KabirCares.org

With New Requirements, FBI Relocation to Greenbelt Looks Promising

The FBI Headquarters in D.C.

The FBI Headquarters in D.C. (Source: AP)

Yesterday, the General Services Administration (GSA) sets a set of requirements to select the new location of FBI’s headquarters, the Washington Post has reported. This happened after the GSA solicited ideas from several local governments in the area about the new location. News reports suggest that the GSA received some 38 proposals from Prince George’s, Fairfax and Louden counties.

SGA’s new requirements include:
1. Property that can accommodate 2.1 million square feet of office and related space, including parking as related by local rules. The GSA “anticipates that approximately 50 acres would be needed to satisfy this project requirement” it said in a statement.

• Level V security protection, the same level given to the Pentagon and CIA headquarters.

• Access to Metro and the Beltway. Specifically, “the closest boundary line of the site offered shall be within 2 miles by paved public access road of a Metrorail station, and either inside the Capital Beltway or within 2.5 miles by paved public access road of a Capital Beltway interchange.”

• Adequate access to public utilities.

The new requirements eliminate the possibility of FBI’s relocation to some counties in northern Virginia, and thus making the option of having FBI’s new home in Greenbelt more promising.

Tomorrow at the Market: Please Let us Know What You Think About Our Market

Please see below this week’s Hollywood Farmers Market Newsletter. See you all tomorrow

HFM_Banner

Your Turn!! Please Let us Know What You Think About Our Market In two weeks, our market is coming to an end for the year. You will soon receive an invitation to participate in an online survey to tell us what you think about the market and how we can make it better. Meanwhile, if you have ideas to improve the market, or something you would like to see at our market next year, please stop at the market organizer’s table tomorrow and let us know!

Coffee Barn at the market

Featured Vendor: The Coffee Barn
Many caffeine lovers love the coffee that the Coffee Barn sells–by the cup or by the pound–at the Hollywood Farmers Market. The coffee is delicious, especially since the beans are imported from Costa Rica, and then roasted, packaged and sold, by Anna and Pablo, who are natives of Costa Rica.

Coffee Barns gets their coffee beans from The Coffee Cooperative, a group of 800 local coffee farmers based in the Dota Valley. You can see Pablo and Anna’s smiling faces at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, and try a free sample of the coffee yourself! For more information on the Coffee Barn’s products, go to http://thecoffeebarngourmet.com/. Try it once and you’ll come back for more!

Produce of the Week: Sweet potato and Spinach
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one medium sweet potato provides more than a day’s worth of vitamin A and 35 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. The nutritional value of this vegetable may not come as a surprise, but the proper way to store sweet potatoes might. USDA advises to store them in a cool, dry place, not in the refrigerator. You should use your sweet potatoes within two weeks of purchase. After the potatoes are cooked, you should store them in a tightly closed container (not made from metal!) in the refrigerator.

Sweet potatoes at the Hollywood Farmers Market

Sweet potatoes at the Hollywood Farmers Market

Like sweet potatoes, fresh spinach also is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It is particularly packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, and folate. To get the most from fresh spinach, here are a few tips: Do not wash spinach before storing as the exposure to water encourages spoilage. Place spinach in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the spinach, squeezing out as much of the air as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days.

This week’s Vendors

1. Christiane’s Knits and Gardens
2. Coffee Barn
3. Pleitez Farm
4. Legacy Manor
5. Green Sprouts
6. Calvert Farm
7. Morning Glory Farm
8. Ferguson Family Farm
9. Ozlem Crafts
10. Chic Expressions
11. Henna Art
12. Tuckey’s Mountain Grown
13. Caspari Farm
14. Eastern Delights
15. Heavenly Created Desserts

Recipe of the Week :
Roasted Sweet Potato Peppered Pecan Spinach Salad
[Source: Pallensmith food] Ingredients
Creole Mustard Vinaigrette
1 shallot
3 rounded tablespoons creole mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Peppered Pecans
vegetable oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 pound pecan halves
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Spinach Salad
8 cups baby spinach
1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions

Spinach Salad


Start by making the peppered pecans. Spray a large heavy roasting pan with cooking spray and set aside. Mix together black pepper, sugar & salt. In a separate bowl whisk the egg white until foamy, then add the Worcestershire Sauce. Drop in the pecans and stir to coat well. Pour coated pecans into a colander to drain off extra egg white mixture; return to the bowl and add the pepper mixture. Stir well to coat each pecan.
Spread pecans onto the prepared sheet pan. Roast in pre-heated 375 degree F oven for 5 minutes and stir pecans; roast an additional 5 minutes and stir again. Turn off heat and roast pecans an additional 5 to 10 minutes until pecans are lightly browned.
Remove the pecans from the oven and turn the heat up to 425 degrees F to get it ready for the sweet potatoes.
Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and spread over a large baking sheet. Roast 25 minutes until tender and a little caramelized.
While the sweet potatoes are roasting make the salad dressing. In a blender, add peeled shallot—pulse to chop. Add mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and sugar. With blender on medium speed, slowly add oil to emulsify.
Combine the spinach, sweet potatoes, 1 cup pecans and cranberries. Toss with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette and serve.


