Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tales of the ANC

The City Paper ran a short blurb on the efforts of ANC 3F Treasurer Carl Kessler, whose quixotic quest to get DC's taxpayers to pay for the business cards he'd been paying for out-of-pocket finally ended, with the DC Office of the Attorney General finally siding with Kessler. You'll forgive me if it doesn't seem that business cards for people on the low ANC rung is totally necessary. Can't you ANC chair just have your moms crochet you a sweater with your name on it? Aren't those "Hello! My name is..." stickers cost-effective?

Kessler's reasoning is thus: ?When we walk into a meeting...we have no indicator that we actually are ANC commissioners." Really? Do ANC meetings typically attract crowds of people that no one knows? Do you yourself need a flash card to remind yourself: "On some small, obscure, out-of-the-way, barely recognized level, I actually COUNT for something!" Seems spurious to me. Fact is, I'd wager I recognize this sort of behavior--classic psychology of the small timer who wants to feel more important than he or she really is, figures that some scintilla of trapping will give him and his ego the boost they need.

Here's the funny thing: apparently, Federal law had previously forbidden the allocation or appropriation of city funds for business cards. According to the City Paper, such objets de identite, were categorized as "personal items akin to a pair of shoes or a parasol." Well, that got me thinking: instead of changing the law to allow ANCs to have taxpayer-bought business cards, how about enacting a law requiring ANCs to appear in public carrying taxpayer-bought parasols. I think it would be vastly preferable each time someone complained about a neighborhood, for that person to be directed: "Look, if you don't like it, take it up with the jackasses carrying the parasols."

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