The Advisory Neighborhood Commission affiliation of Joseph E. Johnson was incorrectly listed in last week's District Weekly. Johnson is a commissioner of ANC 6C.
Representatives of D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions are divided over whether commission elections should be postponed this year--a delay city elections officials say is necessary because new ANC boundaries are not yet completed.
ANC officials who favor postponing the elections universally support the concept of consolidating all elections, including ANC, School Board and City Council races, in even-numbered years and eliminating the present odd-year voting for all School Board and ANC members.
"We realize we're minor elected officials," said John McGee, chairman ANC 7A. "By electing all officials at the same time, it would lend respect and credence" to ANCs, McGee said.
Others said it also would be cheaper to consolidate elections in even years and denied claims that the process would become too political.
"We have sophisticated citizens who can differentiate between partisan and nonpartisan jobs," said Dorothy Stimpson, a member of the Ward 3 ANC redistricting task force.
In contrast, opponents of postponing this year's elections said they also were against consolidated elections.
"Basically, we don't want to confuse partisan with nonpartisan elections," said Bob Charles of the Ward 2 ANC redistricting task force.
For example, opponents said, consolidating ANC elections with other races might encourage the forming of slates of candidates, including ANC office seekers and, as a result, ANC races would lose their separate identities.
Other arguments against postponement were that it would undermine the importance of ANCs, particularly because School Board elections might be held on schedule this year, and it would result in present commissioners serving an extra year on their two-year terms. B. Harold Smith, chairman of the Ward 1 redistricting task force, said people in his area are concerned the delay would allow ineffective commissioners to continue in office.
ANC officials were interviewed in response to testimony last week from the acting head of the D.C. elections board who told a City Council committee it would not be possible to hold elections for the 367 ANC members this fall.
William H. Lewis, the election board's acting executive director, said the city's long-troubled voting registration rolls would be in good enough shape to hold scheduled School Board elections, but delays in the adoption of new ANC boundaries would prevent holding those elections.
City Council member Frank Smith Jr. (D-Ward 1), who chaired a committee-of-the-whole hearing last week on the new ANC boundaries, said afterwards that nearly all the new district lines are drawn. Smith said the council is expected to adopt the proposed boundaries by the end of April, possibly by Tuesday.
However, Smith said, he is convinced delays in approving the ANC boundaries, which D.C. law requires after each Census, will make it virtually impossible to hold ANC elections this year for technical reasons.
Council chairman David A. Clarke has introduced sweeping legislation that would cancel this year's elections for ANC and School Board, require partial re-registration of voters and eliminate odd-year elections for all School Board and ANC members.
But council member William R. Spaulding (D-Ward 5), who chairs the council committee that oversees the elections board, favors the more moderate course of postponing the ANC and statehood "senatorial" and "representative" elections this year but permitting elections for School Board.
The council has not acted on the various election proposals.