Monday, July 26, 2010

Ted McGinn responds to Gigi Ransom's claims: "Setting the Record Straight"

See this 7/26/2010 message from Eckington resident & Eckington Cvic Association President Ted McGinn:

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

To: Anita Bonds Chairperson of ANC5C

Copied to the Community



TO: Anita Bonds, Chairperson of ANC5C

I am writing you today because my name has been brought into the public venue in writing by Commissioner Gigi Ransom regarding the Bloomingdale Farmers` Market.

Because her unfounded and reckless comments have damaged my reputation in the community, I request three things to rectify this damage. First, Commissioner Ransom must make a public written apology for her statements. Second, her apology and retraction of this statement be publicly posted on every listserv to which Commissioner Ransom posted her statements about me. Third, as Chair of ANC5C, you state publicly that Commissioner Ransom is not the official spokesperson for ANC5C. Many members of the public, including myself, have that impression from her numerous postings of so-called fact findings that she is speaking for the whole of the ANC5C.

What follows is proof that the statements made about the Bloomingdale Farmer's Market are either in whole or in part false, inaccurate, and misleading
.

Commissioner Ransom first misrepresented my role in regards to closing R Street. Here is what she has posted:

From: Gigi Ransom
To: Brookland@yahoogrou ps.com
Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010
11:40:49 AM

Bloomingdale Farmer's Market (BFM):
Ted McGinn & Stu obtained DDOT`s permission to restricted residential parking and street closure of the 100 block R St NW, and did not take into consideration the immediately impacted residents concerns about their lack of parking, and the BBC did not pursue alternative available temporary street parking on Florida Ave for the vendors trucks and visitor/patron parking, has attributed to these residents being involuntarily inconvenienced for Mr. Davenport`’s personal and financial interests.

I am a employee of Markets and More LLC owned by Robin Shuster. Ms Shuster is the sole owner of record through the LLC of the Bloomingdale Farmers` Market. Because of her role as owner, only Robin has applied and could apply for any permit from DDOT. As an employee, I have never made any such applications. Please read the following from Robin.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robin Shuster
To: Ted McGinn < mcginnfamily@aol.com >
Sent: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 6:33 pm
Subject: Rebutting


Ted,

As the owner of the market, I, Robin Shuster, am the one who got the original and follow-up permits for the market, The market is in compliance with all the public space rules to which a farmers' market is subject. We got the required number of signatures from the residents of the 100 block of R Street agreeing to the street closure for the market, including one of the current protesters.

The Big Bear Cafe is not part of the market, does involve itself in any of the legal matters between the market and the city (such as getting permits for the market), and has no financial interests in the market. If anything, it is the market that profits from the existence of the BBC. I do not believe that the market would have been sustainable in that location (at least the first year or two) if the Cafe did not exist. On the other hand, the Cafe exists very nicely without the market 6 days a week and half the year when the market is closed.

To address the parking concerns of a couple of R Street neighbors, the market secured the alternative parking on Florida Avenue, which took us several years to do. But we now have official, permitted parking during the market season for all the residents of the 100 block of R Street from Saturday evening to Sunday at 3 pm when residents can again park on R Street. Please note that Markets and More was required by DDOT to provide all signage and instruments needed to safely close the lane for parking with no cost to the city. To provide this accommodation to R Street residents, the market also pays the city a required permit fee for closing the lane.

Robin


Anita, Commissioner Ransom's statements about how parking issues involving the market were handled are wholly false. I did work very hard with Robin to gain approval of parking along North side of Florida Avenue for the residents of the 100 block of R street NW during the market season. Those efforts stemmed out of protests from 3 households along the 100 block of R street NW about parking issues related to the market. The goal was to find nearby special permitted parking that would meet the needs of all the residents on that block including the 3 protesting households.

I started working on the parking issue first with Alice Thompson and later with Richard Norwood, the Ward 5 reps from the Mayor's office. Robin worked with DDOT. All parties including the protesters were working with CM Harry Thomas's office. CM Thomas held a meeting in his office with DDOT Public Space, Robin Shuster and myself. Please note that all of the protesters were invited in writing with follow up phone calls from CM Thomas's office, none of them showed up for the meeting. The outcome of the meeting was the endorsement of creating the parking for the residents with the details to be worked out by DDOT. Robin receive the finial approval the last week of the 2009 market season and the parking started this year. All of the protesting households use the new permitted parking, and I have talked with each of them this spring. All these facts refute the claim that I ``did not take into consideration the immediately impacted residents concerns`` as stated by Commissioner Ransom. Her depiction of my actions regarding the parking issue are false and defamatory.

