This is what dysfunction looks like: Notes from ANC 4C October meeting

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When I attend an ANC meeting and write up my notes, I try to be objective and capture what I can from the night. As this is my blog, I might throw some opinion in here or there, add a useful link or two and offer photos of those who spoke so readers can get a clearer idea of the meeting. After all, if you live in the ANC, you should care about what happens. 

I’ve been watching ANC 4C slowly deteriorate over the past 10 months under the chairmanship of Vann-Di Galloway. Wednesday night was just a culmination of all the problems hitting at once.

After Wednesday night’s awful example of dysfunction, immaturity, unprofessional behavior and what appeared to be efforts to bias residents, being objective is hard — but I’m going to give you my impressions of the night as an impartial audience member who had a camera and took notes. As always, these notes and any quotes are my recollection and are not a transcript — except one quote in particular. That one I made sure I got verbatim. As you read the notes, just imagine that commissioners are being rude to each other, speak in angry and in some cases, very nasty tones, and that the vibe in the room was incredibly tense and inappropriate. It's long, but if you care about Petworth and the ANC, they're worth reading.

Two words sum up last night: Tall kindergarten. 

Here’s a quick overview of the debacle:

Commissioner Taalib-Din Uqdah got angry and said some things I hope he regrets. Newly arrived Commissioner Maria Barry got the rug pulled out from under her for no reason. Commissioner Jones was his typical contrarian self and did nothing to help. Commissioners Martin, Teutsch, Crowley and Hayworth kept their heads up but didn’t do enough to stand up to the bullying and inappropriate behavior. And Chair Vann-Di Galloway’s behavior was more appalling than usual. 

 

Maria Barry

Maria Barry

The evening started with the introduction of Maria Barry, the new commissioner for SMD 4C02 (she’s replacing Joe Maloney). I’ve only met Ms. Barry briefly, but she seems quite nice. I’ve asked her to do a “Better Know a Commissioner!” interview. (Hopefully she’ll come back for November’s meeting.) 

After the commission fixed a typo in the September minutes, Commissioner Teutsch requested to remove an item from the agenda regarding a variance request from the developers of 3701 14th Street. Teutsch said the developer asked for the delay late that day as they weren’t prepared, so far as he knew. Commissioner Uqdah got pretty upset (vocally angry) that the developers asked to delay their attendance. He felt the commission (and himself as Secretary) put in a lot of work to prepare for the variance requests, and that the developer’s delay was unnecessary. He directed his anger at Teutsch for not telling the commission sooner (Teutsch only found out that day, according to a listserv email he sent about the withdrawal).

Commissioner Irwin also got upset, and asked, “When are we going to be allowed to ask them questions? I have questions for the developer and their attorney!” She asked to keep the item on the agenda so the commission can create a list of questions. Everyone agreed (this item was ultimately skipped due to the fracas later in the meeting).

Then Commissioner Crowley presented the Treasurers report ($10,646.38 checking, $16,745.22 savings). Basically, ANC 4C is still flush with cash. You should really form an organization and request a grant. 

Treasurer Kathleen Crowley, Chair Vann-Di Galloway and Vice Chair Zach Teutsch

Commissioner Irwin asked a question I’ve been wondering about for both ANC 4C and 4D: what’s with the banking fees the Commissions are paying at Industrial Bank (it’s about $15 a month)? Irwin asked, “Can we find a new bank, negotiate better fees? That could be a grant or something!” Commissioner Crowley said “We have enough money in the checking account, but I think it’s because it's a business account.” She went on to say that there may be other options, but is not sure if there's an ANC issue with the type of account required, but said she did know it can't be a personal account. Commissioner Irwin asked if she could look into it, and Crowley agreed.

Khalil Thompson from the Mayor’s office spoke briefly about the Mayor’s recent campaigns, including FitDC and that the Mayor is still looking for signatures for her “Pledge to End Homelessness.”

Ward 4 Liaison Khalil Thompson

Commissioner Teutsch asked Mr. Thompson about car accidents on Taylor and Upshur between 13th and 14th. “There was another report on another car sideswiped on Taylor,” Teutsch said. “Are there any updates on traffic calming measures?” Mr. Thompson said they are trying to change the classification about Upshur and Taylor, but are waiting for DGS to finish the modernizations to determine best next steps. 

Commissioner Uqdah mentioned that he had sent notice to the Mayor and cabinet with a proposal to reopen Roosevelt by January 2016 and a proposal to advise ANC commissions as a complete body when modernizations are done, and completed, on any school. DGS and the city is required to respond in 10 days, answer in 60, but no answer has been given yet. (Uqdah did ultimately send a certified letter to force a response, but has still yet to get an official response.) Mr. Thompson said he would look into it.

