Michigan Park Citizens Association
March 6, 2018
Turkey Thicket Recreational Center
President David Conrad opened the meeting at 6:33 PM. Paul Wood led members in the Pledge of Allegiance.
D.C. BOARD OF ETHICS AND ACCOUNTABILITY. Attorney Advisor Ashley Cooks of the D.C. Board of Ethics and Accountability (BEGA) spoke at length about the responsibilities of the organization. She was later joined by Attorney Brian Flowers, who also answered questions, and Traci L. Hughes, Director of Office of Open Government. Ms. Hughes spoke and answered questions separately.
BEGA comprises five members selected by the Mayor and approved by the Council who serve for a six year term. BEGA includes the Office of Open Government and the Office of Government Ethics. They are comprised of two main efforts – the Office of Open Government and Office of Government Ethics.
The Office of Government Ethics has jurisdiction over all 33,000 District Government employees but is restricted to a five year statue of limitations. It may impose up to $5,000 per violation. Violations are adjudicated in an open adversarial meeting, Many violations result in a negotiated result. The only D.C. ethics law which applies to Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs) relates to conflicts of interest. BEGA is also responsible for Financial Disclosure Filings and Lobbyist Registration and Activity Reports. BEGA published an Ethics Manual and an Annual Best Practices Report.
Ms. Hughes described a recent example of the work of the Office of Open Government. It forced the release of audio recordings of a December 13, 2017 closed-door meeting of the United Medical Center’s board to shut down its obstetrics unit. The D.C. Office for Open Government ruled that the closed-door meeting was a violation of the Open Meetings Act and forced the board to make its recording public.
TREASURER’S REPORT. Ms. Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report.
D.C. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN. The Comprehensive Plan is published by the Office of Zoning and the Zoning Commission. It guides decisions on zoning proposals. Ms. Elizabeth McGowan, MPCA Delegate to the D.C. Federation of Citizens Association, described recent efforts of the Federation to address the proposed changes in the comprehensive plan. Ms. McGowan provided both a link to the draft plan and documents relating Federation concerns to the MPCA Secretary for posting on the MPCA website, www.michgianparkdc.org. She also noted an opportunity for residents to testify in person or in writing at an at-large forum on April 11, 2018.
Neighbors raised various concerns related to development. The proposed comprehensive plan eliminates the current requirement for the city to place “great emphasis” on input from ANCs. The city relies on traffic studies commissioned by developers for development decisions.
The hearing for people to testify on the comp plan is Tuesday, March 20 at 2pm at the John Wilson Building/Room 500 (per the PDF I sent you regarding how to testify…via email, in person and who to call to get on the list); testifiers can call (202) 724-7130 to get on the list or email email@example.com
The Federation has organized a forum for at-large council candidates for April 14th, details following:
The Citizens Federation is holding an At-Large Candidates and Chairman’s Forum on Saturday, April 14, 2018 in the Masonic Temple Ballroom, 1000 U Street NW. Doors will open at 10:00 am with the forum starting at 11:00 am. The building is located next to a metro. This is a totally member driven event. Panelist will be chosen from member organizations and we want them to ask the questions that are important to you and your communities. Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and spread the word in your associations and communities that your questions are welcomed.
The meeting ended just after 8 PM.