The Takoma Park City Council started the new year snappily with a new suit, a new haircut, and second thoughts. The new suit was councilmember Bruce Williams’ (but he was back to the flannel shirt by the council’s second meeting of the year), the new haircut was councilmember Colleen Clay’s, and the second thoughts were councilmember Terry Seamen’s, though other councilmembers were on the same wavelength. He was wondering if the city really does need a new gym.
The cost of a new gym, to be built (perhaps, but less and less likely) next to the community center/municipal building/library, is estimated between 5.5 and 8.1 million dollars. In December the council discussed finding a way to cut back those estimated costs (see granolapark’s Gymnausium post).
It has come to his attention, he said during the first Council Comment of the new year (Jan. 8), that school gyms (located in the city, but controlled by the county), may be more available to the city than previously understood. That should be investigated thoroughly before plans proceed.
Councilmember Clay, who at past council meetings has debated at length the exact dimensions and materials of individual speed humps, made a new year’s resolution to restrain her tendency to micromanage. Considering her resolution she carefully weighed how to proceed with her next agenda item regarding the city recreation department. She was careful to make only a macro-management suggestion, though it was clearly agonizing, involving much tongue biting. The rec. department’s problem is that, despite prior assurances that the city recreation department would be able to oversee the new community center facilities with the same staff and funding levels, there are problems.
Actually. there was one problem in particular. Councilmember Clay had arrived at the center to use a room she had booked to celebrate her child’s birthday, to find it had been double-booked, and the room unstaffed. This was her personal introduction to a situation that many people have complained about, apparently. Councilmembers Joy Austin-Lane and Terry Seamens both backed Clay up, saying they’ve also heard from constituents about staffing problems. The solution, they agreed, in a strictly macro-management way, of course, is that more funding is needed for staffing.
This is a difficult thing for fiscal-conservatives such as Clay to advocate, yet the need is obviously there. One wonders where the money will come from. This will only pump up the blood pressure of those who are already apoplectic about the community center’s costs and errors. Good thing the hospital is still here – have the ambulances standing by!