GREENBELT CITY COUNCIL
Greenbelt's current seven member City Council was voted into office in November, 2009. L-R: Rodney Roberts, Leta Mach, Konrad Herling, Mayor-Judith "J" Davis, Edward Putens, Mayor Pro Tem-Emmett Jordan and Silke Pope. Messages for City Council may be left at 301-474-8000 or sent to 25 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, Maryland 20770. City Council may also be reached by email. City Council holds regular meetings the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month except during July, August, and December when it meets once a month. All regular City Council meetings and work sessions are open to the public. Executive Sessions are not. Meetings are held in the council chambers located at 25 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, Maryland.Petitions and requests may be brought to the attention of Council at City Council meetings. They will then be referred to city staff and acted upon at a future date. As a general rule, Petitions and requests will not be acted upon at the same meeting that they are introduced.
Judith F. Davis
Judith F. “J” Davis is in her tenth term on the Greenbelt City Council. Currently, Davis serves as Mayor, a position she has held since 1997. Prior to her election to the City Council in 1993, she was appointed to the city’s Advisory Planning Board (APB) for ten years and was elected Chair by its members from 1988 to 1992. Davis represents the Council on the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area Board of Directors.
J moved to Greenbelt in 1975 and soon became active in local affairs. A condominium owner in Greenbriar, she was elected to the Greenbriar Phase 1 Board of Directors, serving for 14 years. She was Carnival Chair for the Labor Day Festival Committee for 18 years. In 1995, J was on the Project Design Committee that led to the formation of GIVES, the Greenbelt Intergenerational Volunteer Exchange Service, of which she is a charter member. J served on the GIVES Board of Directors as Vice President for nine terms until 2012.
Davis has honed her leadership skills and expanded her experience and effectiveness by serving tirelessly in many roles. As Mayor, J is the Council’s representative to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors. In 2005, she was elected Chair of the COG Board for a one-year term. In 2010, she also served as its corporate President. Davis is a member of COG’s Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee, which she has served on since its inception, and its Pension Plan Administrative Committee. In the past, she served on COG’s Climate, Energy and Environment Policy Committee, Budget/Finance Committee, Ad Hoc Elected Officials’ Green Building Committee, and Climate Change Steering Committee. Davis is a member of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Steering Committee for the National League of Cities (NLC), having first been appointed in 2005. Due to her focus on environmental issues, J has brought back innovative ideas and best practices to be incorporated by the City. She successfully urged Greenbelt’s registration in the Sustainable Maryland Certified Program and serves on its Mayors’ Advisory Council as a Founding Mayor.
In addition, Davis is a past president of both the Prince George’s County Municipal Association (PGCMA) and the Prince George’s Elected Municipal Women. Davis served nine years on PGCMA’s Board of Directors advocating Greenbelt’s positions at the county level. This past June, Davis was elected President of the Maryland Municipal League after serving eleven terms on its Board of Directors. She is Past President of the Maryland Mayors Association. She is a member of Women in Government Service. In 2002, Davis became a Graduate Fellow of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance established by the Institute for Government Service.
Appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley, Davis represented the Maryland Municipal League on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding. She sought full reinstatement of our much-needed Highway User Funds.
In 2011, J was presenterd COG's highest honor, the Elizabeth and David Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award. For her environmental work, J was given the Greenbelt Green Man Award in 2010. Davis was selected Woman of the Year 2000-2001 by the Business and Professional Women/USA. She is also a recipient of an award for Outstanding Leadership and Service in Politics by the Minority Affairs Committee of Prince George’s County Educators Association (PGCEA).
J served PGCEA as board member and Treasurer. J retired in 1999 after thirty years as a sixth grade teacher at Gaywood Elementary School in Seabrook MD. An educator for 35 years, she holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from West Chester State University in West Chester, PA.
