Two Lambs to the Slaughter

Dear Readers,

And now your Gilbert will turn his jaundiced eye upon the one contested race in the upcoming city election. Ward 3 is the lucky one with two candidates running for Bruce William’s old seat. Williams is advancing to the mayorship without opposition.

So which candidate, Bridget Bowers or Dan Robinson, does Your Gilbert favor, you ask?

You Gilbert finds no favor in his tiny, petrified heart for either. We have not been impressed with the platforms of either candidate. Perhaps we have been observing too many council meetings, because we know where bold proposals to lower taxes by carefully scrutinizing the budget are headed.

As the incumbent councilmembers at last month’s candidate forum pointed out, once a service is provided, everyone wants to keep it, including councilmembers who were once tax-cut crusaders, so the taxes remain high. It was also pointed out to the newbies that the way the budget is now presented, it is nearly impossible to get the details that would enable one to suggest where to cut expenses. If they were presented in such detail, the council would spend the entire year sifting through the budget and not getting anything else done.

This was the subject of a long, continuing dispute on the council this year which candidates appeared to be unaware of.

Also, both call for vague “affordable housing” solutions. Dear Reader, you know how Your Gilbert feels about those “A.H.” words. They mean nothing, but sound good. They might mean support for rent control, but they are more likely to mean the candidate favors lifting rent control all or partially with some small percentage of rental housing dedicated to means-tested low income people. We recall Ms. Bowers addressing the council during the rent stabilization discussions July 30th. She spoke against the ordinance revisions, saying they did not provide adequate relief to landlords, and chastising the council for passing the law even though they admitted it was not perfect.

If she is elected Your Gilbert gleefuly looks forward to her comeupance!

During the recent rent control hearings Mayor Kathy Porter REPEATEDLY called for someone, anyone, to hand her a detailed plan for how to do this without costing the city enormous amounts of tax dollars maintaining a means-tested affordable housing program. No-one stepped forward with anything other than these vague sorts of ideas that there surely must be something. OK, then, specifically what’s the plan?

Eh? Eh? Speak up!

Each candidate brings in new perspectives. Dan Robinson has always been innovative, and he has been heavily involved in the city, serving on many committees, and non-governmental organizations. He’s a long time resident.

Bridget Bowers is not a long time resident and younger, but she’s playing that as an asset, saying we need fresh ideas. She would be the second woman on a male-dominated council, now that Mayor Porter and Ward 1 council member Joy Austin-Lane are stepping down. She would be the youngest member of the council by far, and (we think) the only renter.

Both call for reducing city government and home energy use. They also both call for more community involvement. Robinson specifically says he will try to get input on the budget from neighborhood associations. Yeah, those will be heavily attended meetings.

Jaundice aside, we are fortunate to have two passionate candidates, and either one will do.
The candidates websites:

Dan Robinson
Bridget Bowers

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About the Author

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.

2 Comments on "Two Lambs to the Slaughter"

  1. Seth Grimes | November 4, 2007 at 2:26 pm |

    Gilbert, I am surprised that you did not endorse Dan Robinson. Dan has given so much of time and thought to Takoma Park community building with very positive results, both in what he has been able to create or advance and in helping us regroup from missteps of recent years. Dan thinks about community needs and he takes the initiative to crafts solutions. For Dan, the council will be a new venue for work he has been doing, constructively and successfully, for years. If I lived in Ward 3, he’d have my vote.

  2. Seth,
    Dan doesn’t need our help in this election.
    Anyway, we are reluctant to endorse a founding member of Sustainable Takoma, Takoma Park’s “progressive conservatives”.


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