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FY 17 Budget Priorities – ANC 4A08

The Budget cycle for the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 17) is underway. The Mayor is expected to submit her budget to the DC Council on or around March 24th, after which the Council holds hearings and will have about 60 days to approve a final District budget for FY 17. The Advisory Neighborhood Commissions could have a role in defining the budget. We have the opportunity to provide our input and recommendations for any major funding needs that we believe are required. In addition, we should highlight the citywide initiatives, programs, services that we would like to support.

As I did last year, as the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the single-member district (4A08), I am requesting that the ANC 4A address its budget priorities at the ANC 4A March meeting. At the recent Budget Engagement Forum, the participants were advised that comments received by March 11, 2016 would be considered.

Residents in my SMD have voiced concerns regarding whether we will be able to afford to live here, or age-in-place in our current homes. The costs of living in DC come in many forms. For many families, there is no guarantee of a free, quality public school education for our children or grandchildren. We face the added costs and anxiety of having to pay for private schools – especially with the potential loss of access to the Deal and Wilson in six years, if the new school boundary plan is implemented. We need to make sure that the public and public charter schools that serve us are fully funded.

Some of our seniors are concerned that the serenity of retirement is being destroyed by those who are using their properties as rentals or for other non-residential uses. We need better enforcement regarding activities that result in added noise, parking issues and invite crime. Our quality of life could be compromised if more is not done to protect the residential zones and the tranquility of those zones.

We have many locally undesirable land uses (LULUS) – meaning properties that do not appear to be in full compliance with the DC laws or that are not being used in a way that preserves the public safety and peace. We also fear the “nickel and diming of DC citizens” with add-on utility fees, speed cameras, meter timing restrictions, zone parking restrictions, the new storm fees that do little to fix the pollution or erosion near Rock Creek and Piney Branch Creek.

We suffer from a lack of public parking near the subways and deferred maintenance on our streets, sidewalks and our bridges.

Residents are also concerned that Government is not doing enough to protect the environment or to restore our roads, bridges and infrastructure. Since we are adjacent to Rock Creek Park, we have concerns regarding the sewer overflows and the pollution allowed to flow into Rock Creek and Piney Branch Creek. Because 4A08 is an environmentally conscious neighborhood, environmental issues are often cited as concerns. This extends to concerns about the maintenance of the city trees to concerns regarding street flooding, potholes, and sinkholes and rats.

The following citywide initiatives are recommended.

1. Fully funding and ensuring 4A’s access to quality education for all of the neighborhood-serving schools. We realize that access to a quality pre-K and elementary school can be an anchor and asset for the neighborhoods. Include both public and public charter schools for funding and oversight.

2. Ensuring an efficient safe transportation system that meets the needs of ANC 4A08/Crestwood residents, including for safe and efficient travel and for municipal parking.

3. Preserving, maintaining and repairing DC streets, alleys, sidewalks, and bridges and complying with federal transportation laws.

4. Ensuring housing affordability (including tax oversight).

5. Conserving existing housing stock, especially low density residential houses.

6. Providing an adequate stock of housing for residents with special needs (seniors, individuals with disabilities and families in need)

7. Reducing water, air and pesticide pollution. Enforcing the environmental laws and implementing effective, stormwater standards and vector controls.

8. Maintaining sufficient sources of funds to preserve, maintain and repair DC’s infrastructure, which includes the roads, streets, bridges, storm sewers, electrical grid, and water sanitation and distribution system. Provide storm water management systems that work and promote the public health.

9. Providing adequate resources for the police and fire departments to ensure adequate emergency coverage for residents.

10. Preserving and protecting historic anchors and assets.

11. Providing for open government with due process, fiscal accountability and actions that are in the best overall interest of the DC. Provide timely notice, and the opportunity to comment on district agency proposals.

12. Ensuring coordination and fiscal accountability and due process.

Overview of Neighborhood Focused Priorities:

1. Preserve access to Deal and Wilson. Ensure that our assigned elementary (in-boundary) DC public/ charter school provides access to quality education for ANC 4A08 and 4A07. We should not be forced to move to lower performing schools. Fully find the neighborhood-serving public & charter schools.

2. Due Process= Restore the public roads and the bridges that serve DC.

3. Fix the potholes and stop the sinkholes. Rid us of rats.

4. Add a stop sign at Beach and Blagden to stop the north-bound traffic and provide other measures to address cut-through traffic.

5. Add an extension of the sidewalk on Blagden Avenue between Mathewson and Allison (south side) to connect to existing sidewalk and Rock Creek Park.

6. Provide adequate curb or storm water management. (Storm water management is needed on Allison Street and on Mathewson Drive and 17th Street.)

7. Effectuate an effective storm water management plan to address the serious pollution at Rock Creek and Piney Branch Creek and the sewer overflows.

8. Provide a Cross-town van to connect to Van Ness Metro.

9. Provide more municipal parking, including at Metro stops, like Van Ness.

10. Fix the outdated restricted parking signs. Review parking permits eligibility for Crestwood residents. Consider changes to the times for restrictions for more than two-hours. Consider parking restrictions for certain vehicles, like tow trailers.

11. Provide adequate resources for Public Safety/emergency services personnel for Crime prevention / community policing. Provide vouchers for security cameras.

12. Provide funding for beautification and maintenance of the parks at the Pointe, the Triangle and the gateway (where Crestwood signs are located). Support a Native plant demonstration and the addition of a kiosk at the Pointe, the Triangle and Argyle and 17th (near Crittenden).

13. Invest in the aging infrastructure (including hydrants, electric supply grid, and the water and gas distribution lines).

14. Enhance recreational opportunities, such as a public playground or community garden or community meeting place, for areas under-served in ANC 4A.

15. Fund the 4A aging-in-place initiative and help with ANC communications.

16. Provide funding for the ANC 4A-serving public schools, including Murch, Powell, West, Hearst, Deal Middle School, Wilson High School and Coolidge High School, and the public and other charter schools from pre-K to grade 12.

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