J is an active member of many civic organizations, including Greenbelt Arts Center, Friends of the Greenbelt Museum, Greenbelt Golden Age Club, and Greenbelt Lions. She is also a member of the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Friends of the National Zoo, Sierra Club, and Purple Line Now. In her spare time, J enjoys skiing with her significant other, Neil, attending Washington Opera performances, and walking on the beach with her two nieces, Jessica and Felice.
Emmett V. Jordan
Mayor Pro Tem
Emmett V. Jordan is a current member of the Greenbelt City Council, serving as “Mayor Pro Tem”. He is seeking a second term to continue “Working for a Stronger Community” on behalf of the citizens of Greenbelt. In 2009, he became the first African-American councilmember in the city’s 74-year history.
A Greenbelt resident for 12 years, Emmett relocated to the area to work with the University of Maryland in 1998. He made the decision to move to Greenbelt (Greenbriar Condominiums) because of the great access to recreational amenities, transportation, shopping, and the pleasant parks and green spaces.
Emmett, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, studied liberal arts and music at Morehouse College in Atlanta and at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in urban administration from the College of Design Art, Architecture and Planning. He completed additional graduate course work in public administration at Seton Hall University.
A believer in life-long learning, Emmett participated in the Legacy Leadership Institute on Municipal Government at University of Maryland during the spring of 2009 and completed an Academy for Excellence in Local Governance fellowship through the Maryland Municipal League in 2011.
In his professional life, Emmett has worked for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations and agencies, including the Smithsonian Institution, University of Maryland at College Park, Plainfield Neighborhood Health Center, and the United Negro College Fund. Since 2005 he has run his own business as an independent contractor, providing professional services related to marketing, communications, strategic planning, and fund development.
Emmett’s career has provided him with more than 25 years of experience managing projects and coordinating volunteer boards for nonprofits and associations.
For more than 2 decades, he was a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), a trade organization in the nonprofit industry, and he served on the board of directors for the Washington DC AFP Chapter from 2004 to 2008 (2 years as Vice President of Communications).
Emmett dedicates many hours each month to civic and volunteer activities. He is a member of the Human Service Coalition of Prince George’s County and a frequent participant in the programs of the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the Center for Nonprofit Advancement. Emmett has worked as a volunteer for the United Way of Prince George’s County, The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. From 2000 to 2005, he co-chaired the Urban Roundtable, an auxiliary organization for the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL).
Community service and volunteerism were important values in Emmett’s family. The son of an educator and a social service administrator, Emmett was raised in the progressive tradition of the Unitarian Church. He attends Reid Temple AME Church occasionally, and he actively supports community events and fund-raisers for local congregations of all denominations in Greenbelt.
"Community Service in Greenbelt"
As a council member, Emmett serves as liaison to the city’s Community Relation Advisory Board and to Greenbelt Access Television (GATE). He represents Greenbelt on committees with several regional and national organizations, including the Maryland Municipal League, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and the National League of Cities. Emmett is currently serving a second term on the board of the Prince George’s County Municipal Association.
Prior to 2009, Emmett was a member of the city’s Advisory Planning Board where he spearheaded an effort to update the city’s bicycle and pedestrian plan. He served on his home owner’s association board, Phase I of Greenbriar Condominium Association, for 5 years, including two terms as treasurer. He has been a member and committed supporter of the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club since 2004. He also worked as a Prince George’s County Election Judge (in College Park) from 2004 to 2008.
In 2010, Emmett finished a four-year term as a board member of the Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF), which he both co-chaired and then chaired after heading the proposal review committee for two years. He continues to volunteer his time and expertise with GCF, providing technical advice and occasionally teaching grant-writing workshops to community members. He is a member and former co-chair of the Greenbelt Tennis Association. He also is a member and advocate for Transit Riders United of Greenbelt, a volunteer with the Greenbelts Arts Center, and a board member of Greenbelt Intergenerational Volunteer Exchange Service (GIVES).
