Bill to Regulate ANCs Rankles Commissioners


In an effort to make advisory neighborhood commissioners more accountable to residents, At-large Council members Anita Bonds and David Grosso introduced “The Advisory Neighborhood Commission Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016” on April 5 to change the way ANCs operate.

Commissioners are elected to represent their neighborhood residents on issues such as zoning, parking, public safety and public works, liquor licenses and economic development, but calls for reform of the system have been rumbling for years amid scandals of abuse, most recently highlighted by the conviction of commissioner William Shelton in Ward 5 for embezzling more than $28,000 from ANC funds.

The bill — which among other things, would require commissioners to share office space and equipment, provide commissioners with a $500 per year stipend and simplify financial reporting — has a number of critics from ANC commissioners such as Kathy Henderson of Ward 5, who said, “The bill is outrageous,” and Mary Cuthbert of Ward 8, who said, “It’s horrible.” Commissioner Gary Butler of Ward 7 said, “I think if commissioners are compensated at perhaps $5,000 or $10,000 a year, you would get a better pool of candidates for the positions.”

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