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Former At-Large Candidate Resigns From Boys and Girls Club

Citing political pressure, Adrian Rousseau resigns from Board of Directors at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club.

Adrian Rousseau, a former candidate for city council, has announced his resignation from the Board of Directors of the Laurel Boys and Girls Club in a letter sent to the community.

Citing his desire to not have the club be criticized for his political comments,  stepped down from the position he has held for the last 10 years. He will maintain his position as the facility's athletic director.

In recent years, Rousseau has served as the club's unofficial spokesperson and actively criticized the city council for what he called a tepid response in supporting the club.

"Becoming a civil servant takes sacrifice. I made the decision to resign from the Laurel Boys and Girls Club’s Board of Directors," Rousseau wrote. "This resignation was in response to this political process as some chose to attack the Boys and Girls Club, limiting my ability to address issues for my supporters."

Last week, Rousseau after receiving in the city election, he was going to work for an advocacy group and continue to follow issues in the community.

Antonio Washington November 10, 2011 at 03:05 PM
Harri, Until the LBGC is willing to show how many children participating in their programs actually live in the City I am not willing to let my tax dollars be spent on them. This is a simple request the City has been making for years.
Antonio Washington November 10, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Mr. Williams, Your statement that Mr. Henry is, "among the minority in this community who believe that the Laurel Boys and Girls Club should not be supported and left to rubble" is an opinion and not based on fact. I think it's fair to say that the majority actually don't care at all about the LBGC. While this is an opinion here's the reasons I think it's a valid opinion. 1) Mr. Rousseau and Sarich both ran on a pro-LBGC platform 2) Both lost 3) Had the community truly cared about the LBGC they would have turned out and voted Rousseau and Sarich into office 4) The LBGC has seen numerous groups break off from them in recent years including the Laurel Little League. This was the nail in the coffin for many of us as the Laurel Boys Club was originally founded to provide baseball to the City's youths. With roughly 20,000 voters registered in Laurel less than 2,000 turned out to vote. I find this interesting as Ms. Berhane claims the LBGC serves 2,000 youths and families. I've seen that number inflated to 4,000 in other LBGC literature. Regardless, wouldn't it stand to reason that if these alleged youths and families resided in the City of Laurel their parents would have turned out to vote?
Antonio Washington November 10, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Countless organizations? How difficult is it to count up the organizations? My best guess is it's less than 10. Here's how I came up with this guess: 1) Pallotti and St. Mary's use it during the day according to published LBGC information 2)High School GED program is in there tuesday and thursday according to the LBGC website (though why this program is any better than the one offered by the local public school system is beyond me especially given the horrible spelling and grammar displayed on this site and others by the LBGC leadership) 3) That's actually all the organizations I can find So, I revise my prior estimate that these 'countless organizations' is less than ten to less than five. If I'm wrong, can you give us a brief sub-set from the 'countless' list ?
Antonio Washington November 10, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Just read the copy of Mr. Rousseau's letter printed in the Laurel Leader. Kudos to their editorial staff for fixing the countless spelling and grammatical errors. Is it really that tough to hit spell check? These new-fangled computers will also check the grammar for you.
Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD November 10, 2011 at 08:14 PM
Hello Mr. Washington? You mentioned that you have driven by the club several times and been inside once or twice. Surely you would remember if you either came in the club one time or two times. I challenge you to come to the club one more time. A volunteer is always here. We will make our club records available to you. You will no longer have to spend so much energy worrying about the club. You can then report your findings. My guess is however, you will not take that offer!!! Oh by the way, you mentioned that the club no longer has baseball, you are correct, and fact is the Laurel League and the club are partners (add that to your partner list). Contact Peter Ruiz at the Laurel Little League and he will confirm that. It is simple they can offer that program at an affordable price. You can contact us at (301) 490-6570 or email at lbgcwildcats@comcast.net to set up meeting. See you then. Oh here the list of organizations that utilize the club, this is for your information: Laurel Soccer Club Laurel Little League Helping Youth Grow Emerging Leaders (AKA) Laurel Grad Night (Laurel High School) Faith Ame Church New Life Church Cross Way Church Spread the Word Church Lady Stars Addidas Pallotti High School St. Mary’s of the Mill Laurel Chess Club Crawford’s Fitness University of Maryland Internship CYA I won’t put down the amount of children we serve or our programs, I will leave that to you to report. See you at the club!!
