Sunday, May 24, 2009

EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE: ANCs Struggle for Quorum, Decorum, and Great Weight

Just saw this article in the May edition of the East of the River Magazine. It's nice to see another publication address some of the ANC issues that have caused residents (and ANC commissioners) concern for decades. Many of these same issues were presented during last month's ANC 8C02 Single Member District Forum: A New Era in Financial Responsibility for ANC 8C which was hosted by Commissioner Dion Jordan.
Now if only someone in power can follow up on these things and actually resolve them once and for all. I agree 100% with Commissioner Seegars statement that residents need to stop voting for the most familiar name on the ballot and be sure to elect people who are willing AND able to work productively for their community.
If you didn't get a chance to attend the ANC Roundtable hosted by Councilmember Alexander go HERE for the video for the hearings for Ward 8.

P.S. Commissioner Mary Cuthberts (ANC 8C) statement would be nice if it wasn't totally and completely contrary to everything she has ever done to date. A bit of advice - Team players don't generally go around preventing residents from speaking and participating in their own ANC. They definitely don't go around taking secret cell phone photographs of residents during meetings. We in the community would LOVE if a reporter from East of the River Magazine or another media publication would attend our next ANC 8C meeting and document all the tomfoolery. Lord knows it would make interesting news.

Click HERE for full article.


Quorum and Decorum
Some struggle to achieve a quorum at meetings. Several Roundtable participants told the committee chair, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, that it should be easier to remove a commissioner who does not participate. Several ANCs noted difficulties inherited with predecessor's confusing financial records. A few cited inter-commissioner relationships as their greatest concern.

ANC 7A, which reported continual problems with financial records, has, since the Roundtable, taken steps to remove its treasurer. As per DC code, a majority of commissioners petitioned the chair for a special call meeting for that purpose. Meanwhile, commissioners are meeting with the auditor and ANC office staff to resolve matters.
For information about the special call meeting, contact Villareal Johnson, 202-582-9056. Regular meetings are third Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., at the Benning-Stoddert Community Center, 101 Stoddert Pl, SE.

ANC 8E, which has also suffered from problems with financial records, sent no representative to the Roundtable. Chair Sandra S.S. Seegars said later that ANC problems will not be solved by new laws. She cites an extreme situation in her own ANC, noting that she was recently forced to get a court order to keep a fellow commissioner from harassing her outside meetings; meanwhile, she says, this commissioner, who regularly disrupts meetings of the ANC, has been re-elected to that body. She believes this situation would not exist if more people knew what was happening.

Commissioners should know more about the position before they are seated, Seegars argues, and voters should not choose familiar names, term after term, without knowing whether the candidate is serving the community well.

“New commissioners don't always understand that [ANC service] involves a lot of personal time,” adds Mary Cuthbert, chair of 8C. “It's like a job. You have to be able to compromise and work as a team...come together to figure out how to improve the quality of life in your community.”


R.E.E.L People said...

I was at the ACC meeting last night and commissioner Cardell Shelton said to the Mayor... "Black people don't learn like White people." I think he meant well, but sure did not articulate it properly. Just my thoughts...

Deanwood Denizen said...

A lot of people visibly cringed when he said that. I instantly thought back to a post I read on CHOTR. Overall Shelton got the ball rolling on the underlying point--making sure DC residents get hired for construction and road work jobs. I live tweeted at

The Advoc8te said...

Did he also say "nobody can stratch my itch" and "you are not going to come and play in my yard"?

Cardell Shelton gives the same EXACT speech every single time there is a meeting of at least 2people complete with yells and the insults. In there are usually some good points the problem is they are usually sandwiched between some outrageous statement like "black folks don't learn like white folks" and he really talks for so long that unfrotunetly most people just tune him out. It's a shame because I have no doubt there is true wisdom there but he either can't articulate or has no concept of keeping it "short and sweet"

Totally going to read your tweet! Thanks!