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A mere five hours after the polls closed, DC's Board of Elections and Ethics decided to let us know who won the various ANC 6D races. (Presuming that the tallies they've posted are anywhere close to the final numbers.) By a comfortable margin (65-34% at this writing), David Garber has beaten 12-year incumbent Robert Siegel for the ANC 6D07 seat. With a whopping 556 of 1452 registered voters making it to the polls, this translates to a 332-171 victory (with 3 write-ins) in the current unofficial numbers (which don't include absentee ballots, provisional/same-day ballots, and curbside ballots).
All other ANC 6D incumbents who were running were reelected--chair Ron McBee appears to have had the closest race, up 54-42% on former commissioner Mary Williams, while Andy Litsky garnered a mere 96% of the vote in his unopposed race. 6D06 commissioner Rhonda Hamilton got 70% of the vote in beating two opponents, and Roger Moffatt also stays in his seat with a 66-33% win over Grace Daughtridge. Bob Craycraft has taken 6D01 (Jane Jorgensen's old seat) in an unopposed race, while Cara Lea Shockley appears to be winning David Sobelsohn's 6D02 seat, with 40% of the vote against 36% for write-in candidates and 24% for a candidate who withdrew(!).
I should also mention--as I pretty much never did during the entire race--that not everyone who lives south of the freeway votes in 6D07, as the residents from 7th Street east are in 6B04. And five--yes, FIVE--of those residents voted today, with one vote for incumbent Kirsten Oldenberg, three for Tim Casey, and 1 write-in. (Despite this, Oldenburg appears to have won her race against Larry Janezich.)
In terms of the other tallies for the evening in Near Southeast/Precinct 131, Vince Gray won 58% of the vote in the mayoral race, with 36% going to write-ins. Tommy Wells beat Near Southeast resident Jim DeMartino 75-25%, while Kwame Brown won 80% of the vote in his council chair race. The precinct went 81-19% for the amendment to make the Attorney General job in DC an elected position, and also voted for new Ward 6 Board of Education rep Monica Warren-Jones 60-38% (her ward-wide total is 67-32%).
Since these results don't include the absentee and other provisional ballots, the numbers will change, but no race appears anywhere near close enough that the outcomes would be in doubt. So, congrats to David Garber and all of the other winners. Between his blogging chops and his Twitter feed, I have no doubt that Near Southeast will be kept far more apprised of what their ANC commissioner is up to than has been the case over the past years. (Though perhaps this means I'm staring at my obsolescence!)
With this election season now thankfully over with, we can already start looking ahead to the redrawing of the city's ward boundaries as is done every 10 years after the census, as well as most likely seeing ANC 6D07 split up now that it's population of over 3,000 residents is well above the 2,000-resident standard for single member districts.
(And, if you want to get a flavor of my exasperation with DCBOEE's performance, wander through my Twitter feed. When it takes five hours to count 125,000 votes, and Maryland counted over 1.6 million in less than four hours, I think it's safe to say that there are some serious problems that need addressing. Get to work, Mayor-Elect Gray...)
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Bruce says: (11/3/10 8:21 AM)
I am very excited that David won. Our community needed a change (sorry, was not trying to sound like Obama) and the incumbent was not in touch with the residents.
I know David will do a great job.

Bruce


C says: (11/3/10 8:39 AM)
YES! The incumbent's platform included more dog parks and he lost big. I don't want to read into this too much and will let you reach your own conclusions, upper middle-class, highly-educated JD readers...


Glenn says: (11/3/10 8:59 AM)
The incumbent did not have a platform. When asked at the SWNA candidate presentation if he had a strategy for the CSX railroad project, he just ranted and raved about the huge ditch they will dig and the disruption it will cause. No strategy. That was the story of his 12 years. No legacy there.


Sophia Monster says: (11/3/10 10:00 AM)
My only disappointment... Queen Noble did not win the Congressional seat. This is a major blow to all the Heroes and She-roes of the District.


JD says: (11/3/10 10:05 AM)
Bob Siegel has taken quite a beating in these comment threads, but I'm not sure that people should think that he's been some evil ANC commissioner all along.

So I'll pass along a bit of historical perspective for the newcomers--Bob did a lot of fighting the for residents and local businesses in the "old" Near Southeast; it's just that the hoods's new residents have a fundamental disagreement with what the residents/businesses wanted back then, which was for the neighborhood to stay the same as it was (albeit with better services from the city).

I'd suggest reading this WaPo profile of him from 2004, when the ballpark was first announced: link

But, of course Near Southeast *has* changed, and the residents and businesses have changed, so Bob's time has clearly passed.


Glenn says: (11/3/10 10:16 AM)
We disagree.
And ineffective does not mean evil. However, extortion may imply it.


