The Hyattsville city government has the second highest number of City Council members–10–in the State of Maryland, second only to Baltimore. I call that “too many cooks in the kitchen.”
Is it any wonder there is so much bickering and difference of opinions on the council bench, the trickle-down effect of which has contributed to the recent resignation of several key department heads, including the City Administrator?
These department heads are pulled in so many directions by the mayor and City Council members they don’t know which way to turn and are confused as to their roles on payroll. The city has so many “acting” department heads and administrators that Hyattsville residents don’t know who to contact when issues arise.
How many other municipalities have a double-hatted police chief who also serves as the acting city administrator? Interestingly, the attendance record of elected officials at City Council meetings is dismal, thus resulting in a lack of quorum and inability to agree upon an agenda, both detrimentally affecting critical votes on action items and getting down to city business.
The city of Hyattsville has less than 18,000 residents. Why then is it incumbent upon Hyattsville residents to bankroll 10 Council Members at such a great cost to City taxpayers?
This is an issue I have pursued for the past several decades, to no avail. Not one incumbent or past Hyattsville City Council member has been willing to step up to the plate and get the ball rolling to downsize the council.
The council members don’t want to give up any ground, even if it’s in the best interests of the city of Hyattsville government and the residents. I call that selfish, self-interested and a great waste of taxpayers dollars.
As it stands, the Hyattsville city government and elected officials have become a mockery and laughing stock of Prince George’s County in the inability to retain city government department heads and get anything accomplished. The time is now to turn the tables around and downsize the Hyattsville City Council to five members. Anything less should be unacceptable by the residents and taxpayers who call Hyattsville their home.
Signed, Barbara J. Runion,
Hyattsville Resident Since 1969.