Second, immediately following the quote above, Commissioner Ransom stated most inaccurately what I have said in public meetings. Here is what she wrote: When I first joined this ANC in 2009, the BFM came before 5C for support for the market and their DDOT request I recall both (Ted McGinn and Stuart Davenport) saying that they had the full support of the immediately impacted residents, they presented a large petition, and we gave support. The Protesters have said they were never contacted, were not aware of the petition, the request, or the item on the 5C agenda. ABC regulations allows for protests based on peace, quiet & order issues, including parking, which the protesters included. If we had known the immediate residents were not allowed to voice their opinions, 5C probably would have delayed the vote until the issue was reconciled as we should to protect eveyone`s interests.

Anita, the public has a real problem when elected officials write or speak in the public venue on the record stating so-called fact from memory. I never said we had the support of every household on the 100 block of R street NW. What I said was that we had met the threshold of support required by DDOT. I have sought the offical minutes from that meeting on the ANC5C Web site, but they and all the minutes going back to Feb of 2008 are not posted. Although a message on the site states that you can email a commissioner to have a copy of the minutes sent to you, in this day and age, residents of ANC5C should have easy access to these public records. Below you will find Micheal Herderson`'s meeting notes that are posted publicly for all to read.

ANC5C Monthly Meeting
Trinity College
Tuesday June 16, 2009
7 pm
From the desk of Michael J. Henderson
For information purposes only
www.edgewooddc.org

An excerpt from the meeting note....

Farmer’s Market – Commissioner Davenport – resolution to support the market and street closing of R street; moved that resolution be passed; Commissioner Salatti 2nd; Commissioner Pinkney asked if residents on that block had signed a petition; Ted McGinn said every year we go to the residents to satisfy DDOT, and each of the three years they have met that threshold; Commissioner Davenport said they have around 80% support from the residents on that block; Commissioner Bonds did the math – 12 residences and only 2 dissent; Commissioner Grant asked why the 2 that did opposed it; Commissioner Bonds said MPD is working to make parking on Florida Avenue for vendors and that would open R street to some extent so residents would not feel put upon; market operates May-November; they are trying to bring harmony and togetherness; there are a couple hundred people who come out; but it is right in front of certain people’s doors every Sunday; motion to vote on resolution to support farmer’s market Bloomingdale and let them close 100 block of R street NW for market operations; also for the city to look favorably on them; motion passed unanimously with editorial corrections

What is clear for all to see is that Ms.Ransom's memories do not match the events of that evening. And her memories do not match records that she could easily have checked before making spurious comments that state that I am a liar.


During that meeting,I presented the Commission with two petitions. The first, large petition was made up of names collected at the main market table. It was never represented as a polling of the 100 block of R Street and that was clearly stated on the opening statement that appeared at the top of each petition sheet. The second petition was a DDOT petition that only the residents on the 100 block of R street could sign. Each address along the street may have more then one vote if it is sub-divided into apartments. If an address is a single household, then it get only one vote. If you sign the petition, then you are supporting the Farmer's Market. If you do not sign, then a blank space is left for that address or apartment and that is counted as a "no" vote. There were three protesters this year, and DDOT granted he permits for the Market.

Commissioner Ransom stated that the protesters were not aware of the Market being on the agenda of ANC5C for the June 2009 meeting, and implies therefore that, assuming there is any truth to that statement, I had something to do with that or was in some way responsible for protesters knowing. ANC5C meeting notices that include the agenda for the meeting are posted on numerous listservs, including the Bloomingdale List. The information is also posted on the ANC5C web site. One of the protesters had posted on the Bloomingdale List more than once during that period of time. It is absurd and dishonest to assert that I had any responsibly to notify anyone about a public meeting.

To sum up, I feel that my good name and reputation have suffered harm from Commissioner Ransom's public writings posted on listservs and blogs. Her printed words reflect on the entire membership of ANC5C because, as of this date, ANC5C has taken no action to seperate the body from her actions.

