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Kathy Patterson, Democratic candidate for
Ward 3 Councilmember in the
November 5, 2002, general election
Letter to Cleveland Park Citizens
October 2002

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Campaign Chair
JoAnne Ginsberg

Finance Chair
The Honorable John Ray

Jan Aber

Campaign Manager
Diane Shinn

Ruth McDonald

3740 Military Road N.W.
Washington D.C. 20015
Voice mail: (202) 363-4511

DC Council
Kathy Patterson
Setting the standard for leadership

Dear Cleveland Park Citizens Association Members:

I am sorry that the Association vas unable to schedule the Ward 3 candidate forum on a day Lcould attend, and I look forward to seeing you at the November 2 meeting. Following are responses to specific questions that were raised at the meeting October 5. Please feel free to email back if you have any follow-up concerns.

1. Voting rights for non-citizens.

The right to vote is obviously a cherished right, particularly for District residents who still must fight for full rights in the U.S. Congress. I do not, however, support extending voting rights to non-citizens.

2. Tax assessments

The Council Committee on Finance and Revenue is keeping its commitment, made to Cleveland Park residents and others in the spring to review our laws and regulations on property tax assessments. Committee Chair Jack Evans has scheduled an oversight hearing on the property tax assessment process for November 6 at 2 p.m. in the Council chamber, and I look forward to coming away from that review with .specific steps to improve the process. In addition to the specific issues on valuation, use of sales prices, and accuracy of data generally that were raised in the spring, this hearing will include a discussion of the Office of Tax and Revenue-decision to grant a reduction to certain homeowners in Spring Valley who appealed their assessments based on the World War I munitions testing and soil contamination.

3. What steps have I taken to enforce the laws requiring District residents to register their cars and pay income taxes?

A small but real factor in the District's financial recovery over the last six I years has been far better collection of income taxes, including better information technology and improvements in customer services (though still some distance to go, there): I have supported capital expenditures to improve the information technology within the Office of Tax and Revenue including the ability to know, through data sharing, who has not paid certain income taxes - including a business that pays withholding but not sales tax or vice versa, for example. In terms of enforcing the laws on car registration, a Ward 3 advisory neighborhood commissioner; Christopher Lively, has worked with the Metropolitan Police Department Second District; on a pilot project to improve compliance. My oversight of the MPD as chair of the Judiciary Committee will continue to press for better processes and practices so that cars are ticketed in .a timely fashion to promote compliance with the law.

4. What was my position on Klingle Road prior to January 2000?

My work on Klingle Road prior to January 2000 consisted of pressing the executive branch of government to begin the remediation that has long been necessary regardless of whether the road is rebuilt or another alternative is pursued. As most know, there was no action regarding Klingle Road due to the District's financial crisis in the 1990s. It wasn't until the city began operating in the black, including federal highway dollars, that the Administration moved forward toward a decision, on the future of the roadway. In January 2000 I sent a letter to Mayor Williams including my support for a hike/bike pathway, noting the cost to rebuild a road and noting; also, the continuing deterioration and need for remediation. In the wake of September 11, 2041, I issued a statement on Klingle Road supporting the use of the roadway for emergency vehicles - consistent with the Mayor's posture - and opposing ending the right of way so that the District could choose to rebuild the roadway at some time in the future.

5. What can be done about the Water and Sewer Authority and its fees?

The District's water and sewer systems are part of the infrastructure - roads and bridges are others - that were allowed to deteriorate during the 1980s and 1990s, and we are paying the price today in, many respects for failures at routine maintenance and modernization. Paying to rebuild portions, of the system is one cost-driver affecting water rates: The Water and Sewer Authority is governed by the Board of Directors, the majority of whom are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. The Council does not have a role in approving increases in rates, but does have a role in oversight and asking questions of nominees who wish to serve on the board. The intentions of such candidates in terms of future investments in WASH are areas we raise during confirmation hearings. It was mentioned at the forum that a proposal was made to change the structure arid authorization of WASA from the independent entity it is today, so that it would no longer have a Board of Directors and instead be governed by the Public Service Commission as a utility, with the PSC, setting rates. Discussions of this proposal have not convinced me that residents of the District would gain by such a change.

Again, I am sorry that I was not able to join the Association this past Saturday and look forward to seeing you on November 2.

Kathy Patterson
Councilmember, Ward 3

Paid for by the Kathy Patterson for Council Committee, Jan Aber Treasurer. Our report is on file with the Office of Campaign Finance.

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