This CAFR is the 21st consecutive clean audit opinion for the District of Columbia government, an impressive achievement that, as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) stated, indicates that “we are doing something right.” Our ratings from Fitch, Moody and Standard & Poor for our General Obligation Bonds, and our Income Tax Secured Revenue bonds, continue to hold strong. Our federally and locally mandated reserves increased by $26.8 million to $1.19 billion. Our revenues are extraordinary, from business and sales tax, capital gains, real property transactions, estate tax, traffic fines, and Medicaid reimbursements. I congratulate our CFO Jeffrey DeWitt, all of the staff at the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the Executive Office of the Mayor on these impressive accomplishments and sound management of the District’s finances.
As I read the CAFR, I was struck with our successes, but also the need for even more fiscal prudence. We all know that the Federal Government is driving significant changes across the country. And we know that these changes will have an effect on residents throughout the city. The positive growth seen in the CAFR should not be seen as an open invitation to spend more, but as an opportunity to further solidify our financial stability for the long run. The reality is that growth, like everything else, does not last. Over the next 5 years, we are projected to accumulate another $5 billion in debt. While that says a great deal about our desire to invest in our city, it also says much about our need for overall control and restraint in borrowing and spending. We must able to pay this money back, and we cannot do this at the expense of our residents. As the District and the nation cope with increasing uncertainty from the Federal Government, I believe that we must be prudent with how we manage our city’s finances. To watch my full statement on the Dais, visit http://dc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=4330 at 35:50.
So, as we enter into the FY 2019 Budget cycle, I call upon all of us to be cognizant of the various challenges we face, and to look to preserve the welfare of our financial future and our city.
Brandon T. Todd Councilmember, Ward 4 #Ward4Proud
Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, February 6, the Council met in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for their monthly Legislative meeting. Councilmember Todd introduced the“Senior Strategic Plan Amendment Act of 2018” and “Adverse Childhood Experiences Task Force Act of 2018”. Councilmember Todd’s Introductions:
“Senior Strategic Plan Amendment Act of 2018”
Over 107,000 seniors reside in the District (16.2%), by 2030, that number will increase to 20%.
The bill proposes a ten-year strategic plan to be updated every two years.
The Plan will look at best practices across the country to help our seniors age in place.
The plan will include comprehensive, data driven analysis on: transportation, housing, employment, education, elder abuse, health care, current DCOA services, and available federal grants.
“Adverse Childhood Experiences Task Force Act of 2018”
This bill establishes an Adverse Childhood Experiences Health Task Force to identify evidence-based solutions to reduce children’s exposure to adverse childhood experiences, as well as recommend ways to address the impacts of those experiences and recommend investments in preventative health care, mental health, and wellness interventions.
Upcoming Agency Oversight Hearings:
Office on Aging, Monday, Feb 12th: Committee on Housing & Neighborhood Development, 10AM in Room 412
Office of Public Private Partnerships, Tuesday, Feb 13th: Committee on Government Operations, 10AM in Room 412
Dept. of Small and Local Business Development, Tuesday, Feb 13th: Committee on Business and Economic Development, 1PM in Room 500
District Dept. of Transportation (DDOT), Tuesday Feb. 27th: Committee on Transportation & Environment, 11AM in Room 123
Upcoming Hearings: Tuesday, March 20th Committee of the Whole, 2:00PM RM 500
“Comprehensive Plan Amendment Act of 2018” B22-663
As introduced, this bill approves amendments to the Framework Element in the Comprehensive Plan Framework Amendment Act of 2018. The 2006 Comprehensive Plan is the District’s 20-year blueprint for laying the framework for the growth and development of the District. It recommends a review and amendment approximately every 5 years.
February 1st marked the beginning of Black History Month, when we honor and recognize the contributions of African Americans to the District, the nation, and the world. It is a time to celebrate Black culture and achievements, and acknowledge the central role African Americans have played in the history of Washington, DC and the United States of America. This year, there are myriad opportunities to celebrate Black History Month:
The DC Council invites you to a special celebration of Black History Month on Thursday, February 15, 2018, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM in the First Floor Foyer of the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW). Hosted by Bruce Johnson, the event will feature remarks by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove, authors of “Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital.”
The Takoma DC Library, located at 416 Cedar Street, NW invites you to attend two free lectures by well-known Historian and scholar C.R. Gibbs. On Sunday, February 11th at 3:00 pm, hear “The Underground Railroad in the Nation’s Capital” for a discussion on the Underground Railroad network in Washington, D.C. with specific focus on the operation of the Underground Railroad in the Georgia Avenue-Brightwood neighborhood. OnThursday, February 22nd, at 7:00 pm, hear “Undaunted Courage: African Americans & World War I,” a lecture about the role of Black American men and women at home and on the front in a tumult of racism, inspiring valor, and matchless character with a focus on the exploits of African Americans from the District, Maryland, and Virginia. Questions? Contact Michele McSween Sellars, Branch Manager, Takoma Park Neighborhood Library, at 202-576-7252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents are also invited to attend the 32nd Annual Black History Invitational Swim Meet at the Takoma Aquatic Center from February 16th – 18th. Since 1987 the DC Department of Parks and Recreation and the United Black Fund, Inc. have worked together to produce the first swim meet in the nation to celebrate this important month that highlights the contributions of African Americans to US society. Learn more and RSVP at: blackhistoryswimmeet.splashthat.com/.
