David Holmes Resigns as ANC6A Commissioner
by Larry Janezich
Last night, ANC6A Commissioner David Holmes announced his resignation as a commissioner for ANC6A03, saying “It is time for a change.” He said the notice of the resignation had appeared two weeks ago in the DC Register – the city’s record of official announcements. Holmes was elected in 2006 and has served on the ANC for 7 ½ years – three as Chair and three as Vice Chair. He said, “Being Chair was a forty to 60 hour a week job. As a retiree I had the time but the commitment is wearing after a few years go by.” Holmes said he timed his resignation on a date “that will allow a new Commissioner to be elected to fill the vacancy without waiting until the general election in November. No vacancy can be filled in the last six months of the term.”
The announcement came as a surprise to those attending the meeting and Holmes received the applause of the commissioners and attendees by way of thanks for his service. Commissioners individually paid tribute to Holmes for his work on the commission.
Later, Holmes talked about some of the issues he was involved in while serving as commissioner. Several of his most important activities centered around the development of H Street, including lobbying Councilmembers to reduce the property tax burden on merchants and homeowners on and adjacent to H Street, working to maintain funding for and commitment to the H Street streetcars, working to improve design and amenities for large real estate projects on H Street and to protect residents of nearby streets from excessive noise from sidewalk cafes.
Another major focus of his attention was traffic and transportation issues, and Holmes cited working to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety on C Street, Maryland Avenue and Florida Avenue; getting stop signs placed on 10th and 12th Streets at C and Constitution; and, with the help of Councilmember Wells, changing Constitution to a two-way street in the morning. In his own district, Holmes claimed credit for partially or completely repaving four damaged alleys and most of the streets. Regarding crime, he led citizen impact campaigns to lock up habitual car vandalizers. Holmes worked with other ANCs, to stop the National Marathon from enclosing Capitol Hill for 5-6 hours. Finally, he referred to the little things – the things that take up so much of a commissioner’s time and effort: countless improvements of street lights, parking and sweeping signs, stop signs, park maintenance, sidewalk repair, storm drains, etc.
Asked about his immediate future plans, Holmes said he and his wife Shauna want to take time to travel.
ANC6A Chair Alberti, Vice Chair Omar Mahmud and fellow commissioner Andrew Hysell subsequently paid tribute to Holmes.
Alberti said: “David served as an ANC 6A Commissioner for six years including three years as Chair of the ANC. As Commissioner, David spent countless hours each week working for the benefit of of our entire community; as Chair, he provided outstanding leadership. ANC 6A has benefited greatly from all that David accomplished during his tenure. His advocacy for agency accountable and the preservation of public green space will pay dividends for decades to come. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve with him and I will greatly miss his wise advice and invaluable assistance. It saddens me to see David resign as Commissioner but I wish him well. He has certainly earned some rest, but I hope that I will have future opportunities to work with David on behalf of the neighborhood we love.
Mahmud called Holmes “an outstanding public servant” who “we all we all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for his work helping to ensure government agencies are accountable to residents, working with business owners to ensure a balancing of business needs with those of residents, ensuing support for and viability of the H Street Farmers Market, among other things. Losing David on the ANC is a huge loss for me personally because I have come to rely on him a great deal as a Commissioner, but I am glad he will still be in the neighborhood for us to call upon for counsel and advice.”
Hysell said “The role of Commissioner revolves around two core functions – listening to residents and then advocating for our interests before DC government. David was truly excellent at both and his conscientious approach to all of his responsibilities has been the model for the rest of us to follow.”
ANC6A Bylaws lay out the procedures for filling the vacancy. The Bylaws can be found on the ANC6A website: http://www.anc6a.org/ – click on “Other Documents”.