This week the City Council is meeting twice. First there’s a special Monday evening session devoted to possible spending reductions for the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget. That session will take place at 7:30 PM at the New Hampshire Avenue Recreation Center. It will be preceded by an informal drop-in Budget Open House from 6:00 - 7:15 PM at the same location. Then on Wednesday we’ll have the regular Council meeting, which will start with a final vote on the resolution authorizing the land exchange with the County to give the City legal control of the New Hampshire Avenue Recreation Center. There will also be a Consent Agenda vote consisting of appointments to resident committees. Finally, our State Legislative Advocate will make a presentation on the recently completed General Assembly session in Annapolis.
April 15 Budget Session: https://takomaparkmd.gov/meeting_agendas/city-council-budget-work-session-monday-april-15-2019/. Again, this session and the open house beforehand will be held at the New Hampshire Avenue Recreation Center.
April 17 Council meeting agenda: https://takomaparkmd.gov/meeting_agendas/city-council-meeting-agenda-wednesday-april-17-2019/
Takoma Foundation Spring Grants Cycle -- Deadline April 26
Information and applications for project and operational grants are available through these links:
Azalea Awards -- Deadline April 28
Every year the Takoma Foundation recognizes people in Greater Takoma who go above and beyond, based on residents’ nominations, which are then voted on by the entire community. The awards will be presented at the Celebrate Takoma festival on Saturday, May 18.
Categories include: Mentor (someone who inspires children to aim high); Educator (school staffer who makes a difference); School activist (a parent who brings the best to our schools); Arts leader (someone who contributes to a dynamic arts community); Coach (keeps sports vibrant and accessible); Business leader (promotes progressive spirit through local commerce); Green activist (turns environmental ideals into achievements); Neighborhood volunteer ("walks the walk" to make a great neighborhood even better); Spirit (reflects local character with panache); Tak-tivist (commits to civic leadership, year in, year out); and City employee (provides outstanding community service).
Nominations should be 3-4 sentences in length and describe, with an example or two, why the person is noteworthy. Include the nominee's email and/or phone number. Also, make sure the nominee is willing to be placed on the ballot. Send nominations to: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org (Katya Partan, Dave Lanar & Howard Kohn).
First Time Home Buyer Seminar -- May 4
This free HUD-Approved seminar, provided in partnership with the Latino Economic Development Center, is for those who may be thinking about buying a home, but aren’t sure where to start. It will take place on Saturday, May 4 from 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM in the Community Center. Attendees who are present for the entire program will receive a Certificate of Completion. Continental breakfast and a light lunch will be provided. Class size is limited and registration is required. Register at: https://bit.ly/2uQdlCe.
Friends of the Takoma Park Library Spring Book Sale -- May 11
The sale will take place on Saturday, May 11, from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM on the Library lawn. In case of rain, the sale will be held in the Community Center, adjacent to the library. Books may be donated at the Library (all categories and ages accepted, other than textbooks).
Fiscal Year 2020 Budget: My comments on the budget from last week’s blog are a good starting point for getting a sense of where we are in the process and the key issues at stake, including the property tax rate: http://www.councilmemberkovar.com/blog/2019/4/9/april-10-2019-city-council-meetingbudget-update.
Important upcoming dates in the budget process, after this week’s Monday session, will be the April 24 Council meeting which will include public hearings on the tax rate and on the budget itself, followed by a reconciliation discussion (in which the Council will consider potential changes to the budget and tax rate); another Monday session on April 29 where we’ll make initial decisions on reconciliation; and then formal votes on the overall budget and tax rate at our May 8 and May 15 Council meetings. The bulk of the key decisions are likely to be made in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be available from 2:00 - 4:00 PM on Wednesday, April 17 at Takoma Bevco on Laurel Ave. for Ward One residents who wish to discuss the budget (or other issues). Residents may also be in touch by email to set up a separate meeting if that’s more convenient.
Recreation Center Land Exchange: https://documents.takomaparkmd.gov/government/city-council/agendas/2019/council-20190417-1.pdf. I’ll be voting yes on the resolution.
CONSENT AGENDA -- (I’ll be voting in favor of the appointments.)
Committee on the Environment Appointment: https://documents.takomaparkmd.gov/government/city-council/agendas/2019/council-20190417-2a.pdf
Façade Advisory Board Appointment: https://documents.takomaparkmd.gov/government/city-council/agendas/2019/council-20190417-2b.pdf
State Legislative Advocate Report: https://documents.takomaparkmd.gov/government/city-council/agendas/2019/council-20190417-3.pdf
Peter Kovar, Takoma Park City Council, Ward One