Council Junk-it

In lieu of a meeting, the Takoma Park City Council embarked on a junket Monday, Sept 14. They traveled in luxury to the exotic land of the Public Works Department to frolic between the mulch piles and fuel tanks, to take a relaxing sunset stroll amidst the splendor of trash trucks and tipping bins – ALL ON THE TAXPAYER’S DIME!

Your Gilbert’s agent, disguised as a bale of newspapers, sneaked onto the exclusive grounds of the gated facility to surreptitiously obtain the following photos.



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The Council and staff first met with Public Works Department director Daryl Braithwaite in the department office before the tour of the Oswego Ave. facility. Ms. Braithwaite discussed the upcoming facility renovation, and showed copies of the latest plans.

(Click on photos for larger version in popup window)

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The tour begins, attended by councilmembers, staff, and local residents.

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The locker room.

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Locker room decoration.

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Cramped office.


Vehicle repair facility.


Mayor Bruce Williams.


Same building from the outside.


“Right of Way Supervisor,” that’s the title Your Gilbert should have!



This space also functions as a “break room.” Note the microwave ovens

DSC_0032.JPGThis doesn’t look very safe.


Corroding doorway.


Councilmember Terry Seamens was tempted to dumpster dive.


Even old street signs get recycled, it seems.


Truck noses sticking out from too-short bays.



Truck noses sticking out from another too-short building. This one built by employees 25 years ago. Current plans would replace this building


The yard drain – where all the waste-water from truck-washing, etc goes to be filtered before it enters the natural watershed. The department would like to have an indoor truck-washing facility, but the current renovation budget does not allow for it, or for re-paving the facility’s yard.


The fermenting mulch pile at night – how romantic!


On to the gardening shop.


The gardening office. The wolf silhouettes are artifacts of forgotten purpose.


Councilmember Dan Robinson investigates a recycling truck.


Director Braithwaite shows location of fuel tanks which she says are at the end of expected “lifespan” and need to be replaced soon. The cost of replacing them is not covered by the currently proposed budget.


Wall unit air conditioners. Though initially high in cost, a proposed new geo-thermal climate control system would be more “green” and cheaper in the long run, they say.


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.

4 Comments on "Council Junk-it"

  1. Its not that bad.
    Most of the council members and citizens park their vehicles outside and manage to get ten years or more out of them. I’ve got two that are twenty plus years old with no garaging.
    Lots of people have to work out of closet offices.
    Smaller offices equal lower energy costs. They cause you to keep clutter down.
    If the climate control works as well as the climate control in the new building you won’t save dime and staff will still be miserable.
    Kudos to the staff that fixed the block wall in front of the bay. The back bay wall that was blown out by the salt pile can be fixed by the same crew.
    If its clean, dry and warm its o.k. to eat lunch in. In blue collar we don’t get the good china.Unless it was salvaged from special pickup. And then it would go home.
    Tax revenues are plummeting and magic dollars from Washington and Annapolis are disappearing
    If we can’t pay cash for it we shouldn’t get it
    I would rather have had a new fuel tank than a wall mural.
    How can that be left out? The one item that can cause the most environmental damage is ignored? The cleanup costs for fuel leakage can be greater than the budget for the renovation. Do they not remember the Sickler Service disaster? Fuel got into the sewers and Kaboom.
    The fish, frogs, and raccoons concur. Fuel in the waters is bad.And the WACO people who had their homes explode because of fuel would probably also agree.

  2. Tom Gagliardo | September 21, 2009 at 10:28 am |

    Are you going to trust the same crew that spent more than $15 million on the new and not improved community center? Haven’t state and county funds been reduced? Does this really look like a > improvement?

  3. do not trust the city of takoma park – THEY LIE LIKE DOGS!!!!!!!

  4. They LIE LIKE DOGS?
    You mean they lie on the FLOOR or on the SOFA?

Comments are closed.