Organiza.gif (1182 bytes)

Home     Organizations

Forward to September 2000 Federation NewsBack to Federation of Citizens Associations main pageBack to May 2000 Federation News

Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia

Federation News

Volume 6, Issue 9, June 2000
3710 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
(202) 338-5164 phone/fax

Federation Election Meeting in June
Need for Widespread DPW Spraying for Mosquitoes in DC?
Term Limits for Elected Officials
Officers and Board
President’s Message
Mayor Wows Delegates at Federation Awards Banquet
Memorable Quote
The Board of Education Reconstitution — Or Not — Election June 27
Klingle Road Plans
Campus Plan Renewal Times: No Rush in Face of Projected Rules Overhaul
Federation Former President Honored
Status Report: Official Residence for the Mayor
Council Passes Ceremonial Resolutions Honoring Pastor Frank Senger of Hillcrest and Alberta Paul of Penn Branch
Future Federation Assembly Meeting Dates

TUESDAY, JUNE 27 7:00 P.M.

Review of Presented Slate of Officers and Board Members
Nominations From The Floor
Voting (Delegates or Alternates Only)
Other Business

The Charles Sumner School
1201 Seventeenth Street, N. W. (at M)


Following an interesting year, it is election time again. As usual, nominations (including self nominations), evaluative comments on candidates, laudatory observations, and general critiques are wide open and all delegates or (in their absence, alternate delegates) are free to join in pre-election discussion and, the usually running commentary during the segments of the election.

The five .officers will be voted on -seratim, that is, separately and in normal sequence. In that way, nothing is left unclear and election results are unambiguous, settled and more likely to be the satisfaction of all participants. Board members will be voted on one ballot listing all ten slate candidates and all nominees from the floor. Voters will vote for ten of the final X number of candidates. This system has at least a forty-year history, and it works.

This year all officers and members of the Board have agreed to stand for another term. Consequently, their names will be on the ballot and this is known as the "slate". All slate means, however, that fifteen officer-Board positions are guaranteed an incumbent. It is not an official recommended group of candidates, and nominations will be called for and freely accepted from the floor. Competing, ad hoc, etc., slates are a possibility, as well as nominations of individuals.

Only delegates or alternates from member organizations in good standing will be eligible to vote. However, since all 36 member associations have duly paid their annual dues, every constituent organization is in good standing. Good going, everyone.

The vote tallying team will comprise Councilman Phil Mendelson, Michigan Park delegate Dino Drudi, and Association of Oldest Inhabitants delegate Harold Gray.

Campus Plan Roundtable

The new and activated Office of Planning will reportedly collaborate with the Zoning Commission in holding a timely community roundtable session in the near future, to better define and get a grip on problems, conditions and solutions pertaining to campus plans. Sure to come up are current nonenforcement of BZA directives, ignoring of the zoning regulations, and the hitherto laissez-faire approach to these plans by the BZA and other agencies.

Back to top of page


According to news reports the West Nile virus which made a lot of people sick and killed several persons last year in New York is heading down the East Coast this summer, carried by birds - mostly crows. Mosquitoes bite the crows, then humans, and thereby pass the disease on.

To add to this bad mix, for the past few years DC has had an explosion in numbers of "Asian Tiger" mosquitoes. These are as pesky as normal mosquitoes, but their eggs hatch in the most minute amounts of stagnant water. Even small puddles in old tires, watering cans or birdbaths are sufficient to enable these mosquitoes' eggs to hatch.

In some parts of the country, such as Mississippi delta areas and Louisiana, elaborate anti-mosquitoe spraying efforts have been under way for years. It may be time for the District to start to consider doing likewise, if necessary.

For more information, call the Centers for Disease Control at 1-800-311-3455 or go to the News 4 website which contains a report about this concern, with a hyperlink to the CDD for more in-depth information. Numbers are: health/westnile.shtml. (Observations of fact from the Glover Park Newsletter.)

