GRANOLAPARK: Dear Task Force, . . .

Der briefschreibende OffizierCouncilmembers Tim Male (L), and Fred Schultz (R) collaborate on the final wording of a letter to the City Manager Selection Task Force.

GRANOLAPARK  • BY GILBERT

Dear Readers,

The Residency Requirement and Advise and Consent Role (RRAC) controversy continues to wreak havoc and wreck relations as it wrenches attention from the task force’s intention.
A two-hour “heated discussion” about RRAC gummed up the City Manager Selection Task Force’s first meeting, according to councilmember Fred Schultz. He attended the meeting.

Hearing this, the city council drafted instructions to the committee to get it moving. The letter’s first draft, written by councilmember Tim Male instructed them to “not spend time on this issue,” and to assume the selection criteria would ultimately “ask for candidates who are willing to relocate to Takoma Park.” Male is the author of both proposed resolutions, which have the support, so far, of 4 out of 7 council members.

The rest of the council agreed that the task force should ignore the issue and concentrate on it’s mission: establishing other criteria to judge job candidates. However, some objected to any statement presupposing the residency requirement would pass.

So, the final letter was short, simply directing the task force to spend no more time on the RRAC issues. Leave that to the council, was the message. “Sign it ‘sincerely,'” quipped councilmember Schultz.

Der briefschreibende Offizier

Councilmembers Tim Male (L), and Fred Schultz (R) collaborate on the final wording of a letter to the City Manager Selection Task Force. [artist’s interpretation]

Late-comers

For those coming in late, the city council has been having its own heated discussions on the two proposals. The residency requirement would require city managers and city department heads to live in Takoma Park. Or close to it. Or maybe they’ll waive the requirement if they really like you.

The “advise and consent” proposal changes the form of city government somewhat. Currently, the city manager alone has the power to hire and fire his or her staff. The proposal would allow the council to meet the city manager’s picks before they are offered the position, and have a vote on the matter. This would require a city charter change.

Re-booting

The city council got an update on the Washington Adventist Hospital’s quest to relocate from the city. The hospital, which says its city campus is too small for much needed expansion, was given the thumbs-down by a state commissioner.

The city is not in favor of the hospital leaving, which makes discussions with hospital administrators, . . . awkward. Despite that, they keep rolling down the Maple Street hill and into the city council auditorium to talk in a most friendly way. The hospital will try again, WAH president Joyce Newmyer told the council Oct. 8. They’re revising their application to deal with the commissioner’s objections. This was what everyone expected them to do.

They did take a look at staying where they are, she said, but not only is there not enough room, putting up a new hospital in the same place as the old – while continuing to serve patients – would be a nightmare.

The mayor and council in a most friendly way stuck with their position. It’s not a position so much – it’s more like a hover. While they don’t want the hospital to go, they recognize that the campus is too small. So, they want something akin to the hospital’s emergency room to stay. They say they want to work with the hospital, and they love the hospital, and they want the hospital to thrive, but they don’t entirely trust the hospital.

WAH says it will leave behind a “Wellness Village,” the nature of which changes as plans evolve, but at the core would be a emergency room-like “urgent-care center.”

Truckin’

Enjoying the food trucks in Takoma Junction every Friday? The council and staff are looking into making the city code more food-truck-friendly. When the codes were written, nobody anticipated those mouth-watering lobster rolls counclimember Kay Daniels-Cohen has been raving about weekly.

– Gilbert

About the Author

Gilbert
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.