This meeting has occurred; this preview will be updated to a summary of events soon; in the meantime, the meeting recording can be viewed here

tl;dr

  • This is the first meeting of the new term, and will establish officers and schedules.
  • This meeting has not yet occurred. This page serves as a notice and preview.
  • I will be filling in more details here before the meeting to help folks come into the meeting aware of the topics
  • After the meeting, I will update this page with a summary of takeaways, and some annotations on the agenda with what was discussed

Meeting Details

The meeting will be held virtually (via WebEx or Teams) at 6pm ET on Wednesday 1/18/2023. It will be the first meeting of the new Commission, and the first with the new boundaries and district makeup. The most recent regular meeting of ANC 5C was on 11/16/2022 (with short follow-ups on 11/21 and 11/30)

This is an official 5C meeting. Commission meetings are:

  • open to the public
  • generally noticed to the public ahead of time by seven days and multiple approved methods
  • require a quorum of Commissioners present
  • the only suitable venue for official Commission actions (e.g. voting on resolutions/letters)

As the first meeting of the new term, this meeting will establish officers and procedures, as well as meeting scheduling, for the next year.

Special Meeting status

Due to some confusion over noticing ahead of the seven-day deadline, this meeting is being considered a Special meeting. While it was noticed ahead of the deadline in many ways, emails through the WebEx system and posting on the 5C website had not occurred.

As a Special Meeting, only actions with time urgency should be considered. There are legal and logistical requirements to immediately elect new Officers, join the Security Fund, and schedule future meetings.

Connection details

Please note this meeting join information has changed since my initial posting. It is likely final.

WebEx meeting Join on your computer, mobile app or room device:

Or call in (audio only):

  • 202-860-2110 (United States, DC)
  • Phone Conference ID: 952 400 275#

Agenda

Multiple draft agendas have been generated for this meeting. The following is a superset of possible agenda items.

  • Convene New Session
  • Elect Officers
  • Elect Meeting Dates & Time
    • (Up/Down vote on 3rd Wednesday)
    • (Up/Down vote on 7pm)
  • Discuss Commissioner Records and Equipment Turnover
    • consider any relevant records and equipment for former Commissioner Montague
    • consider any relevant records and equipment for Commissioner Brevard (now 5B07)
  • Decide 5C Technology (website, social media, WebEx, etc.) Management (Discussion)
    • (nominations on Officer role or individual Commissioner for duty designation)
    • (Up/Down vote on duty designation)
  • Discuss Treasurers and Quarterly Reports
  • Presentation and Approval of Letter to Urge Transparency for Karon Blake’s Family - Commissioner Thomas
    • (Up/Down vote on approval of letter)
  • Public Comment
  • Join ANC Security Fund
    • (Discuss any change in Chair or Treasurer and impact)
    • (Up/Down vote on motion to address)

Officers

Per DC Code § 1–309.11(e)(1) and 5C Bylaws Article 4, Section 1, officers must be elected from among the Commissioners in January. Specific Officer Duties are detailed in the 5C Bylaws, Article 5. The Officers are as follows:

5C Officer description/duties
Chairperson
currently Commissioner Manning
convenes and chairs meetings, power to call special meetings, rules on procedural questions unless overturned by simple majority, bonded and filed for Security Fund purposes
Vice Chairperson
currently Commissioner Thomas
performs Chairperson duties upon absence or vacancy of that role
Treasurer
currently Commissioner Oliver
bonded and filed for Security Fund purposes, maintains records “in bound books” of transactions/receipts, prepares vouchers for authorized expenditures, prepares financial reports, maintains accounts
Recording Secretary1
vacant, most recently Commissioner Brevard who no longer lives/serves in 5C
notices meetings, takes minutes, transmits agendas, minutes, recommendations, etc to OANC and other agencies as needed, serves as Central Repository for all such documents
Parliamentarian2
vacant, not filled in at least a few years; possibly since Commissioner Bob King left c. 2014
advises the Chair on parliamentary orders when requested
  1. DC Code mandates a "Secretary." There are two entries for "Recording Secretary" in the 5C bylaws; one was likely "Corresponding Secretary" at some point in the past, as this is how 5E splits their secretary roles. 2013-22 5E was the geographical successor to the 1976-2013 5C, whose bylaws moved with the 5C designation during the 2013 redistricting.