Chair Galloway mentioned that next month’s meeting is being moved back one day to Tuesday, November 10th, as Wednesday the 11th is Veteran's Day.

MPD/EMS - no show again.

Then the community comment period started.

Meghan Kanagy discussing 16th Street bus line

Meghan Kanagy from DDOT got up to briefly discuss changes that DDOT is looking to make to the 16th Street bus lines, why they bunch up, how to make them better, and is looking for resident feedback. They’re looking from Arkansas Ave down to H Street.

Alexandra King from ServeDC

Alexandra King from ServeDC got up to talk about the Snowteam. This is a great program. It uses volunteers to shovel the sidewalks of elderly and disabled who are unable to do so. When someone needs help to clear their walkways within the 48-hour time required, they can call the agency and a volunteer is sent out to help. Ms. King pointed out that high school students get community service credit. For more, visit serve.dc.gov.

Justin Logan discussing Ruta del Vino

Justin Logan from Ruta del Vino got up just to introduce himself. He and his wife have signed a lease for 800 Upshur Street, to open a Latin-inspired wine bar (and replacing the Riyad inconvenience store). No ABRA application yet. Has my full support!

Ray Bridgewater

Ray Bridgewater spoke about two health fairs coming up on Thursday, October 22nd from 10 am to 2 pm at People's Congregational Church (4704 13th St NW). They’re doing a “Pamper You” day as well as a “Senior Day” and looking for donations for food. (You can see more on the Greater Grant Circle listserv). 

Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson, who said she was filling in for someone else, got up to ask for support for a local public financing bill coming up in the DC Council. The bill urges the Council to support a small donor campaign-financing program that matches small contributions with public funds to candidates that forgo private contributions. She said it makes the voice and vote of the people matter. An event will be coming up at Petworth Citizen — however, with respect to Ms. Johnson, she was really unclear what she was asking for from the Commission. Commissioner Irwin wanted to know what her group wanted, “After all, she said she is here to ask for our support,” but was sternly told by Galloway that no questions are allowed during the community comment period. (That’s a new one on me, as I’ve seen commissioners ask questions at every meeting.)

The hardest working volunteer on Georgia Avenue, Mr. Dorcett

Mr. Dorcett got up to speak and ask for help from the ANC. Every morning he goes out and cleans the park at Georgia and Upshur on his own. “Now the leaves are coming down, and for the last three years I’ve cleaned up the leaves, used my own blower and hired kids to help.” He’s looking to have the city or the ANC step in and help. (No response from the ANC - not allowed to respond?) He also raised the issue of the lack of a crossing guard at Georgia / Kansas Avenues. He said he considers it a safety issue, and see’s kids and families crossing in the mornings and afternoon in a lot of traffic. (Mr. Dorcett deserves recognition — and help — for the work he does keeping that small park and bus stop clean.)

George Brown

George Brown came up to express his concern about contractors with trash bins taking up parking spots, putting trash in tree boxes and leaving nails in the street. “My neighbor has had to replace a tire three times,” he said. “What can we do about them?” Galloway said “We can be vigilant and report to 311 if you see them dumping. They can be cited by MPD or DCRA.” Mr. Brown said they've had no success reporting this to the city. Wants help doing something about it. Commissioner Martin said he would reach out to Mr. Brown.

Another resident, Brad, spoke about his concern about the litter problem in the neighborhood. He said he sees all sorts of things when he walks his dog. “What’s the solution?” he asked. “Can the ANC do a public awareness campaign, maybe get more garbage cans?” He suggested the ANC talk to school principals and see about a campaign educating students about littering, as he often sees Capri Suns and other things from kids. (This was the topic of a recent guest blog post, Clean to the Curb.)

I got up to speak about ANC Grant Ideas. Big thanks to Loren DeJonge Schulman for her leadership and help on this issue. I presented the ANC with all the resident suggestions, along with each resident’s name, contact info and their SMD. I also presented a well-written outline of suggestions put together by Loren. Got zero response from the ANC though. 

Then we come to the first presentation of the evening. DGS was supposed to discuss the parking lot at Roosevelt High School and their request for two variances. Turns out, DGS didn’t show up. 

Commissioner Uqdah got very angry that DGS did not show up, as he had prepared for the meeting. He said DGS has already done the work that they were coming before the ANC for a special exception (enclosing an HVAC and paving a small parking lot).  

