Published on: Thursday, January 4, 2018 City Manager & Staff Blog

New Years Update from the City Manager

From Suzanne Ludlow, City Manager of Takoma Park

Suzanne Ludlow, City Manager

Dear Takoma Park Residents,

Happy New Year and welcome to winter!

Although we didn’t get the worst of the winter weather system going up the Atlantic coast, the cold temperatures, snow and wind are good reminders to be prepared for emergencies. Please clear your sidewalks, check on neighbors that may need help, and make sure you are signed up for Takoma Park Alert to receive emergency messages.

January begins a very busy time in the Takoma Park City government. The City Council’s first meeting is next Wednesday, and then, besides their regular Wednesday meetings, they will also have two retreats in January to discuss Council priorities and budget goals for the coming year. The information from those retreats gives direction to staff as the departments begin budget preparation. I will present a proposed budget the first week in April for Council and public consideration. A final budget will be adopted by the Council in mid-May.

There are large projects underway in the City that will require a significant amount of staff attention: Library renovation planning, Takoma Junction development review, Ethan Allen Gateway construction, Flower Avenue Green Street construction, and many smaller but still staff-intensive projects.

I am also looking forward to seeing the adoption of implementation steps for the Housing and Economic Development Strategic Plan. A forum on the housing components of this plan will take place in early February (the date is yet to be finalized), and your comments and suggestions are welcome. Councilmembers and staff are also working to get the State and County focused on improvements along New Hampshire Avenue to increase our economic base, provide housing options, improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and make the area more attractive.

As we work on all of our activities, we keep in mind the racial equity focus that Council has instituted, and will be considering ways to put the Racial Equity Framework into action. Detailed information on all of these projects and initiatives is available on our website in our Project Directory. The Project Directory page of our website is updated and added to frequently. Residents are encouraged to check-in and follow along to see the work City staff is accomplishing.

As this new year starts, I am particularly pleased to welcome Chief Antonio (Tony) DeVaul to the Takoma Park Police Department. A Takoma Park native with strong skills and experience, Tony is jumping in with both feet to take our community police department to the next level of excellence. You will be seeing him around Takoma Park and he wants to get to know you, if he doesn’t know you already!

In closing, I want to acknowledge the wonderful staff I work with. From working to win third place in the national Georgetown University Energy Prize to the dedication of our Recreation and Library staff, to the folks who clean, garden, plow snow, pay bills, keep us safe, share news, hire staff, and find ways to save money while improving service, the City staff make me proud and my job enjoyable. They have my deep appreciation.

And for all of us this January, let’s stay warm!