City Election Likely Jan. 16

Thanks to technicalities in city election regulations it appears the special election to fill two vacancies on the College Park City Council will be held January 16, a few days before spring semester classes begin. The city charter requires the special election be held within 45 days of any vacancy, and Councilmembers Eric Olson and Joseline Peña-Melnyk have announced they intend to resign their seats at the December 4th meeting.

Thus far three people have indicated they are interested in running for the seats. In District 3, Old Town Civic Association President Stephanie Stullich and Rethink College Park Editor David Daddio told the Diamondback they intended to run for Olson’s seat. If he officially files to run Daddio will take a leave of absence from this website, and we intend to cover all candidates equally. In District 4, student Nick Aragòn intends to run. Aragòn was formerly involved in the SGA, a former Student President of the University System of Maryland, and has been involved in efforts to lobby to control tuition costs.

Students interested in voting who will be absent for the election can vote by absentee ballot. For more election information contact the office of the City Clerk at 301-864-8666.

> Gazette: “City considers delaying election for UMD voters
> Diamondback: “City likely to rely on absentee ballots for election
> Diamondback: “Students Intend to Run for City Council

In other news, we hope all our readers have a safe an enjoyable Thanksgiving break. If you are staying in the area please remember Shuttle-UM will have no service on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this week.

UPDATE

Anyone who will be “unavoidably absent” from College Park on election day (January 16th) can requests an ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION. Each voter must submit this application by January 7th in order to participate in the special election.

3 thoughts on “City Election Likely Jan. 16”

  1. Congratulations on your announcement David. Just for my own edification, what are the duties and responsibilities of a City Council member and is it a paid, part-time position?

    How many of the meetings and sessions on the calendar ( http://www.ci.college-park.md.us/calendar.htm ) is a council member supposed to attend? How much “take-home” work/research is involved? What is the hours-per-month commitment involved? How many constituents would you represent?

    I think the city council is a great way (and one of the only ways) that a student can get experience with elected office and civic work. Good luck!

  2. The salary is $4,400/year. The Council has four Tuesday evening regular meetings to attend a month. Council members are expected to also attend a variety of other meetings in the evening. Perhaps 3-6 other meetings a month.

    Trips can take you to Annapolis, Upper Marlboro, or Washington, DC or sometimes out of the local region.

    The time commitment is about 30 -50 hours a month, though you can easily put in a lot more if you are doing research on an issue.

    Each of the four districts have about 6,000-7,000 residents.

    The City Council sets city policy, talks to other municipal officials, and talks (lobbies) County and State elected officials. Most importantly, the City Council sets the tax rate and determines how the City spends about $10,000,000.

    The City Council hires a City Manager to carry out the day-to-day operation of the City.

  3. Thanks for the excellent response.

    I expected a number like that, but it’s still interesting. Taking an average of 40 hours a month, this means that a council member makes about $9/hour and would earn $17,600 a year if the job were full time. The people on the city council must really care because they’re not there to get rich! 🙂

    What are the most common reasons people run for city council and like their jobs once they’re there? Also, what are the term lengths of city council members? 1 or 2 years?

    It seems like an interesting position and a satisfying way to give back to one’s hometown.

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