Last night the ANC met for its December session. Actually, it should be said that this was the first December session. Due to the Old Georgetown Board meeting on January 2nd, the commission is scheduling the “January” meeting to be held on December 19th.
Despite being exceptionally short, and the first of two in one month, the meeting held a lot of interest. So without further ado:
Lieutenant Hedgecock of MPD was present as normal to give the public safety update. There was nothing out of the ordinary to report, although he did mention that there is always an uptick of robberies in east Georgetown this time of year and that his officers were focusing increased enforcement on the area.
On a personal note, GM asked Hedgecock about a particular incident. Last week, GM was sitting at home when he heard a loud crash outside followed by a car alarm. He ran outside to witness a car scraping down a row of parked cars going the wrong way down 33rd St. The driver was clearly disoriented and kept slamming into cars. About a dozen neighbors were outside at this point as GM dialed 911. The driver appeared to be trying to drive away when a brave neighbor talked her out of the car.
She was a thirty-something “society”-looking woman who immediately began sobbing and apologizing. But she also kept trying to get back in her car, which GM’s neighbors prevented. Within about 5 minutes, MPD were on the scene, and about a half an hour later she was in cuffs being taken away as her car was towed around the block.
Hedgecock updated GM by announcing that she was arrested for DUI. Furthermore, MPD found a bag of marijuana and ecstasy in the car. Sobbing indeed.
Ron Lewis announced that barring a last minute protest, a new member will join the commission. The seat for ANC2E07 became open after Charlie Eason stepped down last month. If just one person gets enough signatures, there will be no election to replace him, that person will simply be sworn in. Ron announced that Ellen Sturrige had received enough signatures to meet the requirements and nobody else bothered (GM didn’t catch the spelling, so that’s probably not right).
It will be nice to finally have at least one woman on the commission, which has been all male since Jenna Lowenstein was replaced over four years ago.
New Trash Cans
Jeff Jones announced that all residents will receive new trash and recycling bins in the next month, even if you don’t want them. They will be larger than the current bins (the recycling bin will be about as big as the current trash bin). If you decide you don’t want them, however, you can put on them a sticker that DPW will provide and they’ll be taken away (or you can put that sticker on your old ones and they’ll take those away).
Commissioners and residents asked why can’t people just opt out. Jones replied that you can’t. GM asked DPW the same question and got the same answer. GM imagines it’s more of a logistical question. The crews going around dropping off the new bins would be greatly slowed if they have to check each address from a list to see if they’ve opted in or out. Since they’re going to have to come around twice in order to pick up the old ones, the same trip can be used to pick up the new rejected ones too. If you decide to get rid of your old bins, they’ll be recycled. If you don’t want the new ones, they’ll be reused.
Annual Status Update on GU-Community Partnership
Ron Lewis and Lauralyn Lee of the university jointly presented on the first annual report following the new campus plan. It was a giant love fest. Everyone bent over backwards to say how successful the program has been since it was implemented. Concrete progress has been made, but best of all there is an incredible improvement to the tone of town-gown relations, which mutual respect reflecting between the school, the students, and the residents. The framework is there for smooth sailing through the current campus plan, which will end in only 2017, and hopefully towards a much longer campus after that, born with little animosity or resistance from either side. Sunshine, Lollipops, etc.
Joe Sternleib, CEO of the BID, gave a brief preview of the the Georgetown 2028 report which will be finalized in the next couple weeks. It’s a strategic report how people will get here, how they’ll move around once they’re here, and how business will thrive. Rather than get into even the few details Sternleib mentioned, GM will simply tell you to keep your dial tuned here; once the report is out GM will be writing a lot about it.
Speaking of how people get here, the ANC took up the question of Metro. As GM previewed, just about every significant organization in Georgetown has come out recently to echo the BID’s plea to WMATA to push forward its dusty plans for a Metro stop in Georgetown. On top of the BID, the Georgetown Business Association, Georgetown University, and the Citizens Association of Georgetown have all chimed in with agreement. Last night, after a brief history lesson on the myth of why Georgetown doesn’t already have a metro stop, the commission became the fifth Georgetown organization calling for a station.
It will be, as they say, a heavy lift, with most of the weight being the weight of the massive amounts of cash it will take to move this project forward. But as GM has been calling for for years, the first big step to actually getting a Metro stop is for big organizations like GU and the BID to get behind the effort. When GM first wrote that, neither of those two organizations even had much of an awareness of the possible Metro expansion, let alone an active role. All that’s changed, and credit for that goes primarily to Joe Sternleib and Lauralyn Lee, who focused their respective organizations on the issue and its potential huge impact.