After months of investigations and discussions, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans announced his upcoming resignation via letter after the Council’s most recent Legislative Meeting. He was first elected to office following a special election on May 13, 1991. Upon completion of the Legislative Meeting, a hearing of the Committee of the Whole was supposed to convene to discuss Councilmember Evans’ expulsion following his code of conduct violations. A vote on expulsion was expected on January 21.
However, just prior to the Committee of the Whole hearing, Councilmember Evans’ letter announcing his planned January 17 resignation was provided to Chairman Phil Mendelson. After reading the resignation announcement aloud, Chairman Mendelson recessed the planned hearing. Once the resignation date has come and gone without incident, Chairman Mendelson will reconvene the hearing, just long enough to then adjourn it. The intended January 21 vote will subsequently not occur, as it will be unnecessary.
Just prior to the resignation, the earlier Legislative Meeting was productive but routine. Perhaps the most meaningful symbolic action was the first of two needed votes designating go-go as the District’s official music. (The second vote will likely occur on February 4.) Similarly, a first-of-two vote was taken on a housing bill that would impose a fee on developers who reduce the number of housing units in a project, and fine developers who vacate a unit with the intent of personally occupying it, only to leave it vacant prior to putting it back on the market.
Much of the bulk of the remaining measures on the meeting’s agenda were the low-drama meat-and-potatoes of any Council meeting’s agenda—nominations, street renamings, and contract approvals. On the last topic, moving forward, the Council hopes to undertake initiatives to ensure that the letter of the law regarding the Council’s authority to review contracts is more earnestly observed by the Executive.
An emergency measure originally meant to face a vote at today’s meeting, regarding the regulation of a new class of “games of skill” that have been rapidly deployed in other states, had its consideration postponed to allow the Council to hold a roundtable on the topic prior to a Council vote.
Earlier in the meeting, Ceremonial Resolutions were presented to recognize the retirement of noted community leader Robert Lonon, Sr. and the arts education efforts of Imagination Stage.
Measures introduced at the most recent meeting, if enacted, would:
- Clarify that condominium association or related boards are responsible for mold remediation in building common areas
- Make new condominium warranty programs work better and more as designed
- Modernize gender language usage in the DC Code to eliminate unnecessarily gendered terms
- Express the Sense of the Council in support of the District Department of Transportation recognizing February 4 as Bus to Work Day
- Create a tax credit for Certified Business Enterprises and Certified Small Business Enterprises to encourage the employment of senior citizens
- Put into place increased fines and prison terms for crimes of violence against violence prevention workers, in honor of one such slain employee, Clarence J. Venable
- Create a program to provide job training in specific high-earning jobs (such as paralegals) for those living in Census tracts facing the highest risk of displacement
- Require the DC Retirement Board to take steps to diversify its fund mangers
- Express the Sense of the Council in support of the Langston Initiative to transfer three federally-owned golf courses in the District to local ownership and to improve and beautify them
The Council’s next regularly scheduled Legislative Meeting will be held on February 4. A Committee of the Whole meeting will be held on January 21.
For a full list of all votes taken at this meeting, please click here.