Longtime ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels has drawn a possible challenger for this years election. Lisa Palmer, a resident of South St., has picked up a petition to get on the ballot for SMD 05.
When reached for comment, Palmer stated that “I believe that you get what you give in this world…Before becoming a Mom, I worked with communities around the country in community building…BUT I really want to get involved in our family’s community! We love all of the small businesses and restaurants that are moving or have already moved into our neighborhood south of M Street and I want to work with businesses who are already there and who may be considering moving that way so that we can continue to make this SMD a vibrant destination – as well as a fantastic place to live!”
When asked why she was going up against Starrels, who has held the seat since 2000, Palmer was diplomatic stating “my candidacy has nothing to do with our current representative. ..This is really more about lending a new and fresh voice from a different perspective to the committee and my personal interest in being involved in the community and the future of Georgetown – our home.”
Palmer cited traffic and safety as issues she is concerned about. But she particularly emphasized the (ideally) symbiotic relationship between the residential and business communities. She wrote “I’m excited to represent residents in the conversation about how we can do a better and more straightforward job of bringing unique businesses to Georgetown and making it easier for these businesses to come and thrive. After all, as I mentioned, our family, like others in the neighborhood, chose to live in a vivacious, walkable community – and we need businesses here to help keep that a reality!”
Throughout his sixteen years on the Commission and eight elections, Starrels hasn’t had a single opponent on the ballot. If Palmer is successful in getting on the ballot, she will likely face a stiff challenge in beating someone who has used those sixteen years to build a strong network of supporters in the SMD (and someone who clearly enjoys being a commissioner). But who knows? Candidates have won facing far longer odds than that.