Axiom says: (11/3/10 10:29 AM)
Glad to see Garber win. Curious to see what the vote totals will be if/when they count the provisional ballots.

First time I ever saw or heard anything from Siegel was when he thanked me for my vote outside the polling place. I had just finished voting for Garber who had been out stumping for votes since he decided to run. At least I know there are lines of communication open to Garber.


JD says: (11/3/10 10:32 AM)
You're not getting any argument from me on ANCs and extortion. I've watched and reported for years on *all* 6D commissioners (not just Bob) insisting on huge payments from developers for ridiculous things like closing unused alleys next to derelict buildings because they are "public space." It's how 6D has operated for years, and as Matt Yglesias has been writing, it's a fundamental problem with the way the ANCs are set up.

There's also the issue that some ANC commissioners believe they have much more power than they actually do (the whole "great weight" silliness), and that they see themselves as de-facto mayors of their communities rather than the unpaid fellow neighbors that they are, and mistake their winning an election for the notion that every resident 100% agrees with their vision.

All I was saying in the comment above is that the methods Bob and his SW cohorts used to fight developers were a holdover from when the residents of Near Southeast and Southwest basically didn't want big developers coming in and "taking away" their neighborhood. I don't think that's the point of view of the majority of Near Southeast residents anymore.


Glenn says: (11/3/10 11:49 AM)
Now we agree!!!

I have been following the DC commentary on ANC's around the city, and it is not a pretty reality.

I do hope that some of the more negative aspects will change in 6D

When you get a chance, I would love to tell you about my late friend, the former architect for Arlington County, Roberto Morenchel (RIP) who labored to get developers to present better projects and considered architectural improvements of plans community benefits. See his work on the rounded tower front of the building near the mall in Ballston where the stainless pineapple is(they wanted a plain rectangle there) or the arches which punctuate the buildings strategically at Potomac Yard, or the improvements in the forthcoming project over the Rosslyn Metro Station.

He was known for telling developers: "Plexi-glass? We will not have plexi-glass in Arlington County. Put in real glass."

He was a pioneer of the creation public space for new developments long before the concept caught on in the US using European models (see the Town Center at Court House metro).

The county planner lauded him at his funeral this past spring, saying that he "wanted to make Arlington better".

ANC's can learn a lot from this. Hail to professionalism. Hail to communication with residents.


JD says: (11/3/10 12:30 PM)
To play devil's advocate, I would say that sometimes the line between "securing community benefits" and "extortion" is only crossed when a resident fears a project they are in favor of may be in jeopardy because of an ANC's demands. :-)

Plus, I doubt that many of 6D07's new residents would be agitated about ANC "extortion" and ineffectualism if it were 6D being really hardline about, say, developers having to install bike racks and car sharing spaces and green roofs at every new building in order to get the ANC's support. Or, glass windows instead of plexiglas. ;-) The neighborhood's priorities have changed--that's not to say they won't change again someday, with future residents looking at today's new crop of "fresh" ANC commissioners as resistant to whatever that new reality may be.

By the way, since people in the DC blogosphere have been mentioning the time 6D *unanimously* turned down the Five Guys public space application for sidewalk tables as a prime example of Siegel's poor performance, here's how I reported it when it happened: link (I'm pretty sure that, out of all of the people blogging about it now, I was the only one actually there.) Side note: it wasn't just the desire for a "community benefits" payment, it was that Five Guys hadn't submitted the proper paperwork in time (!). You can also see the wrangling over community benefits for other projects at that same meeting.

In fact, here's all of my posts touching on "community benefits" packages over the years: link It might be a good tutorial for people who are new to this whole issue of ANCs negotiating for benefits from developers.


MJM says: (11/3/10 1:08 PM)
As I e-mailed David few weeks ago, there doesn't seem to be a lead 'agency' when it comes to the redevelopment of the area bounded by the BID. Yeah the BID is out there doing good things but beyond that are they leading the effort to pull the developers together to ‘persuade’ to build more atheistically pleasing buildings? Or help them in building buildings that make this a community? You have companies buying land and slapping up projects with their own interest in mind - which is their right to do. You have another company converting old buildings into residential units and building a park along the river. There are maps of what the area will look like when built out in 2015+ but how will it look?

Does anyone know what The Yards will have when built out? A grocery store, a fitness center, a movie theater, retail/big name shopping, etc? Best guess is retail, places to eat and drink and buy stuff like food. Beyond that - there is no master plan on what to expect when all is said and done or what the new buildings will have (roof-top blended into the facade wind turbines, grass roofs, etc). They don't need to come out and say there will be a Banana Republic, Gap, Victoria's Secret or a Green Turtle, Clyde’s, etc. Rather something along the lines of we expect to have low-end to high end dining experiences, entertainment such as a comedy club or movie or places to watch local sporting events. Is the The Yards gonna be an entertainment destination/center for people to travel from other parts of the city? I think that is the vision but how do you entice people to build there or build around a core draw.

