Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some ANC commissioners don't go to their own meetings

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) is an elected body in the city that serves to advise the city council and government agencies about local issues -- things like alcohol licenses, development and construction, and quality of life issues. However, it looks like some members from ANC1B, which serves southern Columbia Heights and U Street, are not going to many meetings.

Short Articles about Long Meetings, a blog that covers ANC meetings, has data from ANC1B volunteer Nick Baumann, who reports that some members failed to show up for even half the meetings -- one commissioner, Deborah Thomas, who represents 1B04, came to only 33% of meetings -- 7 out of 21. In fact, with that record, saying she represents the district would be a stretch. Other members didn't fare so well either: Jeremy Leffler from 1B02 and Sedrick Muhammad from 1B03 both only made 12 out of 21 meetings, for 57%. (SALM also suggests that the data may be too generous, as E. Gail Anderson Holness was counted as present for several meetings that she was very late for, missing votes.)

So, why is this important? Aside from not being able to represent their district's interests at the meetings, the ANC must have a quorum to have votes, and were not able to reach a quorum on July 10 and 17. SALM reports this meant they were unable to protest the Signature Lounge or New Town Kitchen's liquor licenses -- apparently New Town has not complied with noise guidelines they agreed to.

It would be interesting to see if anybody else has done this for ANC1A, which serves the rest of Columbia Heights. Below is a map of all the ANCs.


8 comments:

Jacqui said...

Shame on them. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of voters.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, this happens in 1A. Absolutely. There was no quorum at the July meeting and it had to be rescheduled. The turnover this election is going to be so great that it's sort of a moot point now. But it's imperative that, insofar there are contested elections, we vote for the person more likely to show up and do their job. This is a non-partisan office, and where people are on the issues is secondary to how much they care about their neighborhoods.

Morgan Corr, particularly, simply stopped showing up to ANC1A meetings and doesn't respond to any of his constituents, but continues to post on Twitter and Facebook about the banal goings on in his life.

Joshua Tauberer said...

I work on a project called ANCFinder.org (http://ancfinder.org/1A) which is trying to bring transparency to the ANC system (as well as eventually to provide some technical infrastructure to commissioners). If anyone is motivated by this to try and make things better, please do join us at the next meeting of Code for DC (http://codefordc.org/).

Morgan Corr said...

Hi, "Anonymous"--

Morgan Corr here. As I've expressed to those who have bothered to ask:

I have a standing professional obligation which prevents my attendance at full ANC meetings, and I'm not running for re-election because of that conflict. However, since the time these obligations started preventing my attendance the time had passed when a new commissioner could legally be appointed to fill the seat had I resigned. I resolved to hold the seat and do my best to address constituent concerns until the end of the term when a new commissioner could be elected.

You appear to be well acquainted with my Facebook and Twitter profiles. Feel free to contact me there or via email.

Anonymous said...

Mr Corr: I did ask when I emailed you, and when my neighbors emailed you, and then when I emailed you again. I appreciate your willingness to respond when publicly outed for being a delinquent ANC commissioner, but Mr. Boese knew nothing of your professional obligation when he was asked. Moreover, it seems that your "professional obligation" merely precludes you from attending meetings and not responding to constituents. Were you conflicted out of attending the rescheduled ANC meeting when your absence caused it to be canceled for lack of a quorum? Do you deserve no criticism for seeking this office and then abandoning it, irrespective of the circumstances? I won't be contacting you on Twitter, thanks.

Timmy! said...

Suck it, Corr!

Andrew W said...

Thanks for the discussion, but let's keep it civil, all.

Anonymous said...

You can't really blame any one person for a meeting not having quorum. Doesn't that mean there were at least 6 others who didn't show up too? Just sayin'....