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City Council Priorities

 

The City Council’s Priorities are used as a tool to guide policy and budget decision making and outline strategies to work toward desired outcomes for a wide range of major projects, initiatives and ongoing activities. The Council affirms their priorities by Resolution each year.

City Council policy affects many aspects of civic life in Takoma Park. Establishing and sharing priorities helps inform residents, businesses, and regional stakeholders on what the City Council’s constituents and elected officials view as important for Takoma Park in an easy-to-understand and transparent manner.

How City Council Priorities Affect You

Priorities are not policy. They serve as the framework used to shape it. Anyone affected by City Council policy who has input – whether in the agreement or not – is encouraged to engage with the City Council to help shape how priorities are implemented.

You can engage in the process by attending a City Council meeting, contacting your City Council member or by joining a board, commission or committee.

What are the City Council’s Priorities?

The City Council’s priorities break down into six broad categories with key major projects, initiatives and ongoing activities identified for each. Those six broad categories are:

  1. Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on the Community and City Operations
  2. A Livable Community for All
  3. Fiscally Sustainable Government
  4. Environmentally Sustainable Community
  5. Engaged, Responsive, Service-Oriented Government
  6. Community Development for an Improved & Equitable Quality of Life

Each priority is explained below, to view the full document in detail click here. For information on major projects, initiatives and ongoing activities associated with the priorities, visit the City’s Project Directory. The priorities are also available in poster form. Click here to access the poster of the priorities.

Current City Council Priority Details

1. Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on the Community and City Operations

Goal: Reopen City functions using a phased approach to ensure

a safe, deliberate return to normal operations; prepare a reopening plan that supports long-term financial resiliency and
employee well-being, and incorporates lessons learned from the health crisis response.

Strategy:

  • Analyze and plan for potential budgetary impacts of COVID-19 on City finances now and in the future.
  • Encourage permanent changes in City functions, such as hybrid Zoom and in-person meetings that are practical beyond the crisis period.

 

Desired outcome:
Continuity of operations through all crisis phases, improved operations in compliance with safety protocols, and workforce resiliency.

2. A Livable Community for All

Goal: Ensure that a range of safe, high quality, affordable, and stable housing options are equitably available in neighborhoods throughout the community.

Strategy:

  • Implement the Housing and Economic Development Strategic Plan. Specifically:
      • Continue to build partnerships with nonprofits, foundations, financial institutions, Montgomery County, the State of Maryland, and other outside entities to expand affordable housing options in the City.
      • Explore the needs of and create programs to assist common ownership communities.
      • Revise sections of the Housing Code, including sections on rent stabilization.
      • Review and make changes to the HomeStretch Downpayment Assistance Program aimed at expanding eligibility.
      • Develop a formal policy and criteria regarding the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program (PILOTs).
      • Continue collaboration and coordination of the City’s housing and sustainability staff on key projects to meet Council goals.
      • Review staffing levels necessary to implement the Housing and Economic Development Strategic Plan, and examine ways to leverage cross-departmental collaboration among housing and sustainability staff to meet Council housing and sustainability goals.

Desired outcome:
Meet the current and future housing needs of the community to ensure affordable housing options for residents of varying income levels and of all races and ethnicities. Improved living conditions for renters. 

3. Fiscally Sustainable Government

Goal: Explore and advocate at county and state levels for expanded funding flexibility for municipalities beyond property taxes and continue to advocate for long-term solutions to tax duplication. 

Strategy:

  • Continue efforts to more fully address county tax duplication issues.
  • Increase advocacy and lobbying activities.

Desired outcome:
– A more diverse set of revenue sources for the City.

4. Environmentally Sustainable Community

Goal: Climate Change Mitigation: Work towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.

Strategy:

  • Prioritize and accelerate policies and programs that implement the 2020 Climate Emergency Response Framework strategies for buildings, transportation, renewable energy, and a fossil fuel-free community.
  • Continue and expand City sustainability programs with emphasis on equity issues.
  • Coordinate and advocate for climate change mitigation resiliency and sustainability with county, state, region and federal governments.
  • Integrate City climate goals and strategies with other City policies and programs, such as urban forest, housing, economic development, and Vision Zero transportation goals. 

Desired outcome:
Progress toward City’s climate mitigation and resiliency goals; more sustainable City operations.

5. Engaged, Responsive, Service-Oriented Government

Goal: Hire and onboard a new City Manager.

Strategy:

  • Conduct a successful search with community input and the assistance of a consultant. 
  • Successfully onboard the new City Manager and work together to develop further plans and priorities, including adjusting to post-COVID near-term realities and working toward community-identified visions of the future.

Desired outcome:
The hiring of an excellent City Manager who can effectively manage the day-to-day operations of the City government and implement the policy directions of the City Council.  

 

6. Community Development for an Improved & Equitable Quality of Life

Goal: Plan and prepare for development in the City and region while maintaining the special character and economic and racial diversity of Takoma Park.

Strategy:

  • Implement the Housing and Economic Development Strategic Plan. Specifically: 
      • Provide support for small businesses especially those impacted by Purple Line construction.
      • Increase workforce development programs and assistance.
      • Explore options for providing support services, including through direct assistance and partnerships, for businesses located outside the areas covered by existing business associations.
      • Attract new businesses to Takoma Park and facilitate the growth of existing businesses, particularly those that help meet workforce development and local ownership goals.

Desired outcome:
Implementation of the Strategic Plan, prepare and plan for development activity, and support local businesses and workers. 

 

To view the full list of goals, strategy, and desired outcomes of City Council’s six priorities please click here.

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