Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

March 22, 2007 Public Meeting - Adopted April 26, 2007


The meeting started at 7:02 p.m.  It was held at the 4th District Police Station Community Room, 6001 Georgia Ave., NW, Chair (also 4B05) Blondine Hughes presiding.


Also present were Commissioners 4B01 Sara Green, 4B02 Faith Wheeler, 4B03 Fred Grant, 4B06 Gloria Palmer, 4B07 Judi Jones, 4B08 Yvonne Jefferson, and 4B09 Muriel Bowser.  A quorum was present for all votes.


Votes and Actions


1.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, the Commission accepted Commissioner Grant's motion to adopt the agenda with two changes. Item twelve, ANC 4B's budget, and Item 6, a Q&A presentation from the D.C. Department of Transportation's Ward 4 Coordinator, will be discussed in reverse order.  Commissioner Wheeler later announced that the transportation coordinator is sick and will not appear.


2. In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, as moved by Commissioner Bowser, the Commission adopted the February 22 minutes.


3. Chair Hughes asked D.C. Deputy Auditor Lawrence Perry to audit ANC 4B's financial records for the Years 2000 to 2007. No objection was heard. Commissioners want answers and want "closure" on the questions raised, Chair Hughes said.  She also said that Secretary Green will provide Mr. Perry with the minutes for the March 22 public meeting.


The requests followed a lengthy Q&A period with Mr. Perry.  In response to questions from Mr. Thomas and Mr. Paul Montague, Mr. Perry said that his office wants to audit ANC financial records every two to four years, but is not always able to do so. It permits the destruction of records after five years.


Mr. Montague asked why city allotments were given to ANC 4B when 15 months of minutes were missing.  Mr. Perry answered that he does not know, will investigate, and will respond to Mr. Montague.


Chair Hughes noted that ANC 4B office records were comfiscated years before.


Commissioner Wheeler said she was the Vice Chair when Mr. Montague was the Commission's Treasurer.  Mr. Montague took the checkbook and from the ANC 4B office and delivered it to other government offices, she said.


4. In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, as moved by Commissioner Wheeler, the Commission adopted its 2007 budget, totaling $41,980, as amended. 


The amendment, as moved by Commissioner Wheeler, was adopted in a 6-0-2 show-of-hands vote. It says "no expenditure for new equipment can be made until the Commission votes in public on new equipment."


The votes followed a lengthy presentation by Treasurer Palmer and a discussion.



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The Commission agreed to add $1,200 to the $3,000 for equipment rental that was detailed in the proposed budget's line item 17b, increasing the total budget, as adopted, from $40,780 to $41,980. 


The adopted amendment on new equipment refers to $3,500 in the adopted budget earmarked for a new computer, color printer, and other items. Treasurer Palmer said she researched the available equipment, found the best products and prices, and thinks the Commission needs the newer technology.


Commissioner Green said she does not think the new equipment is needed and that few Commissioners will use it.  Commissioner Wheeler called the color printer "an extravagant expense."


The adopted budget also includes $2,000 in available grant funds for each single member district, an increase from the past limit of $1,000 per single member district.  It also includes a total of $2,050 in single member district support for the entire Commission.


5.  In a 7-0-1 show-of-hands vote, the Commission adopted a motion made by Commissioner Green.  The motion, initiated by Commissioner Palmer, calls on the Commission to send a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) requesting that no hearing on the Takoma Theater take place in April.


The motion followed a lengthy discussion.  Chairman Hughes asked that Commissioners speak about the theater and its possible demolition with their constituents and report their comments.


Commissioner Wheeler said Theater Owner Milton McGinty had applied for city permission to raze the building, but it is not clear if the application has been withdrawn or if a hearing will be set for April.  Mr. McGinty graciously gave six Commissioners a one and one-half hour tour of the theater, located at 4th and Butternut Streets, NW, she said.  Mr. McGinty had agreed to speak at ANC 4B's March 22 public meeting, Commissioner Wheeler said, adding that she is disappointed he did not attend.


Mr. Ed Maudlin, of 726 Underwood St., NW, an actor, producer, and director, said he spoke with Mr. McGinty the day before. Mr. McGinty told him he no longer wanted to develop the site, but was meeting with potential theater purchasers.  The community's role is to protect the building so that it does not become a parking lot or a grocery store, Mr. Maudlin said.


Tom Carrico, an artists' manager who lives next door to the theater, said it "breaks his heart" to see the Howard Theater in such poor condition. However, the Takoma Theater is today "a viable space," and "to raze it would be a sin."  He said he was concerned because Mr. McGinty has changed his mind several times about what he wants to do with the building.


6. In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, as moved by Commissioner Green, the Commission agreed to send a letter to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board  stating that Commissioner Grant represents ANC 4B in the matter of Safeway's application to


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sell beer and wine at its 6500 Piney Branch Rd., NW store.  The Board is set to hold a public hearing on the application on April 25.


7. Chair Hughes asked that the agenda for the April 26 public meeting include the Takoma Theater, a proposed stop sign for the Georgia and Sheridan Street, NW intersection and the three grant proposals included in tonight's agenda -- the anti-car theft devices, the Spanish language class, and the children's summer camp.


8. In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, the Commission agreed to Chair Hughes motion to adjourn. 




Eugene Kinlow, the Outreach Director for D.C. Vote, talked about the April 16 Emancipation Day March for D.C. Voting Rights.  He also noted details about the U.S. Congress' March 22 vote on congressional representation for the District of Columbia.


Community Concerns


Mr. Byrant Banks, the LSRT Chair for Whittier Elementary School, reported on parent and teacher concerns about Principal Natasha Warsaw.  He said ANC Commissioners visited the school and were voicing favoritism for the Principal.


Commissioner Grant responded. Three Commissioners visited the school on February 23. There is no favoritism. Commissioners wanted to hear other views, he said, adding that he is disappointed by the lack of teacher participation in a recent March mediation meeting.


Mr. Banks answered by explaining that teachers are saying that the group that is mediating is biased. 


Commissioner Wheeler said she asked Teacher Tenia Pritchard to come to a small meeting, but was disappointed that Ms. Pritchard did not reply.


The meeting adjourned at about 9:30 p.m.


---- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary