Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mark Mueller: accumulated comments on last night's ANC 5E unconditional vote on VMP`s master plan for McMillan

See this message from ANC 5E08 Commissioner Mark Mueller:

I have been getting a small flood of emails from community asking about ANC5E`s vote to send a letter of support for the McMillan Development.  Rather than answer each email, I`m sending this bulleted fact list regarding ANC5E vote last night.

  • Commissioner Barnes did not supply a draft letter to the Commission before or during the ANC meeting, so the Board approved a letter they did not see.  No draft is available for the community
  • No Civic Association around McMillan (Stronghold & Bloomingdale) were approached for input on such a support letter.
  • Commissioner Quinn (also President of Bloomingdale Civic Association) stated that she is against such a letter since the Civic Association did not have time to give input on most recent plan.
  • The vote goes against ANC5E Bylaws, which state:
    Section 8.  Commissioners shall seek the support/non-support of their respective civic association(s) prior to requesting placement of a developer or anyone seeking ANC 5E support on the ANC 5E agenda for a vote.
  • Bloomingdale Commissioners Mark Mueller and Teri Janine Quinn protested such a letter at this time
  • Commissioner Mueller stated also that a letter of pure support does a disservice to the community we are supposed to be advocating for if it does not state clearly the unmet community wishes/demands. 
  • Commissioner Barnes (also Chair of the McMillan Advisory Group (MAG)), surprised the MAG Board on Nov 14 with a Letter of pure Support, which the MAG Board strongly voted against at this time. 
  • A support letter goes against quantitative evidence that there are major community concerns
  • 6000 petition signatures, 
  • 900 community surveys, 
  • many protest emails against the support letter, 
  • overwhelming majority spoke against land surplus at the Mayor's surplus meeting
  • There has not been any quantitative proof of majority support
Reasons given for supporting the letter by Commissioner Smith-Steiner:
  • Councilman McDuffie supports it
  • This has been going on a long time   
 
                      

12 comments:

  1. The unmet wishes/demands of the community??? Please those will always exist. It's a comprise we need and the sooner we all realize that the better we all will be. You cannot have everything which is what FOMP has been pushing for over 8 years on this project. first it was all park then it was 75%, then 50% then a Dreamer polan by some lackluster professor at CUA that it far from even viable. No matter what you put in the plan FOMP will always object. I have been involved much longer than most in this community and on this project and the wants and demands that FOMP and it's crew allude to have changed several times and they have never been clearly stated. Instead it's a tactic that FOMP has been using to create this conflict to achieve their misguided and frankly SELFISH wants. Furthermore Mr. Muller's terrible survey that misrepresented what people want in the area around McMillan but insists on claiming it does represent the people's voice, which shows that he know's little about survey's and how to gather data collected from them. The questions where not structured well in order for good information to be gleaned from it. So your 900 surveys amount to wasted paper. The 6000 signatures that have been gather are bogus because the petition only lays out FOMP stance and not the true story about the project so again a waste for real information gathering but useful for a propaganda campaign that FOMP will not win!

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  2. Mark, in response to this comment, I would suggest perhaps pointing those interested in the survey to a blank copy (sorry, I don't know where to find it). I think we're all intelligent enough to determine whether the survey was biased or not.

    Mr. Daneker, I would encourage you to conduct your own unbiased survey to assess the sentiments of the community. The more data on all of this the better informed I think we all are.

    Mat

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    Replies
    1. I would agree but when you tout this survey you tout a flawed survey!

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  3. Thanks to Mark and Mat for updating the community on the actions of ANC5E last night.

    No matter what you think of VMP, FOM, MAG - Mark and Mat's posts are about the actions of our elected representatives, violating the bylaws which they themselves approved. The VMP will be going to the Mayor's Agent without any encouragement from the ANC, and the hearing date has not even been set. So what was the rush? Park lovers and affordable housing advocates should all be dismayed at the lack of respect afforded our communities.

    As for the survey Mark and others made - kudos! No other group has reached out to the surrounding neighbors to gauge their opinion on McMillan. DC government and VMP have had years AND MONEY to survey the area and have not done so. VMP citing how many community meetings have taken place is meaningless if it is the same people attending the meetings. How many unique individuals have attended a VMP meeting, and what were their opinions? (And how many of those people who attended years ago are still alive and living nearby?)

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  4. Dianne Barnes has asked me to post ANC 5E Commissioner Debbie Steiner-Smith`s response to the ANC 5E thumbs-up vote: "As a person who knows the history behind the created MAG, here are the facts:

    In and around 2006 the MAG was created to have a group of citizens from each area civic association present; and to represent their community. Since the creation, the MAG group has had several changes with its members.

    Recently, I attended the last MAG meeting. At this meeting you had the Vice Chair yelling at the Chairperson, even after being asked to lower their voice; you had member, Gwen Southerland who took over the meeting while disregarding the Chair. In addition, Ms. Southerland self appointed herself as the Committee Organizer and asked the MAG members to accept her recommendations for committees.

