Monday, June 25, 2007

Reflections on the June ANC 5C Meeting

It has been one week since the last meeting of the full Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C, but there hasn't been the usual buzz on the listservs, so I will provide some highlights that may be of interest to residents of 5C-02.

► Someone informed ANC 5C that now-former Commissioner Aaron Knights (5C-02) has resigned, this time for good. His district is located directly east of mine. Aaron is an attorney, and I can relate to the time pressures faced by those in our profession. You might see me disappear from time to time as well, but I don't quite have the time demands faced by attorneys in private practice.

►Dunbar High School hosted the meeting, and I requested that Principal Harriet Kargbo be placed on the agenda.

Through five minutes of questions and thoughtful responses from Principal Kargbo, the following information was revealed:

1. Residents have been asking about recreational opportunities at Dunbar, such as why the track is not open to the public. Kargbo: the swimming pool is open to the community, in fact it is run by the Park department. Hours of operation are from 4 - 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The school broke new ground on a playing field set to be completed in August. The track has been condemned and the school hopes to fix it. However, even when the track is fixed, there is a desire to keep the gates locked due to concern about homeless people on the property.

2. The rumor that Dunbar will build a new building has no basis, at least as far as Principal Kargbo is aware.

► This meeting, like many other ANC meetings (one might say like all community meetings) went too long. There was no matter on the agenda that required our vote (except for the proposed budget, which we tabled for good reason), but the meeting still lasted for two hours and forty-five minutes. Ted McGinn and maybe one other individual from the community was actually present at our adjournment.

Our meetings have operated as a sounding board for the community, and there is a role for that at the monthly meeting. But ANC meetings should primarily be an opportunity to transact business. I love free speech, but I think there are more efficient methods. I propose the following rule: the meeting shall end at 9 p.m.

► Commissioner Phillips proposed that the Commission send a letter expressing disfavor of Pepco's proposed rate increases. I abstained, on the basis that (a) my constituents had not expressed an opinion either way, indicating that this was not a critical issue for them, and (b) we had not given a Pepco representative the opportunity to present Pepco's side. I believe that ANC 5C should strive to be a deliberative body and seek out all sides of an issue. If we do that, our opinions will be treated with greater respect.

1 comment:

Mari said...

Thanks for posting this.