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Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia

Federation News

Volume 3, Issue 4, January 1998

The New Chief of Police: What Qualities Will Best Serve the District?

Selling City Schools: Key Properties to Go on the Block

Nation's Capital Bicentennial Celebration

Bylaws Changes in January Meeting

Officers and Board

President's Message

Transportation Projects: The District Finalizes Its Construction Priorities

City Hall Happenings

Key Contract Information

Federation Meetings

Federation Assembly Meeting
Thursday, January 8

7:00 p.m. -- Business Meeting
including amendments of Constitution and Bylaws
7:30 p.m. -- Program

"The Future of Policing in Washington, DC"

Members of the Advisory Committee on the Selection of the Chief of Police will join us for a candid discussion

What traits matter most in a chief?
Are there known candidates who should be considered?

The Charles Sumner School
17th and M Streets, NW

THE NEW CHIEF OF POLICE: What qualities will best serve the District?

The person who will lead the Metropolitan Police Department will have a major impact on the city's future.

The character of that man or woman, and the skills brought to the job of restoring confidence in MPD operations, will be highly visible markers for judging how serious the District - its leaders and its communities -- are about reform.

The Mayor has created an Advisory Committee on the selection of the Chief of Police. Representing all sectors in the District and many of the organizations that have an interest in the operation of MPD, the Committee met shortly before Christmas.

Federation President Barbara Zartman is a member of the committee, as are former FBI Director William Webster, UDC criminal justice professor Sylvia Hill, and Board of Trade chairman Susan Williams. The chairs of all nine Police Citizen Advisory Councils are also members; Hallem Williams, former Corrections Department Director, chairs the committee.

Its members will use the time until mid- January to solicit input from the community, which it will share with the consulting firm that has been hired to handle the logistics of the nationwide search. That firm, Norman Roberts & Associates, will advertise the position and receive resumes in response. They will winnow out the responses according to the criteria the community recommends.

It is anticipated that the advisory committee will work to shrink that pool of potential candidates into recommendations for appointment by the Mayor, who will make the final selection.

Of course, that selection must be approved by both City Council and the Control Board. It is anticipated that this process will take until March.

The Federation's January meeting will include a discussion of the elements that delegates believe are most important. Some possible standards are included below.

Candidate's Qualities

It is anticipated that the selected candidate will have served as chief of police and will have experience in a large, complex, arid highly urbanized area.

The ideal candidate will be a strong, decisive leader who is accessible and open. In addition, he/she should have/be:

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Selling City Schools: Key Properties Go on the Block

The appointed Chief Operating Officer for the District's School System has issued a status report on school properties that may be sold in order to generate funds for use in repairing needed facilities.

Few argue that the District is burdened with too many properties in poor condition. Yet even those who support the liquidation of unneeded properties are questioning the process by which the appointed Trustees are receiving bids and making sale decisions.

Councilmember Kathy Patterson has asked the Trustees to consider locations where facilities will be needed in the near future before selling off properties that cannot be replaced.

The status of the school properties as of late December is as follows:

In addition, the following properties have been listed for disposition or public/private partnerships with certain real estate brokers. Requests for proposals or Requests for qualifications are being issued on these properties. (Properties identified for public/private partnerships are marked with a double asterisk.)

Broker: Smith/Braedon/Oncor

Broker. The Staubach Company

Broker Carey Winston/Barrueta

Broker: Jones Lang Wootton USA

*Subject to legal review and approval of the Control Board
** Identified for public/pnvate partnership.

The Federation News will keep current on changes to this list, and to the process that will be utilized in the liquidations.

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Nation's Capital Bicentennial Celebration

The Nation's Capital Bicentennial Celebration is a nonprofit corporation, recognized by the Congress and supported in its purpose by the Federation, to mark this occasion in a manner that is appropriate to the history that the District embodies.

There will certainly be celebratory events throughout the year: fireworks, festivals, parades, tall-ship sailings, "First Night" New Year's Eves, and much more. In addition, the planners are seeking to fund "legacy projects," privately funded projects that will remain long after the year 2000 is over. Possibilities for these projects include refurbishment of Langston Golf Course, and an underground visitors center -- the George Washington Center -- at the Washington Monument.

But key to the year-long events will be a focus on "heritage tourism," highlighting what the two centuries as the seat of our nation's government have meant in our local communities. This will include not just the history of governance, but arts, culture, ethnic heritage -- all aspects of life in the District. This brings the opportunity for all of the District's neighborhoods to think about how to explore their past -- and plan for their future.

NCBC is inviting communities to suggest projects that should be included in Bicentennial Celebration, including those that would require seed money to become reality. They should focus on sharing a community's history with others, whether they are from other parts of Washington, other parts of the country, or other parts of the world. NCBC is creating a Wish Book, which it believes will attract funding for such seed projects.

