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Welcome to my blog, which features frequent updates on local Takoma Park issues, including City Council meeting agendas, plus occasional commentary on national news and politics.

February 24, 2016 City Council Meeting Agenda

Dear Neighbors:

Here’s the agenda for this week's Takoma Park City Council meeting: http://documents.takomaparkmd.gov.s3.amazonaws.com/government/city-council/agendas/2016/agenda-20160224.pdf.

Here are my thoughts and comments on the agenda items:

1. Noise Ordinance. This ordinance has been discussed several times by the Council and approved on an initial vote. This week the ordinance is scheduled for a final vote. Since we last considered it, some additional language has been added at my request clarifying the criteria enforcement officers would use in determining whether to shut down events or performances. I will be voting in favor of the ordinance.

2. Ordinance on fees charged by landlords. This ordinance has been discussed previously several times by the Council and approved on a preliminary vote. I will be voting in favor of it.

3. Council Priorities. While this is a non-binding statement of priorities, it sends an important agenda setting signal. I am generally in agreement with the priorities list, but I believe we should add more explicit language in the section entitled "A Livable Community For All" emphasizing a focus on programs that are aimed at assisting lower income and immigrant families, as well as families with members who have developmental disabilities. I will be seeking the addition of language along those lines before we vote.

4. Appointment to the Committee on the Environment. I will be voting for the appointment.

The remaining items will be discussed, but not subject to a vote at this week's meeting. With regard to the proposed ban on plastic bags, I am interested in learning more about the extent to which charging a fee for plastic bags (as opposed to having a ban) is a deterrent to their use, and how the various exemptions under the proposal will work. The condominium storm water fee issue and the cable franchise agreement issue are new to me, and I look forward to the discussion on both. 

As always, if you have questions or comments or if you would like more information, please let me know. Thanks.

Peter Kovar, Takoma Park City Council, Ward One

February 17, 2016 City Council Meeting Agenda