GRANOLAPARK: Council of nomads

IMAGE: The Takoma Park Recreation Center in 2014  Photo by Chris Melville.

GRANOLAPARK • BY GILBERT

Dear Readers,

There was no city council meeting this week, a reward the council gave themselves for enduring two meetings a week through the April city budget season.

Next week, something special.

The meeting will be in a DIFFERENT PLACE!! Instead of the overheated-yet-drafty city council chambers, the venue will be the city Recreation Center on New Hampshire Avenue. There will be FREE FOOD! Light refreshments will be served at the meet-and-greet with the mayor and city council from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

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The city council in their more usual surroundings last February. Photo by Bill Brown.

The excursion to another venue is part of the mayor’s campaign promise last fall of holding city council meetings in different parts of the city. She also said she’d hold them at different times and days – weekends were mentioned.

Slight problem. Regular city council meetings are live-streamed and the recordings are available online almost immediately after each meeting. The council auditorium is set up as a tv studio. There are mics at the dais and cameras installed on the walls and ceilings. There is a control board and desk at the back of the room. So, it is not just a matter of meeting in another place, they also have to set up a remote tv studio and live internet streaming.

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The Takoma Park Recreation Center on New Hampshire Avenue was a polling station in last month’s Maryland presidential primary. Photo by Bill Brown.

They say they have done that at the Rec Center. If the cable tv staff can meet this challenge, maybe the next outing will be at a bar!

Despite the free food, the chance to meet council members and what will probably be a lively citizen comment session, the rest of the June 1 agenda seems calculated to make citizens feel sorry for the city council.

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The Takoma Park Recreation Center gym in 2014  Photo by Chris Melville.

Residents will first be treated to a vote to eliminate the Area B Permit Parking Program. The outmoded and now useless B Permit is so obscure that it is not worth explaining.

Next will be a discussion of legislative priorities and state legislation to be proposed to the Maryland Municipal League. Just one thrill-ride after another!

Then the council will discuss what an affordable housing policy might look like. This will be – relatively – more interesting.

The audience, if there’s one left by then, will wish for more affordable housing discussion as the council tackles the last item – proposed revisions to the community grants program.

So, remember Dear Readers, there will be free food and you don’t have to stick around after the citizen comments.

MEET AND GREET WITH THE CITY COUNCIL – 7:00 – 7:30 PM, Takoma Park Recreation Center. 7315 New Hampshire Avenue. Light refreshments will be served. City council meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

– Gilbert

 

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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.

3 Comments on "GRANOLAPARK: Council of nomads"

  1. “Residents will first be treated to a vote to eliminate the Area B Permit Parking Program. The outmoded and now useless B Permit is so obscure that it is not worth explaining.”

    It’s the best deal in the city! Nine parking spots near Metro for people from the other side of town for the low, low price of $12.50! People in Ward 6 are not happy about losing this benefit.

    Also, moving city council meetings to other locations in a geographically compact locality in this age of live streaming is yet another of Ms. Stewart’s inane campaign promises.

  2. Here’s what the city’s background description says:

    “The Area B parking permit program was created in 1985 (Ordinance 1985-68) when a significant portion of the City did not have bus access to the Takoma Metro station. Spaces were set aside on Takoma Avenue adjacent to the train tracks for persons who lived more than .75 miles from the station and more than five blocks from any public bus route to the station. Once bus service was established for the east side of the city to the Takoma Metro station, the program was modified (Ordinance 1998-24), removing the criteria of being more than five blocks from a bus route. When the Metropolitan Branch Trail was installed, the designated parking area was removed and a program allowing up to nine permit holders to park on certain residential blocks was put in place (Ordinance 2003-38). In recent years, demand for the permits has been weak and not all nine permits have been issued. Residents on the blocks where parking is permitted are unhappy about the permit program. Given the improvements in bus service, as well as in bicycle and pedestrian accessibility through Takoma Park, the Area B parking program seems no longer needed.”

  3. Best deal in town. People have been kicking themselves about not knowing about it.

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