----- Original Message -----From: Gene SolonCc: Gene SolonSent: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 4:50 PMSubject: ANC 6D PRESENTATION, MAJOR VICTORY
GENE SOLON’S PRESENTATION AT THE ANC 6D MEETING OF MAY 8, 2006
1. On April 17th, Emancipation Day, I attended a meeting of ANC 6D’s committee on development. I was greatly impressed by the dedication and thoughtfulness of the
committee members present – they methodically arrived at wise decisions, not only about recently proposed development projects, but also on committee philosophy and perspective. They pledged to work with others to help try to ease the impact of the widening gap between rich and non-rich in our capital city by providing an adequate supply of truly affordable housing here. They agreed that even when developers ask ANC 6D for favors on harmless items (like certain rooftop structures), ANC’s should say “No” (to endorsing a waiver of enforcement of existing law, e.g.) until the developers agree, in return, to provide affordable housing or other real, tangible benefits to the Southwest/Southeast community! ANC’s don’t owe developers – just because they are developers – anything. ANC’s should refuse to endorse all proposed packages that don’t offer real benefit to D. C. communities. ANC’s should work, hard, for all types of emancipation, including economic emancipation.
2. Although, at the last meeting, chairperson Litsky refused to let me make a suggestion in public to a police officer, I did, in private, suggest to the officer that an additional
crime category be included in police reports here, i.e., non-theft vandalizing of parked cars (“keying,” denting, etc.). The officer seemed receptive to my idea.
3. Former ANC 6D commissioner Hargrave and I met recently to exchange information and to reflect upon recent ANC 6D meetings procedures and upon the minutes of those meetings. For many years, Mr. Hargrave and I have been advocates for greater professionalism in Southwest/Southeast community organizations, for more involvement of those organizations’ constituents, and for more accurate descriptions of those
organizations’ activities to an ever-wider audience. In a continuing effort toward that end, I once again advocate the following:
(a) On minutes: At the March meeting, chairperson Litsky uttered a loud “No” when I asked whether non-commissioners could suggest corrections to internet-posted draft minutes. I urge that all other ANC 6D commissioners, as a matter of course, overrule Mr. Litsky and accept corrections – from those who review web-posted minutes, from those making formal presentations (like the one I’m making now), and from those asking to be recognized just before votes on minutes take place. Further, Mr. Hargrave, Commissioner Skolnik and I agree that minutes should contain context “flesh” as well as bare-bones vote counts – and do not agree with Commissioner Sobelsohn’s recent regressive advocacy that “flesh” be removed. Further, Mr. Skolnik and I recall that, at the March meeting, there was an actual vote to refrain from honoring Ms. Maceda’s request to officially oppose the closing of the Van Ness School before school system officials could appear here. I urge that the minutes be amended so as to finally record that vote.
(b) On rules: When Mr. Hargrave was commissioner here, he was instrumental in getting ANC 6D to adopt a rule its website now boasts of, a rule that “provides for citizen comment whenever a motion has been made.” ANC 6D commissioners should overrule chairperson Litsky each time he finds an excuse to disobey that rule in connection with any upcoming vote – whether on minutes, on referral to committee, or on any topic. ANC’s must be run in a manner fair to all, and in accordance with rule and law – not according to self-centered whim! Thank you.
Afterword: Despite initial equivocation and contortion by ANC 6D commissioners Litsky, Moffatt and Sobelsohn, a major, sweeping victory of reason and ethics was achieved at the May 8th meeting at which I made the above formal presentation. The commissioners, except for Sobelsohn, said a straightforward “No” to a developer who wanted a favor (an endorsement of a waiver of existing law) but who refused to provide, in return for the favor, affordable housing units or any other specific, direct, tangible benefit to our community – and ANC 6D went on record as opposing any development package (PUD or not) proposed by any developer who does not agree to provide specific, neighborhood-oriented benefit!
Also, Secretary Moffatt’s spun, cover-up, sparse minutes were severely criticized not only by me, but by his fellow commissioners as well.