An energetic 54-year-old, Emmett enjoys attending concerts, art exhibits, and other cultural programs as often as he can. Emmett appreciates and takes full advantage of the “quality of life” amenities that make Greenbelt a special place. Some of his favorite pastimes include spending time outdoors around Greenbelt, playing tennis, bicycling, and playing the guitar.
certs and other cultural
programs and plays guitar as a
Click here to email Mayor Pro Tem Emmett Jordan
First elected in 2003, Konrad Herling’s main focus is to unify our community, divided by the BW Parkway, the Beltway, and Greenbelt Road. On Council, he has focused on improving transit and exploring and ultimately implementing an economic development strategy which would, coordinate grants and marketing, and reach out to the business community to secure additional revenue in a challenging fiscal climate.
Herling has served as Council liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Arts Advisory Board, and the Advisory Committee for Environmental Sustainability (Green ACES). He secured a $20,000 Council of Government (COG) grant to engage a professional planner for a public charrette on transportation. A strong supporter of Transit Riders United of Greenbelt (TRU-G), he worked with TRU-G members, Metro officials, and representatives of Prince Georges County’s Department of Transportation to improve Greenbelt’s bus service.
As Council’s liaison to the Green ACES, Herling has assisted in developing a sustainability plan that recognizes the need throughout the City for improved biking, pedestrian, and bus access. He has advocated that Greenway Center work with WMATA and the County to improve safe access to and from the adjacent bus shelters. Herling, who in his campaign of 1989 proposed that the City establish a planning department (the City did create a Planning and Community Development the following year) has also pressed for traffic circles, improved lighting, and safe pedestrian underpasses in new developments. Herling has participated in and led numerous charrettes, including the 2006 Greenbelt West Charrette and the city’s 2008 visioning process.
Herling seeks to improve culture, education, and civic engagement. In 2006, he inaugurated a volunteer-led international cultural festival and long advocated for the new resident welcome program that Council passed in 2009. He supported construction of the new Greenbelt middle school. He has worked to increase participation in the electoral process, and voted to expand the number of council seats from five to seven.
Herling has chaired the Four Cities Coalition Task Force on homelessness and served on COG’s Washington Area Housing Partnership Board of Directors. Additionally, he serves on the Envision Prince George’s Executive Committee, the Prince George’s County Arts & Humanities Council, the Prince George’s County Municipal Association, as well as Maryland Municipal League and National League of Cities committees.
The founder of the Greenbelt Cultural Arts Center in 1979 and a former member of the Community Relations Advisory Board, Herling is perhaps proudest of participating in writing the Community Pledge, which urges all Greenbelters to treat each other with respect and to celebrate diversity and inclusion. For his community service, he was honored to be named Greenbelt’s Outstanding Citizen in 2001.
Herling, who has lived in GHI and Franklin Park (nee, Springhill Lake, 1979-1984), received his undergraduate degree from Towson University in history and secondary education, and has worked as a legal analyst for the Federal Communications Commission for 34 years.
Leta Mach Council Member Leta Mach and her husband Darrell moved to Greenbelt in 1974. They have two married children – Ryan and Amy – and four granddaughters: Anna, Alexa, Piper and Amelia.
She was first elected to the Greenbelt City Council in 2003 .She has served on numerous local and national committees to represent the City of Greenbelt including the National League of Cities Human Development Steering Committee and the Maryland Municipal League Communications Committee where she is co-vice chair. At the Washington Council of Governments and its affiliates, she is chair of Clean Air Partners and serves on the board of the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee. She is also the secretary of the Prince George’s Elected Municipal Women.
