Despite announcements from several residents in the past few weeks that they would enter the race for the open Advisory Neighborhood Commission seat, it will be filled automatically at next week’s meeting after only one resident filed his paperwork in time.
Area resident Michael Thomas will become the new ANC commissioner for the vacant seat that represents a portion of Foggy Bottom between Pennsylvania Avenue and N Street from 20th to 27th streets at the Feb. 15 meeting if there are no objections from other commissioners. The seat was made available in December when former commissioner Richard Price moved out of the area. Local ANCs make zoning recommendations to the city.
According to ANC bylaws, since Thomas was the only candidate to complete all of the steps necessary to run for the opening, he will automatically win the position, said Gottlieb Simon, executive director of the District’s ANCs.
In 1998, Thomas was president of the Foggy Bottom Association, another neighborhood group, when GW negotiated the existing Campus Plan, a legal agreement between the University and the community. Thomas, a lawyer who retired in 1994, has also been on the GW Hospital’s Board of Trustees and is president of his building’s resident association.
Thomas said he decided to run for the open seat on the commission because of the multitude of development projects proposed for the Foggy Bottom area, particularly within his single-member district.
“The West End, over the next three to five years, will have changed complexion completely,” he said. Thomas cited specific projects, including renovation of the West End Library and development of the two vacant lots at 25th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, as changes that he wants to have a say in.
Three community members were said to have been running for the seat since the last Foggy Bottom Association meeting in late January. By the Feb. 6 filing deadline, only Thomas had completed his forms.
In order to be eligible for the ANC opening, candidates must live in the single-member district that the seat covers for at least 60 days prior to filing, be a registered voter at a residence within the single member district’s boundaries and collect the signatures of 25 registered voters within the single-member district.
ANC Chair Vince Micone said he is happy with Thomas filling for the open seat.
“I’m actually very, very pleased that we had the vacancy filled because we have some very important things coming before the commission,” he said. Micone said that aside from considering GW’s new 20-year Campus Plan proposal, other important topics include renovation of the West End library, condominium projects and the D.C. Department of Transportation’s proposal to resurface New Hampshire Avenue.