    One alarming committee - Communications. I expressed to the group how since their inception, each community representative on the MAG was to be communicating with their communities and bring the information back to the MAG. Southerland, a MAG member stated that it had not been happening-- since 2006?? No minutes have been approved by the MAG which to me says --nothing is happening; mostly ideas, stonewall the development and leaving the surrounding community residents out. It was apparent from the last MAG meeting how the representation in this group was not communicating with the area residents nor providing honest feedback to the MAG. It was stated at this MAG meeting how they were not bringing the information back to the community.

    During the ANC 5E Public Meeting I included some of the mentioned details above, and did requested it noted how one of the prior Chairperson of the MAG, CM McDuffie had voted to support this project.

    I represent ANC 5E01 and my constituents want to see McMillan developed. McMillian Reservoir has never been a park from its inception, it was a water filtration site.

    Next -- the bylaws: What was presented and read last night and were just recently posted to the ANC 5E website by Vice-Chair Quinnn are not the bylaws voted and approved by the ANC 5E Commission; therefore Section 8 does not exist. I addressed this issue with the ANC 5E Vice Chair Quinn who is currently working on resolving the matter.

    Respectfully,

    Commissioner Smith Steiner

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  5. In response to the comments from Commissioner Smith-Steiner, I would respectfully disagree:

    -- With respect to the ANC bylaws, the April 2013 ANC 5E meeting minutes state, "Approval
    - ANC 5E Bylaws; Commissioner Mueller motioned to approve the ANC 5E Bylaws; Motion 2nd and it passed." What took place in the ensuing months with respect to the bylaws, meeting minutes, and ANC as a functioning body is unusual. I would encourage anyone interested to read back through the ANC 5E meeting minutes for calendar year 2013.

    -- With respect to the statement, "At this meeting you had the Vice Chair yelling at the Chairperson, even after being asked to lower their voice." This encounter was the result of the Vice Chair having his name placed on a document without prior consultation. I will not speak to the extent of this encounter, but the proposed letter can be found on the MAG website that I am working to pull together (this site has not yet been discussed within the MAG so please keep that in mind): http://mcmillanadvisorygroup.wordpress.com/meeting-minutes/.

    -- With respect to the statement: "In addition, Ms. Southerland self appointed herself as the Committee Organizer and asked the MAG members to accept her recommendations for committees." I cannot speak to Ms. Southerland's role as the Committee Organizer but I will look into this. As for the committees, it is my understanding that they are proposed to and voted on by the MAG. For example, from the September 2013 meeting minutes, "Motion 8: Form a Housing committee on MAG to cover topics of affordable housing and senior housing. Motion seconded. Motion passes by majority."

    -- With respect to the statement, "One alarming committee - Communications." ... "It was stated at this MAG meeting how they were not bringing the information back to the community." It is my understanding that the committees are being formed in order to provide structure to the MAG and its discussions and to address specific topic areas. From the November 2013 meeting minutes, "Discussion of MAG Committees; Gwen Southerland passed out a list of committees that were proposed via email: Housing, Historic Preservation, Retail, Community Center, Park, Communications." ... "Dianne Barnes: Suggested adding a Traffic and Transportation Committee. Gwen Southerland added the committee. Motion 2: Motion to accept these seven committees to start, and we are free to add other committees as deemed necessary. Motion Seconded. Vote passes by majority." I personally see this Communications Committee as a way in which to facilitate the distribution of information to the greater public (to date none of the MAG related information has been made available online) and in no way a vehicle from which to usurp another representative's representation of their community at the MAG. I recognize the opposition to such a committee being formed, but also do not recognize the harm in the creation of such a committee.

    I would like to specifically note that some, if not all, of these meeting minutes are in draft. However, I am not aware of a process in place for approving these minutes. Instead, these are the minutes captured by the elected Recording Secretary, or in some cases a proxy, and that I believe embody the nature of the discussions that were held.

    I apologize for the continual blog responses. This is simply my attempt to be as factual as possible when I believe that not all of the information is presented. If anyone would care to discuss anything further, I'm always more than happy to speak offline.

    Mathew Bader
    BCA MAG Representative and Bloomingdale Citizen

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  6. Okay, here is a revised comment from Commissioner Steiner-Smith. It it too long for one comment -- so here is part #1

    Subject: Regarding the motion and my vote please post
    From: dlsmith112@msn.com
    Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:49:31 -0500


    This is quite lengthy; please inform your readers. Also please post this to the Bloomingdale blog

    Dear Readership of this blog;

    As a person who knows the history behind the created MAG, here are the facts:

    In and around 2006 the MAG was created to have a group of citizens from each area Civic Association represent their community. Since the creation, the MAG group has had numerous changes with its members.

    Recently, I attended the last MAG meeting. At this meeting you had the Vice Chair yelling at the Chairperson, about the Draft document she wanted considered by the group. Even after being asked to lower their voice (Vice-Chair) he still was aggressive and loud; you had member, Gwen Southerland, taking control over the meeting while disregarding the Chair. In addition, Ms. Southerland self appointed herself as the Committee Organizer and asked the MAG members to accept her recommendations for committees.