  2. Parliamentarians are not legally required, and the mandate in the 5C bylaws that they shall be elected appears to have been ignored for some time.

vote-counting party

In the past, 5C has used 5C02 resident and Zoning Commission Chair Anthony Hood to count these ballots. It would appear he will be doing this again this cycle.

election procedure

The procedures outlined here may be subject to amendment as I continue researching and asking around.

Summarizing 5C Bylaws (Article 4, Sections 7-11) (with a lot of help!):

  • For each Office1, which will be fully addressed one at a time2:
    • nominations occur from among Commissioners with no limit to number of nominees. For each nominee:
      • a Commissioner must motion a nomination for the Office (and can nominate themselves); there can be a speech up to two minutes
      • a Commissioner must second3 (this can’t be the nominee); no speech allowed for this
      • the nominated Commissioner may be asked if they accept4, but should decline if compelled at any time regardless4
    • roll call vote occurs; each Commissioner names a candidate5 for the Office or abstains6
      • a nominee must win a simple majority7 of votes cast (with abstentions not counting) to win this roll call vote
      • if there is no winner on the first round, a second roll call vote occurs with the top two vote-getters8
      • in the event of a tie on a second vote, neither the Bylaws nor Roberts appears to offer any guidance9
  1. There would not appear to be any stipulation, in the Bylaws, Roberts, or elsewhere, of the order Officer roles are to be considered. We might assume, absent a motion otherwise, the order listed in Article 4, Section 1, which is Chair, VC, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian

  2. Section 10 requires in sequence rather than the Roberts-allowable all at once

  3. Section 7 overrules Roberts, which generally doesn't require seconds

  4. The 5C Bylaws appear silent on this; per Roberts 46:13, it is "desirable" to establish a person is interested in the position at some point, including before the meeting, but not required. As it's better to bow out before being elected, a nominee should remove themselves from consideration if motivated, even if they've explicitly accepted.

  5. Roberts 54:23 would allow a non-nominee to be voted for here

  6. Section 11 requires these be roll call votes, which are governed by Roberts 46:42, with votes by name and abstentions allowed

  7. Section 8 and Section 9 are in conflict here; we can presume the procedures in Section 9 prevail by surplusage canon

  8. In overriding Roberts 46:24, the 5C Bylaws veer away from any guidance on a tiebreaker here

  9. This is a delinquency in the 5C Bylaws; DC Code § 1–309.11(d)(1)(L) requires Bylaws contain "[a] tiebreaking procedure for Commission officer elections"; in the absence of guidance, should this unlikely event occur, a motion could be made to break the tie by restarting the top-two vote, the full roll call vote, or the nomination process, OR by way of a coin flip, race around the block, feat of strength, or random trivia 🤷. In the absence of a majority consensus on a tiebreaking procedure, the Office would likely be left vacant at this point.

ANC Security Fund

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions must join the ANC Security Fund by submitting an application containing the information and signatures from the Commission’s Chair and Treasurer, as well as a sum of $50 (newly raised from $25).

We will not be able to make purchases from 5C funds until this routine work is completed.

procedural difficulties

Per 5C Bylaws, Article 4, Section 3 (emphasis added):

The elected officers shall be elected to service for one year or until their successors are elected, and their terms of office shall commence at the close of the regular meeting at which they are elected.

This overrides Robert’s Rules, which call for new Officers to be immediately seated.

