New 2023-24 ANC Chair Miller Manages Tight First Meeting
By January 11, 2023 0 558•
The newly chosen Chair of the 2023-24 Georgetown/Burleith/Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Elizabeth Miller, ran a tight virtual meeting on January 9 getting through the swearing in of five new Commissioners by Ward 2 Council Member Brooke Pinto (herself newly appointed as Chair of D.C.’s Judiciary and Safety Committee), the election of new officers, a series of administrative must-dos for the new commission, reports from almost a dozen community organizations and government agencies and the consideration and passage of a couple of long resolutions, in less than two hours and despite the interruption of several off-screen dogs and cats.
New commissioners of ANC2E elected on November 8 are Miriam (Mimsy) Lindner, Christopher (Topher) Matthews. Paul Maysak, John DiPierri and Joe Massaua. Returning Commissoners are Miller, Gwen Lohse (elected Vice Chair) and Kishan Putta. DiPierri and Massaua – the student Georgetown University commissioners – were, as tradition has it, chosen to be secretary and treasurer.
The first item of the usual ANC Meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. and normally scheduled on the first Monday of every month, is a comprehensive safety, crime and police report. Lt. John Merzig introduced Captain Tatjania Savoy a multi-year DCMPD veteran who will command the Georgetown policing activities. They reported that crime is down – especially homicides. Even Georgetowners’ biggest plague — theft from autos — has decreased. “Perhaps people are really heeding community warnings to keep parked cars free of any visible items,” said Merzig. But when confronted with resident call-ins concerned about tire slashing and the theft of catalytic converters and air bags, Merzig explained how difficult such crimes are to prevent. “Thieves can snatch valuable auto parts in seconds.” More forces are needed to patrol residential areas at night.
That message was repeated when a spokesperson from the luxury boutique Amina Rubinacci reported on a November smash-and-grab robbery of over $40,000 worth of merchandise at 4 a.m. Two other similar robberies had taken place in the area at about the same time. Mesmerizing videos showed the unmasked robber diligently stripping shelves and mannikins of valuable items and dumping them on the front step for pick up. Conclusion: more police drive-by presence is needed.
The new Mayor’s liaison, Grace Reeder (phone: 202-297-6566) announced that fall leaf pickup has been extended to Feb. 1 and Christmas tree pickup to March 3. Commissioners Putta and Lohse asked the mayor’s office to announce the pick-up dates closer to the actual date, as rotting bags become dangerous.
Rachel Shank, executive director of Georgetown Main Street, announced that small grants (of around $5,000) for Georgetown businesses next Spring will focus on improving facades.
The incoming principal of the new MacArthur High School, Dr. Harold McCray, introduced himself and provided updates on the progress of the new school on MacArthur Blvd. It seems to be on-schedule to be open to the 2023 graduating class from Hardy Middle School in September. Parent concerns about the school’s transportation challenges were discussed.
The pros and cons of expanded sidewalks and even streateries in front of dining establishments on M Street and Wisconsin Ave. that took away parking was discussed in several reports. The concerns were linked to resolutions to study and possibly remove metered parking on narrow popular streets, especially on N Street at the corner of Wisconsin Ave. This resolution was in turn linked to a long resolution that was passed unanimously about urging the Department of Transportation to commit to making cross walks in Georgetown highly visible. Better crosswalks for pedestrians and bikes were also something that Georgetown students supported — along with expansion ideas for Curry and Pie – a popular student eatery on 1204 34th Street NW (seeking a possible alcoholic beverage “Class C” license). The Commission supported Café Milano’s public space application for a “New Valet Staging Zone Occupying 2 Non-Meter Parking Spaces” at 3251 Prospect Street NW.
The new ANC2E officers and commissioners were congratulated for finishing their full agenda by 8:30 p.m. — maybe in time for Mimsy whose four children attended the University of Georgia, to watch the end of the big game.