    One alarming committee - Communications. I expressed to the group how since their inception, each community representative on the MAG was to be communicating with their communities and bring the information back to the MAG. Southerland, a MAG member stated how it was not happening -- since 2006?? No minutes have been approved by the MAG which to me says -- nothing is happening; mostly ideas, conversations and stonewalling the development; leaving the surrounding community residents voices out. It was apparent from the last MAG meeting how the representation in this group was not communicating with the area residents nor providing honest feedback to the MAG as a whole. It was stated at this MAG meeting how they were not bringing the information back to the community.

    During the ANC 5E Public Meeting I included some of the mentioned details above, and did request it noted how one of the prior Chairperson of the MAG, CM McDuffie had voted to support this project.

    I represent ANC 5E01 and my constituents want to see McMillan developed. McMillian Reservoir has never been a park from its inception, it was a water filtration site.

    Next -- the bylaws: What was presented and read last evening and were just recently posted to the ANC 5E website by Vice-Chair Quinn are bogus. These bylaws have never been presented at a Public Monthly meeting for the Commission to take a vote. In order for these bylaws to official bylaws, they must be voted and approved by the ANC 5E Commission at a Public monthly meeting-these were not. Therefore Section 8 does not exist.

    Those Commissioners who write on this listserve telling you how these are our official bylaws are not stating facts; although we had discussion in the COW meeting regarding the formation of the bylaws, never at anytime were these bylaws presented to the Commission for a vote.

    Commissioner Mueller's assertion on whether or not a document, Commissioner Barnes letter of support for Vision Partners, was presented to the ANC is true. There was never a document to be voted on, I made a motion and it was approved by the Commissioners who were in support of moving the McMillan project forward.

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  7. and here is part #2 from Commissioner Steiner-Smith:

    To all: it is very disingenuous and surprising how I am working with ANC colleagues who constantly want to buck the legal way of operating the ANC. You have a Treasurer who will not provide the Quarterly report to ALL Commissioners before submitting the document to the Auditor; You have a Treasurer, Vice Chairperson and Commissioner Pickney who wants to support paying a webmaster for services when he has no contract -- for $1,000.00 - no job description but just pay him. You have Quinn, Pickney, and Mueller who want to pay the webmaster (Michael Henderson) for purchasing pre paid domain names, 4, that are routed to the main website - no official action approving these expenses by the ANC prior to the purchases, which are unauthorized mind you. You have a couple of commissioners' who are trying hard to make sure that your 5E Commission is operating within the law. However, I personally get attacked by Mueller who states I want it my way. No it is not my way, it is the law.

    Some of the Commissioners who currently sit on this Commission are returning Commissioners. Did you know that they are directly responsible for approving more than $60,000.00 of unauthorized expenditures? You have the Bloomingdale Civic Association President who was a part of the prior ANC 5C Grant committee who, with Tim Clark, submitted grants to that ANC 5C Commission for approval when they were not legitimate; they were paid out grants but the Auditor revoked the expenses. Why - because of lack of documentation and supportive receipts. I have the information, but will your Vice Chair of ANC 5E post it to the website for viewing?

    Check this out - Commissioner Mueller, great person! Comments on how the bogus bylaws mind you, were ignored. However, when Quinn place the vote on the floor for a Barroom to be approved on the condition of "going before the Bloomingdale Civic Association for a vote in December, does this not violate that same rule? Quinn states that she made this recommendation, which was approved motioned by Quinn, and seconded by Pickney, with 2 opposing - but does not this violate that same bogus rule. Further, the Barroom establishment had not stalked to the area residents, at the time of this vote, about their bar with live entertainment.

    I am currently trying to get reimbursed for legitimate ANC cellular charges for my personal cellphone which has a Google voice number, for ANC use attached, However, according to the Auditor, information is not being conveyed, and when sending correspondence to the DC Auditor the Treasurer has not cc me on what is being said -- this is not transparency.

    Respectfully,

    Commissioner Smith Steiner

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  8. Wow. how dysfunctional. I mean the Commissioner.

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  9. There seems to be very little in there about the actual vote itself and the matter at hand.

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  10. and they wonder why people don't show up to meetings?

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  11. Does ANC5E have approved bylaws? If ANC5E bylaws, posted on their website, are not correct, please share the correct version.

    In most meetings of ANC5E, the practice has been to delay a vote on an issue which had not been voted on by the Civic Association, or to vote with a contingency that it be voted upon at the next CA meeting.

    So, if ANC5E residents cannot rely on the posted bylaws, or the "custom and practice" of the Commission, then what can we rely on when it comes to the actions of our Commission?

    BYLAWS OF ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 5E
    (As Amended Through August 29, 2013)

    Section 7. Commissioners shall participate in their respective monthly civic
    association(s) meetings to disseminate information to constituents, resolve
    community issues and solicit community input.

    Section 8. Commissioners shall seek the support/non-support of their
    respective civic association(s) prior to requesting placement of a developer
    or anyone seeking ANC 5E support on the ANC 5E agenda for a vote.

    BTW, in June, the ANC5E site posted a slate of officers for the Ward 5 Dems' election - a contested election. What was the outcome of that action?


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