Back to top of page

Term Limits for Elected Officials

November 2000 city elections are approaching. Lest we forget, based on referendum results that became law in March 1995, city councilmembers as well as the mayor are limited after 1995 to two consecutive 4-year terms. Council salaries start at $80, 605, and vary upwards according to time served, accepted or declined in-grade raises and the like. Time limits apply to both ward and at-large Councilmembers.

Contrary to recent rumors, there is no legislation being considered at councilmember Kathy Patterson's office or (government affairs) committee to alter or abolish term limits.

Back to top of page

Officers and Board

Patrick H. Allen, Esq.
Citizens Association of Georgetown

Gracie V. Baten
Shepherd Park Citizens Association

John C. Batham
West End Citizens Association

Rhoma Battle
Penn Branch Civic Association

Allen E. Beach
Chevy Chase Citizens Association

Larry Chatman
16th Street Heights Citizens Association

Buck Clarke
Cardozo-Shaw Citizens Association

Dino J. Drudi
Michigan Park Citizens Association

Kay A. Eckles
Residential Action Coalition

Lois Forster
Cleveland Park Citizens Association

Guy Gwynne
Burleith Citizens Association

Miles Steele, III
Hillcrest Civic Association

Alice F, Stewart
Palisades Citizens Association

A.L. Wheeler, Esq.
Oldest Inhabitants Society

Dr. Marc Weiss
Southwest Neighborhood Assembly

Back to top of page

President’s Message —  Guy Gwynne

Let's take a break. After an eventful year, the election meeting will mark the end of the 1999-2000 year for the Federation. After a hiatus of two months we will resume operations in September 2000. Committees will be working during the summer on things such as taxation, campus plans, a history-background publication about the Federation, and the legal aid foundation. With due diligence, committee reports in September ought to be - nice.

A developing trend is for single associations, if they request it, to have a Federation negotiator form part of their negotiating teams when they interface with city agencies to resolve local problems. This service is readily available, even if individual association principals find they can deal with city officials quite well on their own. One welcome aspect of the new reform city administration is that there is a new willingness on the part of agencies to deal with citizens and, in turn, to ask for citizen help. Fair enough.

A propos of the latter point, many of our organizations have already done a variety of area-improvement tasks on their own (including park maintenance, major beautification, tree replacement, police collaboration), and mounted legislation preparation and passage efforts to alleviate problems. Now the opportunity is apparently arising to lend a helping hand upon request in the government offices themselves. The Federation has a range of talented members and associates, particularly retired professionals who, as convenient, can be of great help in some strapped agencies. (Boards and commissions already are made up, for the most part, of civic minded persons who volunteer to be appointed to serve.) We are beginning to deal with this. I believe it is do-able, and I urge delegates and associates to start to consider this new outreach departure in principle.

In the upcoming year, we will make a best effort to re-begin direct interfacing with the Congress on issues of importance to citizens of the District of Columbia. Re-begin, because in the past such two-way contact was the constructive norm. The Federation was often testifying at appropriate Congressional hearings, having Congressmen speak at or attend meetings and functions, and generally maintaining a comfortable relationship with our State legislature.

Finally, let's all thank each other for this year's good Board and officer leadership, good committee work, good recruitment, good delegate participation and good efforts for the good of the city. Whatever the election results in June, we will all see each other in September for an even better Federation year.

Back to top of page

Mayor Wows Delegates At Federation Awards Banquet

Along with Y2K awardees, Mayor Anthony Williams highlighted the elegant May 17 awards banquet and was in excellent form. Arriving a tad tense, the mayor soon relaxed and got into the spirit of the jolly and positive occasion among supporters and friends. His handsome award, the format newly adopted by the Federation, read "For Courage Under Fire".

President Guy Gwynne introduced Mr. Williams as the mayor who has overseen repaired streets, alley cleaning, a better functioning DCRA, and other basic improvements, as well as a financially healthier city. The mayor proceeded to please attendees by calling for (1) a systematic and comprehensive review of impaction of "drowning" neighborhoods by universities, (2) on an urgent basis, improving the city's faltering infrastructure and (3) getting its residential-services enforcement structure back on track. This was the most welcome message and pledge for remedy the mayor could have delivered to a group such as the massed Federation residential-taxbase communities.

