Rodney Roberts 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.
Rodney M. Roberts