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,