SMD 5B03 ANC Commissioner Steps Down – Why And What Happens Next

SMD 5B03 ANC Vacancy AnnouncementAdvisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) for Single Member District (SMD) 5B03 Tiffany Bridge recently stepped down from her ANC Post. SMD 5B03 boundaries are Monroe Street NE to the North, 13th Street NE to the West, Rhode Island Avenue to the South, and 19th and 18th Street NE to the East. We reached out to her to inquire why she stepped down, and she provided us with the following statement:

The short version is, I have a very different opinion from the other commissioners about what, at a practical level, constitutes openness and transparency in local government. Which wouldn’t be a problem by itself (we’re all accountable at the ballot box for the kind of elected official we are, after all, and I don’t believe in telling other elected officials how to represent their districts), but the practical upshot had turned out to be: a lawsuit filed against the ANC for not honoring a FOIA request that should have been a no-brainer, to which I am a party simply because I was on the ANC at the time; my total lack of confidence that I wouldn’t get dragged into those kinds of shenanigans again by continuing to be part of that body; and personal abusiveness leveled at me from other commissioners because of my belief that our constituents are entitled to know what we’re up to and why.
I’m sorry to not complete my term- I hate being a quitter more than almost anything- but I could no longer ignore that being confident in the principles guiding my own behavior wasn’t going to be enough to keep me from getting dragged into nonsense I don’t want to be associated with. Not to mention that there can be real consequences for that kind of thing- While criminal penalties for FOIA violation are rarely applied, contempt of court is not uncommon, for example. It was no longer a risk I was comfortable taking.

The FOIA case Ms. Bridge is referring to is the one we covered here yesterday. So what happens next? Ms. Bridge tells us:

Once the seat is officially certified vacant, there will be a special election process. Candidates may collect signatures for an election, but if only one candidate returns a valid petition, he or she will automatically be awarded the seat. The person ending up with the seat will have to run for reelection (if they so choose) next year along with all other ANCs.

We assume this process is already underway as a DC Board of Elections ANC vacancy announcement was posted on August 23rd on the Brookland bulletin board at the corner of 12th and Newton Street, NE. We would like to thank Ms. Bridge for her service to the community.

6 thoughts on “SMD 5B03 ANC Commissioner Steps Down – Why And What Happens Next”

  1. Tiffany is there any chance you would be willing to elaborate on statements?

    What was the difference of opinion between you and other ANC 5B commissioners concerning openness and accountability? What approach did the other members wish to take in regard to public inquiry into ANC operations?

    Also, would you be willing to discuss what the personal abusiveness is that you mentioned? I think a lot of us in the community would like to know how our elected officials are acting behind closed doors. It will serve each of us, and the community, well to be more informed on these topics prior to November 2014.

  2. PLEASE we need to set up a strategic plan to get someone on that board that will set the tide for change!!!! AND DUMP THE REST OF THE CURRENT MEMBERS!

  3. I totally understand that anyone can start a blog now and that bloggers either don’t know or care to adhere to basic rules of journalism. However, is it too much to ask for both sides of the story? Or a complete version of one side at least? This “article” tells us absolutely nothing. Was it too hard for the writer to get ANY of the other ANCs version of events. Or does the writer believe Mrs. Bridge is right and all of the other ANCs are wrong? Can we get a line saying the writer at least made an effort at objectivity…something like “so and so declined to comment” or “never responded to several messages”.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. The purpose of this post (as indicated in the title) is to offer insight into 1) why Ms. Bridge stepped down and 2) what will happen next to her vacated seat. As you can see from the post directly preceding this one, I have no qualms about asking various parties for their versions of events. In deed, there is a link within this post to another one that explores the very FOIA case Ms. Bridge alludes to – and that posts contains quotes from various parties. The reason why I did not reach out to anyone but Ms. Bridge for this post is because I wanted to find out why she stepped down, and quite frankly, she is the only one who can answer that question.

      Have a great day,
      Shani

  4. If the rationale for resigning a sought-after leadership position – whether career/occupational, civic, political, religious – is concern about complaints, handling tough issues and internal/external knowledge processes, then one should be clear of one’s inner strengths & abilities before pursuing.

    Commissioner Carolyn C. Steptoe
    (pardon typos, etc.)

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