Hollywood Farmers Market is located at the Hollywood Shopping Center (near REI) on Saturdays from 8am to 12 noon. Email: Hollwoodmarketcp@gmail.com. Phone: (301) 659 – 6295 Like us on the FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodmarket
Copyright © 2013 Hollywood Farmers Market, All rights reserved. www.Hollywoodmarket.org

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Economic Development, Quality of Life and More..

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and thus the day when we’ll be having our November NCPCA meeting. Here is the list of items that we will discuss.

The meeting will start with an update on the recent economic development activities from City’s Economic Development Coordinator. P.G. Councilmember Lehman’s recent meeting will be also summarized. Councilmember-elect Alan Hew will discuss changes to the Monument Realty project and Jerk Pit.

Members will also get an update on the Quality of Life and Neighborhood Stabilization work group. The City Council has started to work on the group’s report. Councilmember Wojahn and NCPCA Treasurer Jackie Pearce-Garrett will summarize the report and likely implementation strategies proposed by the workgroup.

Members will also discuss some possible NCPCA Event in May, such as a flea market with tables, or some other open-air event at Duvall Field.

There will be also discussion on College Park Foundation and update of planning activities, development of Gateway Park, 9909 Baltimore Avenue and College Park Academy.

As usual, the meeting will start at 7.30 pm at Davis Hall. See you all there.

Neighborhood Watch – Easier Than You Think, Free Training Opportunities Available

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch

As you all know, despite the fact that city’s overall crime figures have gone down over the recent years, we still have a plenty of petty / small crimes , such as thefts from cars etc. Many of these kind of crimes can be easily avoided by keeping an “watchful eye” around our neighborhood. Being part of the Neighborhood Watch program helps us in reducing these kind of crimes in a more organized manner. The program is fun and is very inexpensive as it does not cost much of our tax dollars.

Honestly speaking, getting involved in the Neighborhood Watch program is a lot easier than we think! Most of us already do the basic duties that the program asks for.

Being part of the Neighborhood Watch program is more than fighting crime. It connects us with our neighbors on our blocks and brings them closer to us.

The City is offering FREE training opportunities this and next month. The training will prepare you to be a volunteer on your block. The City Public Safety Officer will be presenting Neighborhood Watch volunteer training on the following dates:

Nov. 14 7pm to 9:30 pm
Nov. 16 9am to 11:30 am
Dec. 5 7pm to 9:30 pm
Dec. 7 9am to 11:30 am

All at City Hall. Attendance of one date only required. This is also once in a lifetime requirement.

Block Captain training will be presented at a later date for those who have completed basic training and wish to serve as block captains.

Please call 240.487.3585 to reserve a place in one of these sessions. Please consider alternate dates in case your first choice is filled.

Reginald Orem Killed in Sunnyside Fire, Firefighters Distribute Fire Safety Tips

Fire Safety tips

Fire Safety tips

Yesterday afternoon, I was with the members of our local fire departments who conducted the Post Incident Neighborhood Intervention Program (PINIP) at Palco Place, where Sunday’s fatal fire happened. About 15 or more fire fire fighters went door to door on Palco Pl and surrounding streets checking smoke detectors inside houses and doing free installations as needed. Chief Bashoor and Marc Brady, along with members of media were there. They also distributed fire safety tip sheets and home escape plans to residents.

You can download the fire safety tip sheet and the fire escape plan from here and here respectively. Please take a moment to review them in order to have fire safety at our own home. Please let us know if you need help in testing smoke detectors at your own house. We can help in getting them tested.

On related matter, Marc Brady told us the investigators found no fire alarm in the house where the fatal fire occurred yesterday. He also disclosed the name of the deceased – 82 years old Reginald Orem. His wife Edith Orem is in serious but stable condition.

