Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
November 2004
February 26, 2012
3rd at K, Looking Southeast (see more)

With all of the Sandy stuff of the past few days, it seems like the One Week to Election Day mark has arrived today without the normal fanfare. But here we are with seven days to go, and as much as I tried to be lazy and avoid it (semi-retired! semi-retired!), I'm posting today the questionnaires I sent out last week to four candidates for the two ANC districts that now cover Near Southeast.
Click through to read the responses I received from three candidates for the new ANC 6D02: Ed Kaminski, Damon Patton, and current 6D02 commissioner Cara Shockley, running as a write-in. David Garber, 6D07's current commissioner, is running unopposed, but wanted a questionnaire too, so I obliged.
There are some questions specific to the two districts as well as general questions that all four candidates answered, along with one curveball (literally) at the end.
What do you think of the candidates' responses? Fire away in the comments.
And, if you don't know where to actually go to vote on Nov. 6 (or earlier), find your polling place here and check out the Ward 6 sample ballot. The full DC Voters Guide will also tell you everything you might want to know about voting this time around.
Comments (22)
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ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (10/30/12 12:46 PM)
Question for the candidates: Do you have a plan to eliminate the BID Tax? DC has a significantly higher tax rate than state of Maryland and State of Virginia. If I am a resident of state of Virgina, I would have paid 5 % and 4.8% for MD. Right here in the District of Columbia, I pay 7.5%. It is not even a state and you have high tax rate and on the top of that you come up with so many other unlawful taxes like the BID tax. For how long the District is going to stay a poorly managed city?

MJM says: (10/30/12 1:36 PM)
Technically Velocity Condo is the board member on the BID not Ed - Ed fills the spot that Velocity holds on the BID board.

Ed says: (10/30/12 2:25 PM)
The MJM comment on nature of my membership on the BID is incorrect. The Capitol Riverfront BID has two Resident Board Members elected to the Capitol Riverfront BID for a term of 3 years and living in the BID area. I am one of the two resident board members.

Eric Siegel, VP of Cohen Companies, Developer of the Velocity is the current Chairman of the Capitol Riverfront BID.

MJM says: (10/30/12 3:03 PM)
Here is the link: link

MJM says: (10/30/12 3:09 PM)
Zoolander - the BID tax issue is really a city issue. The BID can choose not to impose the tax but there are several exemptions to the BID tax such as CQ residents and units with less than 10 units. So right now a lot of people w/in the BID don't pay the tax. It should be an all or none issue but the BID tax does go to the upkeep of Yards Park and probably eventually (if not already decided) Canal Park. I don't mind the BID tax if everyone w/in the BID was paying it but because of city rules they don't.

ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (10/30/12 4:58 PM)
@MJM,that's completely unfair. If that is the case, the BID need to give us some VIP privileges. Such as discount to the some events at the yards park. The way the DC government runs is a mystery to me. They try to resolve any kind of problem by taxes and fines.

BillP says: (10/31/12 2:22 PM)
Once again, there is no special exemption to the BID tax for CQ residents! The DC law that authorizes the creation of BIDs states that ALL residential property with fewer than 10 units or less is exempt from BID tax. This obviously includes CQ and also includes the residences on 3rd Street south of Cornercopia and on 5th street south of Virginia Ave that predate recent development.

Perhaps Ed or another candidate can elaborate on whether the Cap Riverfront BID has the ability to not tax non-exempt residential properties such as buildings with 10 or more units and, if so, if they would consider that option in the interest of fairness for all residents?

Hopefully, the condo developers and sellers are doing a better job of communicating this tax to their purchasers because it certainly seems to harbor resentment between those in the neighborhood who pay the $120 annual BID tax and those who do not.

BillP says: (10/31/12 2:26 PM)
One correction - the Cap Riverfront bid tax is $96 for nonexempt residential property, not $120 (the tax for the NoMa and Mt Vernon Triangle bids).

Lots of good stuff here, for those that want more of this:


ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (10/31/12 5:45 PM)
I guess I have to feel grateful for not paying more than NOMA BID residents. FYI, the builder doesn't tell you that kind of information. You just get a surprise bill after you spend a few months at your condo. It is kind of highway robbery and you can't do anything about it.

JES says: (10/31/12 8:24 PM)
Zoo is right; kind of sucks. For what it's worth, I don't mind the tax, but I do think it's BS that we have to pay it, yet the people right down the street don't. That doesn't make sense to me.

Michael says: (10/31/12 8:27 PM)
I like getting goods and services and not having to pay for them. If only neighborhood entertainment, beautification, and other improvements were free like JDLand!

MJM says: (10/31/12 10:07 PM)
CQ falls under the 10 units or less (rowhomes on 3rd and 5th fall under that so does CQ) or it falls under the receiving public funds - take your pick. If the BID could tax the CQ residents they would.

