TAKOMA PARK, MD – After receiving $14.81 million dollars in COVID relief funding from the recently enacted American Rescue Plan, the city council announced that it would focus almost all of the funds on its search for a new city manager.
“We only have one shot to get this right so it’s important that we use this money wisely,” said the Mayor. “We assure you that every penny spent will be used to find a city manager who understands the importance of efficiently using our tax dollars.”
Although Takoma Park had already allocated $25,000 to hire a consulting firm to conduct the search, the additional funds from the COVID package will allow them to hire a larger team that will include policy analysts, researchers, lobbyists, architects, urban planners, psychologists, massage therapists, and billionaire Mark Cuban. The team will interview all 18,000 city residents over a 90 day period to compile opinions, advice, and complaints, which will help them create the qualifications for the perfect candidate.
“It’s important that our community feels heard, which is why every single person in Takoma Park has the opportunity to express their opinion,” said the Mayor. “We realize it’s impossible to please everyone, but we’ll spend 15 million dollars trying to do just that.”
The multi-million dollar figure to hire a city manager with a salary of only $250,000 per year did not sit well with some residents. “This money belongs to the most vulnerable residents of Takoma Park, not government employees and consultants,” said long time resident Larry Walters. “The money should be distributed during this year’s 4th of July parade by having Congressman Jamie Raskin ‘making it rain’ down Maple Avenue. That would certainly lift our spirits after last year’s parade was canceled.”
Not all of the relief funds will be spent on the search for the new city manager. Peter Franchot was able to earmark half a million dollars to expand the beer selection at the TPSS Co-Op, and a team of muralists will be hired to gild the city’s Roscoe the Rooster statue.