In 2000, Mach was honored as Greenbelt’s Outstanding Citizen. This recognition followed years of community service in a variety of positions with many different community organizations. Through the years, she served as treasurer of the Greenbelt Cooperative Nursery School; PTA president of both Greenbelt Elementary School and Eleanor Roosevelt High School; News Review reporter, editor and proofreader; volunteer for the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival Committee; chair of the GHI Audit Committee and secretary of the board of the Greenbelt Consumer Cooperative. For Greenbelt’s 50th anniversary, she chaired the Greenbelt Oral History Committee that collected video oral histories. She also participated in the book project by writing chapter two of Greenbelt: History of a New Town. She has also been a museum docent.
In 1995, when the City Council established the Advisory Committee on Education (ACE), she was appointed to the committee and elected chair helping to guide the development of ACE programs to the benefit of Greenbelt’s schools. She served as chair until her election to the Greenbelt City Council when she took on the role of council liaison to ACE. She has previously served as council liaison to the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee and is currently council liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Her work experience includes teaching social studies at Suitland Senior High School from 1969- 73, serving as the Information Specialist at Greenbelt Homes, Inc. (GHI) from 1981-87 and from 1987-2003 she worked at National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) as director of communications and cooperative education.
Her interest in education and cooperatives has informed her efforts to enhance the quality of life for Greenbelt citizens. Familiar with the NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) program providing services to seniors in New York City cooperatives, she advocated for the adoption of Greenbelt’s Assistance in Living program. She once ran a conference on cooperatives and the Living Wage and as a councilmember pushed the city to establish a Living Wage policy providing city employees and those of city contractors with a wage higher than the minimum wage. As ERHS PTSA president, she called for a light at Frankfort and Greenbelt Roads and called again, successfully, after election to Council. Her efforts ensured Greenbelt’s Playful City charter designation and KaBoom! grant for the South Ora Court playground. The program recognizes and promotes health and fitness for the young and not so young throughout the city.
Alert to opportunities and partnerships, she also suggested the Maryland Municipal League adopt the MML Geocache Trail. This high-tech treasure hunting game brings people from around the country to find the city’s geocache and promotes and markets the city at virtually no cost. Mach is a past board member of the Greenbelt Community Foundation
Beyond Greenbelt, she is the past president of both the Cooperative Communicators Association and Parent Cooperative Preschools International. She has received many awards including in 1995 the national Co-op Month Award for Communications. Mach grew up in a military family. While she was in high school her father was stationed in Washington, D.C., and she graduated from a Prince George’s County school – Bladensburg. In 1969, she received a B.A. with Honor with a major in history and minors in English and education from Michigan State University.
As a new member of Council in 2003, she felt it important to deepen her understanding of local government and thus enrolled in and subsequently became a graduate of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance, a collaborative effort involving the Maryland Municipal League and the University of Maryland Institute for Governmental Service.
A proud and active member of our community for thirteen years, Silke Pope came to Greenbelt from Germany in 1998 with family, initially making a home in Springhill Lake (since renamed Franklin Park). Silke is a mother of two adult children and a proud grandmother to Sofia, the newest addition to the Pope family.
Quickly taken with Greenbelt’s welcoming spirit and rich tradition of community, Silke soon engaged with neighbors and local government, helping in 1999 to found the Springhill Lake Neighborhood Improvement Team. The group bridged gaps, sharing concerns and generating solutions among residents, complex management and the City on topics of public safety and other quality-of-life issues. This marked her initial foray into public life in Greenbelt.
She served on the City’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) for 9 years, chairing the committee for 6 years until she was elected to City Council in 2009. During her tenure leading the Public Safety Advisory Committee, the city saw real improvements in safety including the upgrade of security cameras at Roosevelt Center and their installation on the Spellman Overpass, as well as emergency call boxes on Metro Drive and in the Springhill Lake area. Silke has continued to be a strong supporter of our police department and places a strong emphasis on public safety initiatives.
Even before proudly earning U.S. citizenship in 2006, Silke had been very active in the American Legion Auxiliary where she was president for 2 years. She continues to be very active in the community fundraising for groups including the American Legion Auxiliary and St. Hugh Church. A member of St. Hugh of Grenoble church since 2000, Silke has been involved in several fundraising efforts including the Texas BBQ, Shrimp Feast and Oktoberfest events. She has also served as president of the Belle Point Homeowners’ Association (HOA) since 2006, where her family now resides.