Ed says: (11/1/12 7:52 AM)
As MJM pointed out above BID tax exemptions is set by the City law. A BID is formed when the property owners agree to levy an additional tax on themselves to finance the provision of neighborhood-specific services, such as security, maintenance, and various forms of marketing.

BIDs can make a neighborhood more attractive by directly providing supplemental services that are valued more highly than the corresponding increase in property tax bills.
Few people living in Capitol Hill and SW districts would debate the positive changes of what is now branded the Capitol Riverfront.

The Capitol Riverfront BID has had a positive impact on property values and that value is reflected in the strong desire of people to live, work and play here while having access to nearby transit.

CQ has no BID tax by city policy but there are ways for the residents of CQ to contribute to the success of our neighborhood. I have formed a small committee of engaged residents to form 501 (C) 3 Friends of Yards and Canal Park nonprofit. There are many CQ residents who would support the parks through this organization. If interested in joining our effort, please email me at

BillP says: (11/1/12 10:11 AM)
Ed - that's a tremendous idea, I will email you my contact information ASAP. Garfield Park has a similar group that is very effective in keeping that park well maintained and utilized.

Eric says: (11/2/12 12:06 PM)
Does anyone have a list of topics the candidates do NOT agree on?

JD says: (11/2/12 1:28 PM)
Not exactly a lot of hot-button topics in the neighborhood where there's vast disagreement.

FromTheTurret says: (11/2/12 5:57 PM)
I would like to begin with saying that I believe the BID is great for the neighborhood and I would be wiling to pay more than I already do, but I hope the new ANP rep would be aggressive about making changes.

Ed, your idea of creating this 501 (C) 3 sounds great, but I am skeptical of you/it being able to raise meaningful money to supoort Yards and Canal parks. This sounds like a campaign promise if I have ever heard one. Why create this organization if the issue can be changed?

How much money do you think you can raise within the first year? When you say there are many residents of CQ that would support the parks through this organization, this is pure speculation or if it is not, can you please clarify? How many people said they would contribute and how much are they willing to contribute? There is a big difference between a tax, which no CQ residents and business's pay and a donation.

Ed, would you be willing to ask the DC City council to change the rules so that CQ residents are taxed equal the other residents of Velocity, CHT, etc.?

FromTheTurret says: (11/2/12 6:09 PM)
BillP, the Capitol Roverfront Bid tax WAS $96, but the BID board (which Ed is on) voted last year to increase it to $120 annually. You can see the current BID tax information here link

Ed says: (11/2/12 7:18 PM)
FromTheTurret, Friends of Parks organizations are a tried and true community strategy
for raising funds to support the maintenance and capitol improvement program for
city parks. Garfield Park has Friends organization link
that has play a big role in the modernization of that Park. Many major urban parks have friends organizations: Central Park, Bryant Park, Golden Gate etc. Yards Park would be in the same class as Bryant Park. So this is not a speculative concept (or a campaign promise)

Support for Yards and Canal Parks would could reach a very broad area including Capitol Hill, downtown and beyond to other communities. In June 21, 2012, I testified at the Mayor’s Public Hearing for 5-Year Extension of Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District and recommended that a 501 3C Friends of the park could improve the neighborhood equity of Yards Park financial support. Please drop me a line and I will send you the transcript.

BillP says: (11/2/12 10:37 PM)
Hey Turret, why just CQ residents? Why not all residents?

Here's a better idea... why not just worry about yourself and try to get non-exempt properties such as yours included within the residential property exemption instead of trying to hurt tens of thousands of other people city-wide? That being said, I'd personally be willing to pay the $96 - $120 per year if certain CHT and Velocity people would stop whining about this like its the freaking Boston Tea Party.

ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (11/3/12 2:24 PM)
@BillP, do you live at the Velocity or CHT?

By the way, I am not opposed to the BID. I just think the city need to fund it. The Downtown BID don't have to pay for their BID. The last few years the city tax revenue went up by huge margin because of the demand for Federal contract jobs. Many professionals has been moving to the District every single year and those are professional with six figure incomes. The city has been enjoying an increase with hundreds of millions of tax revenue but also has been extremely poor in utilizing that money. Instead, some bully council member ask us to pay extra money to run the BID.
@BillP, you are willing to pay @120 per year, that's your business. But, don't tell the rest of us to pay.

bryan says: (11/5/12 2:54 PM)
David Garber has endorsed Cara Shockley, in case that affects decisions:

I'm disappointed I haven't seen Shockley campaigning in SE at all. Not sure if she is not really campaigning, just sticking to Southwest, or maybe I just missed her. As a write-in candidate it would seem more important to get out there.

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