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ANC elects Kennedy to chair the 2020 commission

Akash Pamarthy | Photographer
Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners voted to elect Patrick Kennedy, the former vice chair and a candidate for the Ward 2 Council position, as the group’s chairman this year.

Updated: Jan. 16, 2020 at 10:32 a.m.

A local governing board elected a new chairman, heard updates from law enforcement and council members and took a first look at the officials’ intended renovations to GW’s main athletic building Wednesday night.

The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission elected Patrick Kennedy – a long-serving ANC member and former vice chair – to head the group this year, and Metropolitan Police Department officers provided commissioners and residents in attendance with an update about a homicide committed near campus yesterday. Officials also presented renovation plans for the Smith Center, and D.C. Council representatives shared the Council’s plans to maintain Ward 2 office operations since Councilmember Jack Evans’ resigned earlier this month

Here are the main takeaways from the meeting.

Electing new commissioner positions
Commissioners elected Kennedy, a candidate for the Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember position, to chair the body and voted in senior and Commissioner James Harnett as this year’s vice chair.

“I think this nomination, and I hope his election, we’ll see, represents a vote of confidence on behalf of this commission in this community and the work that he has done and our belief that he will continue to serve the city very well and whatever role takes on,” former Chairman William Kennedy Smith said.

Commissioners also unanimously voted for Commissioner Detrick Campbell to serve as the commission’s secretary and Commissioner Trupti Patel to hold the position of treasurer.

MPD officers brief attendees on Tuesday stabbing
Duncan Bedlion, the commander of MPD’s Second Police District, said officers arrested charged Joseph Melton, 51, with first-degree murder while armed and assault with intent to kill with a knife. Bedlion said Melton knew the victim he had an altercation with Tuesday.

“He was charged in two other cases,” Bedlion said. “In fact, earlier that morning he tried to stab the same victim.”

Melton was also the aggressor in an assault that occurred on Tuesday in the 800 block of Vermont Avenue NW, according to a Jan. 15 MPD press release.

Bedlion said Melton fled the stabbing scene near campus, but MPD officers found him and placed him under arrest “without any harm to himself.”

D.C. Council Chairman talks empty Ward 2 seat
Phil Mendelson, the chair of the D.C. Council, said Ward 2 office staff are guaranteed a position at the office until the beginning of May. The Council will hold a mid-year election June 16 to fill Evans’ seat.

“With the unfortunate circumstances regarding Councilmember Evans, what is happening is that I am going to keep open a Ward 2 council office without a Ward 2 councilmember until the special election,” Mendelson said.

He said keeping the office open until the election provides Ward 2 office employees adequate time to find other work and ensures that Ward 2 residents can continue to access Council resources in the interim.

“Ward 2 residents, like everybody in the city, are represented by all the wards and the city-wide Councilmembers, the at-large councilmembers, including myself,” Mendelson said.

Officials present Smith Center renovations
Officials shared the University’s plans to renovate the Smith Center, which includes eliminating the pool and enhancing the building’s landscaping.

Adam Aaronson, the executive director of campus development, said officials will fill in the pool and replace the area with a practice basketball court, which will require construction to extend the building by 15 feet.

“This is a project I’d like to think is small in square footage but pretty significant in terms of the impact to our student-athletes,” Aaronson said.

Tanya Vogel, the director of athletics and recreation, said the roughly 70 athletes who participate in aquatic sports will now practice at the St. James Sports, Wellness and Entertainment Complex in Springfield, Va.

“The student-athletes and the coaches really love that pool,” she said. “So we’ve engaged in conversations with St. James to explore a more permanent solution.”

This post has been updated to reflect the following corrections: 

The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the Ward 2 Councilmember special election will be held June 15. The election is on June 16. We incorrectly reported that the University plans to lengthen the basketball court in the Smith Center. Officials will extend the building perimeter to make room for a practice basketball court. We regret these errors.

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