Inquiries should be addressed to Nation's Capital Bicentennial Celebration, Box 200, Washington, D.C. 20044. The Federation News will keep members updated on future pens. NCBC fully expects that the celebration will be an integral part of a restoration of both the spirit and the economic vitality of this capital city, which we have the pleasure of calling "home."

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Bylaws changes in January meeting

At the time we amended our Constitution and Bylaws in 1995, it was agreed that we would consider any further change to these document at the January meeting of each subsequent year. During the business meeting on January 8, we will again consider changes. Principal among them is the correction of an oversight. It had long been intended to establish a formal limit on the terms of the Federation's president.

President Zartman wholly supports this change, agreeing that the strongest way to build the Federation is through attracting new members and drawing from the strengths, the talents, and the experience of a robust and diverse membership.

Please advise one of the Board members if your association seeks any other change in the core documents governing the Federation's operations.

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Officers and Board

Patrick Allen, Citizens Association of Georgetown, 337-8760
Gracie Baten, Shepherd Park Citizens Association, 882-6162
John Batham, West End Citizens Association, 628-3527
Allen Beach, Chevy Chase Citizens Association, 362-2239
John Brown, Southwest Community Council, 479-4658
Larry Chatman,
16th Street Heights, 291-7381
Dino Drudi, Michigan Park, 526-0891
Kay Eckles, Residential Action Coalition, 265-5961
Guy Gwynne, Burleith Citizens Association, 338-5164
William Scheirer, Kalorama Citizens Association, 232-8827
M. R. Peggy Snyder, Chancery Court, 338-1972
Miles Steele , Hillcrest Citizens Association, 582-7832
Alice Stewart, Palisades Citizens Association, 364-1505
Al Wheeler, Oldest Inhabitants of DC, 337-00340
Barbara Zartman, Cloisters in Georgetown, 337-6505

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President's Message -- Barbara Zartman

The year 1998 will be a critical one in the life of the District.

A half-dozen major development projects will be up for approval, principal among them being the Convention Center. A new police chief will be chosen; investigations into police corruption will occur independently, under a newly chosen acting Inspector General. The new Chief Management Officer will find a role that coordinates with the Chief Financial Officer, the Control Board members and their Executive Director, the Council, and the Mayor. The four oversight and appropriating subcommittees of Congress will continue their close monitoring of activities.

The "bailout" package for the District will be fully implemented. The Control Board will be up for reappointment. Council races will potentially change: two at-large seats (currently held by Hilda Mason and David Catania) and the District seats in Wards 1, 3, 5, and 6 (incumbents Frank Smith, Kathy Patterson, Harry Thomas, and Sharon Ambrose, respectively) will all be decided. And of course, we will choose a Mayor.

Critical to so many of these events will be the electorate of District residents. The Federation can play a key role in helping define just who that electorate comprises. The Board of Elections claims there is a voting age population of 459,000, of whom 340,000 arc registered. However, current Census figures indicate the total population is just 529,000, and the School District tells us there are 77,000 students in District public schools alone. From the 452,000 remaining persons, we must deduct immigrants who are not naturalized citizens, children not enrolled in public schools, persons not eligible to vote, persons claiming legal residence in other jurisdictions (remember, the Census counts bodies, not residents).

Thus it seems there is a grossly inflated voter-registration roll. Totally apart from the decisions that may flow from the lawsuit currently in the D. C. Court of Appeals, there is an urgent need to seek coordinated efforts among our many governing bodies - the Administration, the Council, the Board, the Congress -- to reform the election registration and administration process. There is too much at stake for us to be ignorant of who the voting residents of the District really are.

Special recognition: During our January meeting, there will be special recognition of the life and contributions of Stephen Koczak. We invite all readers of Federation News to join us for the remembrance.

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Transportation Projects: The District finalizes its construction priorities

Federation members have followed the year-long process of identifying capital construction projects for funding under the District's six-year plan for roads, bridges, and mass transportation.

That process has produced a final report that was presented to Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater in early December.

Many of the blue-sky projects that were in the first draft of the strategic plan never made it through the vetting. So there are no bus-only bees on narrow streets (which was impractical), but also no water taxis (which seemed to have attracted universal enthusiasm).

Certainly, private sources can augment what could not fit within the available budget cap. More importantly, it will be necessary to lobby tile Congress for a different allocation of Federal highway funds to support the inequitable burden the District's citizens bear for commuters.

The Metro system supports many District residents' transportation needs, and the District pays 100% of the costs of Metro service within its borders (including maintenance and repair). However, fully 70% of the riders of the Metro system that District taxpayers support are nonresidents.

