Dear Neighbor,

The Ward 5 special election is coming up on July 17. I've walked the ward several times and met many neighbors at home or out for coffee. Every conversation helped me better understand issues in our city.

Here are the principles I will use to represent Ward 5.

  • Quality—We pay a tax premium to live here, and the city must be managed to continually improve--from recycling, recreation to roads. Our services should set us apart from the county. If not, we should ask hard questions to learn why not.
  • Accountability—The current city budget has few goals or other measures to tell us if taxes are well managed for the services we receive. As a councilmember, I will fight for clear, measurable goals for departments to make our spending efficient, effective and fair.
  • Innovation—Decades ago, Takoma Park was a leader with our recycling program. Where do we lead now? This is why I advocate for a municipal electric company, for less expensive, renewable, and reliable service for decades to come. We need big ideas to make our city better today—and tomorrow.

A local race is made of local issues. As we talked, I further developed positions on our concerns.

  • A New Civic Association—We need more people involved in our neighborhoods to make city hall more responsive to our needs. The way to do this is to build a new neighborhood civic association that will help tenants and homeowners hold landlords accountable and ensure we all get our fair share of city services.
  • Washington Adventist Hospital—while its future is still uncertain, we must prepare as a city to strongly advocate for medical care, particularly 24-hour urgent care, at
    the site.
  • Protecting Tenants—Our laws hold landlords accountable and protect tenants from unfair rent increases. I strongly support rent stabilization and will fight to defend tenants and ensure owners maintain their properties.
  • Tax Duplication—Takoma Park residents deserve tax reimbursement from Montgomery County for the services, such as police, we provide ourselves. I will fight for tax fairness to win the funding we deserve from the county to protect our city budget and eventually lower our tax bills.

There are many other issues we face as a city and I am looking forward to the chance to speak with you and learn more about your specific concerns and ideas for Takoma Park.

Regards,

Eric Hensal