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The Prince George’s County Council. (Courtesy Photo)

UPPER MARLBORO — The Prince George’s County Council convened for its weekly legislative session on Nov. 12 to deliver proclamation presentations, announce appointees to a few local agencies and discuss newly adopted resolutions expected to have an immense impact on local communities.

Councilmembers in attendance were Chair Todd Turner, Derrick Davis, Monique Anderson-Walker, Vice Chair Rodney Streeter, Councilman At-Large Calvin Hawkins, Dani Taveras and Danielle Glaros.

During the proclamation presentations, the council got to honor individuals, groups, events and activities that are occurring in the county, which deserved recognition.

Redell Duke, chairman of the Westphalia Sector Development Review Advisory Council, along with members from the organization were recognized by the county council for their exemplary public service in the county, announced Turner at the start of the meeting.

Davis, a District 6 representative, had members from Westphalia join him at the podium as he read the proclamation, characterizing Duke as “a stalwart member of the community.”

According to the proclamation read by Davis, the Westphalia Sector Development Review Advisory Council has ensured a “continuing community stakeholder presence” and has reviewed numerous developments, projects and proposals throughout the county.

The advisory council has also established partnerships with the business community, convened developer project updates and has promoted planned goals for existing local communities.

The proclamation, signed by Turner and Davis, details some of the noteworthy contributions that Westphalia has made for the time it has been in existence.

The next proclamation was presented to Coach Neal Henderson of Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club and recognized his upcoming induction into the Class of 2019 United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

Henderson, set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Dec. 12, established Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club in 1977, the first minority hockey program in the U.S., said Turner as he read the proclamation. Henderson has used hockey to encourage and inspire youth, establish self-esteem, a sense of purpose, and have used incentives to support academic excellence for more than 1,000 children in the Washington Metropolitan Area spanning longer than 40 years.

Upon receiving an honorary plaque, Henderson thanked the county council for commending him for his immense contributions to the sport of hockey in the region.

“I didn’t do it for praise or anything. I did it for the kids in the neighborhood,” Henderson said. He went on to add something that was not included on the proclamation: “One of the things that wasn’t mentioned that I would like for you to know, (is) that I was the first hockey coach for DeMatha and Northwestern when they didn’t have enough kids to make up a team,” he said.

Turner and Streeter signed the proclamation presented to Henderson. Next, Hawkins presented a proclamation to William “Billy” McNeill that highlighted his outstanding volunteerism with emergency preparedness in the county.

Since 1999, McNeill has been a volunteer with the Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management and responds to emergency preparedness calls, among other related public services. Over two decades, McNeill has responded to a minimum of 17,000 calls, Hawkins noted as he read the proclamation.

Lastly, Anderson-Walker presented a proclamation to Dorce Watts, Jr., who was recognized for rare and outstanding community service. Watts, considered a pillar of the Glassmanor community in Oxon Hill, actively supports the Glassmanor Community Association and an extensive list of socio-political causes throughout the region, Anderson-Walker said.

Following the issuance of proclamations, the council convened for its regularly scheduled hearings, resolutions and announcements, starting with a brief overview of the proposed joint signature letter to Robert Gorrell, executive director of the Interagency Committee on School Construction.

“This funding endorsement is consistent with the county’s priorities – construction funding for projects that have received State planning approval, approval of planning requests and support for systemic replacements projects. The Board’s FY 2021 funding request of $58.7 million addresses the needs faced by our county’s schools, such as the completion of previously approved projects and critical systemic repair projects.”

For a good portion of the meeting, Turner announced several appointments.

Mariam Brewer of the County Executive’s office announced Angela Alsobrooks’ nominees to the Prince George’s County Fire Commission: J. Robert Breen, Michelle Chandler, William King and Randy S. Kuenzli. After the motion was seconded, Glaros announced the appointments of Daniel Hall, who will replace Terry Anderson and Linda Hunt, who will replace Shirley Walker, Hall and Hunt will serve on the county’s commission on Common Ownership Communities.

Toward the end of the afternoon, Turner addressed a resolution to recognize, support, and celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. The resolution was introduced by county council members and is designated to be observed in the second week of November.

To conclude the legislative session, Turner briefly discussed a resolution concerning the Community Reinvestment Act, which encourages lending and investment in low-and-moderate-income communities.

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