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March 13, 2013

Budget Priorities

Dear Budgeteers:

The city council has now posted the schedule of the public hearings it will hold in the coming weeks concerning the District’s budget for 2014, Mayor Gray will formally submit his proposed budget to the council on March 28, and the council will hold public hearings on the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request Act of 2013, the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request Act of 2013, and the Fiscal Year Budget Support Act of 201 from April 10 through May 2.

Citizen input during this year’s budget process will be critically important in helping to determine the District government’s policy, priorities, and attendant spending levels in FY2014. For example, in recent weeks Mayor Gray has released reports detailing the findings of two government-led initiatives, one focused on the environment and the other on affordable housing — the Sustainable DC Plan,; and Bridges to Opportunity: A New Housing Strategy for DC, In addition to the normal competition for government funding that occurs during the budgetary process, it is not clear how these two new competing initiatives from the Gray administration will have an impact on the FY2014 budget that the council will formally adopt in May. For example, to what extent are some of the policy recommendations detailed in the mayor’s Sustainable DC Plan (e.g., developing a one-hundred-mile citywide bicycle lane network, developing a wind farm to power District government and private facilities, establishing a "pay-as-you-throw" pricing structure for city trash collection services, establishing community solar and renewable energy systems, expanding the use of District land for urban agricultural projects, and establishing a new Food Policy Council within the District government, etc.) going to find their way into our city’s funding priorities?

Where do these priorities fit within the goals and priorities of most District voters and taxpayers? What will be sacrificed within the current District budget to make room to fund them?

Gary Imhoff,
Dorothy Brizill,


War on Cars and by Extension Drivers
Mary C. Young,

I do not object to anyone who wants to ride a bike — go for it! I do object to the behavior modification that is being imposed on everyone — if the city wants all of us out of our cars they need to start with children and begin to inculcate in them how great it is to ride a bike to school and sports and the movies and to shop. Then you will have a generation that is already on the bike rather than try with the older folks who are set in their ways ( I am one of them) and find it very difficult to walk one mile with shopping bags. In fact, I offer rides to the older folks I see in my neighborhood who are trying to do their shopping and lugging home groceries.. We need some deference for the elderly and disabled.


Car Wars
John Capozzi,

Gary writes "[Jaffe] used to live in Chevy Chase, in a neighborhood where residents can’t get to anything without driving." [themail, March 4] I lived in the Chevy Chase neighborhood a long time ago and walked to everything. Stores, restaurants, the Chevy Chase Lounge, and for the old-timers, "Basil’s Fallen Leaves" bookstore. I took the bus down Connecticut Avenue and was able to get to DuPont Circle in a matter of minutes. Chevy Chase, DC — a livable, walkable neighborhood!

Also, Lon Anderson said that policies that support public transportation options "threatens the future of Washington." He said as much when the Barney Circle freeway project was killed in 1996. I suspect that the future of Washington continues to be bright, despite Mr. Anderson’s dire predictions.

I recently joined Car2Go, and it is a great, innovative service. I still see a lot of cars downtown.


InTowner March Issue Content Uploaded
P.L. Wolff,

The March issue content is now posted at, including the issue PDF in which will be found the primary news stories, community news, letters to the editor, and museum exhibition reviews — plus all photos and other images. Not included in the PDF but linked directly from the home page is the What Once Was feature (this month titled "Tanglebank: Childhood Home of Architect Arthur Cotton Moore"), as well as Recent Real Estate Sales, Reservations Recommended, and Food in the ‘Hood.

This month’s lead stories include the following: 1) "Contemporary-Styled Low-Rise, Mixed-Use Residential/Retail Building Proposed for Venerable Adams Morgan Exxon Station Site;" 2) "Historic Anthony Bowen YMCA to Move Into Exciting New Space;" 3) "16th Street Morning Rush Hour Bus Service Southbound From Adams Morgan to Increase."

Our editorial this month addresses the imperative, "With Sequestration Now a Reality the City Council Will Need to be Especially Prudent" (From the Publisher’s Desk). Your thoughts are welcome and can be sent by clicking the comment link at the bottom of the web page or by E-mail to The next issue PDF will publish early in the morning of April 12 (the second Friday of the month as usual). For more information, either send an E-mail to or call 234-1717.



DC Tax Help
Bruce Snyder,

On Thursday, March 21, from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Avenue, NW, staff from the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) will provide free assistance with DC income and property taxes. No appointments. First come, first served.


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