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.