GRANOLAPARK: Nominating Caucus – LIVE

Takoma Park City HallThis would become a drawbridge.


Dear Readers,

Granolapark will be covering the day’s action-packed developments LIVE. So stay tuned! Glue your browser to this page!

10:12 — Here’s the wrap-up. There were two surprises – a candidate emerged in Ward 4 to run against the incumbent. And it will be a three-way race in Ward 3.

The contests are in Ward 3, Ward 2, and Ward 6. The challenger in Ward 4 will NOT be on the ballot.  Eric Mendoza nominated himself but was not seconded.

Mayor Bruce Williams, Ward 5 incumbent Reuben Snipper, and Ward 1 candidate Seth Grimes are coasting into office with no opposition.

The three candidates in Ward 3 are Kay Daniels-Cohen, Mike Graul, and Jeffrey Noel-Nosbaum. In the contest for heaviest-hitter nominators, Daniels-Cohen came out ahead.

Fred Schultz faces challenger Barrie Howard in Ward 6. This could be a close race. As one Howard supporter said, Howard has been a “second councilmember” in his role as community association president and activist.

In the Ward 2 nominations Tim Male outgunned Lorig Charkoudian. He has the support of the outgoing city councilmember Colleen Clay. Still, it looks like a close contest to Your Gilbert. Do we detect some kind of alliance between Charkoudian in Ward 2 and Daniels-Cohen in the Ward 3 race?

Have we won the Pulitzer yet?

– Gilbert

city council chambers

Chit chat in the city council chambers following the caucus. Candidates and counclmembers mingle.

9:22 — It’s over – but other candidates have until Oct. 7th to register to to decline nomination and,
therefore, have their name not included on the ballot, says city clerk Jessie Carpenter. The last date to preregister as a “write-in” candidate is Nov. 4 if you want your name posted in the voting booth. Some more announcements and then we can go.

9: 20 — The candidate “Totally grew up on good old Takoma Park potlucks.”Wonderful that somebody his age is getting involved, says nominator.

9:18 – He’s running because he loves this city and wants to give back. Experience cited is: boy scout and supporter of Thunderbolts. Noel-Nosbaum appears to be in his 20’s. If that old.

9: 17 — NO! That’s NOT it. Jeffrey Noel-Nosbaum nominated for Ward 3.

9:15 – Erin Cohen nominates neighbor and friend Mike Graul. 30 year resident who will bring experience from business world to serve the ward.

Seconder also cites how bright he is.

That’s IT

9: 10 — First Seconder Diana Kohn. Tells story of turning patch isolated ground in city hall parking lot into a garden.

Next seconder is her brother, Buddy Daniels. Tells of Kay battling breast cancer while working to get the Piney Branch pool in operation. Calls her spark plug. She doesn’t seem to mind. Friends of the Library, Rec. Dept Committee, Takoma Junction Committee, “the list goes ON and ON!”

Kay Daniels-Cohen is here by the way – in signboard getups.

9:06 — Nominator Merrill Leffler says Kay Daniels- Cohen has been a booster, activist, civic leader. Not just ward, but entire city. Works she has done: SS Caroll neighborhood association founder, address mayor issues: Takoma Junction, meetings with teens to address tagging problems. Will bring innovative ideas, with integrity.

9:04 — Ward 3 nominations. Last set of nominations for the night! YES!


Double agent?

9:01 — Odd – Howard seconded by man who seconded Schultz!

8: 58 — Sherrill Brew seconds Howard. No apparent criticism of his opponent, the incumbent, in any of the speeches. So, Your Gilbert wonders, why is he running?

8:55 — Elizabeth Cozell nominates Barrie Howard. Describes him as tireless. Says he has been like a second councilmember. Has attended countless meetings re: Purple Line, Sector Plan, Master Plan, etc.

8: 49 — Mark (oh, geez) Whizbacher (?) seconding. Nominated him in 2009, and seconds him now because he did a good job over last two years. Schultz helped him in dispute with city arborist (crowd murmurs).

Next seconder – wouldn’t that be a thirder? – is Jim DeLioughi, who has served with many community groups, including Historic Takoma and his community association. “Fred is on top of what’s going on.” he says.

Fourth seconder – calls him a great candidate moving forward.

8:45 — Tyrell North (we think) nominating Fred Schultz, incumbent. Mr. North worked for Schultz’s opponent last election, but has been won over. Cites his involvement in local issues, and activism helping out the “forgotten part of the forgotten ward,” as it was called in that 2009 contest.

