It’s astonishing that his nominators kept a straight face!
One of the three candidates nominated for Mayor of Takoma Park is Roger Schlegel, listed as residing on Allegheny Avenue in Ward 3.
So far little is known of Mr. Schlegel and his campaign platform, other than the typical vagaries offered by the people who nominated and seconded him: “We can do better,” and allusions to it being “critical” who we have as mayor in “this difficult time” to “travel down the right path,” and the like. He was described as a high school teacher and a parent.
As is traditionally the case with all nominees, he did not make any speeches at the nominating caucus, so we have not heard from the actual candidate.
However, he, or someone else under the name Roger B. Schlegel, does offer some “forward-thinking ideas about the future of Takoma Park” on a blog written in July of 2008, subtitled “Don’t MAKE Me Run!”.

He named the blog and introduces himself in it as the “NEXT MAYOR OF TAKOMA PARK,” saying “the time has arrived for new ideas to propel our fair city forward into the future.” But, he goes on to assure readers “that I do not want to move us any faster than the rest of the Eastern Time Zone.”
He proposes annexing “large swaths of Silver Spring and Prince Georges County, as as Ward 4 of the future Columbia County.” This, he tells “the rest of America,” is “a harbinger,” and if they don’t know what harbinger means, they should look it up in a dictionary. Yep, sounds like a teacher, alright!
As mayor he says he would “promote and preserve the heritage of dilapidation that is woven into the fabric of our community”
The single entry in the blog says ” my staff is compiling a 2009 gift calendar celebrating the Shacks of Takoma” as a campaign fundraiser. No such calendars appear to have been produced, however.
Schlegel chastises folks who “decry the presence of these properties as ‘blights’ or ‘eyesores’ that threaten their own homes resale values.”
He points out the usefulness of living near an “aesthetically challenged” property: “provides much needed habitat for birds, mammals, insects, and reptiles; provides a reference point for your children when they read about Boo Radley in “To Kill a Mockingbird” [Your Gilbert is thinking he’s an English teacher]; deters Bethesda friends from making surprise visits (as if they’ve ever stopped by!) and makes your own middling domicile look smashing by comparison.”
Dear Readers, as much as we like Mr. Schlegel’s reckless style and outrageous-yet-barbed proposals — probably because it reminds us of our own — so far indications are that this is not a serious candidacy, or at least a serious threat to the incumbent.
Looks like fun, though!

– Gilbert


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.

6 Comments on "Seriously?"

  1. Please take Mr. Schlegel at his word.
    He wouldn’t put us into hock over a new public works facility. He would patch it up.
    Begin the recycling of old Police Cruisers into public works vehicles, as was done in the past.
    Bad people would think we had more undercover cops. A police presence at no cost.
    The old council chambers would have made do. That room had plenty of life left.
    Our credit card is maxxed out. We have a council that governs by throwing out the monthly statement.
    [Gilbert notes: renovation costs for the council chambers are covered by grants, not one penny of city tax revenue is being spent on it.]
    Rather than taking some poor soul to court and pouring money on its lawyers the city could have its own Habitat for Humanity program and help people stay in their tired homes. Free guidance from Rotarians and AARP would lower costs. People would have watertight roofs.So what if the donated shingles don’t match, front and rear. Students could get their community service hours that way.
    He would better prepare the city for the anticipated drop in property tax revenues.
    At current rates it will come in at close to 15%
    Do you know anyone who is not appealing their “fat times we are all multi millionaires” assessment?
    Supporters are considering a mail in ballot campaign,because of the smaller carbon foot print it would create.

  2. Gilbert is obviously of the school that believes that grant money comes from spontaneous creation and is not the recycling of tax dollars that we pay! Of course, Gilbert is likely to retort that “since every body is feeding at the trough of this alleged “free money, why not us?”, a poor argument for a city that supposedly aspires to be in the vanguard of so many “progressive” issues!
    Gilbert also seems to have a very short memory and has already forgotten how prone to under-budgeting or over-spending on projects our City administration is. I would not be surprised if the supposedly “free” refurbishing of the Council Chambers turned out to require some serious City funds before it is completed.
    This comment is not in defense of Mr. Schlegel, whom I do not know, but is just an attempt to bring some realistic perspective in Gilbert’s perpetual rose-colored view of our city.

  3. The fact remains that the funds for the auditorium renovation did not come from Takoma Park tax revenues and have had no impact on the city budget. If that changes we will report it.
    – Gilbert

  4. Not that Gilbert ever raised issue with the profligate spending of our City hall! So it would be a welcome surprise…

  5. Steve Davies | October 4, 2009 at 11:38 am |

    I just read the cached version of Roger Schlegel’s blog entry (Next Mayor of Takoma Park).
    It was obviously meant in jest. And in fact, it’s pretty funny. Schlegel clearly has a sense of humor, even if it is not on display at his official campaign web site, which — like the shacks he gently mocks — needs some refurbishing.
    The election, however, is not a joke. I hope that our fearless blogger — that’s you, Gilbert — will resist the temptation to turn it into a sporting match for those of us whose smartphones beep w/ each update of

  6. And when have you known Your Gilbert to resist temptation?
    Readers take heed, when you drop by granolapark for a visit, bring Mr. Humor and Ms Tongue-in-Cheek with you!
    – Gilbert

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