By BILLY SIMPSON
In Mark Lee’s opinion piece on Sept. 6, he wrote an assessment of alcohol license moratoriums that included the following assertions:
“It appears that the advisory neighborhood group for the namesake Adams Morgan of epithetic nomenclature is again likely to refuse shedding its nay-saying notoriety. The odds are long that they will ask the city to terminate a 14-year alcohol-license ban when it expires next April, despite plethoric negative effects on community business development … It is expected that, at best, only modest revisions will be advanced for city agency consideration.”
As the chair of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C, the “advisory neighborhood group” for Adams Morgan that you reference, I defy Lee to provide to Blade readers any facts in his possession that he believes support these statements.
To my knowledge, neither the commission itself, nor any of our eight commissioners, has said or done anything that could possibly lead Lee to draw these conclusions, or any conclusion about what we might or might not do. We have been completely neutral in our approach and we are seeking to have a thoughtful community discussion on the topic over the months ahead.
Once that public process has run its course, it may turn out that we end up seeking to extend the Adams Morgan moratorium. Or it may turn out that we end up not seeking to extend the Adams Morgan moratorium. Or it may turn out that we end up seeking to extend parts of the moratorium, not seeking to extend others, and seeking to make adjustments to yet others.
I don’t know and neither does Lee.
He is entitled to have whatever opinions he wishes concerning the pros or cons of moratoriums. But he is not entitled to fabricate assertions about what our Commission is or isn’t likely to do.
We have a talented and dedicated group of commissioners. We put in a tremendous amount of work and effort to take fair and informed decisions on every matter that comes before us.
Whatever determination we ultimately make with respect to the Adams Morgan moratorium will carefully and thoughtfully take into account all viewpoints. In that context, the thing that particularly angered me about the assertions Lee made concerning our commission is that their primary effect will be to inflame the public discussion. Our commissioners put in way too many volunteer hours trying to promote constructive and respectful community dialogue to deserve to be made subject to that.
Billy Simpson is chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C.