8:44 — no more nominations for Ward 2. Ward 6 up.

8:42 — As more seconders come up to speak, it seems Male’s nominators and seconders outgun Charkoudian’s in local political heft.

8: 34 — Holly (we decline to guess how to spell the last name), seconds. Cites Charkoudian’s experience as activist against death penalty. Also mentions her civic involvement.

Seconded again by Chris Conkey, next door neighbor. Says she is best  vegan Armenian chef in the city. Mentions involvement with food coop. Mainly she deserves support because of who she is, he says. Their house is an example – open to diverse visitors and guests. She lives and breathes the values of what Takoma Park is.

8:30 — Natasha Blaine, resident of Elm, nominates Lorig Charkoudian for Ward 2. “She IS Takoma Park.”

8:20— Here’s the contested Ward 2. Tim Male nominated long distance by Eileen Sobel – who ran for the seat against Colleen Clay. Woman (didn’t catch the name, sorry –  Allison something) reading the nomination for Sobel – who is out of town – out of the country, even.

Seconded by long-ago council rep from Ward 2, Carol Stewart.

Colleen Clay!!! Wow, that’s a big deal. An outgoing coucilmember taking sides! She says Male is an outstanding listener. He hears what you say, considers it, and responds accordingly. It gets to the core! she says. Says Male came to her to find out what it’s like to balance family and council – a good sign, Clay says.

Joe Edgel next seconder – served on Task Force for Environmental Action. Not just his environmental concerns, but his skill at bringing the task force together. Will get out in front of issues  not be responsive. Same theme heard from Seth Grime’s supporters. Yeah, well, we’ll see about that when they get on the council.

8:15 — No additional nominations – Seth’s IN.

8: 14 — Rick Glazer (we take no responsibility for misspelled names) seconds Seth. Outgoing councilmember Josh Wright is the second seconder – curious back-of-the-pack spot for the councilmember

8:12 — Ward 1 nominator Mr. Ginsburg – What this town needs: a citizen activist council! responsiveness, long term vision, revival of spirit of dialog, clarity, caring – on the part of government, What this town needs therefore is Seth Grimes! He sez. A real stemwinder, this one!

8:09 — No second for Eric Mendoza. No other candidates.

8:05 — whoa! another nomination for Ward 4!  Eric Mendoza, same guy who ran last election. Very emotional. Said he took loosing very badly. So he’s running again. (!)

8:01 — Dianne Berkley, resident of Ward 4 nominates Terry Seamens. Seconded by Richard Paine of Oswego Ave community organization (saw him frequently during fracas over restricting traffic on that street). Third second Gladys Harvey (sp?), another resident. She calls Terry “Speedy” because he speeds around doing things for constituents. “A man on the move for Takoma Park!” A fourth seconder. Will there be a fifth?

Yes, and another lined up behind him! Good lord! We need a drink!

8:00 — no other nomination for Ward 5. Ward 4 next.

7:57 — Ward 5 nomination – Dr. Troy Jacobs nominating incumbent Reuben Snipper. Will there be a challenger? Or will Ward 5 seat be uncontested, same as the mayor’s?


7:54 — Another seconder for Williams, first non-politician.


Josh Wright, outgoing Ward 1 representative holding a yellow card - which means he has registered to nominate or second a candidate.

7:46 pm — Mark Elrich, county councilmember, former city councilmember is the other seconder.

There are about 60 people in the council chambers.

All three seconders stressing William’s effectiveness at state and county levels.

Now Colleen Clay is seconding Williams for mayor. Clay is outgoing Ward 2 councilmember.

Clay listing all his local activities from Thunderbolts baseball team to Maryland Municipal League.

Heather Mizeur seconding Mayor Bruce Williams

7:43 — And Mayor William’s first seconder is ANOTHER state politician – Heather Mizeur!

7:39 – Meeting has begun. Anne Seargent picked as recording secretary.

Nominations for mayor just beginning.

Mayor Bruce William’s first nominator is none other than Jamie Raskin – state senator!! Undoubtedly the heaviest political heavy in the room! Take THAT, potential challenger!

Registration table

Nominators and seconders registering prior to the caucus

7:27 pm — Here we are, reporting direct from the lobby of the city auditorium/council chambers!! You’re thrilled, we’re sure. There is a crowd here, registering as nominators and seconders for the caucus which starts in a few moments. A high-placed anonymous source – the mayor – whispered that there may be a THIRD candidate in Ward 3! Finally we get to use IRV!!