Antonio Washington November 11, 2011 at 02:27 AM
BOD, Typical response. It's really quite simple: Football = X Wrestling = X After School Program = X Basketball = X Soccer = X Martial Arts = X Cheerleading = X I can call any other organization in the area and they would have these numbers readily available. Unfortunately, this seems to be another 'countless' number for your organization. It'd als be nice if you could break out City residents vs. non-City residents.
Jim Mason November 11, 2011 at 02:56 AM
to the BOD: first, regarding Mr Washington's 'once or twice' comment, 'once or twice' used in this context is a fairly common figure of speech, and your misinterpretation of it as a literal expression is rather foolish; when someone says it's raining cats and dogs, do you call the SPCA or PETA to report animal injuries? Your earlier posts were informative, but snide little comments like that are petty and pointless, and reflect a poor attitude. sarcasm and pedantic word games are not the most productive ways to encourage new support for your organization.
Antonio Washington November 11, 2011 at 03:38 AM
And @ BOD...why would I come into the club when your post is clearly combative? You write: " I challenge you to come to the club one more time. " Really? You're challenging me? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to invite me? Cordially? Instead I'm challenged like to a duel or a fight? You write: " My guess is however, you will not take that offer!!! " Your guess is correct. The three exclamation points leads me to believe you are screaming at me. Why would I put myself in a position where I would spend time with people that have been called bullies by countlss others? You write: 'See you at the club!! " Once again with the exclamation points. Maybe you don't know that exclamation points signal yelling on the internet? If not, I apologize for mis-construing your post.
Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD November 11, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Hello Mr. Washington ? Please name just one in the City of Laurel that you can call and they give you those numbers. I would like to contact them also. Also the programs you listed above is correct. Also please name just one organization in Laurel that offers all those programs in one club. Oh I forgot to add we just partnered with local schools. (Scotchtown, Eisenhower, Deer Field Run, Laurel Elementary and Harrison) The partnership includes picking the children up from school and transporting them to the club to help them learn and grow. Currently that program has 20 children and is growing. Concerning coming down to the club. You don't have to come down. One of the board members can meet you and Mr.Mason at a neutral place to discuss your concerns about the club. No problem. At the meeting we will bring, financial audit, contributors, members addresses, members names, etc. And by the way Mr. Mason, I apologize if I came of sarcastic in my reply to Mr. Washington. It is just I was frustrated and I get very protective concerning the folks that volunteer here. Again, I would love to meet with yourself and Mr. Mason. Our doors are open.
Antonio Washington November 11, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Hello Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD ? I'll send an email to the College Park Boys and Girls Club and the Beltsville Adelphi Boys and Girls Club and get back to you. Kudos on implementing your bus program. Please ask your driver to actually pull into the LBGC parking lot rather than stopping on Montgomery street and allowing the children to jump out of the van. This has happened to me twice. Not only is it dangerous for the children it holds up traffic.
Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD November 11, 2011 at 08:46 PM
Both clubs are great clubs. In fact both participated in our winter basketball program as other P.G. County boys and girls clubs do. College Park actually donated their football equipment to the club. Since 1954 the club's mission has been: The Laurel Boys and Girls Club’s mission is to work in partnership with the citizens of the greater Laurel area in providing recreational and enrichment programs: for the purpose of improving the quality of life for our youth and their families. We will continue to carry on the mission that our founders created. A majority of our membership is indeed from the City of Laurel, at that majority supports the club. I also believe our forefathers would be proud of us. We addressed human dignity issues when we came here, and regardless were those children resided, no child should have been participating in any program under those conditions. Not one City of Laurel resident!! Believe me when I say this to you Mr. Washington. Only you few that has something personal to grind with the club leadership cares about where a child comes from! Just last year a City of Laurel Sponsored youth organization invaded our neighborhood (Sweitzer Park) and now uses Cypress Field. No body cares!! Drive by and look at the license plates. Take care Ask the City of Laurel for those numbers!! Did you know that 7out 10 board members reside in the City of Laurel? Did you know that 42 out of the 63 coaches reside in the City of Laurel?
Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD November 11, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Hello Mr. Washington, You mentioned that you have a large amount of the community that do not support the club. The board would love to meet with them. You arrange and organize the group. Lets communicate, instead of this blog thing. Lets face the problem. If this is truly a concern of the community, we are open to communication. We have the Phelps Center. and we will make sure it is available.
Antonio Washington November 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM
LBGC BOD ? You wrote: "Just last year a City of Laurel Sponsored youth organization invaded our neighborhood (Sweitzer Park) and now uses Cypress Field. No body cares!! Drive by and look at the license plates. Take care" Can't the City of Laurel sponsor youth organizations? What will the license plates tell us? As far as I know the City of residence is not listed on a license plate. Are you saying the City is sponsoring out of state organizations? Were these organizations causing trouble? What exactly do you mean by 'invaded'? I live very close to Cypress Field and can't recall any trouble. If your organization really stands for the children I would imagine you would applaud another organization working with youths. Seems to me the LBGC does not have a monopoly on helping local youths. Wouldn't you agree the more organizations out there helping the youths, the better the youths will do? Interesting that the College Park BGC donated uniforms. A search of the MD Judiciary records shows an outstanding complaint against the LBGC for $30,000 for what appears to be uniforms: http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiryDetail.jis?caseId=050200123152011&loc=20&detailLoc=DSCIVIL How many youths do you have playing football with the LBGC these days? I believe the Hurricanes, Steelers and Stallions all broke off from your organization due to differences.
Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD November 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM
I have no idea where you received your information that we are bullies. Wrong information. We are compassionate about serving our youths and protecting the club. I do apologize concerning the exclamation points, that has never been pointed out to me. The board here are not yellers. In fact we have a Firefighter, working on his MBA and founder of Laurel Youth Betterment, a CPA, Teacher (PHD), Executive Director with a masters, Presenter for NEA, and myself Dareyl Dunston, Masters from Drexel. 7 out of 10 are City of Laurel residents, myself, I am a Prince George's County resident. Mr. Henry, mentioned that he has sent his friends to organizations that left the club, he may want to investigate the reasoning as to why those individuals chose to leave or was ask to leave. This is public record, however, I will not discuss this on a blog. You may want to ask the City of Laurel government, they have been provided that information. I do love this forum. It gives the club the opportunity to get facts to the community we serve, good or bad and to address many misspokes that we are hearing about.
Antonio Washington November 12, 2011 at 12:28 AM
LBGC Bod wrote: "Mr. Henry, mentioned that he has sent his friends to organizations that left the club, he may want to investigate the reasoning as to why those individuals chose to leave or was ask to leave. This is public record, however, I will not discuss this on a blog." What on earth are you talking about? Are you saying there is a public record of why people left the LBGC? How, where and why would there be such a thing? That's like saying there would be a public record of why someone left the Gold's Gym.
Laurelmom November 12, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Wow, what an interesting dialog. I actually go so lost in it reading that I forgot what the argument was about. I do agree, and appreciate the willingness of the B of D to open the dialog to talk about why residents are unhappy with LBGC. I would be happy to take part in that to help things improve. As I have experienced in PG County, as both a resident and teacher, is that sometimes pride will get in the way of the mission. I believe that children are being served, however, I also believe that because of pride, many children are not being served. The situation last year with Sweitzer fields, which went underused for most of the soccer season, due to monopolizing the permits by LBGC, is a primary example. Let's plan a town hall to talk about how we, as a community, can be better served by LBGC and better support them, and leave our pride at the door. Now that would be real progress!
Laurelmom November 12, 2011 at 11:48 AM
(excuse the typos, darn iPad!)
Antonio Washington November 12, 2011 at 12:12 PM
Hi Laurelmom, I have a grand-daughter that plays basketball in a league in nearby Silver Spring and a son that plays baseball with the Laurel Little League. Neither one of these organizations has a contentious relationship with their local government. Neither one of these organizations has any of the "problems" the LBGC has. However, both of these organizations more than meet my expectations and provide a fun opportunity for my grand-children to participate in sports. While I applaud your town hall idea I see no reason to expend any energy as far as the LBGC is concerned. There are countless other organizations out there that perform the same functions they do without all the headaches.