Commissioner Irwin got irate and said she wants to move forward with the votes in any case, and oppose any special exception because of DGS’ actions. Commissioner Uqdah agreed, and made a motion to deny DGS the variance to create a new parking lot with seven spots as well as the mechanical structure set back relief, due to their non-attendance. The vote failed with five against on both issues.

Uqdah then requested that he be appointed to attend a special exception hearing at BZA if it comes up before ANC 4C’s November meeting. Resident Carol Herwig spoke up to tell the commission that the DGS isn’t scheduled to appear (benefit of having an iPad and Internet connection at the meeting), so negating the need to delegate Uqdah to represent. Commissioner Teutsch made a motion to send a letter to BZA indicating ANC 4C’s great displeasure with DGS for lack of responses. Approved with 8 yays and one abstention (Commissioner Hayworth arrived late, and so abstained).

As turbulent and angry as the preceding hour had been, when the developer of 3701 New Hampshire Avenue got up to present on the new apartment building, commissioner behavior went downhill, quick. The attitude of several of the commissioners was very confrontational and aggressive. It was like watching angry people yell without anyone knowing why, exactly, they were angry.

Jeff Utz, Jeff Goins and Lex Lefebvre

Jeff Goins, architect from PGN Architects, got up to present the plans for the new building and to show why they were asking for both a parking variance and a lot occupancy variance. He showed how, according to the plans, they can’t physically provide enough parking on the corner lot. They could potentially provide two parking spots in a below ground area, but would remove the retail space.

Lex Lefebvre from Rooney Properties said that the city’s Georgia Avenue Overlay specifically calls for large buildings along the heavily traveled street to encourage a vibrant streetscape and retail, which is critical. He added that by city code they had to offer two units for affordable housing, and they are providing a third unit as well. “We feel we’re going above and beyond to provide ADUs.” (ADU is an affordable dwelling unit.)  

Commissioner Jones, in whose SMD this building resides, said that he found the transportation assessment created by Wells & Associates to be “disingenuous” as it didn’t include demographics data in the recent Petworth parking study. He said the building would put pressure on existing on-street parking. Jami Milanovich, from Wells, said they didn’t do the Petworth parking study, DDOT did, and that they are required to include and discuss any studies done in the area when doing their own study, and that’s why the problematic study was included in their report. She that the DDOT study was not the basis of their analysis.

Commissioner Timothy Jones

Commissioner Teutsch asked about the plans for retail in the building. “People are interested in retail options that don't replicate existing options,” and said, “nobody wants another 7-Eleven.” He asked what are the plans for embracing local businesses for that space. He added that he believes the building will cause some parking stress for the area “It would be appropriate to identify how to make the community whole for that kind of stress, how to benefit the neighbors,” he said.

Vice Chair Zach Teutsch (Galloway on the left, Commissioner Joe Martin on the right)

Mr. Lefebvre responded that, regarding retail, “We are not going to do a convenience store, I promise you that. It will likely be a food use, casual or sit down restaurant, we’re not sure yet.” He went on to say for parking, they were fortunate that there are lots of transportation options immediately surrounding the building, including seven bus stops, Capital Bike Share and the Metro. He said that Rooney Properties is looking for ways to encourage tenants to use those services instead of bringing a car. 

He said they planned on providing new residents for the first three years with SmarTrip cards, a bike share membership and car share membership. They were also including space for bicycle maintenance and storage. The lobby of the building will offer a transit screen in the lobby that shows the number of bikes available and a real-time metro train schedule. He added that even with all that, there is the potential for people to still want to own a car. He said that they were actively looking for off-street, off-site parking options for residents. They inventoried nearby surplus parking that are willing to lease to Rooney, and so will provide free parking for those residents also for the first three years.

Commissioner Irwin asked about the lot occupancy change being requested. “It’s a 16% change on lot occupancy, right? I know that the building must be considered exceptional by the Zoning Board. Is this permissible?” she asked the developer. “If BZA doesn't approve the variance,” she asked. “What will you build instead?” 

Jeff Utz, the attorney for the developer, said the footprint of the current building takes up the full lot, while their proposed building will take up less space and create a nice urban plaza out front. He also referenced the Georgia Avenue Overlay that specifically calls for large buildings on GA Ave that take up the full footprint. That said, if they can't do the variance, they’d need to decrease the ceiling heights of the other floors and add an additional floor on top. Right now, he said, they're happy to be six feet below the height limit as they think the proposed height fits within the architecture of the area. 