This disproportionate burden means that there are fewer dollars available to support and repair District roads and bridges, much less build the new elements of the transportation infrastructure that will be needed to support the growth in residents and tourism that are key elements in all plans for the District.

Thus, the priorities that are reflected in the Six-Year Plan place great weight on fixing the elements of the current system. There is a small window for improvements in existing facilities, and the major elements of projects scheduled for attention are shown below


Adams Morgan Parking Garage
Anacostia Park Visitor's Center
Bicycle Path Extensions
Commuter and Intercity Rail
Improvements at Union Station
New Traffic Signalization and Control Center
New York Avenue Grade Separations
New York Avenue / I-375 Tunnel
Pedestrian Links: Union Station to Bus Terminal
Tour Bus Parking Facilities (four locations)


New York Avenue/National Arboretum Access
Barney Circle Freeway Alternative
Farragut Station Pedestrian Tunnel
Metrorail Parking
New York Avenue Left-turn Lanes (Fenwick, Kendall)


East Entrance, Foggy Bottom
Feasibility Studies:

Canal Road
South Capitol Street
Crosstown Transit Studies

Missouri Ave Georgia/13th Street Interchange.

In addition, a handful of "new" projects are included in the priorities, such as:

Bus Route Rationalization Analysis
Bus Shuttle Services

Foggy Bottom/Georgetown
National Mall
Seventh/Ninth Streets

East-West Crosstown Corridor: Short-term Improvement Study
Georgetown Parking Program
Green Line Bus Service
Restructuring Small-Bus Neighborhood Demonstration

Traveler Information Materials
Welfare-to-work Transit Service Demonstration

There is detailed information available on these projects from the planning office of the Department of Public Works. Michelle Pourciau, who spoke to the Federation early in this process, can be reached at 939-8142 for more information. This office is at the Reeves Center ( 14th Street at Florida Avenue).

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City Hall Happenings

In the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the folks at One Judiciary Square were busy on several fronts that merit close attention by Federation members.

The Patton Report

Councilmember Harold Brazil introduced a "business and regulatory reform" bill. intended to embody the report of the Patton Commission.

Harshly criticized for removing environmental protections, for its impact on tenants' rights, and for undermining other residents' protections, the bill is also difficult to understand because of internal inconsistencies.

Brazil removed the environmental and tenants provisions, but further amendments are likely to be asked before final passage. One again, legislation that offers necessary business reforms is bundled with diminution of citizen protections. This "us vs. them" mentality, which is exacerbated in election years, is always counterproductive.

Trash Transfer Stations

Environmental impact statements have long offered protections for residential neighborhoods against inappropriate industrial development, and the location of trash transfer stations was a prime example of the need to retain EIS provisions.

While protections were restored in the Brazil legislation, new rules being promulgated by the Zoning Commission (Case 96-5, DC Register of December 19, 1997) require comment by January 20, environmental and tenants 1998. These rules allow trash transfer stations to be located in "mixed use" zones, including within 300 feet of residential properties. The proposed regulations need to be examined for their provisions on shipping trash TO the new transfer and the damage the heavy trash trucks can do to city streets.

Children's Island

Council also voted, narrowly, to give first approval to the development of the Children's Island project in the Anacostia River.

Discussed by Federation members during the candidates' forum in November, this project was seen to be a giveaway of city land, in terms of the islands and the parking areas surrounding RFK Stadium.

It has been opposed by the residential communities that would surround the theme park.

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Mayor 727-2980
Chief Financial Officer 727-2476
Zoning/BZA 727-6311
HPRB 727-7360
City Council 724-8080
Committee agendas 724-8554
Legislative services 724-8050
All are at 441 Fourth Street NW, One Judiciary Square
ABC, 727-7375, 1614 H Street, NW
DPW, 939-8000, 2000 14th Street, NW
Control Board, 504-3400, One Thomas Circle
School Board, 724-4222, 415 12th Street, NW
Fine Arts, 504-2200, 441 F Street, NW
NCPC, 482-7200, 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

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Federation Meetings

The meetings of the Federation Assembly for the program year 1997- 1998 are shown below. They will all be at 7 p.m. at the Sumner School:

January 8
February 12
March 12
May 14
June 11

In April, we will return to the Officers Club at Fort McNair for our annual banquet. Save the dates of April 9 and 10 (depending on speaker': schedule).

In addition, your Executive Board will meet each month to consider Federation business, and should you have issues you would like presented for consideration by the Federation, it would be most helpful if you contacted a Board member in time for consideration at a Board meeting.

Board Meetings

January 27
February 24
March 24
April 28
May 20
June 23.

All Board meetings are at 1642 Thirty-fifth Street NW; they begin at 7 p.m.

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