and are themselves often the victims of crime; and


WHEREAS, the Mount Rainier Police Department has made it a priority to gain the trust and confidence of the entire community as part of its community policing program; and


WHEREAS, cooperation with or a perception of cooperation with the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement would create a loss of trust and confidence of the immigrant communities in the Mount Rainier Police Department; and


WHEREAS, loss of cooperation with the immigrant communities threatens the health, safety, and welfare of the entire Mount Rainier community; and


WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier believes that there is no inherent conflict between national security and the preservation of liberty and that government can protect public safety without impairing civil rights and liberties; and


WHEREAS, the due process and equal protection clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution guarantee certain due process and equal protection rights to all residents of the United States regardless of citizenship or immigration status; and,


WHEREAS, many jurisdictions throughout the United States are undertaking the enforcement of Federal immigration laws and adopting other policies that discriminate against immigrants; and


WHEREAS, recent Federal immigration raids in the metropolitan Washington area have caused fear throughout immigrant communities, including immigrants who reside within the City of Mount Rainier; and


WHEREAS, the City of Mount Rainier continues to believe that all persons should be treated equally, without regard to their immigration status.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF

MOUNT RAINIER, MARYLAND:


SECTION 1. NO CITY ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS.


A. No agent, officer, employee, contractor or subcontractor of the City, in the performance of official duties, shall assist the United States Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection in the investigation or arrest of any persons for civil or criminal violation of the immigration and nationality laws of the United States.


B. Except for subsection (A) of this section, this chapter does not prohibit the Mount Rainier Police Department from carrying out its mandated duty to apprehend violators of the criminal laws, nor does it prohibit police contact with any Federal agency, other than the United States Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, in assisting any federal agency with investigations or arrests relating to criminal activity and suspected criminal activity other than violations of the immigration and nationality laws of the United States.


SECTION 2. NO INQUIRIES INTO CITIZENSHIP.


No agent, officer, employee, contractor or subcontractor of the City, in the performance of official duties, shall make any inquiry into the citizenship or residency status of any person seeking to enforce rights or obtain benefits, or discriminate in the enforcement of rights or the granting of benefits on such bases, unless Federal or Maryland law so requires for the determination of eligibility of benefits.


SECTION 3. DISCRIMINATION BASED ON CITIZENSHIP PROHIBITED.


No agent, officer, employee, contractor or subcontractor of the City, in the performance of official duties, shall discriminate against any person on the basis of citizenship or immigration status.


SECTION 4. CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION ABOUT CITIZENSHIP STATUS


No agent, officer, employee, contractor or subcontractor of the City, in the performance of official duties, shall release to the United States Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection or to any third party, any information regarding the citizenship or residency status of any City resident. This section shall not be construed as to prohibit the disclosure of the City’s voter roll.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18, 2007 AGENDA

AGENDA
MAYOR AND COUNCIL WORK SESSION
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2007
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, UPPER LEVEL
7:00 PM


Discussion Items

Rolling Agenda Items
Council member Knedler 10 minutes

Resolution for Budget Calendar
Manager Wallace 5 minutes

Resolution to support speed camera
Chief Scott 10 minutes

Tree Stumps
Council member Tarlau 10 minutes

Volunteer Fire Department Request
Council member Tarlau 5 minutes

Message Translation
Mayor Miles 10 minutes

Recreation Vehicles/parking restrictions
Wallace 10 minutes

Immigrant Sanctuary City Declaration
Councilmember Briones 10 minutes

_______________________

(Public comment limited to one (1) minute per person on each subject matter)

Rules for Speakers

The Mayor and City Council invite and welcome comments at public meetings. The Mayor or presiding officer will recognize you. Please introduce yourself at the podium (spelling your last name, for recording purposes) and give the name of your street and block number (e.g., 4300 block of 34th St.). Time limits for speaking are indicated on the meeting agenda.

While speaking, please maintain a courteous tone and avoid personal attacks.

If you wish to lodge a complaint about the performance or conduct of any City employee, please bring your concern to the attention of the City Manager, who will look into the matter and respond to you.

As a courtesy to other residents and businesses, the Council requests that speakers not use specific addresses or names of individuals when describing a situation or making a complaint. Noting the block is preferred over a specific address.

Code enforcement and public safety issues should first be brought to the attention of the appropriate department and/or one of your Council members.

Friday, December 14, 2007

ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION OPEN

Assistant to the Executive Director
Description of Organization

The Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (CDC), incorporated in 2000, is a private, 501(c)(3), charitable organization whose mission is to spur economic development in Hyattsville, promote arts and educational activities, create quality public spaces, encourage leadership for community revitalization, and revitalize the community in a sustainable and cooperative manner.

About the Job

The Assistant to the Executive Director is the support staff member of the Hyattsville CDC and reports to the Executive Director. The Assistant to the Executive Director is responsible for the Hyattsville CDC office and record management and corporate communication functions. This is an entry-level position with room for growth as the organization grows.

Hyattsville is a multi-ethnic community with diverse personalities, cultures and economic backgrounds; the ability to work in this milieu is critical. The work pace can alternate between extremes of hectic and contemplative, and a flexible attitude and sense of humor rules the culture.

