Hyattsville Council unsure how to use $1M pandemic relief fund

Hyattsville City Council continues to look for ways to spend its $1 million local pandemic relief fund. During discussion at its April 22, 2020, meeting City Council members discussed in broad strokes possible ways the money could be spent, including donations to local charities already dealing with the aftermath of coronavirus’ disruptions, and programs for business aid. 

Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, lead sponsor of the city relief fund measures so far, pushed City Council members to think realistically about how the fund could best be used to provide direct relief to individuals. Additionally, she said Hyattsville economic development officials were crafting ways they could expand existing city business grant programs with some of the relief funding. Hollingsworth noted a city-funded program to provide about 75 grocery gift cards to Hyattsville residents attracted more than 650 applicants, of which only 88 turned out to be city residents. The deluge of applicants, and the work needed to verify their city residency, proved challenging for city staff to manage.

Hyattsville Administrator: Bringing officers back was right decision in pandemic

Hyattsville City Administrator Tracey Douglas addressed the full-duty re-activation of several police officers involved in the still-under-investigation fatal shooting of Leonard Shand in 2019. Douglas’ comments, during Hyattsville’s April 22 City Council meeting, came in response to a prompt from Councilor Joseph Solomon to address the decision, which was conveyed to City Council after its April 6 meeting and disclosed to the media in an April 14 press release. “That was a decision that the chief of police made. It was an important decision. It was a very difficult decision that she grappled with.