I repeat that I request a public written apology from Commissioner Ransom and an equally public retraction of the statement by Commissioner Ransom be posted on every listserv she posted it to. I further request that as Chair of ANC5C you state publicly that Commissioner Ransom is not the official spokesperson for ANC5C. Many members of the public have that impression from her numerous postings of so-called fact findings that she is speaking for the whole of the ANC5C.

Repectfully yours in public service, Ted McGinn

President of The Eckington Civic Association
Co-Chair of the Emery Education Center LSRT
Senior Market Manager of the
Bloomingdale Farmers' Market
Resident of ANC 5C02

24 comments:

  1. I think one or possibly two of our 'fine' ANC commissioners need to get slapped with a libel suit.

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  2. ugh, gigi ransom is insane. remember when she said this,

    "Please know, I really don’t appreciate a white man, especially one who is gay, who gained his civil rights on the back of slaves & those of color who fought in the civil rights movement trying to control me"

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  3. I think it's pretty clear that the ANC smells "blood in the water" now that they voted against the BBC liquor license and feel that the Farmer's Market is a vulnerable target. My suspicion is that this will be a sign of overreach.

    Also notable that Ransom is posting her screed on the Brookland list which, as far as I can tell, is not anywhere near the Bloomingdale Farmer's market.

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  4. Is she up for reelection this year? I'm betting there would be support to campaign against her from outside Eckington... just a guess...

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  5. I need to do more research into the board and especially Ms. Gigi Ransom who lately come across to me as someone that doesn't produce much--but sure likes to complain and tear down. I've only attended a couple ANC5C meetings since moving from ANC1B and sensed something 'off' about a few board members and one of their friends, a large disrespectful man from the community. Of course we need to get rid of any board members that do not produce positive sustainable growth-and am willing to work toward such change. It is too easy to be a complainer--we need to elect grounded bright people that can handle complex situations professionaly. Bloomindale has a lot of people that fit this description. Don't settle.

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  6. Every ANC is up for election every two years.

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  7. Bloomingdale residents cannot vote for candidates for Ransom's ANC position; nor can they run for that position.

    The cluelessness on both sides is appalling.

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  8. @ 2nd Anonymous ..

    She's absolutely right. Sorry you can't grasp that.

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  9. Anon 4:39 - Voting is certainly one thing; donating or volunteering for (or against) a candidate's candidacy is another.

    As Gigi (according to the ANC5C website) represents Ft. Totten, I'm not really sure why she's so heavily involved with and/or opinionated about Bloomingdale business anyway... other than to stir up trouble. But that's the ANC system for you.

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  10. Ted

    To be on the record and fair, I NEVER signed to allow the market on th block and I know that at least two other households did not either. My signature was forged on the document the first year. I OBJEjected and was never asked about the market again It is simply dishonest to suggest you have enough signature and/or reached out to the block each year

    As it relates to the hasty one time meeting CM Thomas arranged, we were only notified of that meeting three days before it occurrerd and it happened during the day when we were all at work As a result, working people could not get off from work with that short of notice. We asked that the meeting be held at night or on the weekend and that request was ignored, I put my objection to all of this in writing and it was ignored too. This meeting was a charade to make it look like there was real interest in getting our feedback

    I resent anyone associated with the market suggesting that there was a full force effort to meet our needs and hear our concerns. Just like with the BB liquor license this is being shoved down the throats of the neighbors

    I have asked repeatedly why the market can not simply occur in Florida Avenue Park and not on our street. If you all were truly interested in engaging all of the community then it would be held off the street and in an area where everyone could feel comfortable. This is not just about parking, Its about the need to embrace the entire communtiy -from all colors to renters and homeowners etc. Florida Ave Park is the perfect venue

    Scott, why dont you start giving equal coverage and prominence to all voices and not just ones you like and agree with?

    Peter 100 R Street NW

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  11. Peter,

    To be clear, you and I both worked to get signatures from the residents of R street the first year the market opened.

    On May 2nd you were in Las Vegas and you sent an email giving permission for members of the market to sign for you.

