After 30 minutes of socializing and voting on the 2016 Board, as well as an optional survey about community sustainability, the BCA annual meeting began promptly at 7 pm.
BCA President Eric Langenbacher began by listing the events that the BCA sponsored in 2015, highlighting the summer picnic and the call box donor party. He then highlighted various achievements, especially the successful effort to restore the five call boxes in the neighborhood.
Association business included a review of membership numbers (some variation but consistently about 160 households), a look at noise complaints (down substantially from previous years), the proposed budget for 2016 (income and expenses of approximately $16,000 with the Burleith Bell and the summer picnic being the two largest items), and a list of the proposed 2016 BCA Board slate (see below for election results). Kay Twomey briefly discussed the Burleith Community Fund (BCF), a tax-free vehicle for members of the community to make donations. The BCF had a banner year, mainly due to the call box restoration project.
Next, BCA Vice President Nan Bell discussed the on-going progress of the Georgetown Community Partnership. She noted the productive working relationship with the university that has emerged. The tenets of the 2010 campus plan have been largely upheld: many more students are back on campus and the university’s outreach to the community is usually prompt and efficient. Nan also emphasized the new construction at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. This large addition could break ground in early 2017.
Keylin Rivera, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Ward 2 liaison, delivered a briefing followed by questions and answers. She emphasized the infrastructure improvements to the neighborhood (“Alleypallooza”) and announced a community walk-through with District agencies on November 19. Adam Gutbezahl from Councilmember Jack Evans office went next, touching on the strong financial position of the city. ANC Commissioner Ed Solomon spoke about many community issues such as the on-going renovation of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and especially the lawsuit against the FAA regarding the increase of disruptive airplane noise in recent months. He noted the importance of fund-raising for anticipated legal costs. Although Lt. Hoyle from MPD was scheduled to speak, he could not make the meeting. There was a little discussion about the rise of crime over the last year—luckily, most of it not in Burleith.
The final invited speakers were representatives from Georgetown University: Chris Murphy, the new vice president for government relations and community engagement, as well as Cory Peterson and Theon O’Connor from the Office of Neighborhood Life. They also emphasized the strong relationship with the community and outlined their efforts to ensure good student behavior. During a brief Q&A there was some skepticism about their responsiveness to some complaints.
During the final community comment period, Gwen Verhoff announced the rejuvenation of the Friends of Georgetown Library and encouraged members of the community to get involved. Charlie Volkman made a plea on behalf of alumni of The Western High School to rename Ellington Field. He would like the BCA to endorse a change back to the original name, The Western High School Stadium. Eric Langenbacher replied that the BCA would hold a special meeting in the new year where all stakeholders could voice their positions and the community could vote on a resolution.
The formal meeting ended at 9:02 pm.
All 12 of the 2016 Board candidates were approved by a majority of the voting members.
President: Eric Langenbacher
Vice President: Nan Bell
Co-Recording Secretaries: Robert Russell and Carol Baume
Corresponding Secretary: Linda Brooks
Treasurer: Francine Steininger
Non-officer Directors at Large: Ann Carper, Edith Cecil, Stacy Bernard Davis, Alex Frederick, Liane Jones, Kay Twomey
Forty-one BCA members signed in at the meeting. Of the 31 households voting, 21 responded to an optional survey question on the ballot indicating they "very much" would like to see Burleith move towards a more sustainable/green/environmentally-friendly community.