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ADULT DANCING IN HYATTSVILLE? County definitions may mislead; hearing to be held on dance hall license. PAGE 3 Two more city directors to leave posts by Susie Currie PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 43 Easton, MD 21601 Even as councilmembers inch closer to hiring a new city administrator, two more department heads are leaving – including the one in charge of finding new hires. Chris Vermillion, the city’s first human resources director, is leaving his post after a year. Vermillion, who retired from the U.S. Army in 1990, had been tasked with finding a city administrator, city clerk and director of public works. His retirement from the city is effective on March 1. Acting Public Works Director Julia McTague’s last day will be two weeks earlier, on February 15. She’ll be taking a job in the University of Maryland bursar’s office. McTague joined the city staff in 2005, as an administrative assistant in the Department of Public Works. She also worked as an assistant to then-City Clerk Doug Barber before being named to her current post last March. At press time, McTague’s replacement had not been named. The next likely high-level hire will be city administrator, a post without a full-time permanent director since Gregory Rose departed in October 2011. City Treasurer Elaine Stookey is the acting city administrator. PROCLAMATION INVITATION INAUGURAL PARADE Local Freemasons give, receive city proclamations marking Black History Month. PAGE 13 Four-legged Hyattsville resident joins the celebration. PAGE 7 The Hyattsville location became the second to officially launch a bookstore. PAGE 4 Hyattsville Life&Times Vol. 10 No. 2 Hyattsville’s Community Newspaper February 2013 More than half of council seats to be on May ballot Mofor’s departure leaves both seats on Ward 5 open by Susie Currie KEN CARTER Students from the award-winning choir at Northwestern at an after-school practice. PITCH PERFECT Northwestern choir only U.S. high school chosen for South Africa festival; fundraising challenges remain by Rosanna Landis Weaver Hyattsville Life & Times PO Box 132 Hyattsville, MD 20781 BUSBOYS, POETS, AND PROSE If all goes according to plan, on Sunday, July 14, students from the Northwestern High School Chorus will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at a Soweto site that still bears bullet marks from its role in the struggle against apartheid. The Ihlombe South African Choral Festival will open at historic Regina Mundi, the largest Catholic church in South Africa, once an antiapartheid gathering place. It later held hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, presided over by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Northwestern’s chorus, the only U.S high school chosen to participate, is working on a rendition of the 1900 song that will combine it with the African anthem. Yet before “the harmonies of liberty” described in James Weldon Johnson’s famous hymn can be achieved, there is a great deal of fundraising to accomplish. Although students and parents have been raising The resignation of a mid-term city councilmember means that both Ward 5 seats will be open in the city’s May election, a rarity that brings the total seats in play to six. Nicole Hinds Mofor, first elected to represent Ward 5 in 2005, resigned abruptly at the end of January. Mayor Marc Tartaro announced her resignation at the February 4 city council meeting, reading a proclamation in her honor but giving no reason for the departure. Each of Hyattsville’s five wards is represented by two councilmembers, who, like the mayor, are elected to four-year terms. The elections are staggered every two years, so that half of the council is up for re-election each time (and the mayor, every other time). They are held on the second Tuesday in May, which this year is May 7. Ruth Ann Frazier, the senior Ward 5 representative, and Carlos Lizanne (Ward 4) had already said that they would be retiring. Council President Matthew McKnight (Ward 3), too, has said that this will be his last term. Frazier, McKnight and Lizanne would have been up for re-election this spring – along with Eric Wingard (Ward 1) and David CHORUS continued on page 12 ELECTION continued on page 13 Included: The February 12, 2013 Issue of The Hyattsville Reporter — See Center Section

February 2013 Hyattsville Life & Times

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