Ward 3 Voter Guide 2014: Government

The city has a strong city manager and weak mayor/council form of government. Do you support the current form? If not, how would you change it?

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JEFFREY NOEL-NOSBAUM

I believe that the goal of having full-time expert professional management in government supports leaving the executive side of government, as much as possible, to a stable manager that answers to the whole Council.  I do not believe the City management has deteriorated to a level that would call for a radical reorganization.  If anything, I think we could improve responsiveness and transparency by making sure we have sufficient employees in the right positions with the training and resources they need to make sure the City Government as a whole can meet the high expectations our residents have of their government.

What city charter changes, if any, do you have in mind?

I am not proposing any changes to the City Charter at this time.  That is not to say that the Charter cannot be improved; I just think that the Charter changes should not be taken lightly and I do not see any glaring issues that need addressed immediately.

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[ezcol_1third] Roger-Schlegel-200

ROGER SCHLEGEL

I support the current form of government. As stated in my previous discussion of program-based budgeting, I believe that the council should spend a far greater proportion of its time on strategic planning, providing broad direction to the manager, and evaluating the effectiveness of programs.

What city charter changes, if any, do you have in mind?

I do not have a city charter change in mind.

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KATE STEWART

While I’m not sure I agree with these labels, I do believe that Takoma Park’s government can be improved. We need a city manager who is strong enough to effectively administer our city services and a City Council strong enough to represent the people’s interests, set policy and oversee the administration of the city.  In order to make any balance work, however, we need strong leadership, good communication and effective oversight.  My professional experience managing the staff of a large non-profit and overseeing complex projects for local, state, and national organizations has provided me the communication and leadership skills necessary to make our system work.

What city charter changes, if any, do you have in mind?

I do not have any current plans to change the charter and do not believe it should be amended without sufficient justification.  However, I will remain open to change if necessary.  For example, as the city grows, we may decide to no longer defer to the county for our zoning process, but rather take control of the process.

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