Déjà vu Germantown?

While history inevitably repeats itself, insanity is repeating the same mistake and expecting different results. If you’ve grown up or been in Germantown during the mid-90s, you’d remember that we’ve been here before with the Germantown Special Services District. In a 2012 article, WHYY reported that although the program started out well-funded and strong in 1995, by 2011, funding had “zeroed out,” management was inefficient and “… the program was discontinued.”

So why does Councilwoman Bass indicate that this path would lead to a different destination?

Any notion that the GSSD can turn things around as long as she controls Board appointments is irresponsible, careless and contradicted by the evidence. According to sources in the city’s Department of Commerce, the collection rate for assessments has declined from 85-90 percent in the first two years of operation to a current 55-60 percent. So now the GSSD has again crashed under serious financial and managerial blunders, wasting public and private dollars and delaying commercial growth for our community.

A Business Improvement District (BID) coupled with a well-funded business association would put both property owners and the community in the driver’s seat. But Councilwoman Bass believes a BID cuts out the voices of the community.

I believe that perspective is far from reality, and with every member of the GSSD hand-picked by the Councilwoman, the only voice in jeopardy is her own.

But why would any property or business owner neglect the perspectives of the community who are also their customers? There are business corridors in the 8th Council District that have BIDs and they have kept their business strips afloat amidst poor elements that have hindered growth. All in all, the GSSD hasn’t worked, but the BID/Business Association model has.

If Councilwoman Bass is really trying to take a step in the right direction, she must use the working examples in other parts of the district. Repeating history on this one is just irrational.

Patrick Jones
Democratic Candidate for City Council
8th District

Thanks for the article

Many thanks for the timely article written (and posted online) “Prescription for ‘Boomers’: How to Manage Change Well” by Barbara Sherf.

Over 50 people registered for “Kickstart Your Midlife Reboot” and while many were local to the area, with the help of your online presence we had participants from a variety of states including New York, Minnesota and even California.

The free workshop was designed to provide a host of strategies for managing midlife change, including career transitions, retirement adjustments, new caregiving roles, adapting to the loss of a spouse, the desire for more social connections and even finding ways to give back.

A key advantage of the Facebook Live format is accessibility – not only presented live at noon, but also available via a recording for those who work, had other noon-time commitments or live in different time zones.

Among the most inspiring outcomes were the bonds that developed within the group despite the miles between members. It underscores the universality of these issues and that we can develop a sense of community no matter what the geography.

Even though technology can be intimidating for some, the benefits of closeness, understanding and mutual support-ironic as that may seem-are priceless when learning to manage midlife change and develop resilience.

If any of your readers are having trouble accessing facebook.com/coachingresilience or if anyone in your circulation area would like me to speak to their group in person, please contact me at jan@coachingresilience.com or visit my website at coachingresilience.com

Again, many thanks and keep up the good work there in what appears to be a thriving independent and resilient community newspaper.

Jan M. Zacharjasz
Lafayette Hill
Founder, Coaching for Resilience