As the Chair and/or Treasurer maybe change as a result of the Officer elections, and the new Chair and Treasurer need to be bonded and filed on the application to the ANC Security Fund in order for the Auditor to accept it, there may be some difficulty in completing this business. Some options include:

  1. meeting restart: we can adjourn the initial meeting and schedule another one for moments later on the same call with newly elected officers seated. We’d have to perform all closing and opening rituals in this process.
  2. set aside: vote on a motion to temporarily suspend Article 4, Section 3 of our bylaws in whole or part, at which point Robert’s Rules would allow officers to be seated immediately and conduct the business related to the Security Fund; this could be done as late as possible in the meeting to minimize the diversion from the bylaws.
  3. authorize for future: vote on a motion to authorize the newly elected 2023 Chair and Treasurer to conduct the security fund business upon taking office.

OANC has blessed all three of these options, with (2) seeming the cleanest to Director Boese.

We will likely be handling this business late in the meeting to minimize the disruption these procedural actions may cause.

Meeting Schedule

Per DC Code, Commissions “shall meet in public session at regular intervals at least 9 times per year” (§ 1–309.11(b)(1)); current temporary provisions allow for this to be done virtually (§ 1–309.11(b)(1B)(A)). The schedule should be adopted in the first meeting of the calendar “to the extent possible” (§ 1–309.11(b)(2)).

These meetings have historically occurred on the third Wednesday of the month at 6pm, with with July, August, and December off. There has been a 5C sequence of Wednesday meetings every month:

  • first Wednesday: SMD meetings (one Commissioner meeting with their specific constituents)
  • second Wednesday: Committee-of-the-Whole/planning meetings (public, planning only)
  • third Wednesday: 5C Full Commission meetings (public, official actions)

Some changes currently considered to the existing norms:

  • the decision on when/how to do SMD meetings is up to individual Commissioners; I am only planning to do them for 5C07 when specific cases or issues warrant a focused discussion, and will otherwise be available for office hours and small-group visits
  • 5C is considering dropping COW/planning meetings in favor of setting the agenda over official email
  • 5C is considering pushing back the meeting start time from 6pm to 7pm

There has also historically been some deconfliction with neighboring Commissions and civic groups. To the extent that neighboring Commission schedules have been proposed or decided:

  • 5A will likely be doing fourth Wednesdays
  • 5B will likely be doing third Wednesdays, three months on and one off
  • 5F will likely be doing fourth Tuesdays

5B and 5C meetings will likely conflict for the year outside of summer months, which is unfortunate for those of us in 5C07, who are surrounded by 5B on all sides and have our community split by the Commission boundary. Some extra work might need to be done to cross-inform 5B and 5C when major cases occur on our border along Rhode Island Ave NE, as they often will.

Notional Schedule

Presuming 5C maintains the current cadence of third Wednesdays, with recess in July, August, and December, meetings will occur on the following evenings. As it’s important to avoid scheduling on holidays unexpectedly, nothing nearby holidays to emphasize lack of conflict:

month date notes
January 18th the subject meeting
February 15th  
March 15th  
April 19th Emancipation Day observed two days prior
May 17th  
June 21st Juneteenth celebrated two days prior
July N/A summer recess
August N/A summer recess
September 20th  
October 18th  
November 15th Veterans Day observed five days prior
Thanksgiving observed eight days after
December N/A holiday recess

Bylaws

For background on ANC Governance and bylaws, see the entry on the On ANCs page

Every Advisory Neighborhood Commission has a publicly posted set of Bylaws. 5C’s can be found here (or on the Archives page of the ANC 5C website).

amending the Bylaws

Per 5C Bylaws, Article 14, Section 2:

Revision of these By-Laws requires a two thirds vote of the entire Commission with at least two weeks prior notice to each Commission member that the rules will be recommended for change. Such notification shall include the suggested changes.

