Gottleib Simon was the first recipient of the ANC6B Distinguished Public Service Award.
Created by a vote at the Oct. 13 2020 meeting of the ANC, the award acknowledges the outstanding contribution by a DC public servant in furthering the work of the commission and its individual commissioners.
The certificate cited Simon’s 36 years as Director of the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (Office of ANCs).
On Oct. 1, 2021 Councilmember Robert C. White, Jr. (D-At-Large), Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and Facilities, sent a letter announcing the sudden resignation of Gottleib Simon from the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (Office of ANCs). No explanation was provided. Four days later, former chief of staff to former Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans Schannette Grant was appointed Interim Executive Director.
“Gottlieb Simon has engaged and supported every aspect of ANC6B’s work and has responded to every issue raised,” reads the award citation. “His work in providing orientation meetings for every newly elected Commissioner, in organizing training and skill building programs to address emerging issues confronting Commissions, and in providing the wise counsel necessary for resolving complicated and ambiguous governance issues, has been instrumental to the success of the ANC6B.”
In accepting the award, Simon said that he felt conflicted. He said it reminded him of earlier in his career when he testified before council and the committee chair thanked him for his service –unusual, Simon said, at the time.
“I thought it was strange, because after all, I got paid and I was doing my job,” he said.
Simon added that in the decades since then, he has become concerned that the stick has been over-emphasized as a way to direct District agencies, referencing concerns expressed by ANCs.
“I do believe that putting some emphasis on the carrot, putting some emphasis on identifying the behavior that commissions want is an important thing to be done,” Simon said, “and not simply relying on negativity to try to generate some constructive outcome.”
He thanked the commission for the recognition on behalf of not only himself but also on behalf “of all the other worthy District employees who have yet to be recognized.”