White Smoke Rises From Community Center, Signaling New City Manager in Takoma Park

TAKOMA PARK – White smoke rose from the roof of the Takoma Park Community Center this week, signaling the selection of a new city manager for the city’s 18,000 residents, and setting off a hundred listserv threads about whether someone was using illegal fireworks again.

“What a glorious day!” exclaimed the Mayor as the sounds of a drum circle rang out before a huge crowd gathered at the intersection of Philadelphia and Maple. “We can now move forward with critical city business while also getting back to our tradition of complaining about how much the city manager is paid.”

After the current city manager announced her intention to retire, the Mayor and all six city council members locked themselves into the Community Center for a week in what was dubbed “Enclave Conclave 2021”. Months later, following the engagement of a search committee, numerous interviews, and 4 rounds of voting, the entire world watched as the the Mayor emerged from the Azalea Room to announce Jamal Fox as the new city manager.

“Mr. Fox is going to lead us forward with good ideas and strong management,” said the Mayor. “We know that from his excellent record of experience and his demonstrated abilities. But also, because our municipal dogma dictates that the city manager is infallible, everything he does will be considered a good idea and strong management, no matter what it is.”

Fox will replace the retiring Suzanne Ludlow in August. In the grand tradition of his predecessors, Fox doesn’t live in Takoma Park but says he’s looking forward to relocating to the area from Camas, Washington. Residents of Washington state rejoiced at the news that one of their own would become Takoma Park’s manager after centuries in which the position was dominated by East Coasters.

Fox will greet city residents for the first time as their city manager on a celebratory drive through the streets in the new bulletproof, plexiglass-enclosed Takomobile. Although Fox is not expected to select a new manager name for himself, it is likely that, as with other city bureaucrats with whom they disagree, residents will come up with many names of their own for him.