This means that:

  • a two-thirds majority out of seven members is five
  • “of the entire Commission” means that all seated members are considered in the denominator, regardless of abstention or absence
  • so, presuming no vacancies occur in the current 5C, any amendment will require five votes in the affirmative

As no notice has yet been given, and two weeks notice is necessary, the earliest we’ll be considering amendments is the February meeting. I’ll work to make sure a well-formed list of amendments addressing the below issues (and any additional ones I find) is noticed in time for that meeting.

As 5C is a continuing Commission with existing Bylaws, no work must be done in the meeting to adopt Bylaws, but the topic may come up.

the state of 5C’s Bylaws

5C’s bylaws do not appear to have received revision since 2013. There are a number of issues to consider ranging from housekeeping to major reforms, including:

  • updating Article 1 to reflect the newest boundaries (the current reference is to an area of DC Law superseded by the post-2020 redistricting)
  • updating dollar amounts related to the ANC Security Fund from $25 to $50 to reflect the new amount
  • bringing listed Officer positions in line to current usage; 5C has five officer positions: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Parliamentarian. It has not had an elected Parliamentarian in some time. This position could be removed. There are two entries for Recording Secretary that could be consolidated to a single Secretary position to align with DC Code language.
  • standardizing Officer elections process or, at least, making sure to excplicitly resolve the tiebreaker scenario outlined above, and consider seating newly elected Officers before the end of the meeting in which they are elected.
  • deliberating on Standing Committees, which are provisioned in the Bylaws, but haven’t been used in 5C in some time. Committees can perform information-gathering and outreach on specific subject areas (e.g. a Zoning Committee would handle all cases before the Board of Zoning Adjustment or Zoning Commission) and present to the full Commission, which would allow for deeper subject-matter expertise, greater consistency across the Neighborhood Commission Area, reduced Commissioner workload, and bring more folks into the process to distribute understanding and awareness of Commission business and operations.

5F’s (draft) Bylaws and Procedures

As a new Commission, 5F will be deliberating on brand new Bylaws, and Commissioner Bishop-Henchman has done a lot of work on studying all of the guiding texts and existing Commission Bylaws across DC. This makes the 5F Bylaws and Procedures a great reference work for determining how to least ambiguously word changes, and look for improvements.

Commissioner Records and Equipment Turnover

There are two Commissioners no longer in 5C:

  • former-Commissioner Montague did not run for re-election
  • Commissioner Brevard was redistricted to 5B, where she now serves in 5B07

I believe former-Commissioner Montague may still have a DC-furnished laptop at least. This will have to be turned in. We may discuss other records and equipment during this agenda item.

Website and other Technology

Since getting access to my official email, I’ve been cataloging any subscriptions, online accounts, and assets that have come to my attention. It’s important that somebody be officially designated to be in charge of these accounts, to keep them organized and avoid inconsistent or improper handling of these materials.

While it might be worth amending the Bylaws to specify how these should be handled (by tying the work to an Officer), it would also be sufficient, as this role has generally been imbued informally, to make a formal motion as the Commission as to who will perform this work.

Karon Blake letter

Commissioner Thomas has drafted a letter, which echoes Councilmember Parker’s, seeking transparency and information release regarding the tragic killing of Karon Blake, who resided with his family in 5C06.

As this is now being considered a Special meeting, it is possible that this agenda item does not meet the urgency criteria for consideration. While I support this letter, I’m willing to sign it individually rather than engaging in a debate on its consideration for a full Commission vote in this meeting specifically.

Public Comment

Per DC Code § 1–309.11(b)(3)

Each Commission shall set aside a portion of each public meeting to hear the views of residents within the Commission area and other affected persons on problems or issues of concern within the Commission area and on proposed District government actions that affect the Commission area. Community views shall be adequately considered in positions taken by the Commission. Each Commission shall establish mechanisms to ensure the broadest dissemination of information with respect to Commission meetings, positions, and actions.

It’s standard practice to open up the floor for any outstanding concerns of the community about issues covered in the meeting or otherwise.