Mount Rainier elected officials voted to seat Jimmy Tarlau, a former state delegate and city councilor, to fill a City Council vacancy left by May’s election of Celina Benitez as mayor.
Tarlau was voted in by a vote of three to one at Mount Rainier’s June 1, 2021, City Council meeting. Ward Two Councilor Scott Cecil voted against. Under Mount Rainier’s City Charter, the responsibility for selecting possible candidates to replace Benitez lies exclusively with the remaining Ward One representative, City Councilor Luke Chesek, who is allowed to forward up to three names for consideration.
In nominating Tarlau, Chesek said Tarlau’s experience in city as well as state government will be an asset.
“The biggest reason just has to do with experience,” said Chesek. “I just thought about a few people who had been in this role and Jimmy made the most sense.”
Tarlau said he was happy to be nominated to help Mount Rainier. “I’m really just here to help the Council fulfill its mission.
Debates over proposed self-storage facilities in the Route 1 corridor – and elsewhere – have been contentious in the past. But a new self-storage facility planned for the existing retail loading docks beneath the Mall at Prince George’s didn’t seem to raise much in the way of critical objections from Hyattsville City Council members, with one exception.
Without much comment, Hyattsville City Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. But it took more discussion for a second resolution to be passed calling on state lawmakers to review regional law enforcement coordination, study the prevalence of extremist views in local law enforcement, and to expand state and local police powers against “domestic terrorism.”
The Hyattsville City Council turns its attention to national politics at its Tuesday meeting, considering two measures focused on the attempted Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. The first would condemn President Trump and the attempted insurrection, while the second calls on Maryland legislators to study extremism in state police forces and to grant greater power to local officials dealing with “domestic terror” threats.
Mount Rainier Chief of Police Anthony Morgan will resign in February, ending a two-year career leading the city police department. Morgan was the city’s first African-American police chief in its 110 year history. In an interview with Route 1 Reporter, Morgan said he had accepted another chief of police job at an department outside of Maryland, but declined to specify further because that department has not announced his hire yet. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as chief of police for the last two years,” said Morgan in a statement posted to social media. “I have enjoyed working alongside a dedicated group of public safety professionals.”
Morgan’s appointment as the city’s top cop was announced Jan. 30, 2019.
The Prince George’s Plaza Metro Station will be renamed to Hyattsville Crossing, and many people hate the new name.
The proposal was approved in a Nov. 19, 2020, vote by Metro’s board of directors. Along with Hyattsville Crossing, Tysons Corner will be renamed to simply “Tysons.” With the significant caveat that it’s not a scientific survey, survey data collected from the public before the name change vote showed only 33 percent of respondents like the new Hyattsville Crossing name, 48 percent did not like the name (with 35 percent saying they “strongly” disliked the name). The move is the culmination of a years-long effort by city economic development officials to develop a more cohesive identity for the neighborhood anchored by the Metro station.
In a June vote, Hyattsville City Council approved a measure directing city staff to request the name be changed on official Metro maps in advance of the planned opening of Phase II of the Silver Line, which will require all Metro maps to be reprinted. The Metro station derives it name from the former Prince George’s Plaza mall, known today as the Mall at Prince George’s and branded as simply MPG by its owners REIT.