BY PAULA MINAERT — A group of Ward 4 residents met June 4 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church to talk about issues of common concern. It was the first public meeting of any kind since the May elections.
The meeting was organized and chaired by Ward 4 councilmember Paula Perry. Councilmembers Ruth Ann Frazier and Nicole Hinds Mofor (Ward 5) and David Hiles (Ward 2) also attended.
One major concern brought up by residents was the lack of development in West Hyattsville. Stuart Eisenberg, executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, explained that about $20 million is needed for new infrastructure improvements before any new development can happen and that the market isn’t good right now.
He added that local investment needs to happen first.
“Each time the city puts money into improving the local infrastructure, development follows. We need to concentrate on West Hyattsville.”
Another issue residents discussed was the number of foreclosures and empty houses in the ward. One resident said she thinks Ward 4 has more foreclosures than the others.
Corporal Jerry McCauley from the Hyattsville police force attended the meeting to talk about crime. He said the most frequent crime in the ward – as in the city as a whole – is vehicle theft and vandalism. He also recommended that people get to know their neighbors.
“If you don’t,” he said, “you don’t know who’s supposed to be there and who’s not.”
The meeting ended with people talking about holding a block party, which would include more than one block, so residents could get acquainted.