Ahead of the city of College Park’s upcoming Nov. 7 election, three new candidates running for seats on the College Park City Council were announced Wednesday.
College Park, which is composed of four districts, has two council members representing each district. This year’s election will see contested races in two districts by three new candidates. Eligible residents must register to vote by Oct. 10 through the Prince George’s County Board of Elections.
The mayoral title, held by Patrick Wojahn, is not contested. District 1 and District 4 have only incumbents running for office.
Monroe Dennis, a District 2 council member, is not running for reelection. Incumbent Llatetra Brown Esters is campaigning against newcomers Robert Catlin and Susan Whitney for two available seats in District 2.
Catlin is running for office in District 2 as a new candidate, though the longtime College Park resident previously served on the council for 16 years from 1997 to 2013.
In his retirement, Catlin has stayed active in the College Park community. Catlin is on the board of the College Park Academy, and serves as vice chair of the College Park Housing Authority and the co-president of the Berwyn District Civic Association.
The former economist hopes to focus on development projects in College Park if elected to the council. The city is making more revenue since Catlin’s previous time in office, he said.
“College Park has always been a very low-budget city, as cities go in the state of Maryland. We always have low taxes and people like low taxes, but … that always meant that we’ve never had money to do anything. So that has drastically changed,” Catlin said.
He added that he hopes new student housing will be located near the University of Maryland campus to reduce traffic on Route 1 and increase walkability for students at this university.
Whitney and Dennis were not immediately available for comment.
A third new candidate, Stuart Adams, is running against current District 3 council members Robert Day and John Rigg.
Adams moved to College Park in 2015. Having lived in other college towns such as Boston, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Tallahassee, Florida, Adams said it gives him a unique perspective on how the council can work more closely with the university.
“[I] would love to see this city embrace that it is a college town,” Adams said. “There’s a lot that we can learn from long-term residents and short-term residents and students … and really kind of leverage those relationships and expand upon them.”
Adams, an engineer and project manager, is focused on solving the city’s lack of affordable housing and infrastructure.
“We’re facing significant housing issues,” Adams said. “We need to address them head on and think about doing it with affordability in mind.”