Police Report. Lt. Ralph Neal, PSA 204, reported that crime is down for the past month compared to the same month a year earlier. Specifically, property crimes dropped from 49 last year to 33 this year. Recently, the Second District has been experiencing an increase in robberies that may be related. A group of three to four Hispanic males has been linked to a number of robberies in upper Northwest DC, specifically Tenleytown, Friendship Heights, and Chevy Chase DC. This group also seems to be active in Chevy Chase, MD. MPD is working with the Montgomery County Police Department to address these robberies. Plainclothes officers have been assigned to these cases.
Discussion with Elissa Silverman, DC Council, At-large Member. CM Silverman along with her Chief of Staff, Michele Blackwell, attended the meeting and spoke on a wide number of topics. DC Council is about to begin oversight and budget hearings. CM Silverman urged citizens to attend the hearings and submit testimony so that Council may make fully informed decisions about citizen priorities. Mayor Bowser’s budget will be released on April 4. CM Silverman has asked for increased funding to provide for 1) a study of nontraditional child care approaches, since many DC residents do not work a standard work-day schedule; 2) greater public safety, 3) expanded support services for single men and women who are homeless (she also commended the Mayor for adding $100 million into the housing trust fund), 4) an expansion of DPR’s outdoor pool and recreation center hours and 5) fully funding the development of the IT infrastructure that will be used to manage the Paid Family Leave program, which passed DC Council in December. As part of her work on the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, she will be holding hearings on ways to expand the Summer Youth Employment program to better connect young residents to permanent jobs. The committee will also examine best practices for developing programs for adults who face multiple barriers in finding long-term employment.
Grant Request. Wilson High School PTSO. Brian Cohen, Chair of the Wilson’s Instrumental Music Booster Club (a subgroup of the Wilson PTSO), presented a grant request for $2,500 to repair and maintain musical instruments as well as purchase new equipment. DCPS is unable to sufficiently fund the Wilson Instrumental Music Program. To cover the funding shortfall, the PTSO is seeking funds through a number of venues, including general fundraising and grant requests to a number of ANCs and other organizations. A motion was made to approve the grant. It was duly seconded and passed unanimously.
Grant Request. Stoddert Elementary PTO. On behalf of the Stoddert PTO, Jamie Peterson, the Assistant Track Coach, requested a grant for $1,671.70 to purchase training equipment for the school track team. The popularity of the track team continues to grow. This year, 40 boys and girls are participating compared to 24 last year. While parents have contributed funds to purchase uniforms, no funding is available for equipment such as hurdles, elastic krossbands, and plyo boxes. A motion was made to approve the grant. It was duly seconded and passed unanimously.
Grant Request. Glover Park Village. Pat Clark, President of the Glover Park Village, requested $2,500 to cover their annual liability insurance ($2,336) and postage for general mailings ($164). Commissioner Young checked with the DC Auditors Office and was told it is permissible to give grants to cover annual operating costs of nonprofit organizations. Although legal, Commissioners Blumenthal and Lane expressed concerns about covering these costs because it may lead to expectations that these costs would be covered every year by an ANC grant thus setting a dubious precedent. Also paying operating costs does not directly help citizens within ANC3B’s boundaries. Finally, it may give the impression that a nonprofit is not able to cover its own annual operating costs. Nonetheless, since GPV has made positive contributions to supporting Glover Park residents throughout the years, funding these operating costs for one year would be beneficial to the community. A motion was made to approve the grant. It was duly seconded and passed unanimously.
Resolution Regarding Proposed Pepco Rate Increase. Commissioner Mladinov presented a letter from ANC 3B to the Public Service Commission (PSC) opposing the nearly $78 million increase requested by Pepco/Exelon. Such a large increase would cause undue hardship to businesses and households throughout Glover Park/Cathedral Heights especially for seniors who live on limited or fixed incomes. The letter also urges the PSC to look carefully at such a substantial rate hike as it represents the first proposed increase since the Pepco/Exelon merger. A motion was made to approve and send the letter to the PSC. It was duly seconded and passed unanimously.
- DC Water Green Infrastructure Project in Glover Park. Commissioner Blumenthal gave an update on the project. The Storm Water Run-off Plan is under way and Glover Park is being used as a test area. Rather than build separate tunnels and drains, the project implements green technologies, such as parking lanes installed with permeable surfaces, installation of rain gardens, and other low-impact development techniques to manage storm run off.
- WMATA Budget Decision on Bus Route 37. WMATA’s proposed plan to discontinue Bus Route 37 service (limited stop MetroExtra bus service between Friendship Heights and the National Archives) was met with substantial community opposition including from ANC 3B. As a result, WMATA’s revised plan will keep the current 37 bus route intact.
- Pending Sale of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). At the ANC 3B meeting in February, Dr. Lawrence Singer presented his plans for opening a holistic dentistry practice in the former IUOE building. Dr. Singer was unable to come to agreement with the sellers and has dropped his bid to purchase the property because of concerns about the required zoning variance.
The next meeting of ANC3B will be Thursday, April 6. The agenda will be posted at anc3b.org at least a week before and will be circulated via list servs.