Commissioner Irwin asked, “Why not go lower? Why do you have to go higher?” Commissioners looked at her and she said, “I don’t know, I don’t see why they can’t go smaller.” (Note that size of the apartment building doesn’t change the parking requirements. She could have asked why not make the building something other than residential — like staying a restaurant — which might alleviate some of the parking concerns.) 

Commissioner Joe Martin

Commissioner Martin then asked about the surplus parking. “How much surplus exists in the other buildings and what is charged?” Ms. Milanovich looked up the information and said that the Swift apartments (above Safeway) have 70 spots leased of their available 158 spots. Park Place 138 of their 181 spots leases, and 3 Trees 115 of their 130 leased. Mr. Lefebvre added that spots generally go for $175-200 a month. 

Commissioner Galloway said, “They have available spots because tenants park on the street because it's cheaper than paying $200!” (This is an oft-repeated anecdote he makes and may be true, but it’s unsubstantiated.) Galloway then admonished the crowd that Petworth is becoming more like Adams Morgan and U Street, and people need to be concerned. 

Commissioner Uqdah stood up and said he was concerned that 21-units doesn't mean 21 residents. He said the increase in density, joining 10 other like-kind properties in a three-block radius, was problematic. He said other buildings have vacancies for retail, “Park Place is a disaster, there are nine retail spaces empty! Did Sweet Mango get first right of refusal?”

Mr. Lefebvre responded, “I think there has been some misunderstandings. Sweet Mango was out of business before we bought the building.” (Meaning they’re not entitled to a first right of refusal). “We now have another restaurant currently in the space (3701 Jerk Station), as well as CookieWear Clothing in a space for one year.” He added that the issues with Park Place are due to problems with the owners, not inability to lease.

(Side note: I’ve heard this exact same reason from a real estate consultant when I asked why the retail in Park Place was empty. Apparently it has to do with internal fighting between the prior owner, Canyon Johnson, and the developer. The building was sold this year, opening up the retail spaces.) 

Commissioner Uqdah fired back that metro ridership is down and that might affect the building. He did concede that the lot is odd shaped, so it meets the test for a lot occupancy variance. Then he asked about trash pickup.

Mr. Lefebvre said that unlike Sweet Mango, which had issues with trash, the new building will offer a specific inside location for the dumpsters. Trash will go inside the building and then out to a loading entrance at the same spot as current. Otherwise trash will be enclosed.

Chuck Brown mural artist Charles Jean Pierre

Commissioner Uqdah then asked, “What about the mural?” Mr. Lefebvre said, “The mural is distinctive. It was made in 2012,” and he mentioned that the original artist, Charles Jean Pierre, was at the meeting and could talk about it. He said their current plan was to put the mural up on the north face of the building, making it visible from both New Hampshire Avenue and Rock Creek Church road. The larger space means the mural itself can be larger.

Commissioner Uqdah, still being confrontational in his approach, said, “I read the report you provided, and it was very well put together. But I have a concern that your argument is weakened with the emphasis placed on the economic viability and expenses, the difficulty to construct floor plans — all that speaks to Irwin's question about what else could be built there. These are things that as a member of community, I would have a balance and would consider impact to the community.” Economic viability isn't a reason to accept their request, Uqdah added. 

Mr. Utz nodded and said that the economic viability and expenses information is included based on case law, and that the zoning board specifically asks for financial impact for lot occupancy requests. “We think it's the best design,” he said. “That it’s not reaching full height is unusual.” 

Mr. Lefebvre said that base FAR (floor area ratio) is 4.0 (4 times the lot area). The developer is given a 0.8 FAR bonus for including two affordable housing units. They are including a third ADU at 50% of the area median income (AMI). “We’re taking a loss on the third unit,” he said. “But we think it’s the right thing to include.”

Commissioner Martin said that, regarding the north wall as a space for the mural, “It would be an incredible tribute (to Chuck Brown) and much larger than the current mural. It could be nice landmark. Have you conceived the dimensions?” Galloway interrupted and said that there was a spot later on the agenda set aside for Commissioner Jones about the mural and they could discuss it then.

Then Chair Galloway did something new and unprecedented for ANC 4C this year — he asked if any resident wanted to stand up and speak. In all previous meetings, he has actively disallowed community comments during presentations, going so far as to raise his voice at a resident who asked to speak. At every meeting he has precluded residents from asking questions, offering opinions or otherwise interacting at any time except for the Community Comment period. 

