Armstrong Funny Business


As you will note in the attached, The Community Academy Public Charter School (CAPCS) has submitted an application to the District of Columbia Revenue Bond Program for tax-exempt funding up to $24 million to renovate Armstrong School as well as to make major improvements to two other CAPCS Campus properties. A hearing on the CAPCS application is scheduled to take place tomorrow at Noon. Curiously, the letter notifying me of the hearing was dated November 21, 2006 and it did not arrive at my home until Saturday, November 25, 2006.

While the Armstrong School does not fall within the boundaries of my Single Member District, it resides on our southern border and, of equal importance, for many years it has been a topic of great interest to the Bates Area Civic Association, Inc. as well at to a number of my constituents who live in very close proximity to it. While I am on record as being supportive of the placement of a CAPCS at this site, I am not supportive of any plan that includes the construction of housing (of any kind) at this location in order to make the financing of the proposed school work.

Perhaps needless to say, I am concerned that notice of this hearing would be sent to me within less than seven days of its proposed occurrence and during a span of time that is interrupted by one of the most significant and distracting holiday periods of the year. Because I am not able to make an adjustment to my pre-existing schedule of professional commitments in order to make the hearing tomorrow, I am equally disturbed that the deadline for the submission of written testimony was on Monday, November 20, 2006 (or, the day after the letter was drafted and,.presumably, placed in the mail to me notifying me of the scheduled hearing).

I plan on contacting the Mr.. Gregory Johnson, Program Analyst, DC Revenue Bond – Enterprise Zone Program, to voice my strong objections to the total inadequacy of the notice given to me (as a representative from an adjacent ANC). In addition, I am going to express my concerns to Mr. Eric Goulet, Clerk of the Committee on Finance and Revenue of the Council of the District of Columbia, and (at a minimum) demand that the record for public comment on this application be extended until December 4, 2006 so as to give myself and other interested residents of our community a reasonable opportunity to review and comment on the CAPCS application, should the Committee on Finance and Revenue proceed with the hearing in spite of the objections aforementioned.

I will keep you posted of future developments concerning this situation as I learn about them.


Jim Berry