The DC Open Government Coalition (DCOGC) supported McMillan with their first Amicus Brief.
On November 2, 2015, attorneys with the DCOGC and Friends of McMillan appeared in Court to challenge the fact that the City Council, and particularly Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, is unnecessarily resisting the law to disclose emails, letters, and other documents about our McMillan Park and the bad deal to destroy it.
According to this press release, DC's highest Court seemed surprised to hear an attorney for the DC City Council assert a sweeping interpretation of the FOIA law in an attempt to withhold the requested McMillan records.
In June 2016, the Court of Appeals sided with US! They have remanded the case to Superior Court ordering the requested Council documents to be disclosed. See the article and our press release!
But wait, there's more... bizarre Council behavior!
Back in November, the DC City Council voted on the Mayor's request to extend out 5-years the disposition (giveaway) of our public land at McMillan Park. The Chair of the Council, Phil Mendelson championed the Mayor's request to destroy our park, ignoring the independent Auditor's findings and backing off all the other Councilmembers except for one, at large Councilmember Elissa Silverman. See the FOM press release about the vote. Click here.
DC Auditor Update on McMillan: In the summer Kathy Patterson, the DC Auditor, sent a letter to Brian Kenner, Mayor Bower's Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development, asking 1) what is the "legal basis for a sole source procurement" of VMP as McMillan developer and, 2) why the District is now paying for VMP's pre-development expenses when documents from 2007 and 2008 say that VMP "is to be responsible for [these] costs."
Neither the Mayor nor the Council have responded yet to the DC's Auditor's call for a re-bid of the McMillan Park Project!
MORE SAVE MCMILLAN INFORMATION
Lincoln's Cottage: The McMillan development will have far-reaching negative impacts on its neighbors, including on Lincoln's Cottage, just north of McMillan, where the President drafted the Emancipation Proclamation.
In a letter to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), Erin Carlson Mast, executive director of the Cottage, asked the Commission to correct the staff report that "the views of the Capitol Dome from President Lincoln's Cottage . . . are either not significant or non-existent." By letter, NCPC Chairman L Preston Bryant, Jr. rejected this request. The Cottage has three historic designations: it's a National Historic Landmark, a listed site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (read the Lincoln's Cottage letter).
Lawyers, Consultants, Taxpayers & Public Sentiment
Presumably this will continue as part of the "$78 million in predevelopment costs, including fees to lawyers to obtain zoning and other approvals, and for site preparation, preservation and amenities . . . in a market where the demand for more housing, offices and retail continues to grow." (NYTimes, June 23, 2015).
McDuffie (Ward 5)
Grosso (At Large)
Fontaine & Co., a Baltimore pr firm, was put on the VMP team to "maximize local support/effort while effectively discrediting opposition" . . . [and to] . . . "provide continuous political cover to local elected officials."