4:00 pm — Even Takoma Parks trees are trembling with excitement on this anticipation-filled day leading up to the city’s Nominating Caucus.

Or maybe that’s the wind.

Whatever, local city-politics junkies – all four of them – are buzzing with excitement, counting the minutes until official candidate nominations are made this evening. Then we will all know exactly who is running for what in the November  8 city election.

Three ward representative seats are up for grabs: Ward 1, Ward 2, and Ward 3. Ward map here:

The current representatives, Josh Wright, Colleen Clay, and Dan Robinson are stepping down.

Some candidates for those seats have already emerged.  Seth Grimes is the only Ward 1 candidate yet announced  (aside from one who dropped out). That may change in just a few hours!  Doesn’t that fill you into a state of excited anticipation, Dear Readers?

Ward 2 has two candidates: Lorig Charkoudian, and Tim Male. They have their lawn signs up already!

campaign signs

Campaign signs along Carroll Ave.

In Ward 3 Kay Daniels-Cohen, a second-generation titian of Takoma Park activism, put her name up weeks ago. Despite no other candidates emerging, she also had campaign signs made and distributed.

It was a wise precaution – a new candidate just formally announced this morning, perhaps hoping to get the pre-caucus media buzz. Mike Graul is a 30 year resident, local soccer coach, and former director of governmental affairs for Goodwill Industries International. He was involved, his website says, in a community effort to save and renovate a condemned property on Hancock Street.

Mike Graul, Ward 3 candidate

Mike Graul, Ward 3 candidate.

Graul’s website says his priority issue is better council oversight of city government operations. He advocates assigning council members as liaison to city departments, each to a specific department or group of departments.

There is also a challenge to the Ward 6 incumbent Fred Schultz, who is just finishing his first term (councilmembers and mayors serve 2-year terms). The challenger is Barrie Howard, New Hampshire Gardens Citizens’ Association President. He has been focused like an angry laser beam on the Takoma/Langley Sector Plan development for the last couple of years. It’s the county’s development plan, and the residents have NOT been happy about it, especially the county’s new “CR-Zone,” which is debuting there. Barrie has been bringing these concerns to council meetings for ages, often on a weekly basis. Now he’s bringing himself to the council, he hopes.

Takoma Park City Hall

Citizens lining up hours early, eager to participate in the Nominating Caucus.

So, there you are, Dear Readers! That’s all we know NOW! The mayor and two councilmembers have no challengers we know of. TONIGHT THAT MAY CHANGE! This is sending shivers up and down the backs of the entire city populace! Maybe.

Stay tuned to Granolapark, Dear Readers! The Nominating Caucus starts at 7:30 pm in the city council chambers. Registration for candidates, nominators and seconders starts at 7:00 pm.

– 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.

7 Comments on "GRANOLAPARK: Nominating Caucus – LIVE"

  1. Thank you, Gilbert!

  2. Not Sammie Abbott | October 5, 2011 at 7:45 am |

    What’s Granolapark’s commentary on Heather Mizeur’s claim that Mayor Bruce Williams completed the Community Center project on time and on budget?
    What’s Heather smoking? I want some.

  3. Politicians are famous for making deals in smoke-filled rooms. We had no idea it was _that_ sort of smoke! Perhaps this explains why she forgot an important word?

  4. Errata:
    8:45 Jim DiLuigi and perhaps Roger van Zee
    8:49 Mark Wurzbacher
    8:55 Elizabeth Kozell
    8:58 Sheryl Brugh; because Howard the engine behind what makes Schultz effective at the grassroots level. Howard takes initiative and is proactive, rather than the inverse which is more characteristic of his opponent.
    9:01 Roger van Zee, again

  5. ‎”Noel-Nosbaum appears to be in his 20′s. If that old.” Thanks Gilbert, I’m almost 30. Also more mentioned than T-Bolts and Scouts; in fact those are the two things that were probably least important of all the things mentioned.

    • And those other things are . . . ?? Here’s your chance to list ’em – along with any other useful details. Your website, for instance.

      Next time, tell your nominator to talk slower. Our so-called reporting staff here at Granolapark Media Corporation can’t write that fast. Anyway, they say to tell you “WE’LL decide what’s important, we’re the PRESS! ”

      We love the word “appears!” We can use it to say awful things about people, but no jury can convict us.

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