GRANOLAPARK: Chief Goldberg resigns

Chief Alan Goldberg at the Unity in the Community kickoff event. Photo by Eric Bond

GRANOLAPARK • BY GILBERT

Dear Readers,

The city’s police chief resigned March 10. The city manager’s statement e-mailed the same day had a long list of departing Chief Alan Goldberg’s accomplishments, but a short explanation. “For personal reasons,” the announcement stated.

Goldberg was hired on as chief in October 2012, following his retirement from the Montgomery County police department.

City manager Suzanne Ludlow said she will be conducting a national search for a new city police chief. Until then, the three captains in the Police Department, Captain Dan Frishkorn, Captain Tyrone Collington and Captain Richard Bowers, will rotate Acting Chief responsibilities.

The city manager announced the resignation at the March 15 city council meeting with no additional details. It was downplayed as old news – as it was for the council by that time.

The March 8 city council meeting coincided with International Women’s Day. Supporters, including councilmembers and staff, wore red or pink: Councilmembers Fred Schultz, Terry Seamens and Rizzy Qureshi, Community Development Director Sara Daines, City Manager Suzanne Ludlow, Mayor Kate Stewart, Community Development Manager Roz Grigsby and Deputy City Manager Jason Damweber.

Impervious

In work session March 15, Public Works director Daryl Braithewaite asked for a storm water fee increase. She requested that the $55 base rate go up to $92 next year. She said her department needs a $696,6000 budget in 2018 to meet new state requirements. The base rate would provide only $414,000.

New requirements include capital projects treatment systems ($230,000), system maintenance and enhancements ($130,000), evaluation of impervious areas ($30,000), annual water quality testing ($15,000),

Stormwater fees are levied by the city, not part of the tax system. Homeowners and business pay a fee based on their property’s impervious area square footage. Single family homes are charged at a lower rate than commercial, multi-family or institutional property. The highest payer is Washington Adventist Hospital which paid $14,290 last year.

Good and bad

Mayor Kate Stewart had good and bad news, she said. The proposed county budget included funding for Piney Branch Pool, but not for paramedic at city’s fire station. This will be discouraging to those concerned that Washington Adventist Hospital’s future move from the city will leave it with no emergency care facility or personnel. There is hope that, pending state legislation that would allow it (and make it profitable for the hospital), WAH will leave a stand-alone emergency care facility in the city. But, that’s not a sure thing.
At least we have a few years to go before WAH leaves – enough time to re-apply for a paramedic.

A number of citizens told the council they had concerns about Montgomery College’s master plan. They said there hasn’t been enough community participation the process. The college campus is in Takoma Park’s Ward 1, cheek-to-cheek with an historical residential neighborhood, which is not happy with the prospect of taller, closer buildings next door.

Zika

Most constituents were thinking about snow but at least one was wondering what the city plans do about Zika-bearing mosquitoes. Perhaps the constituent’s concern was sparked by the news, as reported in the Washington Post, that DC screwed up Zika tests last winter. Mabe it is not so much DC’s screw-up as the reminder that, yes, there is Zika in DC, just a mosquito-flight away from Takoma Park.

Councilmember Tim Male announced that he no longer works at White House, which means he has no need to recuse himself or stay mum when discussing certain subjects or votes. “I can finally speak my mind”

Oh, yes, there was a vote! It was a consent agenda vote, which means they consolidate two or more no-brainer, no-discussion-needed, sure-to-pass voting items and vote “aye” on all at once. This one had committee appointments and city equipment purchases and such-like.

– Gilbert

 

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About the Author

Gilbert
Gilbert is the pseudonym of a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, long-time Takoma Park resident who maintains the granolapark blog. Gilbert and William L. Brown — Granola Park's mild-mannered chief of staff, researcher, and drink pourer — have never been seen in the same place at the same time.

1 Comment on "GRANOLAPARK: Chief Goldberg resigns"

  1. Tom Gagliardo | March 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm |

    Wow. Storm water fee increase from $55 to $92 in one swoop. Didn’t anyone see the increased costs coming? Any thought to phasing-in the increase? Alternatives considered, e.g., capital projects funded via bonds?

    Did I miss the discussion of this in the City Newsletter?

    What the heck, if our elected representatives can budget $200,000 for a dog park, they shouldn’t have any trouble hiking fees and taxes.

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