Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Interview: ANC 3E04 Candidate Tom Quinn

ANC 3E04 Candidate Tom Quinn stands near the CVS in Tenleytown.
Tom Quinn is currently running to serve as ANC 3E04 Commissioner.  He is an eight year resident of the neighborhood and previously worked for 15 years as an assistant manager at National Geographic.

Quinn recently gave this blog an interview, during which he addressed why he was running for the ANC and spoke about local development issues.  Quinn says the ANC is an important forum for neighborhood issues to be discussed.  He says this function allows the ANC to press for better outcomes, whether that be a change in trash collection and snow removal or an improved tree-trimming policy along city streets.

"A lot of people might be frustrated with the quality of city services.  The ANC is the conduit to voice those concerns, and look for solutions, and to get people working on the issue," Quinn says.

Quinn was particularly energized when discussing development issues along Wisconsin Avenue.  In August, Quinn and other residents joined mayoral candidate Vincent Gray for a walk along the Wisconsin corridor from Tenleytown to Friendship Heights.  Quinn says the walk was an important opportunity to address the future of the neighborhood and described Gray's knowledge of zoning issues as "encyclopedic."

"Smart development is a means to finding solutions, it's not part of the problem," Quinn says. "For example, there is a great deal of value in vertical real estate, and we must leverage it for good purposes.  Some of the profits should be rolled back into local benefits.  Affordable housing and green building requirements have been codified locally, and that is a good thing."

Quinn says development is also a means to address parking, traffic and other related issues.  He feels that the community should look at how metered parking spaces are currently used and whether or not a change in policy -- only free parking for residents -- might cut down on traffic congestion.  He says any parking solution must match supply and demand and benefit both residents and businesses.

Summarizing his approach to community development, Quinn says, "You've heard people say, 'think globally, act locally.' Well, we also have to think regionally, act locally."

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