Jeffrey Thames, Sr.
1.) Tell us about yourself.
My name is Jeffrey Odell Thames, Sr. I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, one of eight children (Number 6). I’ve been trained to be a public servant, by watching my father, the late Pastor William M. Thames, Sr, care for the needs of so many families he pastored.
After graduating high school, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where I worked as an Aviation Electrician on the CH-53E helicopter. The training and discipline I received as a United States Marine is the same discipline that I will bring to District 5 as its County Council Representative.
My family moved to Silver Spring in February of 2009, from Atlanta Georgia, due a job transfer. After arriving in the White Oak neighborhood, I realized that the community struggles I was witnessing was not on the literature describing Montgomery County and the problems of the world were here too.
It was in that moment that my life took an unexpected turn towards full-time community service.
I am the founder of Hope Restored, Inc. a non-profit organization that works with individuals and families affected by incarceration, and individuals deemed to be “at-risk.”
However, it was after working to house homeless individuals in Montgomery County that I knew it was time to take another step forward. County Council is where I needed to be. In order for our community to thrive as a whole we have to make sure the people are able to thrive, and I feel that in the mix of all the easy conversations about economic development and public education, the people were not truly being considered.
That’s what I’ll do. I will be the voice of the people.
I’m the PTA President at Roscoe Nix, and Cresthaven elementary schools. I also have a chess club at Loiderman Middle School.
I want to provide resources for more community programs to reach more people in our community.
I’ve been married for over 14 years and together we have 5 children.
I hope to have your vote. A vote for me is a vote for us.
2.) What do you hope to accomplish in office?
I want to make sure that Takoma Park stop being double taxed for services provided by the city of Takoma Park.
I also want to establish a major initiative to create a pathway for individuals with criminal convictions, whom have returned to our community, to work toward stable careers.
I will be available to every resident in the district by moving my office to the district, thereby making it easier for the community, I represent, to meet with me.
3.) What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been so far? What does that say about your priorities as a council member?
I’ve survived life, thus far.
I won’t give up. As a beneficiary of a strong community support system, I want to make sure that as new laws are passed people will remain aware of the impacts of the new laws that are now in place. I want to make sure that everyone understands how to survive in the face of new normals. Again, new things will come constantly, but if you have no one to instruct the community about how to benefit, you may end up losing.
I want no losers.
4.) What distinguishes you from the other candidates?
I care about people.
Also, I have a plan to relieve the tax burdens that many of us are under. I believe that the way we take advantage of the business opportunities that would seek to come to Montgomery County is by enabling more people to work. If there’s more people working, paying taxes, the amount of individual taxes would be greatly reduced.
We would also be able to reduce individual business taxes.
5.) What is the top issue (or one of the top issues) facing the District and how do you propose to deal with it?
JOBS. By creating a pathway for everyone to be able to work, we will have more families thriving in the District. For individuals that are working, but under-employed, I want to provide them with the information, and tools, to increase their knowledge, and skill-set, so that they can begin earning a wage that will keep them in the realm of success.
6.) Will you pledge to end the double-taxation of Takoma Park so that the county fairly reimburses the city for duplicative services? If so what do you see the solution?
Absolutely! I will see to it that all money owed to the city of Takoma Park is accounted for at the county level and given back to Takoma Park as soon as possible. Takoma Park is not, and cannot be seen as, the county’s “rainy day fund.”
7.) What are the top local issues in these other District 5 communities: Silver Spring, Four Corners, White Oak, Fairland, Cloverly, and Burtonsville?
Silver Spring: Filling vacant office spaces, and providing services for the homeless population to get them into permanent supportive programs and off of the streets, and intersection corners. I will see that we move forward with the demolition and rebuilding of the Silver Spring Transit Center as soon as possible. I believe that if we allow the center to be repaired, we will receive millions of dollars worth of repair costs in the future. Instead of fighting over the liability, I propose tearing it down, and starting completely over, it will save the county millions in the long run.
Four Corners: Protecting their neighborhoods from the poorly planned BRT. I do not agree that entrances should be removed as the flow of Rt. 29 is reconfigured. Go back to the drawing board.
White Oak: Working with the developers to ensure that the community is remembered as development for the White Oak Science Gateway is implemented.
Fairland: Put a cross-walk across Rt. 29. Also make sure that the serenity of the neighborhoods remain serene as families seeking housing there is increased, as a result of development in White Oak.
Cloverly: Tie them into all the services that the county has to offer, like trash collection, proper snow removal, and prompt emergency response times.
Burtonsville: I am the only candidate endorsed by the “Committee to Save Burtonsville,” because of my commitment to integrity, and ability to get things done. I want to create a residential core in Burtonsville to support the businesses that are currently there, and the ones that will come in the future. Hwy-198 must also be widened, and a turning lane added. As it is now; when making a left hand turn, a person could cause a traffic back-up that stretches for hundreds of feet.
8.) Please list endorsements.
Committee to Save Burtonsville
9.) Please supply links, and contact info.