City of College Park, Maryland

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Government

Government

Administration

The Administration department includes the offices of the City Manager, City Clerk, Mayor and Council, Human Resources, City Attorney, and the boards, committees and commissions. The City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the City, with primary responsibility for the preparation, submittal and administration of the operating and capital budgets, the handling of citizen concerns and complaints, the enforcement of the City Charter and laws of the City, the direction and supervision of all departments, and the advising of the Mayor and Council on City affairs. The City Council is the legislative body of the City, and is empowered by the City Charter to make all City policy. The Council is elected by district every 2 years. The City is divided into 4 districts, with 2 Council members elected from each district, for a total of 8. The Mayor is elected at large on the same election schedule as the City Council. The Mayor and Council together form a body of 9 elected officials.


Finance

The Department of Finance is responsible for accounting and reporting of the City's financial operations, preparation of the operating and capital budgets, billing and collections, payroll services, purchasing, information systems and related functions. The department coordinates the annual certified audit, and prepares the Uniform Financial Report ("UFR") for filing with the State of Maryland and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report ("CAFR"). The City has been the recipient of the Government Finance Officers Association ("GFOA") Distinguished Budget and Excellence in Financial Reporting awards for its budget and CAFR for many years.


Public Services

The Department of Public Services manages and staffs animal control, code enforcement, parking enforcement, contract police, public safety programs, and automated speed enforcement, as well as providing administrative support to the Recreation Board and Special Events programs.

The Animal Control program enforces the animal control laws of the City and Prince George's County (as adopted in the City Code), providing public awareness and education on proper care of domestic animals, and wildlife management.

The Parking Enforcement program is responsible for the management and enforcement of parking regulations in City managed parking facilities, pay to park spaces, and residential permit parking zones.

The Code Enforcement program enforces all City codes pertaining to property maintenance and ensures compliance with City housing and commercial property codes through patrols and the annual inspection program. County Zoning Regulations are enforced within the City by Code Enforcement. And, City environmental codes, such as the noise code, are enforced.

The Contract Police program provides additional Prince George's County Police officers on full and part-time City assignments, to provide an average of two additional patrol cars serving city-wide at any time to supplement the County's regular police services within the City. Contract officers serve the City in addition to PGPD beat patrol and special PGPD units working in the City, and other police agencies having concurrent jurisdiction within areas of the City.

Public Safety programs include support for resident participation programs such as Neighborhood Watch and CERT. Training programs are provided to support these Citizen Corps programs. In addition, liaison is maintained with public safety agencies such as PGPD, PGFD/EMS, PGOEM, UMPD, etc.  

The Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) program administers the use of automated speed monitoring systems (speed cameras) in designated school zones and institution of higher education zones (within 1/2 mile of University of Maryland property) approved by the City Council. ASE began in November 2010; vehicles that exceed the posted speed limit by 12 miles per hour or more are issued a $40.00 civil citation.


Planning, Community and Economic Development

The Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development works to improve the quality of life in the City by reviewing, developing and implementing plans and projects that affect the City’s neighborhoods and commercial districts.  The Planning program involves the preparation of a variety of local plans, as needed, and the coordination of planning efforts with other agencies and institutions including the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning commission (M-NCPPC), the University of Maryland, the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments (COG) and the Anacostia Trails Heritage Authority (ATHA).  Planning staff review and provide recommendations to the City Council on applications for new development and work with the Advisory Planning Commission (APC) to process applications for zoning appeals and departures.  The primary function of the Community Development program is to seek and administer grant funding from local, state and federal sources for infrastructure and neighborhood improvement projects.  The Economic Development program focuses on marketing the strengths and assets of the City, revitalizing commercial areas, retaining and expanding existing businesses and recruiting new businesses to the City.


Youth, Family & Senior Services

The Department of Youth, Family & Senior Services promotes community outreach and enhanced family functioning through its clinical programs, school assembly events, parent education and support groups, and client advocacy. Quality of service delivery is monitored through weekly supervision, video review, clinical consultation, and related
training. Programs of the department are partially funded by state and county grants, client fees and user charges.

The department provides ongoing support to Lakeland Action, a volunteer coalition of area residents; elementary school, municipal and recreation center staff; University students and faculty; neighborhood church members; and elementary school students. The mission of Lakeland Action is to enhance the quality of life for children and their parents in
the City's Lakeland area through tutoring and mentoring activities, increasing the students' academics and self-esteem, and increasing their sense of community. The Lakeland children's club is entitled Lakeland STARS, which is an acronym for Students Taking Active Responsibility. Lakeland STARS participate in academic and recreational activities with University student groups, allowing the students to take advantage of multiple opportunities not otherwise available to them.

The department's Seniors Program provides assistance and advocacy for senior citizens, information and referral, a free bus transportation system for medical appointments and shopping, and well-attended subsidized and non-subsidized senior trips.


Public Works

The Department of Public Works, which utilizes approximately one-half of the City's budget and comprises one-half of the City's workforce, provides full-service to City residents in the areas of solid waste management, street cleaning, signage, snow and ice removal, litter and graffiti control, street lighting, and facility maintenance of City owned buildings. Refuse, recycling, and special trash are collected once weekly by City staff at a high satisfaction rating from residents (based on the resident survey). The department is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all City vehicles, heavy equipment and machinery.

The department's innovative Smartleaf® composting program earned an Award of Excellence from the Maryland Municipal League. The City, neighboring jurisdictions and the University of Maryland provide leaves and grass clippings that are composted into an enriched compost material. Following composting, the material is sold back to the jurisdictions, landscape firms and individuals. Substantial dollars of tipping fees are saved by diverting the leaves and grass clippings from the waste stream.

The department continues its involvement in playground reconstruction and maintenance, and assists with citizen and student volunteer programs throughout the year.