With 2019 coming to a close and 2020 just days away, Brentwood Mayor Rhea Little took time to reflect on the city’s 50th and what comes next for Brentwood.
Little, whose family has roots in the area as far back as the 1790s, has served in various capacities throughout the city and county including as a longtime member of the city commission and as vice mayor before being elected as mayor in 2018, an example Little said showed continued service to the community by his family.
Little said that what stood out to him most in 2019 were the three Brentwood birthday events, the Golden Gallop, Brentfest and Rendezvous at Ravenswood, which were all organized by the 50th Steering Committee.
“All three events were fabulous celebrations of the city, and they were very hard to do I’m sure for the committee, because they were all first time and only time events,” Little said. “Although the city has decided to have another Brentfest next year in the middle of the summer to celebrate the city’s birthday”
Little also said that the groundbreaking of the future headquarters for the Brentwood Police Department also stands out in 2019 as a move to grow the department with the growing communities in and around Brentwood with a goal of providing an even safer place for residents to call home.
“That was the culmination of several years of work and planning and it’s something that was done very well, but as we always do, fiscally conservative,” Little said. “It’s going to provide a much better place for a police headquarters that’s centrally located, close to the interstate and it will be a blessing in the long run to both the city and citizens.”
Little said looking forward to 2020, the city is more focused on making major strides in the police headquarters construction project and working to complete the Maryland Farms Greenway project and other ongoing projects rather than starting new projects.
One thing that Little and the city are looking forward to is officially welcoming the new Exploring Space traveling exhibit at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library, an exhibit that he called an honor to have in Brentwood in 2020.
“That’s a huge honor,” Little said. “We’re a city of 44,000 and of all the public libraries throughout the nation and for Brentwood to be selected, I think that’s just phenomenal.”
Little said that while there have been many honors and recognitions throughout the year, that it’s the local impact that he’s seen in the community, from helping residents find the right city services to address an issue or just a simple thank you, that stands out as impactful in 2019.
“What always stands out to me, from being a commissioner to now being mayor, is when you do something and it truly helps and individual or a group or a neighborhood,” Little said. “That stands out to me every year — when you’re trying to serve and you do what you might call acts of service and people let you know, hey, that really helped me. That’s what always stands out.”
As the days on the calendar shorten and 2020 approaches, Little said that Brentwood will continue to operate with what he called a “tradition of practicality and sensibility” to help keep Brentwood a place where people want to be.
“I think our opportunities are just to continue to be tremendously high on quality of life and home value with great amenities in our city like our library and like our trail system,” Little said. “As far as I’m concerned it’s the greatest place to live in the world.”