GRANOLAPARK: City council goes coed


Dear Readers,

Following is a transcript of a secret audio recording made in the Takoma Park city council men’s locker room shortly before the new counclmember Kate Stewart was sworn in April 21. Stewart will be the only woman on the council.

“Tarnation! Lookit you boys gittin’ all gussied-up! All on account of a lady. You fellers make me sick!”

“Look who’s flappin’ his lips! That’s the first time I seen you comb yer hair in a month, varmit!”

“You two find someplace else to chin-wag. You’re blockin’ the dang mirror!”

“Anybody remember how to tie a gol-dern necktie?”

“Who used up all my Axe body spray? Never mind, I kin smell you from here, polecat! Hoo-wee!”


Kate Stewart in red jacket with family and supporters at her reception prior to swearing-in.

Looking unusually clean and shiny, the mayor and 5 councilmembers welcomed the newly elected 6th councilmember at a pre-meeting reception Monday, April 21. Stewart won her seat in a special election following the death of Ward 3’s previous councilmember Kay Daniels-Cohen last January.


Stewart flanked by her mother-in-law and daughter the evening the vote was ratified, April 9, 2014.

Kate Stewart’s swearing-in was first on the meeting agenda. It includes the odd oath  “. . . that I will he faithful and bear true allegiance to the state of Maryland.”

As always, it got Your Gilbert wondering just what one would have to do to be considered, legally, “unfaithful” to the state of Maryland? Turn down a crab-cake?


Takoma Park mayor Bruce Williams administered the oath.

Stewart won election just as the council’s budget sessions began. This means 2 meetings per week rather than the usual 1. Somewhere, her election opponents are smiling grimly.


After the swearing-in, the council turned to usual business.

The Safe Roads Committee had bad news. Maybe the city does a great job of clearing snow filled streets for CARS, but it dumps (so to speak) pedestrians and bicycles in the cold (so to speak). Committee chair Joe Edgell showed slides of blocked crosswalks and snow-filled bike lanes.


Joe Edgell presents Safe Roads Committee report.

The council nodded nervously as Edgell described the committee’s bike-and-ped-topian proposals. Silently, Your Gilbert suspects, they were thinking “where the hell are we going to get the money and personnel to do this crazy &$#@?”

Pedestrians and bikes, says the committee, deserve equal snow removal to cars. The city should go back and shovel out crosswalk access points covered by plowed snow. The city should clear bike lanes, but not to the low standards acceptable to cars. Ice and snowy patches could result in spills, accidents or worse, they say. Bike lanes need a higher standard.

Your Gilbert pictured public works people on their knees scraping the bike lane with their fingernails.

The council, probably picturing something similar, suggested that maybe one or two main bike lanes could be designated “snow routes,” and given the special treatment needed.

We were wondering why anyone would want to pedal to work in icy weather, anyway. Seems like a good excuse to take a snow day. What kind of crazy, obsessed bike-oholic would venture out in several inches of the cold white-stuff? Then we remembered – “oh, yeah, . . .  Joe Edgell!

Joe Edgell’s helmet cam captured this snowy ride earlier this year.


– Gilbert



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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.

1 Comment on "GRANOLAPARK: City council goes coed"

  1. Lester Craddock | May 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm |

    My guess is most of the folks who ride bikes in the snow are the same ones who keep everyone else from using words they themselves find offensive, use the automated checkout machines when they grocery shop at “all natural,” non-union supermarkets, despite the fact that these machines replace workers, demand more police protection from the various “have-nots” in the surrounding and immediate areas of Northeast D.C., Langley Park New Hampshire Avenue and Flower Avenue, and refuse to make purchases from companies who profit from nuclear power, except when it’s inconvenient to refuse to make such purchases.

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