In probable response to often-expressed community concerns with tax-consuming, tax-free D.C. corporate institutions, the mayor mentioned universities and PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes). His take: All things considered, it is wiser to go to the Congress for this kind of money, rather than to task  universities directly with tax obligations, however deserved.

Mr. Williams pledged to continue to work on strengthening the city's financial position and creaky infrastructure, and recommended that community-impacting institutions accomplish further expansion on a satellite basis, in neighborhoods in need for economic development. He sat down to loud applause, continued to mingle with key constituents from throughout the city, and assisted with the presentation of awards. A great time was had by all on the Federation's big 90th birthday bash.

Back to top of page

Memorable Quote

On May 30, Mayor Williams was a guest on a WTOP-AM radio call-in program. In response to the question from the moderator, "Will you seek a meeting next year with the new president, and what issues would you bring to the table?" He responded:
"Yes, I will seek a meeting with the new president .... My first request will be to ask the president, whether it be A1 Gore or George Bush, to reopen Pennsylvania Avenue. The traffic problems created by a closed Pennsylvania Avenue are killing us. Then I will want to talk to the new president about St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Southeast and how the federal government can be helpful with programs and development there. And I want the new president's help with cleaning up the Anacostia River. Finally, I will talk to the new president about getting voting representation in Congress for the District of Columbia."
In point of fact, presidents are of limited use in achieving voting rights in the Congress, but they can be helpful indeed in reopening an avenue closed by a predecessor, developing key land in Southeast, and river cleanup. Let's hope the mayor receives a sympathetic hearing from the new chief executive.

Back to top of page

The Board of Education Reconstitution — Or Not — Election June 27

Most of us have seen the election literature by now, some of it a bit confusing. On June 27, at our normal voting precincts, from 8 am to 7 pm, voters will vote on a proposed Charter amendment to:

  • Reduce the number of members of the Board from 11 to 9,
  • Create four new school election districts out of (now) eight,
  • Let voters elect four members from the new four election districts,
  • Let voters elect a fifth member at large as Board president,
  • Authorize the mayor to appoint four Board members, with city council confirmation.

A new Board would do the things school boards generally do.

The proposed new arrangement would last for four years. After that time, the mayor and council would decide on possible changes in Board structure and composition without the need for a Charter change.

Amendment supporters cite needed change and accountability to the city governing apparatus. Amendment opponents say the current democratically elected arrangement needs no basic change.

A factor for voters to consider is that the present elected school board has been shorn of most of its authority by the financial control board. Would a new type of school board get its powers back?

However associations wish to present the June 27 election in association newsletters, each vote in this election is important. A low turnout is being predicted. So that every vote cast will likely amount to many times the value of a normal single vote.

Back to top of page

Klingle Road Plans

On June 7, Councilmember Carol Schwartz chaired a Public Works and the Environment Committee hearing on "The Department of Public Works' Plans for the Future of Klingle Road, NW". Delegates with an interest in the future of this now-closed thoroughfare may wish to contact the committee. The telephone number is 724-8105.

Back to top of page

Campus Plan Renewal Time: No Rush In Face Of Projected Rules Overhaul

Three of the District's principal and community-impacting universities are required to propose new 10-year campus development plans this year to the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment for approval, disapproval or emendation. These are: George Washington, Georgetown and American Universities.

To date, Office of Planning-induced mediation efforts between communities and Georgetown University have collapsed for lack of agreement, and the university has submitted its proposed campus plan to the BZA. Likewise, at George Washington University long and bitterly contended mediation efforts between the institution and communities failed to end in agreement. This plan also will be submitted to and fought out at the BZA; this in spite of the GW president having been summoned and remonstrated with by the mayor. American University has a draft plan, as yet unsubmitted to the BZA, which it is discussing with the affected communities. Word is that it is expansionist.

