The following is a link to the agenda for this Wednesday evening's City Council meeting:http://documents.takomaparkmd.gov.s3.amazonaws.com/government/city-council/agendas/2016/council-agenda-20160406.pdf
The key agenda items are: a tour of library options; a final vote on the Vacant and Abandoned Property Registry Ordinance; and presentation by the City Manager of the proposed 2017 City Budget.
Note that the Tour of the Library Exterior and Options for Renovation starts at 6:30 PM. Here's a link to the range of potential renovation options and their estimated costs: (http://documents.takomaparkmd.gov/initiatives/project-directory/LIB-20160205-takoma-park-maryland-library-renovation-and-expansion-options.pdf). Members of the public are welcome to join us on the tour. As I mentioned in a previous message, I think this will be an excellent opportunity to get an "on the ground" look at how the various options might fit the site.
The Library is one of the vital local resources that gives our City its unique character. Because I would like to see it continue to play that role in the 21st Century, I support a thorough renovation of the facility. While the basic design that had been accepted last year on a preliminary basis represented a step in the right direction, along with some of my colleagues on the Council I believe we should explore a more expansive design. I'm pleased that -- in the link above -- we have the ability to see the potential costs of a number of alternatives. I anticipate that the tour will be an important step in beginning to narrow down the renovation possibilities, and I hope to see many residents on the Library grounds on Wednesday night.
As for the Budget presentation, the first thing to know is that the proposed Budget is posted on the City website (just click on the main agenda link above and you'll find it at the top of the second page). The presentation on Wednesday will kick off a 6-week process of City Council Budget work sessions and public hearings, culminating with a final vote on May 18. Note in particular that, as part of the Council's work on the Budget, we will be meeting on both Mondays and Wednesday in the weeks of April 11, 18 and 25.
The proposed Budget is a lengthy document with a lot of technical information, so some folks may wish to hold off on dipping into it at least until after the City Manager makes her initial presentation this week (if you're unable to watch in person or live on television, a video will be available on the City website). In any case, the Budget is both a blueprint for spending in the coming year, and the mechanism through which the Council sets the local tax rate. In other words, it's a document that affects everyone in the City, so I am hopeful that in the coming weeks members of the community from Ward One will let me know their opinions about the key budget and tax issues we will be considering.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about these or any other local matters.