I wish everyone a happy, meaningful, and educational Black History Month!
Sincerely, Brandon T. Todd Councilmember, Ward 4
In Case You Missed It
Councilmember Todd’s Interview With Takoma Radio
WOWD 94.3 FM, “Open Our Eyes”
On January 29, 2018, Councilmember Todd sat down with the hosts of Takoma Radio WOWD 94.3 FM’s “Open Our Eyes” program for a wide-ranging interview that included everything from how we can better care for people with disabilities, to what it’s like to be a DC Councilmember. The Councilmember would especially like to thank Ward 4 resident Libra Robinson for her enthusiasm and invitation to have him on the show.
Week In Review
Councilmember Todd Celebrates 6th Anniversary
of Annie’s Ace Hardware
On Saturday, Councilmember Todd joined a supportive and grateful community in celebrating the 6th Anniversary of Annie’s Ace Hardware on Upshur Street. For six years, Annie has provided a convenient one-stop shop for any and all hardware needs. They quickly became a pillar of the community, and Councilmember Todd was delighted to share his support for them and all they do. Happy Anniversary, Annie! You make us all #Ward4Proud.
Councilmember Todd Honors District Boy Scouts, Declares Feb 8th “National Boy Scouts Day” In DC
At Tuesday’s DC Council Legislative Meeting, Councilmember Todd was proud to present a Ceremonial Resolution honoring the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for 108 years of service and declaring February 8, 2018 as “National Boy Scouts Day” in the District of Columbia. He thanks Ward 4 Troops 24, 544, and 5776, the National Capital Area Council, BSA, and the 54 scouting units across the District that provide support, friendship, mentoring, and leadership development to over 1,290 youth!
To learn more about the Boy Scout’s National Capital Area Council and the work they do to support Troops across the region, visit: www.ncacbsa.org.
Mark Your Calendar
Office Hours With Councilmember Todd:
Monday, Feb 12th, 6:30 – 8:00 PM,Takoma Library
Councilmember Todd invites you to join him at office hours on Monday, February 12th at Takoma Library (416 Cedar Street, NW), from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. This event has been changed from the initial date of February 5th. This is an excellent opportunity for residents to sit down one-on-one with the Councilmember for up to 10 minutes to discuss important issues in Ward 4 and the District of Columbia. Residents will be seen on a first come, first served basis, and are welcome to discuss any issues important to them and their neighbors.
You are invited to join Mayor Muriel Bowser, Fire Chief Gregory Dean, Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner, Councilmember Todd, and Director Greer Gillis of the Department of General Services for the ribbon cutting of the new Engine Company 22 at Walter Reed in Ward 4. It will take place on Friday, February 16, 2018, from 4:00 – 5:00 PM at 6825 Georgia Avenue, NW. The new state-of-the-art Engine Company 22 is a 19,000 square-foot, three-level facility that will facilitate faster and more efficient emergency responses for area residents. It is just one of the many exciting new developments at and around Walter Reed. Councilmember Todd played an active role in helping secure funding for this Ward 4 pubic safety investment, and is delighted to cut the ribbon with District leadership and Ward 4 residents.
The Department of Parks and Recreation has announced that as part of their “Fitness First” initiative, the Takoma Recreation Center’s gym will now be open at 6:00 AM. Located at 300 Van Burden St, NW, the Takoma Recreation Center is a critical resource for the health and well-being of Ward 4 residents, and Councilmember Todd is delighted that the hours will be expanded to benefit even more residents.
Morrow Drive Section Closed To Vehicular Traffic, Reopens Upon Beach Drive Reconstruction Completion
Julia Washburn, National Park Service Superintendent of Rock Creek Park, shares the following message about the closure of Morrow Drive in Rock Creek Park:
“The rehabilitation of Beach Drive has restricted access to the U.S. Park Police District 3 substation, impeding the ability for law enforcement to function properly. Therefore, we will close the Stage Road section of Morrow Drive to public vehicular traffic on February 5, 2018, to allow U.S. Park Police to use the roadway to park law enforcement vehicles. The roadway will remain open to pedestrian and bicycle use during this period. The park will re-open this section of Morrow Drive to public vehicles when Beach Drive construction activities are complete, which is weather dependent, but anticipated to be no later than August 31, 2018.
The National Park Service understands that the temporary closure of this section of the roadway may be inconvenient for visitors. The Beach Drive project will improve law enforcement operations and visitor services for the foreseeable future by rehabilitating the roadway and parking facilities adjacent to the District 3 substation. The temporary vehicular closure of the Stage Road to Joyce Road NW section of Morrow Drive will allow law enforcement operations to continue unimpeded, by providing officers ready access to vehicles from the substation without interfering with Beach Drive construction activities.”
Walter Reed Opportunity for Ward 4
Contractors & Certified Business Enterprises
Please be advised that the Master Development team invites qualified firms to present a proposal for Demolition and Abatement of Building 15 (Interior Only), 83 and 91 (“Project”) at The Parks at Walter Reed (“TPWR”). The RFP and related exhibits can be found at:https://hines.box.com/s/u12nltmgcri7svzcqzsxib1fhmcsgjf5
Proposals will be accepted through 2pm (EST) on March 9, 2018.A mandatory pre-bid conference for qualified bidders will be held on February 8, 2018 from 8-9 AM at TPWR (1010 Butternut Street NW 20012).