GRANOLAPARK • BY GILBERT
You can tell the Takoma Park city election is coming – candidates are showing up at city council meetings!
Seth Grimes (Ward 1 candidate) and Lorig Charkoudian (Ward 2 candidate) showed their faces – and voices – September 19 and 26. They each addressed the council during the public comment sessions.
Ward 3 candidate Kay Daniels-Cohen has them beat. She bounded up to the microphone three weeks in a row. First, on Sept. 6, representing the city’s Emergency Preparedness Committee, she helped the council proclaim September Emergency Preparedness Month. The next week, in case anybody forgot that September is, you know, Emergency Preparedness Month, she showed up to remind them. Sept. 19, speaking as a member of the city’s Recreation Committee, she popped up again.
Our second greatest fear about this upcoming election is that as soon as the energetic Daniels-Cohen is elected she’s going to initiate compulsory early-morning calisthenics city-wide. “And ONE, and TWO, and . . . I SEE you hiding behind that tree, Gilbert!”
Our first greatest fear is that when these candidates take office the city will skid and clank to a halt – like a train suddenly losing all it’s wheels. Why? Because their election will empty out the city committees. Almost all of the candidates serve on at least one city committee: Emergency Preparedness Committee (Daniels-Cohen), Recreation Committee (Daniels-Cohen, Takoma Junction Task Force (Seth Grimes and Lorig Charkoudian). Grimes and Tim Male (Ward 2) both served on the now-disbanded Task Force on Environmental Action, and actively promote the task force’s recommendations to the council. Kay Daniels-Cohen and Seth Grimes have been indefatigable volunteers and committee-servers for decades.
When these people take office, the city council will be full, but city committees will be vacant. They may have to shanghai people. We suggest you avoid walking at night anywhere near the city hall for the next couple of years.
We won’t know until next Tuesday night, but so far it looks like a BORING fall election, Dear Readers. You’d think three council seats going empty would spark some exciting politics. Right now, there’s only one contest – in Ward 2 between Tim Male and Lorig Charkoudian (who has the Armenian vote locked up, apparently.) Seth Grimes and Kay Daniels-Cohen are the only announced candidates in wards 1 and 3, respectively – so far! There IS a rumor that one other Ward 3 resident is thinking of getting into the race. If that person decides to go for it, the announcement will be made at the Nominating Caucus.
Tuesday night, Oct. 4, 7:30 pm is the city’s Nominating Caucus. That’s when candidates are officially announced. They are announced by their pals. Candidates keep their lips zipped – unless they nominate another candidate. Looking pretty is all they have to do. Their supporters do all the talking.
WHO the supporters are is the thing! Ideally, a ward candidate or incumbent has a string of nominations and seconds from neighborhood association presidents, residents from all corners of the ward, homeowners, renters, people of diverse race and/or lifestyles, and representatives of groups and causes they volunteer for. Best is being nominated by a current or former councilmember. At minimum they have a neighbor and a family member. If that’s all they have, though . . . Your Gilbert will gladly take your bet on them.
See Seth Grimes’ website (link above) for an impressive list of supporters – including county councilmember George Leventhal! Grimes knows the campaign drill, he ran for mayor a few elections ago.
If an incumbent can’t muster an ideal roster of influential and representative people like the above list, he or she has not been make your own conclusions!
Mayoral candidates – if there are any challengers – and the incumbent want a similar nominating roster – but city-wide. Nominations from city ward representatives are gold, nominations from county and state representatives are platinum. All nominators must be city residents for mayor, ward residents for representatives.
Got your nominators and seconders all lined up, Dear Reader? Get them down to the city council chambers between 7:00 and 7:30 to get their credentials.
After the mayoral nominations, the order of ward representative nominations is different each election. This year it is:
Your Gilbert will be reporting live and relatively sober from the city council chambers – otherwise known as the Community Center Auditorium.