John S November 12, 2011 at 01:50 PM
http://laurel.patch.com/articles/groups-at-odds-over-proposed-laurel-charter-school To Laurelmom: I live in Frederick County so I'm really on the "outside" of this discussion. Among the Patch commenting thread exchanges this election season, I located the story (linked to above) as relevant to the current dialogue. I send this not knowing whether you and some others are aware of this story from February of this year.
Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD November 12, 2011 at 05:37 PM
We have 220 youths playing football this fall. Numbers are actually up. Concerning Laurel Hurricanes, different league, has nothing to do with LBGC. In fact, the club supports the Hurricanes. In 2006, city council Fred Smalls approached the club leadership concerning field usage for Hurricanes. Club agreed. We actually support all sorts of youth groups. We do not compete for youths. Boys and Girls Club supplement schools. Example (after school program that picks up youths from school, a child does make his or her school team, child then is able to sign up at their local boys and girls club. This is why recreational programs are the same time as school programs. I refer to those programs, as you have stated that you are concerned about your tax money going to organizations that help youths outside the Laurel. Have you changed your stance? You mentioned living learn Cypress Field. I am talking about Sweitzer Park. Concerning what College park donated. It was football equipment (Helmets, pads, etc). The case you are refering to concerns purchase of uniforms from an organization attempting to get funds from the club, whom the club has never done business with. Also be advised you misspoke about the Hurricanes, Steelers and Stallions breaking off from the club, again you are incorrect. You have slung alot of mud at the club, and nothing is sticking. Facts are I was shock and disbelief to the conditions at this club and we will continue to stand up for our Children.
Laurelmom November 12, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Thanks for the article John. I am pretty familiar with the LBGC Charter School proposal, as well as the process in PG. There's so much in that article, I wouldn't even know where to begin!
John S November 12, 2011 at 08:14 PM
Laurelmom: Your mention of a townhall and background in PG school system is what had me thinking along the lines of sending the link. I found the Gazette story with link provided by Mr. Andre Williams (7:20pm on Wednesday, November 9, 2011) most helpful in learning more about LBGC as well.
Antonio Washington November 13, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Laurel BOD, you wrote countless things including: 1) "You have slung alot of mud at the club, and nothing is sticking." I have not slung any mud. You came on this forum and wrote, " I do love this forum. It gives the club the opportunity to get facts to the community we serve, good or bad and to address many misspokes that we are hearing about." I was asking you questions and giving you the opportunity to respond. This combative attitude you exhibit is something I've witnessed from many LBGC representatves. It's not pretty. I'm sure this is one reason many claim you are bullies. 2) "Believe me when I say this to you Mr. Washington. Only you few that has something personal to grind with the club leadership cares about where a child comes from!" I don't have anything personal to grind (I do however believe the phrase you're looking for is axe to grind) with the LBGC. I coached my son's baseball team back in the 70's when I volunteerd with the LBGC. I volunteerd with men who managed to run a successful program without any government funds. We raised funds for our programs and honstly worried about the kids rather than picking fights and threatening lawsuits with anyone that questioned us. So, I have nothing personal against you I just would like some answers as to how the LBGC could fall from a once-great organization to the caricature it currenty is. I think that million dollar building falling down around you has something to do with it.
Antonio Washington November 13, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Laurel BOD, you wrote: 1) We have 220 youths playing football this fall. This is a great start in backing up the "2,000 youths and families served" number Ms. Berhane stated. All we need to do is get the numbers for your other programs to see whether the 2,000 figure is correct. Based on your football number I find it difficult to see how we can get to 2,000. Why? You also put in writing that you have 20 youths participating in your after-schoo program. Let's assume none of these 20 also participate in football (because if they did you would be double-counting your youths.) If we add 220 and 20 we get 240. This leaves 1,760 youths. What programs do you have left with any considerable numbers besides basketball and soccer? Let's assume basketball and soccer each have the same number as football (220) and that none of them also participate in football (wouldn't want to double or triple count the same youths.) If we subtract these hypothetical numbers from what we already have we're left with 1,320 youths in programs not yet accounted for. See why I'm skeptical? If not let me make it clearer. 2,000 youths claimed by Ms. Berhane -220 football (Actual) -20 after school (Actual) -220 basketball (Hypothetical) -220 soccer (Hypothetical) 1,320 unaccounted youths Where's the other kids?