Yesterday’s knock and talk in Sunnyside with firefighters (Source: Fire Chief Bashoor)

In addition to installing smoke detectors, we should also have carbon monoxide detectors at our houses. I’ve recently come across a real life horror story of an entire family who narrowly escaped death by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The doctors told the family that had they stayed in the house for another two hours, they may have died. In another incident, a resident told me a carbon monoxide detector saved his tenants’ lives and alerted him about a bad boiler that he replaced.

North College Park Crime Stats: Nov 2-9, 2013

Please see below last week’s crime report. In the Lackawanna St. incident, the victim reported that an unknown suspect broke a rear glass window and entered the residence. The suspect then disconnected the drain pipe from a sink in the lower level bathroom. This caused no damage but was done in an attempt to be a nuisance. The residence at the time of this report was unoccupied. Also,  there was a B&E on Thursday night at the A-1 Pawn. Apparently, an officer on patrol came upon the incident while it was occurring. The perpetrator fled and police did a search but were unable to find him. He left behind a trash can full of items from the store that he was attempting to drag away.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.

[mappress mapid=”145″]

Stolen Vehicle

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[11/04/13]STLVEH10:2611:159300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD

Breaking and Entering Commercial

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[11/07/13]BREAKC02:0806:074900 Blk EDGEWOOD RD,

Breaking and Entering Residential

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[11/09/13]BREAKR16:2918:325100 Blk LACKAWANNA ST

 

 

Palco Place Fire Claims One Life

Fire at Palco place (Source: PGFD Chief)

A major fire broke out around 5 am this morning at a house on the 5200 block of Palco Place in the Sunnyside neighborhood. I was on the scene this morning and spoke with Mark Brady of the Prince George’s Police’s Public relation department. A few minutes ago, he told me that a male person was confirmed dead. The police is going to confirm the identity of the deceased after an autopsy is conducted. I’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

An 80-year-old woman in the home was able to get out of the house. She was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and was in serious condition as of Sunday morning. An elderly person is still missing from the house.

Nearly 100 firefighters were involved in the incident. The entire Palco Place and some major part of Paducah Rd. were blocked by fire trucks, and police vehicles.

I met with a couple of residents there and found them visibly shocked. The residents at the house moved there in early 60’s. Many of the neighbors around the house moved there around the same time.

I am still waiting to know the cause of this unfortunate fire incident, but the fire fighters told me they found excessive amount of materials (mostly documents in boxes) inside the house which  prevented them to move inside the house and operate there quickly. This is certainly a good lesson for us to take.

[mappress mapid=”144″] Here are a few pictures from the incident that I took this morning. Fire Cheif Marc Bashoor tweeted these pictures early in the morning. The Prince George’s Fire Department has posted a short clip of the  incident here.

November Events at the Community Library: Story Time, Movie Nights, ESOL and More..

College Park Community Library

College Park Community Library

Please see below the events at the College Park Community Library. The library will be closed on the following dates: Mon. Nov. 11th Veterans Day and Thurs. Nov. 28th Thanksgiving.

CPCL presents English as a Second Language
Classes will be held from Oct. 2nd  to Dec. 11th 2013 from 9:30 – 10:30.  Adult classes – children welcome – $10.00 materials fee.  It’s not too late to sign up for classes.  Contact: colparklib@gmail.com

Monday Night at the Movies
Nov. 18th – 7:00  Tapped – From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities that were the unwitting chips on the table.  A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public’s right to water.

Story Time
Wed. mornings 10:30-11:00
Ages 12 months and up – younger siblings
are always welcome!!!
SPECIAL THANKSGIVING STORY TIME ON NOV. 27th
If you plan on attending please RSVP colparklib@gmail  Elaine
would like to have enough craft materials on hand for all children.

Book Group Discussion
The groups meets on the 4th Tues. of each month but due to the up coming holiday’s dates have changed!
Our book selection through Jan. 2014.
Nov. 19th – “A Week in Winter” by Maeve Binchy
Jan. 28th – “Maine” by Courtney Sullivan
Join the group for a lively discussion and meet new friends.

Drop In Story Time
Tues. and Thurs. from 1:00 – 4:00
All ages!

Junior Reader’s Club
An after school program where children of all age
can improve their reading skills by reading to
younger children during our drop in Story Time on
Tuesday afternoons from 2:00-4:00.

Tomorrow at the Market: Enjoy Fresh Food and Donate to the Food Bank

Please see below this week’s Hollywood Farmers Market Newsletter. See you all tomorrow

HFM_Banner

Roy and Arti Caspari at HFM

Roy and Arti Caspari at HFM

Featured Vendor: Caspari Farm
Every Saturday morning, you’ll see many people head directly to Roy Caspari’s tent to purchase home-made, ready-to-eat veggie fritters, egg rolls, mango iced tea, and a wide range of smoothies (like avocado, cucumber and others). He also sells fresh-picked and cleaned lettuce by the bowl, ready for a delicious salad.

