DC Triathlon by arjubx.
Last night the ANC met for its final 2010 session, and one theme dominated the meeting: awkward. As in “awwwk-waard”. On multiple occasions last night, GM winced at the social discomfort on display. But that’s what made it such a great meeting!
Early on in the meeting, the commission turned to the question of special events. There has been a growing perception among the commissioners that the number of special events in Georgetown that require street closings has been on the rise. To combat that, the ANC is working to develop certain guiding principles as to whether to approve an event or not. The two main principles are whether the event is mainly charitable in nature and what benefits it has to Georgetown. GM probed a little on the second prong, since it sounded to him a little like extortion, but really what that principle entails is more of a qualitative look at how cooperative the group has been and how much they have done to minimize the impact on the neighborhood.
So with that in mind, the commission turned to two proposed events that are asking to shut down some Georgetown streets: the DC Triathlon on June 19th and the Nation’s Triathlon on September 11th. Both of these events are being planned by Charles Brodsky. While the commission focused somewhat on the proposed impact the races would have on the community (the DC Triathlon would only shut down the Whitehurst; the Nation’s Triathlon would shut down the Whitehurst, M St. west of Key Bridge, and Canal Rd.) the discussion soon narrowed in on whether the races are charitable or not. Brodsky was quick to point out that the Nation’s Triathlon has raised $9 million to help fight Leukemia. The commissioners, however, pointed out that his company is still for-profit and they questioned whether the charitable donations even come out of the fees or are simply raised additionally by the competitors. Brodksy stated that some charitable donations do come out of the race fees.
It was already somewhat heated at this point, but it got worse. The commission wanted to know roughly what percentage of the race revenues go to charity. Brodksy said he didn’t know, and that he couldn’t even guess. The commission found this hard to believe. Eventually they asked that he come back and tell them next month what that percentage is. He basically refused to do so. To this Tom Birch asserted that without more information, the commission had no way to know whether this whole thing is a sham. Brodsky didn’t take very well to that comment. The ANC told Brodsky that they’d be happy to work with him to minimize the impact the races have on the community but that he was going to have to work with them or they’d oppose the race. At one point Brodsky said he’d just as well take their rejection. In a word, it was awkward.
But it got worse. Continue reading