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Hyattsville Council Member Voting for Two

Ward 5 Council member snaps long absent streak, returns bearing child.

For a second week in a row,  was present at a Hyattsville City Council meeting. And now she's voting for two. Hinds-Mofor is pregnant with her first child. 

"It feels great" to be back, Hinds-Mofor said following Monday's Council meeting. "For the most part I feel caught up."

Hinds-Mofor's reappearance in the Council chambers on Gallatin Street two weeks ago snapped a three-month absent streak where she missed 14 Council or community meetings and public hearings held on 10 separate days. The absences occurred during a time when Council members became sharply divided over certain aspects of the budget.

But so far, the exact reason for her absence isn't clear. Throughout the meetings that Hinds-Mofor missed, Mayor Tartaro would usually offer a brief explanation citing some medical malady. Since her return, Hinds-Mofor has not offered much in the way of details about her absence other than pointing out that she is now pregnant. 

Hinds-Mofor would not say where she had been during her absence. She also declined to say why she required medical leave from her duties, nor would she elaborate on any symptoms which she experienced. 

"I had a lot of symptoms actually," said Hinds-Mofor. "I'd rather not get into them. Some of them were of a female nature."

Though she is married, Hinds-Mofor declined to disclose her husband's first name to this reporter.

Hinds-Mofor's attendance was at times a source of open speculation among Council members. 

Members asked to comment for this story all said they were in the dark about any specified reason for Hinds-Mofor's absences. 

Hinds-Mofor was not unrivaled in her absences over the last three months. In that same time, Councilor Carlos Lizanne (Ward 4) was absent from seven Council meetings, community meetings or public hearings held on five separate days. Lizanne's absences were the result of international travel to his home country of El Salvador to visit relatives.

KATHLEEN McFARLAND July 27, 2012 at 01:32 AM
MICHAEL, DON'T BE SO HARD ON THE LADY. THIS IS JUST LOCAL POLITICS, NOT LIFE AND DEATH. SIGNED, ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST FANS. I ADMIRE YOUR WRITING STYLE AND I CAN TELL YOU PUT A LOT OF WORK INTO YOUR REPORTING.
Michael Theis July 27, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Thanks for your compliments. I hope I'm not perceived as being "hard" when asking why a local elected official has missed three months of council meetings. I think it's a legitimate line of inquiry. But Hinds-Mofor would provide me with very little information on some very basic questions. Thus, what could have been a nice simple story about a city council member with a first child on the way turned into a history lesson about recent city council absences and a council member's reluctance to tell a journalist the name of the man to whom she's married.
John July 27, 2012 at 04:03 AM
No one forced this council member to run for office. If you say you are going to do a job you should show up to do it. I feel the citizens of ward 5 absolutely deserve to know why they are not being appropriately represented.
Clint July 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM
As someone who makes a living inside government, with a wife who also works for government, and as the son of an elected official who served for 29 years, my view is that I do not care what the reason is for not showing up. If you cannot do the job, resign honorably and let someone who makes the job a priority. Representing others carries a burden of performance.
TLC July 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I don't think it's any of your (or the city's) business why she missed 3 months. She should have had a "fill in", if allowed, to fulfill her duties as the office she took. BUT it's none of your business. She has already said they were of a "female nature". Do you want pictures?????
John July 27, 2012 at 01:02 PM
How is it not our business? She works for us. If an employee of mine doesn't show up for 3 months, I'm going to want to know why.
John July 27, 2012 at 01:04 PM
That said, I do hope she is doing well and has fully recovered and I hope she can now get back to doing the job at hand.
HyattsvilleCouldBeBetter July 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM
When is the next election for city counsel?
Michael Theis July 27, 2012 at 01:46 PM
As an elected leader, there is no method by which she could have had a fill-in. City council members don't have understudies.
Tim Hunt July 27, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Next May (2013). One seat from each of the wards will be up for election.

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