Tuesday, February 27, 2018

City Manager Budget Discussion Hours

From City Manager Miranda Braatz:

The City of Mount Rainier’s Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 31, 2019) proposed budget will be available on March 20th, with copies made available to the public.

Residents of Mount Rainier who may have questions about the proposed budget, budget line items, specific initiatives, or departments are invited to attend the City Manager Budget Discussion Hours and talk one on one with the City Manager and Director of Finance. 

Budget Discussion Hours Schedule:

March 31st – 10am to 2pm at the Mount Rainier Nature Center during the City Egg Hunt.  Bi-lingual Spanish / English available

April 3rd – Following the City Council Legislative Meeting at City Hall 8pm to 9:30pm

April 20th – City Hall 2pm – 5pm. Bi-lingual Spanish / English available

May 19th – Mount Rainier Day City Table 12noon to 5pm. Bi-lingual Spanish / English available

Friday, February 23, 2018

Regional Transit Survey

I recently completed the Regional Travel Survey, an important tool from The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. TPB has conducted this type of household travel survey once every decade since 1968. Keep your eyes on your snail mail in case you are selected and sent a packet.
If you are selected to participate, please do! The information collected is absolutely critical to regional planning decisions around transit and transportation. As a Greater Greater Washington contributor I am obviously a transportation policy enthusiast, but I promise the survey is worth your time too.

The survey begins with a brief online form to get baseline info about the travel patterns of you and your household, and then you are assigned a future day on which you are asked to track all of your trips. I ended up being assigned a day that was very different than my regular commute, but I walked, drove, rode MARC to Baltimore, and took buses while in Baltimore City. That is a lot of transit modes in one day, which should be interesting info for transportation planners.

PGCPS Teacher of the Year nominations

Do you have a child in Prince George's County Public Schools? Do you know an excellent teacher? If so, considering nominating them for PGCPS Teacher of the Year.

More info and nomination form here. Nominations due by March 13.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Singer Flats Sneak Preview November 16

FYI, a look at the long awaited revitalization of the 3300 block of Rhode Island Ave in Mount Rainier

The Menkiti Group welcomes our nearby neighbors for a sneak preview of the residential units at Singer Flats. We will meet for a brief tour of the first floor commercial space at 3300 Rhode Island Ave followed by a visit to our model residential apartment unit on the 2nd floor.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Town Hall with Congressman Anthony Brown - April 20, 2017

A local organizing group comprised of Mount Rainier, Brentwood, and North Brentwood residents has worked with Congressman Anthony Brown to put on a Town Hall meeting.

Rep. Anthony Brown Town Hall
Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6:30-8pm
Bunker Hill Firehouse

Monday, December 14, 2015

How to (re)build downtown?

Smart Growth America just released an interesting new guidebook, (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization, "a resource for local elected officials who want to re-invigorate and strengthen neighborhood centers of economy, culture, and history through a smart growth approach to development."
I have a long-standing interest in figuring out how to revitalize small, primarily neighborhood-serving commercial areas. As a general rule, retail development lags residential development - but why do some communities turn around their commercial districts faster than others? What, if anything, can local officials and community members do to help?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Not standing for re-election

Citizens of Ward 2, and all of the city,

Today I am announcing that I do not intend to run for re-election in the May 2015 city council election. As you know, city council is a part-time position and the majority of us have other careers. I just accepted a new position as regional director at a national non-profit, so the timing is right to put my focus into that. 

Serving the citizens of Mount Rainier has been my privilege, and for that reason it is hard to step back. But I will continue to be an advocate for this city and its citizens. At this time of transition, we need to focus on the things that make Mount Rainier great - our diversity, our working class roots, our sense of community, and our shared vision of the future. We can and should look for new development that improves our tax base and brings in much needed retail and services, but we must not do so at the expense of this community's soul. I hope you will join me in being vocal about preserving our community's personality as well as it's character, because I know that together we can build an inclusive, more financially stable Mount Rainier. After four years I can tell you that the council doesn't hear from the community nearly enough.

I want to thank all of the people that do give their time, energy, and love to Mount Rainier, and in particular those who volunteer on city committees. You are not recognized enough for the work you do on behalf of this city. Thank you to the members of the Mixed Use Town Center Committee and the Green Team that I have been fortunate enough to work with over the last 4 years.

I am very proud of everything we have accomplished in the last 4 years:

Public safety improvements including pedestrian and bicycle improvements
   Increased police enforcement at Route 1 bus stop aka "The Circle" 
   Permanent barricade blocking high speed cut through traffic at Perry and 31st Streets 
   Improved pedestrian facility on Eastern Ave at Bunker Hill Road through outreach to Council of DC
   Bike infrastructure master plan
   Installation of new bike racks throughout the downtown area
   Work with ATHA to improve bike infrastructure throughout the Route 1 corridor and promote bike tourism for our businesses

Sustainability initiatives to save the city money and go green
   Sustainable Maryland Certified municipality - highest scoring of first four certified communities
   Green purchasing policy
   Green infrastructure master plan to plant trees and gardens that reduce runoff and flooding from city roads, etc
   Buchanan St green street grant
   Arundel Road green street as part of county levee project
   Pervious pavement at city hall parking lot and adjoining alley, to reduce runoff and flooding
   Capital Improvement Plan to begin addressing infrastructure needs including roads, bicycles, and green infrastructure for flooding

Revitalization of our Town Center
   Promoting a vision of livable, walkable, sustainable Mount Rainier that is safe and productive for all our citizens
   MUTC Committee has used our new town plan to improve the signage and facades of our businesses
   Promotion of Arts Lives Here and mural projects throughout the city
   Better Block Project - demonstrating the potential of our commercial district
   Increased outreach to Mount Rainier Business Association and new businesses
   Engaged Rhode Island Ave NE Main Street to build cross border partnership
   3300 Rhode Island Redevelopment - "The Singer Building" - RFP awarded
   Perry Street Townhouses - breaking ground in 2015
   3200 Rhode Island Redevelopment
   Hiring an Economic Development Director

I'm confident that the new council and staff will keep up the momentum.

Thank you for the confidence you demonstrated in me four years ago, and thank you for all the kind words and support you have offered during my term.

See you around town,