The upcoming presidential and District choices in the November general election may seem already decided in this Democratic city, but the hyperlocal advisory neighborhood commission for Georgetown may be offering some fresh choices.
The Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commission, praised by Mayor Vincent Gray in 2012 as the best in the city, will be getting at least two new members in 2017: Its chairman Ron Lewis is retiring, as is one of its longest-serving commissioners, Tom Birch. Known for his collegiality, Lewis was central to the groundbreaking agreement between Georgetown residents and Georgetown University on its 10-year campus plan — a contentious issue for years.
Who on the commission will become chairman remains unclear. No current member has yet indicated that he or she wants the position.
The commission consists of chair Ron Lewis, vice chair Bill Starrels, Ed Soloman, Tom Birch, Jeff Jones, Mara Goldman, Monica Roache and Reed Howard.
The upcoming departure of Lewis and Birch was first reported by the Georgetown Metropolitan, which reported: “Ron Lewis, who has served as the ANC chair for years, will not seek reelection this year. Ron has been a commissioner since 2006, representing upper western Georgetown. Ron has played an instrumental role in many of the central issues that pertain to the ANC and the community. He was central to the ultimately successful negotiation with the university over the last campus plan. And he continued to be very active with the newly formed Georgetown Community Partnership committees that were formed as a result of the settled plan.”
A local news blog run by Topher Mathews, the Georgetown Metropolitan also reported that “Joe Gibbons is going to run for Ron’s seat and has earned his support. … Joe and his wife Hillary moved here from Chicago a few years ago and have quickly become active in a wide variety of groups and activities. In particular, Joe has been very involved in the Historic Preservation and Zoning committee of the Citizens Association of Georgetown. Moreover, Joe and Hillary’s son Freddie teaches Kindergarten at Hyde-Addison.”