Mount Rainier Pride dispute highlights Cecil’s isolation on City Council

Mount Rainier City Councilor Scott Cecil is willing to airgrievances in ways most hyperlocal politicians tend to avoid. Is it working?

Elections reshape Route 1 corridor councils

Hyattsville voters chose incumbent interim Mayor and Ward 1 City Councilor Kevin Ward as their next mayor, along with five other City Council members, concluding the spring 2021 municipal election season along the Route 1 corridor, with elections in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Riverdale Park and University Park taking place the week before. 

The elections brought some firsts, as well. In Hyattsville Ward becomes the first African American man elected to the Mayor’s office. Ward is also the first African American man to serve as Mayor, though he earned that distinction in January when he succeeded former Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, who resigned her seat early to focus on other political ambitions. 

Ward handily beat campaign rivals in Ward Five City Councilor Joseph Solomon and political newcomer Austin Martinez. Ward received 1,606 votes to Solomon’s 823 and Martinez’s 247. With only 500 same-day votes uncounted, Ward’s 783-vote lead over Solomon is more than enough to secure the win.

Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Riverdale Park, University Park voters hit the polls

Consider this Route 1 Reporter’s paean to the elections of the Prince George’s County Route 1 corridor’s smaller towns. Amid an historically-large field of candidates in Hyattsville this year, I was unable to provide the type of coverage I’d like for the other races in the corridor. Still, voters in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Riverdale Park all have elections that are coming to a close today, May 3, 2021, while University Park will vote the next day. Below, a rundown of the races:

Brentwood

In Brentwood, a rhetorically contentious election pits two slates of candidates against each other. The Fair Leadership slate sees incumbent Mayor Rocio Treminio-Lopez court votes alongside council hopefuls Stefan Leggin, Quianna Taylor and Mary Vechery.

Mt. Rainier promotes from within for police chief job

Mount Rainier went local with its new police chief, hiring interim Chief Linwood Alston for the role, city officials announced March 31. Alston’s permanent appointment fills a vacancy left by the departure of former city top cop Anthony Morgan, who resigned in February to take a new job as the chief of police for Humboldt State University in California. 

Mount Rainier eyes new tax bracket for small apartment buildings

If seen through, the new property tax class would permit City Council to tax small apartment properties at different rates than other classes of real estate in the city, with an eye toward lowering their tax rate below that charged for larger apartment complexes. But the idea has a major policy obstacle to overcome to win the support of City Council members, who otherwise seem in favor of the concept.