Monday, March 14, 2011

Councilmember Thomas 5C03 Meeting with Concerned Residents - Tonight, 3/14

From: Chase, Ayawna (COUNCIL)
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 5:06 PM
To: 'tj quinn'; Hugh Youngblood; etc.

Greetings Bloomingdale Residents:

It has come to our attention the necessity to facilitate not just one meeting, but a series of meetings in Bloomingdale to address multiple resident concerns. Currently, Councilmember Thomas’ staff is addressing parking, graffiti, supercan/parts replacement, safety/security, Florida Avenue Park, and overall neighbor relations.

Post tonight’s meeting we will update the listserve with notes from the meeting and immediately secure a location and date for the next meeting. Councilmember Thomas’ Office will ensure distribution of fliers/notification of the meeting. We hope to encourage and ongoing dialogue with residents of Bloomingdale. In the interim, please feel free to contact the Ward 5 Council Office with any immediate concerns.

Thank you all for your continued enthusiasm for a great community.

Sincerely,

Ayawna C. Webster

Chief of Staff

Ward 5 Councilmember

Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr.

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Suite 107

Washington, D.C. 20004

(202) 724-8028 - office

(202) 724-8076 - fax

12 comments:

  1. Karla, Ayawna and neighbors,

    First, thank you for trying to foster debate in the neighborhood. It is useful for neighbors to meet and talk over issues facing us collectively as well as hash out grievances we have between us.

    That said, I object to the characterization of tonight's meeting as a "community meeting." There was no notice given to your neighbors of the meeting--I am left to assume that your late notice at 2:30 pm the day of the meeting was your way of telling me you did not want us there. It was not sponsored by any community organizations such as the civic association or the North Capitol BID. Nor was it, apparently, know to our ANC commissioners, who, based on previous posts on this blog, have already begun a dialogue on parking in the neighborhood.

    Given the late notice for the meeting, I question whether anyone could reasonably expect attendance from Bloomingdale residents and community leaders. Therefore, I feel more like I have just been baited into a fight not of my choosing over "solutions to problems that have been identified" with local businesses, whatever that is. Effectively, what this post of the "community meeting" has achieved is community outcry and in-fighting over parking. We have taken a step backwards from Commissioner Salatti's earlier efforts to discuss parking improvements based in discussions with churches and started arbitrarily picking out groups --Big Bear! BFM!--to blame.

    I am willing to talk about community solutions in an open, transparent, appropriately-noticed manner. I do not want to be ambushed by one neighbor with a DC Council Member's ear at 2:30 pm on a workday. If you want to talk about parking issues, or graffiti, or whatever it is you want to discuss, please share your concerns with the community in a timely fashion so we can all talk about them like big kids. Do not foment acrimonious posts on the blog that was intended to aid transparency and exclude your neighbors from participating in the dialogue by posting a meeting/call-to-arms on issues at the 11th hour. I look forward to the promised flyers for future meetings.

    Carly
    North Cap and S. NW

    ReplyDelete
  2. I could not attend tonight's meeting due to illness and my not being sure if 'community' included me. Hopefully a little bit more notice, with some clarification would be given in the future.
    So anyone knows what, if anything went on?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well said Carly!

    I find it very sad that there wasn't enough notice given to the neighborhood.

    I also feel that maybe, Councilman Thomas might be losing touch with the Bloomingdale neighborhood.

    The neighborhood is growing - and it's a wonderful thing. We all have to adapt, with the growth of local businesses (which SHOULD NOT be stifled ONE BIT), housing improvements in the neighborhood - we all have to come together to find SOLUTIONS and not play the blame game.

    Unless parking issues around BBC or BFM become a safety hazard - which they have in some areas around churches on Sundays. Then the issue should be addressed. Issues like - "Oh, I can't find a parking spot in front of my house, so I'm going to complain."

    Either grow with the neighborhood or consider moving to a new one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jeremy-

    There should be an update out later today, but the meeting last night was incredibly helpful.

    The main focus was with residents immediately surrounding the Big Bear Cafe, and the meeting was meant to encourage a dialog where one needed to be.

    He knows this neighborhood well. I think he and his team are doing a good job.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I too would have liked to have been included in this discussion and am a resident who immediately surrounds BBC. Please make more of an effort to give advance so that not only those who scream the loudest are heard. I look forward to the more inclusive discussions in the future. Wow, I did not know anyone actually drove to BBC - what with all of the bikes parked outside!?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jamey: Regarding your comment "what is with all of the bikes parked outside?" Are you indicating that lots of bikes parked outside is a desirable state? Or an undesirable state?

    ReplyDelete
  7. A last minute community meeting on parking? Someone has too much time on their hands and wasn't expecting a big turn out, nor were they concerned about the input from the community at large. Get organized if you want to be taken seriously.

    I am sure Thomas went on his tangents about jobs for the community...and quite frankly if he has time to attend a "community" meeting about random parking issues directed at select businesses and positive neighborhood events like the farmers market then he has really lost touch with the real problems in this neighborhood. Parking is so far from being a problem in this neighborhood.

    I might contact his office to see if we can have a quick emergency community meeting on dog poop on the sidewalk and tree boxes. Does tomorrow night work for everyone?

    Never mind the obvious drug houses, drunk loiterers, vacant properties, youth crime...

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I attended and I have to say CM Thomas was very interested in talking about positive developments in Bloomingdale - bringing in jobs, rebuilding parks. He was very reasonable and positive; he recognized that our problems are not about parking (or at least not primarily about parking - a DDOT representative was there, but did not get a chance to talk by the time I left), but are about crime, drunks, etc.

    I say this with all respect, but the complaints that were voiced seemed very much focused on personal grudges based on decisions taken years ago, or based on determinations of public authorities. There were some complaints about the process of applying for BBC zoning change, but the substantive complaints did seem to lack substance.

    This does not make them less valid for the people raising them, but my only personal stake in this debate is my interest in the good of the neighborhood. I fail to see how the concerns voiced last night advance Bloomingdale - which is something that CM Thomas seemed to want to talk about.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ Scott Roberts - I've been misquoted!!!! My statement was, "what with all of those bikes" not "what IS with all of the bikes". And was intended to point out that I hardly see any people parking and going to BBC but rather walk up/drive up (a wonderful thing). I'm an avid cyclist - please don't run me over Scott!

    ReplyDelete