Third councilmember escapes!

Colleen ClayOutgoing Councilmember Colleen Clay.


Dear Readers,

Yet another Takoma Park councilmember decided family and quality of life is more important than city stormwater planning.

A third city councilmember announced that she will not be running for reelection this fall. Councilmember Colleen Clay, first elected in 2005, would like her life back – the same reason given by two other recent council drop-outs, Dan Robinson and Josh Wright.

“My children are asking me to spend time with them, and are disappointed when I say I can’t,” she stated. She missed all of her youngest daughter’s swim meets, she said, and her sail boat and musical instruments have been gathering dust for years.

Colleen Clay

Outgoing Councilmember Colleen Clay.

The announcement was not a surprise to SOME. Two Ward 2 candidates immediately popped up, complete with websites. At least one of them has Made Her Presence Known at recent city council public comment sessions – as council candidates often do.

That candidate was Lorig Charkoudian, who addressed the council July 25. Citing her active role in SOSCA (South of Sligo Creek Community Association), she jumped onto Ward 2’s hottest topic – with feet planted as wide apart as possible. Her diplomatic stance was on sidewalks. Her ward is divided on whether or not to build new walks. See last week’s Granolapark.

The other announced candidate is Tim Male. Male served on the TFEA (Task Force on Environmental Action). That task force’s chief recommendation was to hire a city sustainability coordinator, a hire that Male says he advocated after the TFEA disbanded.

Lorig Charkoudian and Tim Male

Announced candidates Lorig Charkoudian and Tim Male

Environmental sustainability figures prominantly on both candidate’s websites. Each says much the same thing – that the city should be in the forefront of environmental efforts. Their positions are close on development as well.

They differ slightly on budget issues. Charkoudian wants to form a Budget Committee made up of citizens, staff, and councilmembers. She calls for “year-round discussions about the budget.”

Male doesn’t go that far, but he calls for “greater transparency” on how tax dollars are spent on city services, and he proposes to “look for ways to use those dollars to expand and improve upon the services.” Charkoudian also calls for more transparency.

Charkoudian, who served 2 years as president of the local food coop board, calls for a city food policy. Male, a career environmentalist, proposes working with the county and state to clean up Sligo Creek water quality.

More Ward 2 candidates may yet emerge. The Nominating Caucus, when candidates officially announce, is October 4. The city election is November 8.

– 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.