One of the local governmental institutions that seems to generate the most confusion among Washingtonians, especially newcomers, is that of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs.
This is ironic since ANCs are actually the unit of government closest to DC residents. For example, each single-member district of ANC 2B-Dupont has about 2,000 people—governmentally, that is as local as it gets in a city of 600,000.
In the Dupont-Logan-U Street area, ANCs tend to be newsworthy when a restaurant or bar wants to open or expand or have outdoor seating. But, what do ANCs do? What is their role in DC Government? If you don’t know, you are probably in the majority in DC.
This is part one of a two-part series—today is the basics, the mechanics of ANCs. On Friday we will have Q&A with four ANC commissioners from the three ANCs in our neighborhood: ANC 2B-Dupont, ANC 2F-Logan and ANC 1B, which includes the U Street area. Continue reading
A quick round up of what’s open or closed… happening or postponed.
- Blizzard. As of 9 a.m., we are in a blizzard warning, which is way beyond a snow emergency. The wind gusts are very strong.
- Alert DC. Remember to sign up for alerts with Alert DC, which will give you updates on what’s happening with the DC Government and other important information for DC residents; you can have alerts sent to your email or cell phone.
- Government and schools closed. The DC Government and the Federal Government are both closed as are DC Public Schools.
- No mail. The Post Office will not be delivering mail today.
- Metro and Circulator. There is no Metrobus or Circulator bus service today. All above-ground Metrorail service is suspended; there is only limited underground rail service today.
- Snow Emergency. There is a snow emergency in effect in DC today. Do you need to move your car?
- No Trash Collection. There is no DC trash collection today.
- ANC 2B Meeting Postponed. Due to inclement weather, Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B’s meeting on February 10 has been postponed. ANC 2B hopes to reschedule the meeting for next Wednesday, but is not sure of the availability of a meeting room for that night. Check the Web site for more information.
- LCCA Meeting. The Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) has moved its monthly membership meeting to Wednesday, February 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Washington Plaza Hotel. (Their new Web site looks great.)
- Dupont Snowball Fight II. There is a follow up Dupont Circle Snowball Fight today, scheduled for 2 p.m. Hope the blizzard-like conditions let up.
- U Street Neighborhood Association. The U Street Neighborhood Association Meeting, which was scheduled for Thursday, February 11, has been postponed.
When is DC going to start enforcing the city law on shoveling sidewalks? It is a matter of safety as well as necessity for residents. I realize the city, all of us, have been overwhelmed by the unexpected and abnormal amounts of snow over the past few days. But sidewalks are a vital part of residents’ transportation, just like roadways.
This is especially true in downtown neighborhoods such as Dupont, Logan, U Street, Shaw, Adams Morgan, etc. Many residents don’t own cars and many of us don’t use them unless we must. This is downtown, not the exurbs and the carless pay DC taxes just like car owners. Moreover, sidewalks are a form of mass transportation—especially when Metrobus and Metrorail are close to being shut down due to snow.
Here is the DC law. From the District of Columbia Snow Guide 2009-2010:
Residents are responsible for clearing sidewalks
District law requires property owners to clear snow and ice from sidewalks, handicap ramps and steps abutting their property within the first eight daylight hours after the snow, sleet or ice stops falling. This applies to all property owners – residential, commercial, federal, and municipal. If ice cannot be cleared without damaging the sidewalk, then property owners may spread sand or salt to make the sidewalks safe. Property owners also must clear snow from the ADA-curb cuts; these are part of the sidewalk. Property owners are asked to clear snow from catch basins and storm drains to prevent flooding during snow melt.
Our opinion poll on the city’s snow removal efforts is still open. We posted it before last night’s snow.
While it did snow last night, it did not snow enough to earn you a free day off from work. The federal government is open, with the unscheduled leave policy in effect—you will have to take a vacation day if you want to stay home.
The DC Government and schools are open for business on regular schedule.
Pothole season has arrived. And as that commercial reminds us, potholes cannot report themselves, so we have to do it for them. (In the Midwest—where the changes in temperatures are more extreme than in DC—pothole season is a fifth season between winter and spring.) Continue reading
Check out the new links in the new category, DC Government, in the right-hand column.
Well, maybe not everything, but I have tried to put links link to the best info sites about Inauguration 2009 activities and information.
David at Greater Greater Washington critiques D.C. Chief Financial Officer’s presentation/performance at the Dupont Circle Citizens Associaton (DCCA) meeting last Monday night, November 3:
I expected to find a confident, intelligent financial manager with a through grasp of DC finannces in DC CFO Natwar Gandhi when he spoke at the Dupont Circle Citizens’ Association meeting on Monday. What I discovered was a confident, intelligent financial manager who dodged almost every question and didn’t seem to know quite as much about DC’s financial situation as most of the audience had hoped.
Councilmember Jack Evans led off the discussion, framing DC’s $131 million budget shortfall as peanuts compared to our much more troubled neighbor states – Maryland with a $2 billion deficit even with slot money, and a $3 billion hole in Virginia. DC’s budget problems come from two main taxes: the capital gains tax, which will bring in $70 million less than projected (since most people won’t have any capital gains next year) and the deed and recordation tax ($50 million under projection), since real estate sales will slow.
This is a very cool application on the DC Government’s Web site—the DC Guide, which is powered by the DC Geographic Information System. It is a mapping tool that allows you to search in four categories:
- Find It – This is for general searches. You can tell the search engine to find post offices, hospitals, recreation centers, etc.
- Get There – Get directions to places in the city or find out where a particular place of interest is located.
- Where You Live – Get Administrative, Economic, Education, Environment, Planning, Public Safety and Recreation information for your area/neighborhood. For example, you can find out which Advisory Neighborhood Commission or police district serves you.
- Real Property – Find out what your neighbor’s condo sold for, if it is the searachable years range, or who owns a property on your block, etc. You can also see how your property assessment compares to other properties.