At the council worksession on Wednesday, August 30, City Manager Nicole Ard’s quarterly update of goals and accomplishments focused greatly on inclusivity, but members of council had a few moments of discord that stole the show.
The meeting, held at the Springhill Lake Recreation Center, included discussions about greater outreach to different segments of the Greenbelt community and a tense interplay between councilmembers in regard to city membership in a county association.
Early in the meeting, Councilmember Rodney Roberts stopped Ard’s presentation to object to a recent move made on behalf of the city to join the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, stating that it is a political organization that does not have the same values as the majority of Greenbelt citizens and “is not on our side.”
“I just don’t think the city has any business being a member,” Roberts said during the discussion in which he often talked while other councilmembers and Ard were providing their insights. The Chamber’s agenda, he said, “isn’t an agenda Greenbelt should be known for.”
Mayor Pro Tem Judith Davis, who ran the meeting and repeatedly warned Roberts about interrupting others, said that at a recent Chamber event networking took place that may otherwise not have occurred and may be fruitful in benefiting the city.
“It is a way for us to meet various members of the business community we have neglected,” Davis said.
Councilmember Konrad Herling said such interaction is especially important for revitalization of Roosevelt Center. “The more we reach out to labor and business, the better we are,” he noted.
Read more of this story in the September 7 News Review.