Georgetown’s ANC Sets Up for Busy Fall
By September 11, 2023 0 472•
The first Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting (2E) for the 2023-24 season began with all present plus new commissioner Daniel Chao representing 2E07. They quickly dispensed with the first important item – voting unanimously for a new Chairperson after the move and resignation last summer of Elizabeth Miller. To no one’s surprise, Commissioner Gwendolyn Lohse (2E06) was elected and welcomed.
Extra time was spent on the crime report. “I am getting a lot of comments from people who tell me it’s a gut feeling for them — they just don’t feel safe,” Commissioner Paul Maysak (2E03) said. Yet MPD Sgt. Robinson reported that crimes were down in Georgetown in almost every category. The most hit robbery victim in Georgetown? “Safeway,” Robinson reported. Petty theft. Too fast and tricky to quell immediately, he implied… More patrol officers. More cameras. But that didn’t count the robbery by knife at Georgetown Wine & Spirits on P and 27th last week.
School’s back open. A big alert on crosswalk violations was issued. MPD advises: Watch the intersections near the schools, especially Hardy Middle School, and especially at 34th St. NW and Wisconsin Ave: complicated with kids, bikes, e-scooters, and mixed lanes of traffic. Theft from autos? Almost always the car was left open, especially work vans with tools to steal. Increased watch-outs by police for known persons who commit assaults with deadly weapons – even during the day, in Montrose Park last month. Most are repeat violators and known! What to do? Increased detention was not mentioned. Neighborhood walk-arounds with patrol officers were offered. (A post-meeting escape by a suspected murderer from police custody on Wednesday afternoon at George Washington Hospital did not help the mood – especially when he was apparently spotted but still not caught by Friday afternoon).
Less emotional was a report on the ANC budget. Balance $18,650. Personnel costs total about $12,000. “Can we qualify to get funds from grants?,” asked Commissioner Kishan Putta (2E01). It will be looked into.
City liaisons reported on various upcoming events being planned to post on their websites. One new trash law caused a stir: residents will need three bags of trash, etc., before calling in for a free pickup.
Everyone was excited about the new McArthur High School which opened smoothly. Public transportation there is being carefully scrutinized for inequities. Despite millions in pandemic money for air cleaners, Hardy Middle School and the neighbors are still being bombarded by noise and the insecurity of a second-hand wacky AC unit that pleases no one, starting last year; it was not fixed before the first-year principal was let go in July suddenly and without explanation.
One big news item: the comprehensive study of Georgetown traffic and transportation including parking, streateries and sidewalk expansion is underway by the DC Department of Transportation. It will now undergo review and suggestions by neighborhood organizations, stakeholders, and individuals in the next few months. The Citizens Association of Georgetown is fully involved with their volunteer and professional experts and long-time expertise in the issues. A minutely detailed interactive community map showing parking and usages of just about every neighborhood block in Georgetown will be publicly accessible to ascertain potential impacts, explained CAG transportation expert Stephanie Bothwell. Ideas and suggestions can be posted on the map. The plans also include the parking and access streets around Georgetown University.
Such collaborative planning is well known to Georgetowners, Putta reminded meeting attendees, as he reported that years of planning, town meetings, budgeting and contract surveillance for the complete renovation of the Jelleff Recreation Center at 3265 S St. NW, and pool and basement area (that has housed the popular Georgetown Boys and Girls Club for decades) now suddenly appears to be on hold. After twice not scheduling proposed town meetings in the summer and early fall, the contractors now indicate that plans have changed.
“One concern is, it appears that the usable indoor square footage … is significantly less than proposed in the feasibility study (due in part to all usable space being moved from the basement to above ground, the second gym, and the proposed second floor lobby),” the ANC resolution sent to the contractors read. “We ask you to hold your next public meeting before November – and announce it by mid-October.“