Note: The Hill Rag published an article Jan. 14 about this meeting. See that here. ANC 6B also held a Jan. 25 Special Call meeting re: the liquor license application for As You Are Bar (500 Eighth St. SE). See the report on that meeting here.
ANC 6B Supports Additional MPD Funding in Acrimonious Meeting
At their Jan. 11th meeting, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B supported a letter requesting additional funding for Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) by a vote of 6-4. However, the discussion preceding the vote was not without acrimony.
The letter, addressed to Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and DC Council, was written by Commissioners Jennifer Samolyk (6B01) and Denise Krepp (6B10). It requests additional funding for MPD to hire and train additional officers, citing an increase in violent crime.
As the meeting began, Chair Brian Ready (6B03) asked if consideration of the letter could be delayed for month to allow commissioners to read it thoroughly. Krepp objected, citing recent incidents, including three murders over eleven days in October 2021, a brick attack on a father and young child just before Christmas and a shoot-out on 11th Street SE, saying additional police resources were needed now.
Corey Holman (6B06) spoke against including the letter, which had been circulated just prior to the meeting, on procedural grounds. The discussion on whether to include the letter on the agenda led to name-calling and criticism of officer candidacies in the election of new ANC 6B officers, which took place at the end of the meeting.
Despite the initial rhetoric, there was little discussion about the letter or about funding for the police generally when the item came up on the agenda, other than to modify its language.
Steve Holtzman (6B05) pushed to include a reference to the shooting that took place hours before the meeting on 11th Street. He also asked that it stress the importance of community policing.
Gerald Sroufe (6B02) said he voted yes despite not being “fond” of the letter or the acrimony around it. “I think it will make us feel better. I don’t think it will add any impact,” he said. “But I do recognize the sentiment that generated the letter, and I’m going to be supporting that.”
Allen on ANC Redistricting
Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) appeared to discuss the next phase of redistricting. He noted that Ward 6 changed dramatically during the decennial process, during which electoral boundaries were redrawn according to census data. Hill East east of 15th Street is now part of Ward 7; much of Navy Yard is now part of Ward 8.
But more change is coming: ANC redistricting will take place from January through March, Allen said.
The process must be complete by Mar. 31 so recommendations for new ANC boundaries can be sent to the DC Council Subcommittee on Redistricting, and then to DC Council for two votes in April.
If it seems like a tight timeline, it is: the DC Board of Elections (DCBOE) must update all maps and materials in time for candidates to collect materials in advance of the June 2022 primary election.
Each ward creates a task force to think about what future ANCs and each of their Single Member Districts (SMDs), the area represented by each individual commissioner, will look like.
There are currently about 40 commissions with nearly 300 single-member districts represented by a commissioner. Each commissioner should represent about 2,000 voters.
Allen said the Ward 6 task force will not include sitting commissioners. Members must also commit to not run as an ANC commissioner in the November 2022 election.
An ANC that spans two wards, including neighborhoods in both Wards 6 and 7 or 6 and 8, is not off the table, Allen said. However, he cautioned that both ward representatives as well as multiple stakeholders would have to be on board.
ANCs can also make official recommendations for ANC and SMD boundaries. Allen said that ANCs might best make formal recommendations during their March meeting but still have time to comment at their April meetings, after the task force completes its work.
Task force members are expected to be named the week of Jan. 17. The schedule for meetings were not set at the time of publication, but dates will be shared widely with the public.
Opposition to Tenth Street Addition Blocking Windows
Neighbors living in units on the south side of an apartment building at 747 10th St. SE appeared with the owner to oppose a two-story and carriage house addition to a two-story house next door at 751 Tenth St. SE.
At a previous meeting, residents and owners of the apartment building had argued there was an adverse impact on light on the south-facing window wells, noting the window columns were designed to bring in light and air flow. The residents also noted that their window columns had been used for emergency egress across the property line since the building was built in 1912.
When it was constructed, the owner of 747 Tenth Street also owned the lot where 751 Tenth St. SE is located. The apartment building is built just over the current property line. At the Jan. 11 meeting, architect Jennifer Fowler said that issues of apartment building egress are already present in the multi-unit apartment building since legally egress must be onto the same property.
Fowler said plans for the second-floor addition at 751 St. SE were lowered by two feet to bring it in line with neighboring buildings. The addition also creates niches along the apartment building where windows are located, to allow for columns of light.
At the Jan. 11 meeting, Robert McCulloch and Margaret McCulloch, the owners of the apartment building, said that their legal representative had cautioned that the addition to the neighboring building might force them to board-up windows for reasons related to fire code. Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg said until that was substantiated it could not be the basis of her decision.
The commission supported the application by a 9-1 vote.
Gottleib Simon Honored
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 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. “Gottlieb Simon has engaged and supported every aspect of ANC6B’s work and has responded to every issue raised,” it reads. “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 a moment earlier in his career when he testified before District Council. The committee chair thanked him for his service, unusual, he said, at the time. “I thought it was strange, because after all, I got paid and I was doing my job,” he said.
Simon offered advice to the commission as he accepted the award. He said that over time, he has become concerned that “the stick” has been over-emphasized as a way to direct District agencies.
“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 on behalf “of all the other worthy District employees who have yet to be recognized.”
Simon stepped down from the Office of ANCs in October 2021.
New Executive Elected
Simon chaired the election of new officers. ANC 6B’s new executive officially took office at the end of the Jan. 11 meeting. Newly-elected are Chair Corey Holman (6B06), Vice-Chair Alison Horn (6B09); Peter Wright (6B08), Parliamentarian; Edward Ryder (6B07), Treasurer; and Gerald Sroufe (6B04), who was re-elected as Secretary.
ANC 6B will hold the next meeting of the full commission virtually at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Get up to date information on meetings at anc6b.org