In her HOA position, she has ensured the efficient operation of the HOA, made every effort to ensure that HOA standards and Greenbelt laws are adhered to, and enhanced property values through cost-effective maintenance of the common areas and the founding of the Belle Point Landscaping Committee, which has planted more than 25 sizeable trees over the past several years.
Silke has uplifted and empowered many underprivileged children including those learning English as a second language at Greenbelt Middle School (GMS) from 2001-2007, at GMS and Magnolia Elementary School as a Parent Liaison from 2007-2009 and most recently as a Special Education Paraprofessional at Springhill Lake Elementary School. Employed in local schools since 2001, Silke has been able to enhance the lives of youth across Greenbelt.
When still in Germany, Pope worked in the field of international business relations where her bilingual ability and organizational skills were critical. Attuned to cross-cultural issues, Silke has long practiced effective communication across all kinds of demographic boundaries. Her prior professional experience includes positions of responsibility within large international institutions focused on finance and account services.
Since being elected to City Council in 2009, Silke has served on several committees including the Maryland Municipal League Convention Planning Committee and the Small Cities Council Steering Committee and Public Safety and Crime Prevention Steering Committee for the National League of Cities. She is the liaison to the City of Greenbelt’s Senior Citizen Advisory Committee and most recently has earned a fellowship from the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance at the University of Maryland. This fellowship provides Pope with a more thorough understanding of how local municipalities function and a strong understanding of governmental policy and ethics.
Raised in a small German town, Silke Pope brings to Greenbelt familiar small-town values of community with the professional and social experience that comes from living and working in diverse cultures. Her natural tendency is one of engagement and activity in the community, taking on numerous volunteer roles and accruing accomplishments in Greenbelt over the past decade, many even before becoming a US citizen. By confronting the realities of modern Greenbelt, embracing young people and seeking to improve quality of life for all, Silke Pope shows a long track record that continues to make Greenbelt proud.
Edward VJ Putens
Edward Putens is serving
his fifteenth term on the
Greenbelt City Council. Putens
has been a resident of Greenbelt
for 42 years, starting in Springhill
Lake (SHL). He has also lived
in Charlestowne North, Windsor Green and most recently Greenbrook Estates. He was born in Hazelton, Pa., and grew up in Baltimore.
Putens has been employed by the federal government for 37 years and has received many awards and commendations. He has worked for the Food and Drug Administration for the past 22 years, mostly in management positions. Putens previously served in a variety of senior management and staff positions for the Department of Labor, Office of Personnel Management and U.S. Postal Service.
Putens has taken a leading role to improve police protection and crime prevention. He has advocated the revitalization of SHL, now Empirian Village, and other property west of Kenilworth Avenue, in part to improve public safety. Council earlier supported his initiative to use video cameras in strategic areas in the city and to place two school resource officers in Greenbelt schools for security. He previously led the successful efforts to have a traffic light installed at Greenbelt and Mandan Roads and a guardrail installed at Eleanor Roosevelt High School.
He proposed the city’s new
Public Safety Advisory Committee,
as well as the Advisory
Committee on Education (ACE).
Putens also successfully initiated
the Four Cities Coalition among
Greenbelt, College Park, New
Carrollton and Berwyn Heights,
to expand inter-city cooperation
on issues and projects of common
concern. Putens has taken
a leading role on senior citizen
concerns and initiated a Senior Task Force, which led to establishment of the permanent Senior Citizen Advisory Committee.
Until 1993, Putens was the only councilmember living in Greenbelt East and he worked actively with the Greenbelt East Advisory Committee (GEAC), of which he was a co-founder. He was an original member of the Windsor Green Board of Directors and served on its board for eight years. He has been thepresident of Greenbrook Estates for the past nine years. For several years Putens worked with the Good Neighbor Group at SHL and later with the SHL Neighborhood Improvement Team.
