Meet the Candidates Night

The Cheverly Women's Club hosted the 2017 meet the candidates forum tonight and it was a really great event for the candidates to get to talk to so many of you, and to enjoy both Sweet Bobby's Cake Creation and Coleman's Kitchen.  Yum!


I was delighted to see a pretty full room for this event and really appreciate all of the thoughtful questions everyone asked!

All of the current candidates for town council were there, unfortunately there is still no candidate for Ward 5.  If you or anyone you know is interested in running for Ward 5, please do!

I'll be headed over to Ward 5 to see if there are any interested candidates over there tomorrow (Thursday, April 27) if you'd like to join me email me at BethpMacKenzie@gmail.com.

I would like to qualify that my notes from tonight are brief so I don't have attributions for anyones ideas other than my own.(marked with an asterisk)

Ward 5 Representative
The first question was just that, what to do to make sure Ward 5 is represented and each candidate provided a thoughtful response on activities we can engage in to ensure that all of Cheverly feels included in the town.
*One suggestion I have is to have an outside playgroup at the Cheverly East playground.  It looks like a fun place to meet up and I think may even have shade!

Town Arborist?
Another question we got was to ask if the candidates would support $25,000 funding for an Arborist.  Most candidates said that they'd look into it. And to request that PEPCO replace each tree they cut down with three trees.
*One thing I have been looking into is if it is feasible to have a green barrier along Rt. 50 to reduce the noise from the highway for our neighbors along Forest Rd.

Budget
The town budget is the focus of the worksession scheduled for April 27th and one constituent asked what the candidates think about the budget for this next year and how it relates to taxes.  Candidates mentioned options to open Kilmer to the public, explore passion projects to enhance our town, increase the commercial tax base and to seek an Economic Development Coordinator to seek grants to help the town.
*I  agree with all of these and personally want to see this surplus to go to ensuring that all of our neighbors have access to basic needs, specifically I've learned that our Spellman PTA has had to provide $1,000 to ensure that students that don't qualify for free and reduced lunches don't go hungry.  As a town we should find a way to help all children have food for the school day.

Foreclosure
We were asked about what we would do in regards to the foreclosures around town.  Most of the candidates discussed that there is a need to do something and a first step will be to start with financial literacy and helping people who are struggling find programs to assist them.

Commercial Development
We were asked about our plans for Tuxedo Rd. and we all agreed that the Cheverly Sector Plan is exciting about it's opportunities for our neighborhood but a few of us have mentioned that while we are waiting for it we'd like to engage our current resources.
*As a former small business owner I watched Ivy City grow from empty warehouses to a bustling center with great shops, restaurants and a food incubator.  We have an advantage that we are so close to DC and have a wonderful farmers markets.  If we all make a commitment to not only attend the market but spend our money on our vendors they will realize that Cheverly is a viable business opportunity when they are looking to expand.

Kilmer Street
We were asked our vision for what to do with the Kilmer Street Property that the town purchased a few years ago.  Since the house that is already there needs to be torn down, it was suggested that it be turned into a work out area with a gazebo like town park or a rec center like Kentlands or to look at a way to use it as an extension of Spellman.
*I think that another town rental space would be a great option for the interim but down the road it would be great to have an indoor meeting space.

What makes your Ward Unique
It's interesting how similar our wards are, issues candidates mentioned are potholes, speeding, needing more shade in playgrounds, repaving Columbia Park Road, continuing on Ward 4 Civic Association, traffic around the elementary schools, and making divided Wards feel more cohesive.
*The issue i've heard most often is the need for traffic around the schools and the parking around St. Ambrose to be improved, I've also heard a lot of concerns about the conditions of the roads in front of the Spellman entrance off of 202.

As I've walked around our Ward I see so how each street is unique in its concerns but are also the same.  I've heard traffic issues around the back of Spellman as well as around the school entrance and off of Landover Rd.,  Our neighbors on Hillside mentioned that they have no street lights which makes for a dangerous situation at night.  But the thing I've noticed most about our Ward is what a great community we have.

I've heard from other wards that they have block parties and civic associations so this summer I would like to have us all meet up for a low key get together to be able to get to know each other better!

The election is Monday, May 1.  Please come and vote, the polls are open at the Community Center from 7am-8pm so I'll see you there!