DC Government Ignores Community FOIA Request

Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) Hides Public “Exclusive Rights Agreement” with Private Developer

The following email chain clearly documents DMPED’s promise to deliver to the community prior to the 6 June 2013 McMillan Park Surplus Meeting a copy of the City’s “Exclusive Rights Agreement” with Vision McMillan Partners. The community filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain a copy of this public contract on 17 October 2012 and again on 11 May 2013. Despite DMPED’s legal obligation to disclose this information and their promise to do so prior to 6 June in the email below, the City to-date has failed to deliver a copy of this hidden Agreement for public review. What is our government hiding?

From: “Newaldass, Shiv (EOM)” <shiv.newaldass@dc.gov>
Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 7:03 PM
Subject: Fwd: Request to Cancel McMillan Park Surplus Hearing Scheduled for Thursday, 6 June 2013

Dianne and Scott,

We’ve responded to a request by Mr. Youngblood and it adds further clarity on the Surplus process, in case you all or others are interested. Thanks much.

Shiv

Shiv Newaldass | Project Manager
Government of the District of Columbia
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail message, including any attachments, is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and contains information which may be confidential, legally privileged, proprietary in nature, or otherwise protected by law from disclosure.  If you received this message in error, you are hereby notified that reading, sharing, copying, or distributing this message, or its contents, is prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please telephone or reply to me immediately and delete all copies of the message.
Begin forwarded message:

From: “Newaldass, Shiv (EOM)” <shiv.newaldass@dc.gov>
Date: May 31, 2013, 7:00:18 PM EDT
To: McMillan Park <friendsofmcmillanpark@gmail.com>
Cc: “Gray, Vincent (EOM)” <Vincent.Gray@dc.gov>, “McDuffie, Kenyan (Council)” <kmcduffie@dccouncil.us>, “Mendelson, Phil (COUNCIL)” <PMENDELSON@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Graham, Jim (COUNCIL)” <JGRAHAM@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Catania, David A. (COUNCIL)” <DCATANIA@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “vorange@dccouncil.us” <vorange@dccouncil.us>, “dgrosso@dccouncil.us” <dgrosso@dccouncil.us>, “abonds@dccouncil.us” <abonds@dccouncil.us>, “Evans, Jack (COUNCIL)” <JACKEVANS@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Cheh, Mary (COUNCIL)” <MCheh@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Bowser, Muriel (COUNCIL)” <MBowser@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Wells, Thomas (COUNCIL)” <TWells@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Alexander, Yvette (COUNCIL)” <YAlexander@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Barry, Marion (COUNCIL)” <MBarry@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Hoskins, Victor (EOM)” <victor.hoskins@dc.gov>, “Tregoning, Harriet (OP)” <harriet.tregoning@dc.gov>, “Miller, Jeff (EOM)” <jeff.miller@dc.gov>, “Abbasi, Ayesha (EOM)” <ayesha.abbasi@dc.gov>

Subject: Re: Request to Cancel McMillan Park Surplus Hearing Scheduled for Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mr. Youngblood,

 
I am responding to you on behalf of the Mayor.  Thank you for your recent email regarding your request to cancel the public meeting on the proposed surplus of the McMillan Sand Filtration site. 
 
As you stated, District Code §10-801 requires the Mayor to submit legislation to DC Council with several supporting documents in order to declare a property surplus and approve the disposition of the property for non-public purposes.  It is important to note that the surplus and disposition processes are bifurcated processes, as required by §10-801.  Therefore, the legislation needed for each process is separate and requires a different set of supporting documents to be submitted to Council and approved before any property can be transferred to a development team.
 
More specifically, the surplus legislation requires an analysis of why the Mayor has determined that the property is no longer required for a public purpose.  The meeting that is scheduled for June 6, 2013 will be held in order to receive feedback from the community on the District’s finding that the property is not required for public purposes. Comments collected at the public meeting will be submitted to the D.C. Council for their review as part of the aforementioned surplus analysis. The Council conducts a public hearing to receive additional feedback from residents about the proposed surplus before approval of the legislation.
 
Please note that this meeting is only to discuss the proposed surplus of the property and this meeting is not a discussion about the redevelopment plan. The redevelopment of the site is approved by Council through the disposition legislation.  The disposition legislation requires, as you have stated, an analysis of the economic factors and benefits to the District.  This disposition analysis is one of the documents that will be submitted to Council for review and approval with a Land Disposition Agreement.  The Council conducts a public hearing to receive additional feedback from residents on the Mayor’s proposed redevelopment before approval of the legislation.
 
The Mayor may elect to move forward with both processes in parallel, depending on the needs of the project.  Additionally, Council may conduct a joint hearing on both pieces of legislation in order to approve the surplus designation and approve the disposition concurrently.   
 
As a reminder, the public surplus meeting, which is required by §10-801(a-1)(4) of the D.C. Official Code, does not preclude other public meetings about the redevelopment from being held going forward.  The Deputy Mayor’s Office will continue to hold public meetings to receive feedback about the redevelopment plans for the project.  We look forward to seeing you on June 6th, 2013 at All Nations Baptist Church and receiving your comments.
 
Additionally, as per a FOIA request, we will have the requested documents available to the public prior to this hearing on the 6th.    
 
As always, thank you for your commitment to this site and do please free to contact me at your convenience with any further questions or concerns. 
 
Keep well,
 
Shiv
 
Shiv Newaldass | Project Manager
Government of the District of Columbia
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development 

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