If I was looking at moving a business into the area I would like to see what the intended sites/buildings are gonna be used for. Otherwise, there will be a lot of buildings built that sit empty because they can't accommodate the intended use of the building (CHT ground floor space that’s been sitting vacant for 3+ years) or nothing built at all. Plaza on K - office space and retail - retail for food for shopping? 1015 half St - office space and retail? Again - what is the direction of the hood? Its look like every retail space out there is for food/booze. Will it become a Barracks Row area that is becoming less retail and more food/booze focused? Or will we see places to shop too? How will this community develop is key and maybe the ANC can focus on that instead of kick-backs and listening to the curmudgeon rant (which does add some spice the meetings)?


JD says: (11/3/10 1:27 PM)
Actually, MJM, there is a master plan for the Yards, in a macro sense. It's called the Southeast Federal Center Overlay: link 43 pages of laying out the vision for the site and the zoning rules that Forest City and the GSA need to follow in developing the Yards. Including this section:

Major objectives of the Southeast Federal Center Overlay District include:
• Assure development of the area with a mixture of residential and commercial uses and a suitable height, bulk, and design of buildings, as generally identified in the Comprehensive Plan and in consideration of the objectives of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative and the Near Southeast Target Area Plan;
• Encourage high-density residential development with a pedestrian-oriented streetscape through flexible zoning parameters;
• Encourage a variety of support and visitor-related uses, such as retail, service, entertainment, cultural, and hotel or inn uses;
Provide for a reduced height and bulk of buildings along the Anacostia riverfront in the interest of ensuring views over and around waterfront buildings, and to provide for continuous publicly-accessible open space along the waterfront;
• Require suitable ground-level retail and service uses along M Street, S.E., near the Navy Yard Metrorail Station, near the waterfront, and at other key pedestrian locations;
• Encourage the design and development of properties in a manner that is sensitive to the adjacent Navy Yard and the historically significant buildings within the SEFC; and
• Establish zoning incentives and restrictions to provide for the development of a publicly accessible park along the Anacostia River and encourage uses in that park as permitted in the underlying W-0 District.

Don't forget that there's also the Capitol Gateway Overlay zoning rules that cover the area just north of the ballpark and along M Street: link

Akridge has talked about having smaller-scale "community service" retail on the Van Street side of its Half Street buildings. (I've mentioned it multiple times in my posts.)

It's certainly something that the BID would be working on, though right now they're in more of a beggars-can't-be-choosers mode.




JD says: (11/3/10 1:37 PM)
PS: You also have the Office of Planning working in a more behind-the-scenes mode--they do meet with developers on their plans, especially in PUD-covered areas like Capper and the Yards, before those plans ever get to the Zoning Commission. (OP did most of the heavy lifting on the writing of the two Overlay documents I linked to above.) You can also see the Near Southeast Draft Urban Design Framework, from 2003, to see that city agencies have given a lot of thought to how Near Southeast should develop: link (and look! They called the neighborhood Near Southeast!)

There's probably been more thought given to how Near SE should develop than there has been for a lot of DC neighborhoods.


MJM says: (11/3/10 2:01 PM)
I' think I've seen those before and they are outstanding plans (except where everything was torn down - anyway)....but once again it is like herding cats to get all these organizations together and develop a solid plan (everyone doesn't have to agree but get a plan) on what things will/may/should look like. I think my rant for is for the ANC to focus on somewhere between macro and micro plans and work with these organizations instead of what it has been like in the past. For example - is every building gonna be a giant sun reflector? Or will they be brick like the Mel-Rose apartments and try and capture what SE used to be? A little end goal instead of larger macro plans would be nice. Just bring it into focus some.

Sorry to kinda change subjects of the post....


Bruce says: (11/3/10 2:43 PM)
Thank you glenn,
I raised the CSX question to Siegal at that meeting. I knew that he had no strategy, but wanted it on the record.
I have nothing personal against the guy. He just simply isn't what he claims to be nor did i ever see him in all the time that i live here (and i live down the block from the house he claims that he resides in)..
The area has changed and he refused to change with it.




Glenn says: (11/3/10 3:32 PM)
Well, the area just changed: forcing him out.

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TYPE OF ELEVATOR : TWO (2) TRACTION / STEEL / CENTRAL / VERTICAL TRANSPOTATION LICENSE NUMBER : ELC1300386 ISSUE DATE : 08 / 04 / 2014 EXPIRATION DATE 11-30-2015
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