If you needed more evidence that passions run high when it comes to development of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site, the Bloomingdale Civic Association's got you covered.
The organization, upset by ANC 5C's decision to support the plan over objections from some community members, has prepared a vote of no confidence in the neighborhood commission—and it doesn't spare any bombast. It begins:
WHEREAS, as noted in the 1863 Gettysburg Address, the United States of America is a democracy wherein "government is of the people, by the people, and for the people";and concludes:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Bloomingdale Civic Association has NO CONFIDENCE in ANC 5C's representation of community/constituent concerns inmatters related to the McMillan Sand Filtration Site development;The 80-plus-member Civic Association, whose membership is limited to Bloomingdale residents who pay the membership fee ($20 for adults), has mostly opposed the plan for a while now. But according to John Salatti, a vice president of the Civic Association, the current objection is more to the ANC's lack of consideration of community input than to its actual position.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Bloomingdale Civic Association will actively encourage other Civic Associations affected by the McMillan Sand Filtration Sitedevelopment to consider issuing similar resolutions of 'no confidence';
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Bloomingdale Civic Association will activelyseek assurances from District Officials that the recently authorized ANC 5E (which incorporates most of the communities abutting the McMillan Site), upon its constitution, will have rights of advisement, comment and 'great weight' on all matters related to the McMillan Sand Filtration Site development.
"It's no so much that they voted to approve," says Salatti. "It's how they voted to approve." The ANC, he says, aggravated the community by going "out of its way to extol the virtues" of the plan.
The no-confidence vote is scheduled for Saturday, and Salatti thinks it's likely to pass if the same kinds of people show up who have objected to the plan in the past. He believes the Civic Association's membership is reflective of the broader Bloomingdale community when it comes to views on McMillan, though not demographically — the neighborhood is about 60 percent black and 40 percent white, he says, while the Civic Association is about 70 percent white and 30 percent black.
Of course, a vote of no confidence would have no direct effect — particularly since ANC 5C is about to be dissolved in the redistricting of Ward 5. But Salatti hopes it'll send a message.
"Like most anything that any civilian does, it has no impact," he says. "Given its druthers, the city is going to do whatever it wants to do. But it does make clear to the powers that be"—he rattled off a few, including the new ANC commission that'll represent the area, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Council Economic Development and Housing Committee Chairman Michael Brown, and Mayor Vince Gray—"that we understand who holds the big levers here, but we are still going to hold you vocally and publicly accountable."