Prior to his council service, Putens was chair of the Community Relations Advisory Board (CRAB), which developed the proposal to establish a city-wide crime prevention program that led eventually to the current Public Safety Advisory Committee. He has been active at different times in a variety of community organizations, including Greenbelt Consumer Co-op, Friends of the Greenbelt Museum, Greenbelt Arts Center and the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club. He was an active participant in the Greenbelt Boys and Girls Club programs when his two children were young.
While on council, Putens served on county, state and national committees to represent Greenbelt’s interests. He is the past chair of the Small Cities Council of the National League of Cities and also served on other committees. He is also a member of the regional Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments (COG), Prince George’s County Municipal Association and the Maryland Municipal League. He currently serves on the COG Human Resources and Public Safety Policy Committee, which he previously chaired, and was also a member of COG’s Transportation Planning Board.
Putens is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he earned a degree in microbiology and was a member of the lacrosse team. While attending college, he was employed in various research capacities for medical and research development companies and co-authored several patents dealing with minimizing air pollutants.
Rodney M. Roberts
Rodney Roberts, 51, is a lifelong
Greenbelt resident and lives
with his wife, Tara. He attended Prince George’s County schools
and was active in sports with the Greenbelt Boys and Girls Club.
A 1975 graduate of the National Technical Institute in College
Park, Roberts is the sole proprietor of a small business that specializes in on-site repairs of various types of equipment and vehicles (celebrating 10 years in business).
Roberts is serving his ninth term on council, the last four as mayor pro tem. He attended nearly every council meeting during the four years prior to being elected to city council in 1991, becoming known as an outspoken community activist.
During his 18 years on council, Roberts has never missed a regular council meeting. (He missed one worksession and an executive session due to illness.) Roberts enjoys volunteering his professional skills to groups such as Greenbelt Intergenerational Volunteer Service (GIVES) and the New Deal Café among others. When the New Deal Café was in danger of closing, Roberts donated over 100 hours of his time working with a small group of volunteers to install a commercial kitchen. Roberts designed, fabricated, welded and installed the superstructure required to hang the fire suppression hood (the heart of the kitchen). He also installed the hood and ventilation systems. Because of this volunteer effort, the Café was able to install a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen for less than $30,000, a savings of more than $70,000, giving the Café a new lease on life.
In 1991 Roberts
proposed and worked through
to implementation, a community
policing program that included
the city’s first police bicycle patrols.
Since then he has worked
to increase bike patrols throughout
the city and to establish police
substations in Greenbelt East and
Beltway Plaza. Roberts was a
leader in the citizen movement
that resulted in the city’s acquisition
of 184 acres of woodland,
part of the original “Green Belt.”
Roberts continued to advocate for
the long-term protection of our
city owned forests. This resulted
in the 2003 passage of a city ordinance
establishing a Greenbelt
forest preserve consisting initially
of 225 acres. Roberts testifies
on behalf of the city before state and county officials concerning development, transportation, recreation, environmental and fiscal issues. In 2004 he testified before the state Board of Public Works (consisting of the Comptroller, Governor and Treasurer). Overcoming initial opposition from Comptroller William D. Schaefer and Governor Robert L. Ehrlich; he secured $648,000 in Open Space Funds for the purchase of 10 acres known as the “Sunrise Property” in Greenbelt East, one of Greenbelt’s newest forest preserves. Roberts has consistently opposed yearly city tax increases for nonessential hiring and other items.
Roberts served as a member of the Metro Area Sector Planning Group. He is a member of the Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board, City Council Liaison to the Youth Advisory Board and Arts Activity Board. Roberts is a member and former chair of the Committee to Save the Green Belt and a founding member of the Greenbelt Foundation for the Arts.