Here’s a link to the agenda for the November 30, 2016 City Council Meeting: https://takomaparkmd.gov/
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My family and I spent the day with relatives in Northern Virginia, so we didn’t have to face Route 95 traffic, as we have in so many previous years. I trust that those who did have to contend with busy travel routes found that the family visits (and food!) more than compensated.
The City Council is back for two more meetings (this Wednesday and December 7) before we go on our winter recess until January 11. Key agenda items for this week’s meeting include voting on a resolution approving the purchase of 126 and 128 Lee Avenue by the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs; a progress report on the Council Priorities that were established at the beginning of the year; and a discussion on the Green Team priorities in preparation for adoption of a resolution in January 2017 formalizing them. We will also have a second and final vote on purchasing a dump truck for the City Public Works Department, and we’ll be voting on a resolution designating the dates of our winter recess.
Before the regular 7:30 PM meeting, the Council is scheduled to go into closed session at 6:00 PM to discuss matters related to upcoming collective bargaining negotiations with the City’s two bargaining units. Closed sessions for this purpose are permitted under State law.
Lee Avenue Purchase. https://documents.
The Council will be considering a resolution that withdraws our own right of first refusal and approves the County’s purchase. I’m generally supportive of steps that can be taken to increase the City’s stock of affordable housing, including housing for the homeless, and I am likely to vote in favor of the resolution. But – before I commit to voting yes -- I want to have a clearer understanding of the relative merits of the alternatives (taking into account the various entities involved and their abilities to undertake the necessary rehabilitation work).
Dump Truck Purchase. https://documents.
Recess Resolution. https://documents.
Council Priorities. https://documents.
Green Team Priorities. https://documents.
The link above includes a document laying out the priorities, and several other areas where additional research may be needed in order to help determine future steps. Among the priority areas, I am particularly interested in having the City focus on these: moving toward carbon neutrality; expansion of solar energy use in the City; modernizing our tree ordinance; addressing concerns about inadequate waste disposal in commercial areas; exploring how to provide financial incentives to home owners to address storm water runoff problems; and ensuring that future economic development efforts are appropriately green.
Feel free to be in touch with questions or comments about any of the above agenda items. As a reminder, many Ward One residents have signed up to receive my Council updates via a direct email rather than relying on the neighborhood email lists. Please let me know via email if you would like to do this. In addition, to see previous Council updates or other commentaries I have written about local matters and political affairs, you can check out my blog at http://www.councilmemberkovar.
Peter Kovar, Takoma Park City Council, Ward One