Residents speaking about the parking along Quincy and Rock Creek Church Rd

Several people lined up to express their dissatisfaction with the new building and the potential for additional parking problems. One resident had the great idea (which should have occurred to commissioners) to ensure that renters could not get RPP parking — meaning they couldn’t get a street parking permit. They talked about the existing problems along the 700 block of Quincy and along Rock Creek Church road.

One resident from Rock Creek Church said that parking is at a premium as it is, and on street cleaning days he has to park blocks away. He felt it would be a burden on the community to agree to a parking variance. Another resident got up to support the developer’s transportation ideas, and asked about public space amenities with the “urban plaza” planned for out front. (This question was never addressed.)

Another resident is concerned that AMI being used for affordable housing isn't applicable for the area, (a worthwhile question) and asked where the retail and building staff will park (also a good question — though I imagine that they’d take metro, since it’s next to the metro station).

Chair Galloway then interrupted to ask Commissioner Jones if he had a motion to make. Jones then made a motion to oppose the parking variance, and Commissioner Uqdah seconded it. The motion to oppose was approved by 5 to 4 (it went to a hand vote). Then Commissioner Jones made a motion to oppose the lot occupancy variance. This failed, 4-5 (again with a hand vote). There was a lot of grumbling from Commissioner Uqdah and residents about the failed vote.

Let’s take a second to put things into perspective about the variances. The concern of the residents who live on Quincy, Rock Creek Church and nearby is incredibly valid. Parking there is tight, primarily because it’s next to the metro and open to parking for zone 1 and 4 residents (as it’s right on the line of Ward 1 and Park View). Nevertheless, the reality is that the Zoning Board is going to approve Rooney Properties’ request for both variances (parking and lot occupancy). The lot meets the guidelines. The commissioners’ opposition to the variances is a pyrrhic victory at best, a failure to steward the needs of constituents at worst.

While voting to oppose the parking is at least a way of protesting to the Zoning Board, a letter from the Commission or a Letter to the Editor would be more effective and in the public eye. What is accomplished by voting against the lot occupancy? All that risks, theoretically, is that the building shrinks in width but goes up in height, giving apartment residents (and future constituents) less space, less amenities, and nearby existing residents more of a visual burden on the corner. To what end?

Knowing the variances are going to be approved, the ANC should have pushed Rooney for greater concessions, whether it was extending the free bike/car share/parking spots for 6 years instead of 3, putting in benches and other amenities in the “plaza” out front or contributing to a park or something beneficial for students.

Commissioner Teutsch was the only commissioner to ask about local business for the retail, and to ask for ways to “make things whole” with the community. Irwin, Uqdah, Jones and Galloway did not pursue any avenue that would benefit residents due to this building's development (and it is in Jones’ own SMD). They reacted to and enflamed the valid fears and concerns of residents, without considering a single solution. This was a failure of leadership, right from the top.

Commissioner Teutsch then said, speaking through the verbal maelstrom, that since the vote to oppose the variance failed, they should consider a vote to approve the lot occupancy variance request. There was more shouting from residents, along with commissioners getting upset at Teutsch.

Chair Galloway then said very loudly and directed out at the audience, and I quote verbatim, “What you're seeing now is a commissioner who is saying ‘We don't care what you think.’” 

Wow. I mean, wow.

For the record, after the meeting I saw and heard Vann-Di Galloway trash-talking about Commissioner Teutsch outside in the hallway to a group of residents. I should have recorded what he said, but I was taken aback by it. The fact that he said what he said during the ANC meeting is inexcusable; that he then went on to engage in backstabbing, unsubstantiated bad mouthing with residents as the Chair of the ANC is appalling.

He should publicly apologize to Vice Chair Zach Teutsch, the rest of ANC 4C and the public for his behavior.

After Commissioner Teutsch made his motion, residents started shouting ”We don't matter?" and "They don't care what we think?" and one woman said, “They support big business!" There was no gaveling at the outbursts. 

Commissioner Uqdah got angry and shouted, “You can't grant them a lot occupancy and deny parking. That doesn't make sense!” He then turned to the audience and said angrily, “Make no mistake, for a variance or special exception, it is the commission that has the decision and great weight that BZA listens to! They won't listen to an SMD commissioner. We need to make a decision as a commission! This decision is in conflict!”

Commissioner Martin said that the issue with parking was a DDOT failure. He recommended that DDOT follow a similar policy as they have in Ward 2 and 5, where 50% of the blocks allow people from that area to park on that block. He said they should involve DDOT, as they've dropped the ball on how traffic runs. 

