City Council Adopts 2018 Priorities
From Kacy Kostiuk, Councilmember, Ward 3
The Takoma Park City Council adopted its 2018 Council Priorities on March 7, 2018. The priorities include five overarching themes with goals, strategies, and desired outcomes in each priority area. The themes are:
- A Livable Community for All
- Fiscally Sustainable Government
- Environmentally Sustainable Community
- Engaged, Responsive, Service-Oriented Government
- Community Development for an Improved and Equitable Quality of Life
Setting and regularly revisiting priorities is a best practice in many fields and can benefit a local government in several ways. The priorities we set for 2018 will inform the development of the Takoma Park City budget and will be our “roadmap,” indicating the strategic direction of the City Council for its three year term with an emphasis on the coming year. We will regularly refer to the priorities during policy and budgeting discussions.
Our 2018 Council Priorities grew out of multiple work sessions and discussions. Prior to our vote to adopt the priorities, we developed and refined the priorities document during two retreats in January, held a work session at a City Council meeting on February 7, discussed priorities with City staff in a public meeting on February 28, and discussed priorities during the joint Green Team meeting with the Committee on the Environment.
In addition to detailing goals, strategies, and desired outcomes, the document lists major projects, initiatives, and ongoing activities that the City Council and City staff will continue to work on.
The City has already begun work on several goals included in the 2018 Council Priorities. To name a few: we have held work sessions to work toward the development of a Housing and Economic Development Strategic Plan which will guide future steps toward ensuring affordable and stable housing options and providing programming to make the City more welcoming to residents and the business community. We are working to increase the use of renewable energy throughout the City and recently awarded a contract to Clean Choice Energy to conduct research on rates, business reliability, and contract terms to make it easier for people to switch to 100 percent renewable power by providing information in a more accessible, reliable way. We have implemented a racial equity framework and plan to broaden what we are doing to include training opportunities for residents. We will be rethinking the structure and staffing of the Police Department to emphasize and improve our approach to community policing.
There may be times when we need to make adjustments to the priorities or change direction due to unforeseen issues or new opportunities to achieve desired outcomes, but having a priorities document helps keep us on track and provides an important outline of our goals and direction for the coming year.
We encourage you to take a look at the 2018 Council Priorities and help us work toward achieving these goals. We encourage residents to join a City board, commission, or committee, as well as share your thoughts during the public comment period at our weekly City Council meetings, or contact your representative directly to share your thoughts and ideas. By outlining our priorities and working together to achieve our goals, we can build a stronger and more positive future for our City.