I am writing to ask if the TPSS Co-op is truly entering mediation with the goal of reaching agreement with NDC on details that will allow the Takoma Junction Development to move forward. I am asking because, despite what you have said in public meetings, I continue to fear that the Co-op Board’s true objective is to stop the project.
Let me explain.
I was pleased and encouraged to hear you talk at the last Council meeting, on June 6, when you indicated that you are entering mediation with good intentions. However, I was immediately struck and confused because your messages from that evening were not consistent with those I had heard from other members of the TPSS Co-op Board who spoke at another public meeting just the night before. This leads me to question the true intent of the Board.
On June 5, I attended a meeting at the Essex Apartments on Maple Avenue that was organized by a member of the Community Vision for Takoma Junction group. At the meeting, three Co-op Board members attended and described the local shopping opportunities the Co-op presents to the building residents. It was certainly nice that after so many years, the Co-op is now doing outreach to our lower income community members. (I won’t guess at your Board’s motivation for beginning this outreach at this time.)
However, I was disappointed when shortly after promoting the Co-op as a place to shop, a significant portion of the meeting was spent discussing opinions of problems with the development plans and encouraging the residents to lobby the City Council against the project.
I believe the Co-op is a valuable community business and asset that contributes greatly to the character of Takoma Park. I also strongly believe that it is in the best interests of city residents to move forward with developing the city lot.
I’m hopeful the Co-op Board can get on the same page and work with us to make the project a success for all.
Please contact me if you would like to sit down and discuss this at any time.