    The email is below:

    On 5/2/07, peter wrote (email address withheld):

    I am in Vegas this week. I thought I gave you my signature and two of the neighbors, anyway, you may sign for me

    On May 1, 2007, at 1:33 PM, stuart davenport wrote:

    Peter,

    We have all signatures but yours and the residents of 123 R.

    Let us know if you are out of town or not, or if we can stop by.

    Also, if you are really busy we can sign for you.

    Thanks.
    -Stuart


    I can supply you the emails if you would like.

    Stating that someone is forging your signature is a serious accusation.

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  12. Peter,

    Where in the Fla. Ave. park would you put the canopies and tables? On the playground equipment or on the basketball court? Also, where would the delivery trucks back up to unload? Finally, who is going to roust the indigents?

    I'm a local parent and I've visited the park. I've seen human feces on the playground equipment. I've seen a drunk passed out the playground equipment. I won't take my children there again.

    Fla. Ave. park is not practical, sanitary, nor safe. This helpful suggestion is absurd.

    And for the record, my understanding of Ted's piece was that no-one claimed the block unanimously supported the market, but unanimity is not the threshold the petition needed to clear.

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  13. Personally, I love how Peter justifies his desire to have the farmer's market in the Florida Ave park by saying, "Its about the need to embrace the entire communtiy -from all colors to renters and homeowners"-- that is a meaningless phrase: who could be against it? And what on earth does that have to do with whether the Farmer's Market is on R St or in the florida ave park? I could easily counter by simply saying that the need to support community wellness, diversity, the american way, and cute puppies requires that we have it on R Street.

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  14. It's amazing that something as good for the community as a local farmer's market would provoke such discontent. If you don't like living in proximity to lots of people and dealing with the small sacrifices it takes to keep a community clean, safe and tight-knit, might it be time to head for the mountains? Maybe a nice farmette in the burbs? No one voices problems with public amenities like, say, a bus stop, which takes up precious parking space and creates more than its share of trash and body fluids, but a once a week farmer's market that lasts half of an afternoon causes so much heartburn... hard to understand for me.

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  15. Well, I think Peter's credibility has just been determined.

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  16. Picky Peters Public Parking Permits Problem Proves Poor Proof of Community Progress....

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  17. peter,

    this blog has allowed comments for the past 5 years. you have always been welcome to post your opinions here.
    additionally, i have always invited people to send me information to post.

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  18. Just wondering, did anyone else see the news that the FL Ave Park is getting a million dollar makeover?

    Can this be confirmed?

    Also not sure what all the hub-bub is about the farmer's market, but if this is the same crowd that's opposing BBC turning into a real restaurant, I think they need to take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves if they're thinking about the community or their own narrow self interest.

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  19. devoe,
    everyone is entitled to their own narrow self interest.

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  20. "Also not sure what all the hub-bub is about the farmer's market..."

    The hub-bub is about the following:

    1. Complexion
    2. Socio-economic class
    3. Duration of residency in the 'hood

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  21. Just a note: My understanding from discussions with other ANC Commissioners (in other ANCs) is that standard practice for these sorts of issues is quite different than what is going on in ANC5C. Usually, Commissioners will vote in line with whatever the local Commissioners (i.e., those living in the community in question) suggest the vote should be. This is not to say that various questions are not raised and discussed, but that, usually, most ANCs let the locally elected leaders suggest what is best for their communities. Because, um, they were ELECTED BY THESE COMMUNITIES to represent them. How can someone who lives in Ft. Totten know what is best for Bloomingdale?

    Maria, LeDroit Park

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  22. Stuart

    As you know I had not supported your market within one month of it opening. I maintain that you continued to use my email saying to sign for me for subsequent years because I quickly became disillusioned with you and the market

    You extended the length of the market out permission and used our block to further your own business

    That is why I state you have forged my name. Let me be clear, shortly after the may 2 email I withdrew all of my support and it remains withdrawn till this day

    It is a serious situation that you represent that you have my suort and I too have many emails to you and cm Thomas indicating that you do not

    Peter

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  23. peter,
    i don't know you, and i can't judge you and your opinions, but it pains me to read what you write.

    there are a million things that are wrong with this city, but to say that a farmers market is wrong because you can't park in front of your house, or that big bear cafe financially benefits from it's existence is delusional.

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  24. Peter-

    To clarify, the BFM showed your home as being in opposition the years following the first year.

    -Stuart

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