MPCA October Meetings

Michigan Park Citizens Association
4 October 2016
Ross Auditorium, Providence Hospital

President David Conrad opened the meeting at 7:15 p.m with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Treasurer Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report.  The September minutes were approved. President Conrad publicly thanked ANC Commissioner John Feeley, who was in attendance, for the grant of $500 grant toward installation of a water meter and backfill preventer at the triangle park, 12th, Michigan & Shepherd Streets.

GUEST SPEAKER. Mr. Sylvester Bush spoke on behalf of the Coalition to Restore the D.C. Benefit Exclusion.   A law enacted by Congress in 1957 allowed retired military and civil servants to deduct $3,000 from their taxable pension income.  The benefit is enjoyed by residents in 36 other states. However, the benefit exclusion was repealed by the D.C. City Council in 2014 to help subsidize a new, lower tax bracket on income.  This change was recommended by a panel, the D.C. Tax Revision Commission, chaired by former Mayor Anthony Williams. The new law impacts all retired military, DC police, firefighters, teachers and DC civil servants. However, the new law was not widely reported or publicized.  As a result of the lack of transparency, many seniors did not know about that the pension exclusion had been repealed until they filed their 2015 tax returns. The Restore the Pension Benefit Exclusion encourages residents to write their councilmember, Mr. McDuffie, to express their support for reinstatement of the benefits exclusion.

WELCOME FLYER. Ms. Kathleen Sutherland edited the flyer intended for distribution to new residents welcoming them to the Michigan Park neighborhood.

D.C. FEDERATION OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS.  Mr. Paul Wood reported that he had attended the September meeting of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations at the invitation of President.  MPCA is a member of the D.C. Federation of Citizens Associations and is represented by MPCA delegate, Ms. Elizabeth McGowen.  Both groups meet at 441 4th Street NE, near Judiciary Square. The invitation was in response to outreach by MCPA earlier in the year.  Mr. Wood addressed the Civic Federation members and described many of the issues MPCA shares with the adjoining neighborhood civic associations to include Brookland Civic Association, North Michigan Park Civic Association, and Queens Chapel Civic Association.  These issues included crime, traffic, and city services.  MPCA members were invited to attend the annual banquet of the Civic Federation planned for October 29, 2016 at the Navy Yard Banquet and Conference Center.

SAINT JOSEPH’S DEVELOPMENT. Members discussed the status of the planned development of the property surrounding the Saint Joseph’s Seminary. The Planned Urban Development (PUD) proposal was submitted in August, 2016.  A Set Down meeting, open to the public, is held by the DC Office of Zoning on October 17, 2016.  EYA will present during this meeting. Although open to the public, no public comments are accepted at this meeting.  Further meetings for public testimony will be scheduled for later this year or early 2017. Mr. Hayden Wetzel is nearing completion of an application for historic preservation of the Seminary building and easement.  ANC John Feeley noted that an attorney, Mr. Brown, stated at one of the ANC meetings that the land to the front of Saint Joseph’s will be set aside in perpetuity and that such a step is almost unheard of.  The traffic study is completed and is now a matter of record – the 1200 Varnum Street Comprehensive Traffic Review.  EYA should be invited along with DDOT to discuss at a scheduled meeting.

President Conrad suggested that MPCA’s Executive Committee draft a position about the proposed EYA development for consideration by members.  The draft should address four points: comprehensive plan and zoning, architectural designs, historic preservation, and traffic (to include parking and safety). President Conrad will take the lead with the executive committee.

JOHN FEELEY. ANC5B05, noted that public hearings have been extended for the planned Jamal garage near Brookland/CUA Metro Station.

ANC ELECTIONS. President David Conrad had invited all candidates for ANC office within the boundaries of Michigan Park to address the association members.  Four candidates participated: Charles T. Lockett, candidate for 5A02; Benjamin Mossberg, candidate for 5A02; Lionel Gaines, candidate for 5A03; and John Feeley current ANC and candidate for 5B05.  Mr. Lockett and Mr. Mossberg were the only two candidates present who were running for the same position, currently held by Mr. Grace Lewis.  Each of the candidates introduced themselves to the membership and answered questions. Mr. Locket is a life-time DC resident, Vietnam veteran and retired facilities manager. Mr. Mossberg is employed by the Department of State.  Mr. Gaines recently was hired by the Mayor’s Office. John Feeley, who is running unopposed, discussed the planned Jamal garage near Brookland/CUA Metro Station.  According to Mr. Feeley, the planned development does not have any backers, either financiers or potential business customers. The period for public hearings for the garage has been extended by the Office of Zoning.

Back to School night at Bunker Hill Elementary, Fall 2016. L to R (Ms. Carter, Principal Chuchemba, Mr. Wood).

Back to School night at Bunker Hill Elementary, Fall 2016. L to R (Ms. Carter, Principal Kuchemba, Mr. Wood).

BUNKER HILL ELEMENTARY.  Ms. Roxanne Carter noted that she and Mr. Paul Wood set up a table at the Bunker Hill Elementary back-to-school event in September 13, passing out school bags and, for parents, information about MPCA. Principal Kara Kuchemba was very welcoming of our participation.

The meeting concluded by 9:00 P.M.

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