Ward 5 Special Election Candidate Primer

The deadline to file for candidacy is June 27.

With Reuben Snipper leaving the Takoma Park City Council to move to Italy with his wife, Cheryl Morden, the Ward 5 seat is open and for the taking.

There are currently three registered candidates for the July 17 special election.

If you're interested in filing for candidacy, information is available on the Takoma Park city website. The deadline to file for candidacy is June 27.

Here are the candidates so far and their platforms:

Eric Hensal

  • 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.
  • Flower Avenue Reconstruction—Flower Avenue is the Ward 5 Main Street, in need of traffic calming, stormwater management and visual improvements. This project must have strong community input and oversight to ensure cost-effective results.
  • 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.

Jarrett K. Smith

  • Bringing our neighbors together. A resident of the community since 2004, I fought to preserve affordable housing in Ward 5 during three terms as Chair of the Takoma Park Commission on Landlord/Tenant Affairs. I believe there is not enough personal interaction between homeowners and renters in our city. I will work to bring together our diverse neighbors to strengthen our community.
  • Fighting to protect Sligo Creek. Whether part of your exercise routine, a place to hold a family cookout, or just a place to be at peace, Sligo Creek is at the heart of life in Ward 5. I will work with community and county officials to protect the creek itself and improve public safety for nearby pedestrians.
  • Working to preserve health and wellness options at Washington Adventist Hospital.  As a member of the Washington Adventist Hospital Land Use Committee, I have worked with community members, city council and the hospital to ensure the community’s voices are heard regarding the future of the WAH site — and its impact on Ward 5 residents.

Melinda Ulloa, the third candidate in the race, did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication. When we get her platform information we'll add it to the election primer.

Correction: Patch misidentified the third candidate in the Ward 5 special election. The actual third candidate is Melinda Ulloa. We regret the error.


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