December Message from the City Manager
From Suzanne Ludlow, City Manager of Takoma Park
Happy December! Before things quiet down for the holidays, I wanted to share some information.
New City Council
First, I want to share my pleasure at working with the newly-elected City Council. Mayor Kate Stewart, new members Peter Kovar and Rizzy Qureshi, and returning Councilmembers Tim Male, Terry Seamens, Jarrett Smith and Fred Schultz are a collegial group clearly committed to being effective leaders of the City of Takoma Park. They have one more meeting before going on holiday recess. This Monday’s meeting will be of interest to many families, as it includes a look at the problem of overcrowding in public schools in Takoma Park and what might be done about it.
Starting January 13, the Council will begin meeting on Wednesday evenings, instead of Monday evenings. After 22 years of always being busy on Monday nights, I’m looking forward to something new!
Sympathy and Security
One of the first actions of the new Council was to pass a resolution of support for Syrian refugees. This resolution came soon after the community vigil mourning the death of Takoma Park resident Anita Datar in the recent Mali terrorist attack. Once again, I have been moved by the caring of our community towards all people.
I also know that terrorism and violence can strike anywhere and for many reasons. After the shooting in San Bernardino – just a few blocks from the apartment of one of my brothers – I sent a message to our City staff reminding them to contact the police department or our human resources department if they notice something that seems to be of concern, whether in the neighborhoods they serve or in their offices. I ask all residents to do the same. Please call the police department (301-270-1100) if you see something you are concerned about. Our officers are trained to investigate and they know how to handle things in a sensitive manner. Time and time again, people mention things to their family and friends but don’t tell the people that are trained to address the situation. Residents and City staff together form the partnership that keeps Takoma Park a safe and welcoming community.
Library Renovation Meetings – Please Attend!
A proposal for renovating and modestly expanding the Takoma Park Library is ready for resident review and comment. Please come to one of the two public meetings to see the plans, talk with the architect, and offer comments and suggestions. The two meetings will be held in the Community Center Azalea Room at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, December 16 and Thursday, January 7. I’m excited about these plans and I’m sure that, with your suggestions, they will be just right for Takoma Park!
The new City of Takoma Park website has been live for almost a month now. If you haven’t tried using it, take a little time to explore. It is much easier to use from mobile devices than the old website and its search function is much better as well. One great feature is at the tab labeled “Initiatives,” where you can click on subjects of wide public interest, or click on the Project Directory to learn the status of many other City projects. We’re still adding content and features to the website and welcome your suggestions for improvements.
I will be taking off December 15 – 22 for a short vacation, but will be around through the holidays. Feel free to contact me if you have questions, concerns or suggestions. Also, please consider inviting me, Deputy City Manager Jason Damweber, a Police Department representative, or other staff members to an upcoming community meeting or event. We always learn so much from meeting with residents and enjoy getting to know you.
Have a happy and safe holiday!