The commission then took a vote on granting a lot occupancy variance, and it was approved 5-4 in favor (after a hand vote). Lots of grumbling.

Commissioner Irwin then moved to appoint a representative at the hearing to speak in support for and against the variances. The audience started to shout at this, and Irwin responded that if the person represents the full commission, they should therefore support what is approved and opposed. She said she was requesting to appoint herself as the representative because she wants the experience of representing the ANC. People started yelling out at this again, and Galloway said it's the history of the ANC to ask the SMD commissioner impacted — in this case, Commissioner Jones. He agreed, and the motion was changed to make it Jones. It was approved.

The representatives from Rooney then picked up their stuff and left, probably much to their relief. I sat there in shock at the angry behavior I had witnessed.

Commissioner Irwin then made a motion to create a committee that would manage zoning variances requests for the ANC. She said it would create a longer, more coherent process for variance requests, from small to large. She said it should be made up with subject matter experts from the ANC area, created by the commission. Commissioner Teutsch asked to delay the vote on the motion, as he wants more time to read and consider the proposal. The vote to establish the committee failed 5-4.

Commissioner Uqdah then exploded in anger. “This is a waste of time! Haven’t you read the rules! You are negative, negative! We haven't started nothing!” 

I spoke to Commissioner Uqdah after the meeting, and he was upset that the other commissioners didn’t read the rules before the meeting (I understand from two other commissioners that the rules weren’t distributed until just before the meeting). Commissioner Uqdah felt there was a lack of respect toward him by the other commissioners. While I genuinely like Taalib-Din and enjoy talking with him and learning from him, his outbursts and anger were not called for by any means. He raised his voice, yelled and even swore at a commissioner. 

After the vote, Commissioner Uqdah sat there fuming and sullen. He was just flat out angry. 

Next was another motion by Commissioner Irwin to update the commissions' by-laws with an amendment subsection that creates new definitions for officers and disallows any current officer from simultaneously holding another office, such as Secretary or Treasurer. The ANC approved the by-law changes.

Then it was time for the motion by Commissioner Uqdah to fund the business cards and name plate for Maria Barry, the new commissioner. Instead, Uqdah angrily withdrew the motion, causing Barry stare at him incredulously. Commissioner John-Paul Hayworth then made the motion. It passed, with Uqdah voting against his own original motion... for business cards. A commissioner said something about it, and Uqdah responded angrily, “Yeah, I voted against it just like they voted against..." (I couldn’t hear the rest of the sentence). “Just because you don't know what's going on, that's not my problem!” he shouted and pointing at Commissioner Hayworth. "So resign!" Hayworth yelled back. (I'm pretty sure there was some cursing happening, too.)

Charles Jean Pierre

And then, lastly, Galloway said it was time to discuss the motion on the Chuck Brown mural. (No motion was made.) They asked the artist, Charles Jean Pierre to come up. “Can you move the mural to the new wall?” Galloway asked him. “You mean, can I move it or can I create a new one?” Mr. Pierre responded.

“Do a new one,” was the response. “Yes, of course. I have experience with large walls. I’ll just need scaffolding.” They asked if that meant school children could not work on the mural, and Mr. Pierre said no, they couldn't use school children to help paint. “We can’t have children going above ten feet,” he said. “So it can’t be a community effort.”

Dolly Turner, from CM Todd's office

As the clock ticked down, Galloway invited Dolly Turner from Councilmember Todd’s office to speak. She got up and said, “I’m just saying hi… it was a rather lively discussion this evening, I didn’t want to interrupt.” She briefly discussed an upcoming Ward 4 State of Seniors address that CM Todd was going to be giving at Riggs LaSalle Community center on November 5th, and an upcoming Ward 4 bike ride on October 25th.

The meeting blissfully, finally, ended.

After the meeting, Commissioner Uqdah sent an email to the other commissioners resigning from his post as Secretary, but staying on as a commissioner. (I read it, it was a polite email.) To be formalized, I believe it needs to be accepted by the Chair or the commission as a whole. Not sure if that has happened. That means someone needs to step up to the role, either Barry, Irwin, Hayworth, Martin or Jones. (There is one other open seat after Rickey Williams resigned.)

I believe Commissioners Vann-Di Galloway and Taalib-Din Uqdah should publicly apologize for their behavior and actions. ANC 4C acted disgracefully on Wednesday, October 14th, and every one of those commissioners should be embarrassed. 

10/18 Update: There is a follow-up article with interviews with the commissioners: "Thoughts on AC 4C issues: facts & opinions."

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.



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