Last night's meeting of the Edgewood Civic Association (ECA) was a pretty typical meeting. After the meeting was called to order, Tim Clark presented membership numbers. He stated that there were 10 renewals, 3 new memberships and 7 paypal memberships which totaled 20 members. After I tweeted this information he responded that it was not accurate. He had not stated the number of members that had paid for a two-year membership last year. At the end of the meeting I asked for that number and was told that he did not know it and I asked if it would be presented at the next meeting. I was told that membership numbers would be presented if they were on the agenda, so I asked if it could be added to the agenda. I was told that the numbers were not presented at every meeting. Finally, Fred Allen stepped in and asked that they present them at the next meeting and then Tim Clark agreed. It is always shocking to me how such simple questions about membership of an organization of which I am part can turn into such a difficult encounter.
There were not many items discussed with the MPD officers that made a presentation about the crime statistics in PSA 501. They did note that most crime is down except for burglary. Three new officers are being added to PSA 501 and they already have plans for plainclothes officers on the Met Branch Trail as well as segway patrols when the weather warms up.
There were representatives from WMATA at the meeting to discuss the locations of bus stops and the removal of several stops that had occurred last year in Edgewood. The group admitted that they had not done any outreach to the community before the stops were removed, so they are now working with ANC Silas Grant to meet with the community and discuss the change of the stops. They already had one meeting and the following proposal was generated from that meeting for the G8 route:
Remove 7th @ Kearney
Reinstall 7th @ Jackson with a shelter upon DDOT concurrence
Remove 7th @ Hamlin
Remove Edgewood Street near Franklin
Reinstall Edgewood Street @ 4th
Remove 4th @ Edgewood
Reinstall Edgewood @ 4th
Remove Edgewood Street near Franklin
Reinstall 7th @ Franklin (at the old location between the church and grocery store) not in front of grocery store with shelter upon DDOT concurrence and trash can
Remove 7th @ Hamlin
Reinstall 7th @ Jackson with shelter upon DDOT concurrence
Relocate 7th @ Lawrence to 7th @ Monroe
A couple of the people at the meeting were upset with some of the plans especially relocating the stop that is right in front the of the senior building at Edgewood Terrace. The WMATA group explained that they looked at ridership numbers from the averages per day over a month in September 2009 as well as talked to their personnel to make the decisions. The goal was to get bus stops into the 4-5 a mile setting to increase efficiency and speed on routes. The route previously had 8-10 stops a mile which was excessive. There will be another community meeting on the proposal and they will be presenting it to the ANC as well.
The Farmer's Market was also discussed during the meeting. The market will run from June until November on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. This is different than the previous start date which was stated as April. There were some concerns from a couple of people present about trash and rodents. Michael Byfield, the representative of the group starting the market, stated that in all his years operating farmer's markets he has never seen a problem with rodents. The market is not a permanent fixture and it is cleaned up afterwards. Mike Clark became very concerned about how the market would be cleaned up and what dumpster that they would use for trash. Mr. Byfield stated that they would be using the church's dumpster per agreement. Mike Clark stated that he wanted them to come up with a memo of understanding stating how they would clean up after themselves. I thought that this was over the top for a farmer's market. The shopping center has permanent residents that would contribute to a rodent problem many times over a market in the parking lot for 6 hours once a week. There was no vote on this item or requirement.
The next item discussed was the plan for the Ward 5 Walmart. Fred Allen talked about the group Respect DC that was formed of mainly union members. He stated that Walmart has already given 5 million dollars to groups around the community and implied that if you wanted to know where the money went you should go to the city council. He stated that Walmart said they were not going to sign any community agreements that were legally binding, but they were willing to listen to and work on the communities concerns. The zoning is matter of right for most locations and they are not asking for any money from the DC city council, so there is little leverage for community groups.
Some information was presented about the developments in the area, but I have already provided more details about them in my previous posts on this blog so I will not repeat them. No new information was given.
Mike Clark then talked about the Chocolate City Beer (CCB) brewery and stated that he had looked into their permits at DCRA and did not find any. He stated that he is concerned about this brewery opening up close to schools and that the owners never met with him, the civic association or the ANC. He stated that he hopes after DCRA looks into them that they do things right and meet with the civic associations and groups before they try to open near schools. It was not clear what permits he thought CCB was missing and I am pretty sure that the zoning is commercial for that area. I am not surprised to see this coming as this is not the first meeting Michael Clark has made a comment about the dangers of the CCB and it being near schools. I am hoping that it is a non-starter, as evidenced by blog hits CCB is pretty popular with the community already.
The meeting ended and I repeated my request from the January meeting to update our bylaws to reflect current practices. Tim Clark stated he is working on them and would not give a timeline. He stated that he is only working on typographical errors at this point and would post them online when he is done. There was some discussion about voting on the updated bylaws and if that had occurred already. Tim Clark stated that it was in the minutes and I asked if they could be posted to the website since currently the most recent minutes posted are from March 2010. Tim Clark stated that they are on the website and then kept repeating himself when I asked him to show me where since I had the minutes page of the website pulled up and could not find them. That pretty much ended the night with me wondering why I go to these meetings if I am not wanted and I am treated disrespectfully and antagonistically with every simple question I ask.