Caspari, a native of Indonesia, and his wife Aarti call their business Eastern Delights, and it’s obvious from the smiles on their faces that they are delighted to meet their neighbors and to be at the market. Their customers also are delighted by the delicious food they can purchase and eat at one of the nearby picnic tables or take in a to-go box.

Donate food for the College Park Food Bank!

Please come this Saturday and donate to the College Park Food Bank

As we approach the holiday season, the federal government is cutting food stamps, and we are likely to see more families in need this year than ever before. The Hollywood Farmer’s Market is holding a food drive to benefit the College Park Food Bank, which provides baskets of food to over 100 needy families every month through its distribution at the Church of the Nazarene on Rhode Island Ave. (www.collegeparkfoodbank.com/) Please bring non-perishable food items to the market this week and deposit in the box provided. The Food Bank especially needs peanut butter, canned fish, pasta sauce, soup, canned fruit, and canned veggies. Please donate to help your neighbors in need!!

Produce of the Week: Pumpkins

Pumpkins at the Hollywood Farmers Market

Fall and winter are the harvesting seasons for this tasty fruit, picked from a trailing vine, another good reason why pumpkin is a popular vegetable for Thanksgiving. Pumpkins are available in all shapes, colors and sizes, from the miniature to the gigantic sweet sugar pumpkin, which can weigh in at as much as 100 pounds. The pumpkin is a member of the gourd family, which also includes muskmelon, watermelon and squash. Its orange flesh has a mild, sweet flavor which is used in side dishes and in many desserts, according to Rootine’s list of side effects pumpkins are a tasty source of vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. It also helps prevent arterosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which can lead to strokes and/or heart attacks.

This week’s Vendors

1. Uptown Bakers
2. SunSplash Farm
3. Pleitez Farm
4. Legacy Manor
5. Green Sprouts
6. Calvert Farm
7. Morning Glory Farm
8. Ferguson Family Farm
9. Ozlem Crafts
10. Chic Expressions
11. Henna Art
12. Tuckey’s Mountain Grown
13. Caspari Farm
14. Eastern Delights
15. Coffee Barn
16. Christiane’s Knits and Gardens

Recipe of the Week :
Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons butter
Directions

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.


Hollywood Farmers Market is located at the Hollywood Shopping Center (near REI) on Saturdays from 8am to 12 noon. Email: Hollwoodmarketcp@gmail.com. Phone: (301) 659 – 6295 Like us on the FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodmarket
Copyright © 2013 Hollywood Farmers Market, All rights reserved. www.Hollywoodmarket.org

Upcoming Leaf Collection Schedule

Leaf Season

Leaf Season

Leaf Collection began this week (on November 4, 2013, precisely) and will run through the beginning of January 2014.

Here is the tentative schedule for the month of November. The dates in red and the green boxes are west and east of Rhode Island avenue respectively.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

November  2013 Leaf Collection Schedule

November 2013 Leaf Collection Schedule

Thank You All, I’m Humbled

Vote Count, 2013 College Park election

Vote Count, College Park election 2013

According to the un-official results of yesterday’s election, Council member Wojahn and I got reelected to District 1 (Kabir: 472, Wojahn: 443, Mellman: 125). Please check this Gazette article to find the complete results of all other races. Our election officials will count around 12 absentee ballots this morning, when we expect to see the official result.

I want to thank you all for giving me the opportunity to serve you for another two years in our district. I am really humbled to see so many of you putting your trust in me as your representative on the City Council for the next term. It means a lot to me.

I also want to thank and congratulate Council member Wojahn and Ben Mellman for running a spirited campaign.

I am also very excited to have the opportunity to work on some great projects on in the next two years. We all hope to see some real changes on Route 1’s look with this development. These include: the Gateway Park, the 9909 Baltimore Avenue (aka the Spooky House), Metropolitan Development (at Cherokee), Monument Development (at Delaware), and the Route 1 sidewalk retrofit project.

Our Hollywood Farmers Market helped revitalize the south side of Hollywood commercial district, but we will continue to work on revitalizing the northern part using the tenant improvement program and by the Rhode Island Avenue streetscape program.