These campus plans are being filed for approval by universities at a time when the mayor and Office of Planning are calling for an overhaul and improvement of the present rules, regulations, BZA practices and enforcement of these. It makes little sense to hurry through processing of the current submissions under current unsatisfactory legal and de facto practices, when new ones supposedly are in the offing. Rather, consideration of new campus plans should be deferred until the new system is in place. There is no near-term need to rush.

Interestingly, both the mayor and Office of Planning director have decried existing university negative impact on residential communities, and have called for no further expansion of such impact. They see satellite campuses, such as the already existing Georgetown Law School downtown and the GW campus in an adjoining state, as the answer for future expansion. Many taxpayers impacted in residential communities agree. OP is studying the problem, but timing is a key component. It will be plainly inept for OP and the BZA to muff this three-university, decade-long series of plans by lack of forthright and expeditious action, particularly in view of clear mayoral intent.

Meanwhile, the fifteen currently impacted neighborhoods are grappling as best they can with well-funded, well-represented and well-connected universities, and their expert law firms and tendentious "experts". The Federation has begun to enter the cases, but with no appreciable impact to date. Just when recent tax incentives and other factors have begun a welcome turnaround in many of our communities that abut universities, we cannot allow expansionist universities to set back that progress with additional enrollments, plant expansion and other encroachment.

Back to top of page

Federation Former President Honored

Other civic famosos have their roasts with the sometimes sharp digs and often mirthless laughter, but it was a love feast at the packed June 16 Association of Oldest Inhabitants celebration for, and of, Harold Gray. Mr. Gray is an AOI delegate to the Federation, as well as past president of the Federation and seemingly of half the civic organizations in town and the national American Jazz Society. A jazz band punctuated tribute after tribute to Mr. Gray. It was a Love-In of the best sort.

Back to top of page

Status Report: Official Residence for the Mayor

City council chair Linda Cropp held a first hearing April 11, to consider whether the city should acquire an official house or apartment for use of mayors of the District of Columbia. The bill, No.13-590 "Official Residence of the Mayor Establishment Act of 2000" was introduced by councilmembers Cropp and Sharon Ambrose. The proposed legislation calls upon the Chief Property Management Officer of the District to investigate possible sites for acquisition or "renovation" as an official mayoral residence, including a property located at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, upon the expiration of a current lease on that property.

The bill has been duly under consideration since April 11, and will come up for a council vote fairly soon, at an as-yet unfixed date. Representatives of associations or individuals who wish to testify on the wisdom or unwisdom of this bill are requested to contact Robert Miller, by telephone at 724-8127, by fax at 724-8085 or by e-mail at

Should the Federation weigh in on this one? Do other comparable mayors have official residences? On the one hand, it would obviously be nice for the D.C. mayor to have splendid quarters. On the other hand, such an acquisition would be expensive both to purchase or lease and to maintain in suitable representational style. This be mentioned at the June 27 assembly meeting.

Back to top of page

Council Passes Ceremonial Resolutions Honoring Pastor Frank Senger of Hillcrest & Alberta Paul of Penn Branch

In late 1999, the D.C. city council passed a resolution "to recognize and honor Pastor Franklin G. Senger, III for his service to the people of the District of Columbia". Pastor Senger is president of the Hillcrest Community Civic Association and is chaplain of the Federation.

In March 2000, the council passed another ceremonial resolution "to pay tribute to Ms. Alberta Paul for leadership, dedication and outstanding service with respect to rehabilitation efforts pertaining to the "O Street Wall" located in the Penn-Branch area of Ward Seven. Ms. Paul is an alternate delegate from Penn-Branch. The large retaining Wall had reached the stage where it constituted a threat to homes, public safety and welfare before being rehabilitated by the city through community efforts.

Back to top of page

Future Federation Assembly Meeting Dates

The Summer School has reserved the following dates for the Federation's Assembly meetings. Each will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the School and Museum, which is at 1201 Seventeenth Street, at the corner of M Street, N.W.

Tuesday, June 27 (Election Meeting)

Send mail with questions or comments to
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)