Director of Community Services bids farewell

Jake Rollow with his wife and son at the 2016 holiday tree lighting at Magruder Park. Courtesy of Jake Rollow.

By SOPHIE GORMAN ORIANI — At the Sept. 16 city council meeting, Jake Rollow, director of Community Services, announced he was leaving Hyattsville to take a new position as the communications director for Michigan’s secretary of state. 

“My family and I are moving to Michigan,” Rollow said. “We have been contemplating this for some time. It’s been a very difficult decision, motivated in part by some family issues, some of which are personal. I am sad to leave and also excited about what’s ahead.”

Rollow has worked for the City of Hyattsville for five years. According to the city’s website, the Department of Community Services oversees “the City’s child and youth programs, services for seniors and people with disabilities, volunteer opportunities, communications and community outreach, cable channel and programming, farmers market, and crazy-fun annual celebrations both big and small.”

Five of Rollow’s staff members accompanied him to the city council meeting, and his remarks focused on his gratitude for the support he’s received from them and other employees of the city.

“I want to thank you all on the dais for the trust you’ve placed in me and in my department,” Rollow said. “I want to thank Tracey [Douglas] for what I would consider gifted leadership of the city. I want to thank my colleagues … for being such good colleagues over the five years I’ve been here.” 

“More than anything,” Rollow added, “I want to thank my staff. Simply put, they’re my favorite part of this job, and there’s no way I could have been successful without them. … It’s a special team that I’m leaving behind.”

“I care about this place immensely and will always want to help,” Rollow said, emphasizing that he intends to be available as a resource through the transition.

City Administrator Tracey Douglas praised Rollow’s commitment to the City of Hyattsville. “I want to publicly and personally thank him for all the wonderful work he has done for this city,” she said. “He will be very, very difficult to replace. … He’s brought a wealth of knowledge to us, and he has just been a tremendous leader, so we are all going to miss him.” 

“I will say that this [new] position was just too right to not accept,” Douglas added. “This door opened for him, and it was the right door for him to walk through, so we wish him the best.”

“Hyattsville, itself, is a special place,” Rollow said. “I’m so thankful I’ve gotten to spend part of my career here, and also spend some years of my family’s life here.”

After his speech, Rollow received a standing ovation. As of press time, there has been no announcement made of who will be replacing him.

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