Antonio Washington November 13, 2011 at 01:58 PM
LBGC BOD wrote: 1) Also be advised you misspoke about the Hurricanes, Steelers and Stallions breaking off from the club, again you are incorrect. I apologize if I'm incorrect about the Hurricans and Steelers. I cannot find any written facts to support the rumors I've heard about this. However, I am corrct about the Stallions. Based on the LBGC Charter School article comments: "Caprice Knight 9:07pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 As for Mr. Andre "Crybaby" Sams, I hope and wish you well on your new football program/league." A quick google of Andre Sams (I left out Crybaby) turned up the West Laurel Stallions website: http://www.laurelstallions.com/index.html Am I incorrect in my understanding that this group broke-off from the LBGC?
Antonio Washington November 13, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Are you in favor of the LBGC starting a school? I find it insane anyone would think this is a good idea. Look at all of the comments on this site. I cannot be the only person that finds the LBGC representatives incapable of stringing together a coherent sentence. They appear to be incapable of spelling correctly and grammar appears to be an alien concept. As for any common sense, please help me understand why anyone would have taken ownership of that building they occupy? Prince George's County offered it to the City of Laurel who rightfully decided they didn't want anything to do with it. The fact that the LBGC accepted ownership of it shows they have a very limited idea of what is involved in restoring a building that was built in 1899. I don't believe putting the LBGC in charge of anything to do with education is a good idea. The Phelps Center certainly has historical value. It however is not suitable for use as a school.
John S November 13, 2011 at 04:58 PM
To: Antonio Washington (posted 9:08am on Sunday, November 13, 2011) No I don't think the charter school is a good idea. Again I am on the outside looking in and terrribly perplexed. On the "plus side", I have learned, and appreciate, two new words in this thread: "hubris" and "megalomaniacal".
Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD November 13, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Hello Mr. Washington, Youth services-Services provided to St.Mary's of the Mills, Pallotti High School, all the churches, partnerships with Laurel High School (Grad night), Eisenhower Middle. Drop in programs. Basketball program that operates year round (Metro Youth Basketball league, Laurel Boys and Girls Club Intramural League including largest), several mentoring programs, etc, Partnership with largest youth girl serving organization in Northern Maryland (Johnny Mack), School Fall and Summer Basketball league, (Laurel High School, Pallotti High School, Eisenhower, Howard High, Princenton Day, Chapel Gate Christian, Severn, etc. I can go on and on and on. You mentioned the Laurel Stallions (Andre Sams), however, you left out the Greater Laurel Soccer Club for some reason (Steve Haversack). Both commissioners that left to start their own programs. This is America, they have choice. For some reason you say this is a break off, I consider this choice. Any by the way, you should know that it is hard to believe everything you read. If you want facts I can give them to you about both commissioners. Please add to your list of contacts to include now Pallotti, St. Mary's , Laurel High School, Chapel Gate Christian, Chesapeake Charter School (Laurel), Eisenhower. To ge the numbers from them as to how many of their children do the Laurel Boys and Girls Club provide services to . And for the record, Ellen Berhane's response referred to City of Laurel residents only.
Laurel Boys and Girls Club BOD November 13, 2011 at 05:16 PM
Hello Laurelmom, great suggestion. The club has always welcomed Townhall meetings. In fact we had one 4 months ago, in which several folks attended, to include members from Prince George's County School board, Laurel High School, Senator Rosapepe, and several City of Laurel Residents. We have been approached by a City community organization, that is going to take up the club's invitation to tour the club and listen to our concerns. We are also encouraging our young people to advocate for themselves. Our invitation is also open to you as well as you have shown interest. You can email the club at lbgcwildcats@comcast.net. Also if you are interested this group meets at Starbucks on Tuesdays and I can get you in contact with them.
John S November 14, 2011 at 03:06 PM
http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/news/ph-ll-laurel-prep-20110720,0,1137178.story Well I found this in the Laurel Leader dated July 20, 2011. It looks like a lot was accomplished between February and July of this year.

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