Incumbent Vernon Archer Hopes for Fourth Term as Riverdale Park Mayor

The first in our series of election Q&A's for Riverdale Park.

After three terms as mayor, Vernon Archer, is going for a fourth term.

The 47-year-old social studies teacher at William Wirt Middle School has lived in Riverdale since 1996. He currently lives at 4510 Oliver Street in Ward 1.

A father of two teenage daughters, Archer was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Wyoming and Oklahoma, and moved to D.C. in 1988.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from East Central University in Oklahoma, a Masters of Arts in history from Oklahoma State University, and a Masters of Library and Information Science from The University of Maryland.

Patch asked Archer questions to learn more about his fourth run for mayor.

Riverdale Park-University Park Patch: How can residents benefit from your leadership as mayor?

Vernon Archer: I will continue to emphasize managing the town’s resources in such a way as to insure that Riverdale Park continues to be the safe, clean and the beautiful town that it is. This includes providing the high quality police and public works services that we currently have. I will also continue to support and encourage the positive activism of others who create such wonderful institutions as our farmers’ market, arts festival,  and recreation board activities along with new ventures that residents want to see develop.

Nurturing productive relationships with neighboring towns along with county and state agencies is critically important to the prosperity of Riverdale Park. I will continue to work to maintain the types of relationships that have benefited the town over my tenure and ensure that we have successful programs to manage storm water, regional transportation, and regional development in ways that protect and benefit our residents. 

Patch: What are your goals for the next term as mayor?


  • Maintain the current level of services at the most economical level possible.
  • Maintain the town finances at the current healthy level, while: 1) reducing the town’s property tax rate by at least 2 cents per hundred;  2) providing adequate investment for capital resources to ensure town staff have the tools to do their jobs; 3) maintain the high quality public infrastructure we enjoy;   4) provide residents support and resources to foster a strong and vibrant community; and 5) keep an adequate cash reserve to see us through unforeseen emergencies. The budget proposal that I will submit to the council in May accomplishes all of these goals.
  • Use the current momentum that exists on both Baltimore and Kenilworth avenues to build strong revitalization programs for each corridor.

Patch: What do you hope to change?

VA: The thing I most want to change is the low involvement in civic activities of renters and new immigrants to Riverdale Park. Particularly I wish to see these residents more involved in the major discussions and plans to revitalize and rejuvenate our town.

I would also like to see a greater level of volunteerism in our town. I truly believe that no matter what a few elected officials do, the only way to ensure the long term blossoming of our town is to have the residents themselves make it happen. I plan and pledge to do a better job of recruiting, encouraging and recognizing those in our community who do, or will, work to make the town a safer, cleaner and more beautiful place to live.

Patch: Why do you love living in Riverdale Park?

VA:  I love the diversity of people who live here. I love that my neighbors are African-American, White, Latino, Asian, immigrants, old-stock WASPs (white anglo-saxon protestants), Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, non-believers, teachers, lawyers, plumbers, accountants, social workers, realtors, Democrats, Republicans, adamantly Independent, retired, just starting out in their first house, and diverse in so many other ways I can’t even start to list them all.  Riverdale Park is the patch-work quilt or mixing bowl, which ever analogy that you chose, but the main thing is Riverdale Park is beautiful because of who lives here

Patch: Anything else you wish to add? 

VA: I wish to thank the many town residents, staff members and elected officials whom I have had the pleasure of working with over the last six years. The successes we have had together are due much more to you the many, than me.  I hope and expect to work with you in a productive and collegial fashion for two more years and to see Riverdale Park become an even better place to live

To contact Archer directly call him at 240-832-2257 or e-mail him at varcher@gmail.com.

Y.Wallace April 20, 2011 at 11:08 PM
Wishing the mayor the best of luck. He's done a great job so far.


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