Although crime in the city has gone down to a 7 year low recently, we cannot rest on the improvement of public safety in our area. I will work with the Neighborhood Watch leadership and Council member Wojahn to strengthen the Neighborhood Watch program. I really want to see a block captain taking leadership on each block of our streets. With your help, I think that is entirely possible in reaching that goal.

Like in my previous term, I will continue to work with Council member Wojahn to serve you all in our district. When it comes to the constituent services, the interest of our individual residents comes first and we’ll both work as a team.

Please note, no matter how you voted yesterday, I will remain at your service. So, please feel free to let me know in any way I can be of your help.  I really enjoyed helping you all in getting things done and addressing your concerns. I will continue to do so in my next term.

Thanks again for your kind support.

Vote College Park!

Every vote counts!

Every vote counts!

Today is the election day, when College Park residents will get the chance to choose their next representatives.

This year Council seats in District 1 and 3 will be contested. I am, particularly excited to see a 3-way race in our district, keeping the tradition of contested race for many years. Please come out in number and show that you care about today’s election.

As usual, residents of District 1 and 4 will voting at Davis Hall (9217 51st Ave, MD 20740). Please see the map below. For the first time, polling centers will be open from 7 am (instead of 11 am in the previous years). at the Council, we changed the time, so that we can have a larger citizens’ participation. Voting will close at 8 pm. Then the vote counts will start at the City Hall in the Council chamber.

I will be outside of Davis Hall for most of the day. I hope to see you all there!

[mappress mapid=”143″]

Council to Discuss Monument Realty Development in North College Park

Monument Village Complex - East  elevation facing Route 1

Monument Village Complex – East elevation facing Route 1

Monument site on Route 1

Monument site on Route 1

[mappress mapid=”142″]

Tomorrow is our election day, so we’ll be having this week’s Council worksession on Wednesday. One of the major discussion we’ll be having is about the Monument development located at 9122-9128 Baltimore Avenue.

Several years after prior development efforts failed to materialize, this mixed-use project is moving ahead with a new developer, Monument Realty, and a modified plan. The 3.78-acre site was originally designed to include 200 apartments and 25,000 SF of retail, while the amended plan shows 235 apartments and a reduced retail component with only 4,800 SF along Route 1.

The staff is recommending supporting an amended DSP for the site and withdrawing the city’s request for a public hearing subject to the following:

1. Prior to DSP certification, the plans should be revised to:
a. Eliminate the lay-by lane on Route 1 and continue the streetscape along the property frontage.
b. Provide a gate for the loading space on the north side ofthe building and screen from public view.
c. Show brick veneer on the concrete panels of the garage in lieu of a green screen.
d. Substitute brick veneer for cementitious panels on the west side building elevation north of the parking garage.
e. Show up to two parking spaces reserved for a car-share program such as Zip Cars or Car-to-Go.
f. Show landscaping and fence details for the western property along Autoville Drive as agreed to by Autoville residents.
2. Prior to building permit, provide a payment to the City of College Park in the amount of $75,000 for the Project Feasibility Study for US 1 from College Avenue to MD 193 being conducted by the Maryland State Highway Administration.
3. Prior to building permit, provide a payment to the City of College Park in the amount of (to be determined) for improvements to the Route 1 Shuttle service or
for implementation of the Capital Bikeshare Program.
4. The applicant shall enter into a Declaration of Covenants and Agreement with the City of College Park.

Read more »

North College Park Crime Stats: Oct 27 – Nov 1, 2013

Please see below last week’s crime report and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

[mappress mapid=”141″] Theft

Event

From

To

Location

[10/30/13]06:3907:334900 Blk EDGEWOOD RD,
[10/30/13]20:4221:34IKEA, 10100 BALTIMORE AVE
[10/30/13]21:0722:319100 Blk BRIDGEWATER ST,

 

Theft From Auto

Event

From

To

Location

[11/01/13]17:2818:24BEST BUY 4710 CherryHill Rd

Council to Discuss the Maryland “Bottle Bill”

The bottle bill may reduce recyclable trash in our water stream

MaryPIRG, a Maryland environmental advocacy group will come to next week’s Council worksession to present the proposed “Bottle Bill”, which will be before Maryland State legislature soon.

Under the proposal, consumers would pay a 5-cent deposit on every disposable beverage container (glass, aluminum, or plastic), which they would collect when they returned the can or bottle to a “reclamation center” in the community. You can find more about the bill here in this Washington Post article.

Opponents of the bill argue that the bill may open up some unintended consequences that ultimately leads to a more expensive and more complicated recycling system for Maryland. Please check here to see these arguments.

The Mayor and  Council may send a letter in support of the bill or take no positions.