close
close

College Park City Clerk retires after 18 years in office

College Park City Clerk retires after 18 years in office
College Park City Clerk retires after 18 years in office

By LILLIAN GLAROS

City Clerk Janeen Miller will retire on August 1. Her successor will be Yvette Allen, who served as deputy city clerk for 20 years.
Courtesy of the City of College Park

College Park City Commissioner Janeen Miller will retire on August 1 after 18 years in the position.

Her successor on August 5 will be Deputy City Clerk Yvette Allen, who has worked for the city since 1988.

“I hope she can really enjoy her retirement and do the things she’s wanted to do for so long and that she really enjoys not having to come into the office every day,” said City Manager Kenny Young.

Miller said she is ready for the freedom that retirement brings.

“More free time for myself to do the things I’ve been putting off and enjoy life without being woken up by an alarm clock,” Miller said. “I think that’s really the most important thing. I’m just tired of having an alarm clock and having to follow someone else’s schedule and I’m ready to make my own time.”

However, Miller also said that she really enjoyed her work as city clerk, especially dealing with all kinds of people, being helpful and even answering phone calls.

“The city clerk’s office answers the city’s main phone number, so we get all kinds of calls. I love that. You can see who is on the other end of the line and how you can help them,” Miller said. “It’s very satisfying.”

Nevertheless, says Miller, the job is “challenging. I had to learn a lot of new things. Every day is different. I come into contact with many different people from different walks of life.”

Miller, who lived in the Berwyn neighborhood of College Park before moving to Greenbelt about 15 years ago, was involved in the city even before she became city clerk. She chaired its neighborhood watch committee and worked in the Department of Public Services for about 16 months before being appointed city clerk by former City Manager Joe Nagro in 2006.

As city clerk, Miller has had a variety of duties. Her office is involved in city elections, responds to requests for information from the public, maintains city records, and manages citizen advisory councils. Miller or Allen also attends every College Park City Council meeting, preparing agendas, taking minutes, and ensuring the council complies with city, county, and state laws.

“We forget, but they don’t,” Mayor of College Park Fazlul Kabir said of Miller. “She reminds us of everything and makes sure we stay on track. She’s very punctual. And she’s also very honest. If she thinks the staff can do something, she tells us, ‘Hey, this is a difficult situation.'”

Miller said she will miss her colleagues.

“I’m going to miss Yvette,” Miller said. “I’m going to miss the other people I work with in this department and see every day. I’m going to miss the phone. Not all the phone calls, but some of the phone calls and talking to the people on the phone.”

In her 20 years as deputy city clerk, Allen Miller helped with her duties, she said.

“I gave Janeen time to go out and shine while behind the scenes I was trying to get as much information as I could and prepare her so she could go out and shine,” Allen said. “So I hope … I’ll do the same with my assistant.”

Allen said she is looking forward to her role as city clerk.

“I feel like now is my time,” she said. “I’ve worked hard. Janeen has been a wonderful leader and has helped me hone my skills over the years.”

Allen worked for five years as a typist in parking enforcement, as secretary to the director of the Department of Public Services, and as a clerk in the city administrator’s office before becoming deputy city administrator in 2004.

Allen and Miller agreed that they have a close working relationship. Allen said she sometimes spends more time with Miller than with her own family.

Allen said she considers Miller family, and Miller said they are like sisters.

“We speak the same language,” Miller said. “So we speak shorthand to each other and know what we’re talking about.”

“That’s right, and no one can understand it,” Allen replied.

A lot has changed in the more than 20 years she has worked in the city chancellery.

For example, the city’s businesses were converted from paper to digital and employees moved to the new town hall.

“Since I’ve been here, I think the biggest change is our new city hall and everything we’ve had to go through to get to our new city hall,” Miller said. “But of course, all the developments we’ve seen on Route 1 are also the biggest change.”