The Assistant to the Executive Director is also responsible for helping carry out the CDC’s current grant-driven, contractual, and mission-derived programming

Tasks & Responsibilities

General support activity for the Executive Director
Interact with CDC members and the community at large
Newsletter development
Website and database maintenance
Record and file management
Draft corporate correspondence
Take meeting minutes

And assist with the following tasks: Research, draft, and assist to develop grant applications Program development Project support


Job Qualifications

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to demonstrate competence in the position’s specific areas of responsibility and possess:

Skills and Abilities:

Mastery of Microsoft Office: Word, Publisher, Excel, and other database software
Competency working with a variety of web-based CMS platforms
Background in any of the following fields: Public Policy, Community Development, Urban Planning, or Economic Development
Demonstrated ability to multi-task, implement complicated instructions, research and report on unfamiliar subjects, and work independently
Excellent communication skills

Other Desirable Qualities:

Strong identification with and commitment to the organizational mission
Spanish language
Goal-oriented, organized, and detail-oriented
Ability to travel locally to meet job requirements

Salary Range: $30,000 – $35,000
…………………………………………
Send resume with cover letter by January 16, 2008 to:

Position Search
c/o Stuart Eisenberg, Executive Director
Hyattsville CDC
5004 40th Pl
Hyattsville, MD 20781


The Hyattsville Community Development Corporation is an equal opportunity employer.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cooking Tips for the Holidays

Holiday Cooking TIPS• When baking, set the oven dial at the exact temperature you intend to use. The oven won’t heat up any faster at a higher setting.
• Don’t preheat the oven unless the recipe calls for it specifically.
• Don’t open the oven door unnecessarily. Every time you do, the temperature drops about 25-30 degrees, and more energy is used to generate the desired level of heat.
• Don’t preheat your oven for long-cooking foods, and turn off the oven 15 minutes prior to completion.
• Use the lowest possible heat setting to cook foods on top of the range. Match the pot to the size of the burner.
• When you can, use the range top or microwave oven because they use less energy than a conventional oven.
• Use lids on pots and pans on the stove to reduce heat loss.
• Never use an oven as a source of home heat during the winter or at any other time.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Council Calendar

The last meeting of the Mayor and Council for 2007, a work session, will be held December 18 at 7:00pm.

The first meeting of the Mayor and Council in 2008 will be held on January 15 at 7:00pm. This change was made because New Year's Day falls on the first Tuesday in January which is the regularly scheduled meeting day for the Mayor and Council and a number of the Council members will be out of town on January 8.

Because of the lateness of the first meeting in January, Mayor and Council will decide at the January meeting whether or not a work session will be held and/or the Mayor will call a special meeting should a meeting be necessary.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all.
The Mayor

December's City Council Meeting


The Mayor and Council hosted it monthly meeting on 12/4/2007. One of the primary issues before the Mayor and Council was the Operating Agreement between the City and Landmark Atlantic Holding, LLC. The Agreement was approved and provides the City with a one percent holding in the newly formed LLC, The Mount Rainier Gateway Town Center Revitalization Project. Under this agreement and project this City will work with Atlantic Holdings to revitalize the down town area including the old funeral home, the Bass property, Thrifty Car Rental and other properties as may be agreed upon by the partnership.

Landmark Atlantic Holdings hold the majority interest in the new LLC, and will be responsible for fronting 99 percent of the financing on each project including legal fees, court cost, environmental studies, and other activities necessary to remove the blight from our down town area on mutual projects.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Police Award Ceremony

The City of Mount Rainier
and the
Mount Rainier Police Department

Cordially invite you to attend the 2007 Awards Ceremony

Date: Friday December 14, 2007

Time: Breakfast 8:00 am
Awards Ceremony 9:00 am

Bunker Hill Fire Station
3716 Rhode Island Avenue
Mount Rainier, Maryland 20712


RSVP by December 10th to Ms. Janice Lomax, (301) 985-6585

CLIMATE CHANGE RECEPTION

CLIMATE CHANGE RECEPTION


Join Green Corps organizers Annie & Claire,Members & friends of the Sierra Club & Co-Host Councilman Tom Dernoga as we celebrate the work we’ve done on Global Warming in Maryland and evaluate our next steps.

Old Parish House
4711 Knox Rd. College Park
Wednesday, December 5th

6:00pm - 9:00pm


Our reception will be held in conjunction with The Purple Line Open House at College Park City Hall, 4-8pm

Walk over after the Open House for some food, drinks, and environmental cheer! Join us to network, strategize, and celebrate with fellow Prince George’s environmentalists!

Special Thanks to the City of College Park for the use of the Parish House

¯Please bring a main dish or side dish to share (optional)

We will provide soda, water, cider, hot chocolate and the like and sundry foods¯

Please RSVP today to Alex Hirtle at (301) 952-5349 or ajhirtle@co.pg.md.us

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Staying on Top of Public Safety Issues

December 1, 2007

Although I have just started blogging, our Chief of Police, Michael Scott has been blogging for the past two years. On his blog, he carries information about public safety in the City of Mount Rainier and the Town of Brentwood. In addition to his blog, http://mrpdchief.blogspot.com, Chief Scott does a monthly Chat with the Chief at our newest cafe, Artmosphere on Monday nights. For more information on public safety in Mount Rainier, check out the Chief's blog at http://mrpdchief.blogspot.com.