Published on: Monday, January 4, 2016 City Council & Mayor Blog

Happy New Year From Mayor Stewart

Photo of Kate Stewart, Mayor of Takoma Park
Kate Stewart, Mayor of Takoma Park

From Kate Stewart, Mayor of Takoma Park

Happy New Year!

It is a great honor to serve as Takoma Park’s Mayor and to work with the dedicated Council members and City staff. The close of 2015 found the new City Council very busy.

  • One of our first actions as a Council was to unanimously pass a Resolution Welcoming Syrian Refugees which Councilmember Qureshi drafted.
  • The Council moved to support funds to supplement an after-school program at Essex House. Earlier this year, the Montgomery Collaboration Council was awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant. However, the budget only covered four days a week. Thank you to Councilmember Smith for bringing this opportunity to the Council. With the City’s support, the program will run five days a week.
  • I testified on behalf of the City and we have begun to work with our State Delegation and the administration at Washington Adventist Hospital to prepare for the Hospital’s move in a few years.
  • We have begun to move forward on revisions to the City’s Noise Ordinance which we will take up again in the new year. Thanks to Councilmember Schultz’s persistence and work on the ordinance.
  • At the urging of Councilmember Male, we had a presentation by Montgomery County Public Schools on the future of the schools in our area and the Council is likely to continue to look for ways we can advocate on behalf of the schools in our community.
  • Councilmember Kovar and myself have held police community meetings. These are opportunities for residents in neighborhoods that have seen an increase in crime to meet with members of the police department, ask questions and looks for ways residents and the police can work together to prevent and fight crime in specific areas of the City.
  • Councilmember Seamens continues his work in the community connecting residents to essential services and will be integral as we move forward in selecting an outside consultant to help the City evaluate and build on the work we are already doing to improve community-police relations, particularly relations among the police and young people in the community.
  • As we close this year, we hold in our hearts those we have lost. We remember former Mayor Stephen Del Giudice and I would like to thank again the friends and neighbors who organized the candlelight vigil for Anita Datar and our police department and City staff for assisting in the planning of the vigil.

Looking to 2016

…we have a great deal coming up!

  • Starting in January, City Council meetings with be on Wednesday evenings at 7:30. The first meeting is on January 13.
  • We are also starting to hold “Community Conversations.” Throughout the year, we (City Council) plan to host a series of Community Conversations about various topics of importance to the community. These “conversations” will be designed to promote thoughtful, engaged dialogue among Councilmembers, members of the community, staff and other subject matter experts. While the details and a full schedule of meetings and topics are still to-be-determined, we have reserved the morning of Saturday, February 6th for the first Community Conversation. The topic of this inaugural meeting will be housing affordability in Takoma Park.
  • Friday morning coffees with Mayor and City Manager will start in locations throughout the City in late January. Please keep an eye out for an announcement.
  • For a full look at the upcoming Council agenda you can go here to the City website. Also if you are looking for an update on a specific project the new City website has a section with all current projects. If you do not see something you are looking for, please let us know.

As we enter the new year, I look forward to working with all of you and hope that the peace and goodwill of this holiday season continue throughout the year.